My wife and I sit on our deck enjoying a rare lightning and thunder show in the clouds to the east. Sunset earlier displayed spectacular colors, from vivid pinks and oranges in the higher clouds to ominous grey-blue streaks below. Our small market umbrella protects us now from the spit of raindrops shared wth us thirsty ground dwellers.
This is an ancient late summer theme. A worldwide occurance that reminds us that the BIG change of seasons is just around the corner. Time to move – to get your act together. Clean out those rain gutters! Unclog the drains. Find safe haven for those garden shovels and picks that have leaned in the open air since May.
It is also time to reflect on some enduring lessons of writing. The pieces I have written often reflect on the timelessnes of life. Whether or not we human hangers-on are around tomorrow is of no consequence to the bigger picture. Nature has her way of both accomodating us and leaving us to our destructive ways. She will be here tomorrow, and the next day. We may not.
There is a timelessness to writing also. It endures beyond us. Our writing is a leaf that blows down the path on the right breeze. And if we are so fortunate to have a piece published, it lingers in a lee, sheltered from the relentless wind a moment or two, but not forever. What is timeless though is the act of writing itself. As long as we breath, we will write. Perhaps of the simple act of breathing, and perhaps of something more profound. But we will write until we rejoin our earthly family.
I try to capture in my writing this timeless quality. The unbending laws of nature, of survival, demise, and regeneration. I also try to communicate the everlasting bonds of love. Between a granddad and his cherished grandson, between college sweethearts that find themselves in their sixties and still in love. Between dogs and cats, birds and bees. While we are focused on the stock market ups and downs and whether our nesteggs will outlive our livers, we lose sight of the amazing relationships that surround us every moment.
Writing reminds us. Refocuses us. Grounds us in universal truths and unending struggles. I remind myself that it is okay for my stories to take the reader back to simpler times, gentler relationships. Stories don’t need to be “edgy” to be remembered, to be “”dark” to change someone’s life. Stories have a life and vividness of their own. Whether they are set in 8th century England, 18th century Hawaii, 20th century Venezuela, or in your own backyard this morning, the lines you write may save – or destroy – someone’s life.
Be careful! The castles of Europe have stood for a thousand years. The writings of Aesop, Chaucer, and Shakespere have changed many lives. Our humble contributions to the human experience may also live well beyond what we could imagine. What a glory! Immortality may be within our grasp.
Write as if every phase were devinely inspired. As if your words will save a life. I know they have saved mine.