Spring! Outside my window, a blue jay is trumpeting his presence. A herd of pigeons and finches are gathered around the tree with the bird feeders, chattering and gossiping in voices so collectively loud that once a repairman in my house covered his ears in protest. The windows are open to the breezes because it’s a veryveryvery warm spring in Colorado, as it seems to be almost everywhere.
Winter, it seems, is finally over. This bright morning is a reminder that we always emerge from winter hibernation, a valuable season of retreat, into the fertile time of the year. It’s a good day to pause and consider what the dark season accomplished and then turn, with purpose and intent, toward the season of fertility and growth.
We often grumble over the cold dark days of winter, glower at the low gray skies and the early dark. But winter is a powerful time, and provides a service. We don’t hibernate the way bears do, but maybe you read more books, curled up in a warm spot in your closed, safe house. Maybe you binged on some television, absorbing the dark justice of Westworld or the intricacies of family dynamics in This is Us. Maybe you went to bed earlier, ate heartening foods. Maybe you packed on a few extra pounds. Sometimes we do in the still season, only to let it go with active summer days.
What gifts did winter bring to you this year in terms of your writing? Maybe your reading showed you something about your work, or the political climate started a fire in your belly, or the brilliance of storytelling on a television binge illuminated a problem you’ve had. I was gobsmacked by Lion, the movie about a very young boy who gets lost in India and then tries to find his mother when he’s an adult, illuminating one of my core stories. For a couple of months, I mulled it over–what about it spoke to me so intensely? Finally, while teaching a voice class, it came to me. Lion is about family—what it is, what it means, how it forms, and how it reveals our character. One of my central themes.
How about you? Can you see a gift the winter left for your writing? Maybe a journal on this topic would be illuminating.
Winter is over. Now we tilt toward spring, toward fertility. [Read more…]