November 10, 2010

Rings and Seasons

It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanates from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.  ~Robert Louis Stevenson

I recently read something about trees. How, in studying their rings, scientists can guess what climates and growing conditions surrounded the tree at given seasons, even hundreds of years ago. When conditions are ideal, trees grow at a normal rate. But when climate becomes harsh, extreme, exceptional, trees slow down their growth and put everything they have into surviving.
How is this like writing?
Right now, I have a lot going on. This "season" of growth I am experiencing a climate of kitchen remodel, a new calling in church planning and executing the holiday parties, hosting Thanksgiving, 4 children involved in school, community, and sports/music, a volleyball tournament, a husband heavily involved in the community and church. I wouldn't call it a harsh climate, because these are things we choose and enjoy and look forward to. Still, our current schedule is full, and added to these things are the stress and turbulence of having a large family, health issues, my husband's absences as he travels a lot (yeah, I miss him). I might worry that this season's ring? Looking a little meager.
When I get to write, everything slows. I regroup. I clear my head. I focus. Writing is part of my survival. Writing group is manna. When I get quiet mornings for writing it's nourishment to my soul.
And then I can pace myself with the other stuff. Sort of. More like scramble to keep up, but I'm not falling behind. I do my best with the important things. Writing isn't extra. Along with my faith, writing maintains balance, keeps me warmed up. So, my meager rings? I'm still going to be thankful for what I was able to get done. Sometimes we just have to hunker down, keep warm, take care of the important things. Survive. Climates change, so do the seasons.

I know a lot of writers would agree with me.

What do your rings look like?


Sara B. Larson said...

Great thoughts. I've also heard that about the trees... maybe we were listening to the same speaker. *wink* I hope you can get through this time, and enjoy your holidays. :)

Don said...

We had some pretty slow-growth years there for a while. Fortunately, the rings are gradually returning to normal.

ali said...

What a great post Krista. The picture and quote are perfect. Beautiful.

My season is much like yours ~ and I like how you put your writing into perspective. I feel much the same way as mine. That time I take to write is as necessary to my survival as breathing, I think. At least right now.

Kimberly said...

I'm just in awe...what a beautiful, thought-provoking post.

L.T. Elliot said...

I think I'm hunkering down, too. And I think all guys named Robert know how to talk about trees pretty well. ;)
Wishing you lots of healthy rings and some more time with your hubby.

The Damsel In Dis Dress said...

Wonderful post.

And I suppose you heard about the changes with the activities committee...we're all still trying to figure that one out.

Gramma Spice said...

I love reading your thoughts, deep and honest. I love you and miss you. This holiday, the ring will be a little smaller than last year's because you were all here then. I'll send a big hug with your sis.

Heather B. Moore said...

Really great thoughts. I can very much relate.

Shari said...

I felt like I was reading about my own life. Awesome post!

Elizabeth Mueller said...

I really loved Uchtdorf's talk on that. I used that for my VT message this month and I KNOW that many others have. My hubby even used it for his home teaching!

Such inspiration!

I've actually broken down all 4 key elements listed in his talk in my journal. I'm working on them as well!

Great post!

~Elizabeth :)

Annette Lyon said...

Amen and amen.

Have a pretty tiny ring myself this season. I need writing to survive.

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