|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?