Monday, October 25, 2010

Fire on the Sky

Fall has come at long last, breaking the heat of Summer with its persistent veil of change. Leaves burst into brilliant flame and scatter like falling ash to blanket the world in crimson and gold. Great flurries of mist laden winds gully in every hollow, carrying the silk of young spiders and tiny red beetles to their new homes. Maple, ginger, and cinnamon aromas fill cozy homes with an inviting warmth while sweaters are aired from their months of storage and fluffy woolen blankets are unfolded for the first time in a season.

Though the world is filled with the dying of a lush season, all around me the air is filled with rejoicing and excitement. Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are suddenly so near. Hope is born on the falling leaves, and home is redefined in the cluster of family rituals to come.

It is not hard to understand why Fall might be my favorite season. The culmination of all I find beautiful in nature comes together for a few awe inspiring weeks, and I want to trap the memories of this marvelous waning season forever in time. But this year is different from last, and from every one before. This year, I feel more myself that I ever have. This season, I feel as though I am seeing the wonders all around me from fresh, virgin eyes.

Hardships are past and present in my life, and I have been no stranger to disappointment and failure on so many fronts. In my heart, though I see more hope and promise in my days to come than I ever have, I know that the world has not changed. I have. I am just now waking up, and it is ever so much more amazing that it should be during these treasured weeks that the change should occur.

I will always remember this year as the first Fall that I nearly wept every day from the relief and joy I felt with every waking moment. A burden of darkness and hopelessness has been lifted and replaced with life itself. The self-induced coma I've been swimming through can be conquered, and I can dive through the murky surface toward a new life. There is hope. There is a future. And it begins with me.

Thank you Sarah Ban Breathnach, and God Bless Simple Abundance.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Turn the Page

I took a vacation.

For a month I wasn't me. I didn't do what I do, I didn't love what I love, I didn't vent how I vent, and I didn't allow myself to create. For a month, I took a vacation from myself. This world is full of trials, and I am no maiden free of fret. I had reached the deadlands, and I was too thirsty to look for water. So I closed my books, turned off my computer, snuffed the candle, and went to bed.

I would like to say that this long vacation was a voluntary one, a quest to search for my wandering self, but it was a trial of necessity. Luckily, in the darkest times, it is easier to see the soft glow of a dying candle. I accepted a gift that changed my mind about everything, and I mean that in the deepest sense of the phrase. When I opened my eyes after the long sleep, the world was fresh and new and I could finally see it.

I carved a hole in my home for a study. With no funding and only a smattering of odd pieces of fancy collected over the last decade, I have begun the labor of love that is creating a daily escape devoted solely to the nurturing of my inner muse. I made a bouquet from donated flowers, assembled odd pieces of electronics to make a decent sound system and T.V., dug out my book-signing table for a temporary desk, and brought forth my grand collection of scented candles. One tiny accent and addition at a time, I have been building my shelter within my home. A reed diffuser... a cleverly placed tealight tree... a discretely tucked hanging folder box. One by one, I am adding the pieces of peace and security that will make my study a tuning fork for my withered soul in the long nights of winter.

Every time I walk past The Fallen Shadow, laying in pieces on my desk in the dining room, I think "Soon. Soon, my dear friend, we will become as close as we once were."

I see labeled folders slid into open file boxes, each holding color-coded 3x5 cards, outlines, and character portraits. I see neatly organized supplies, easy to reach and of the necessary quality and whimsy to inspire. I see research materials for my latest project(s) tagged and collated into nested inbox shelves. And most importantly, I see me, surrounded by the soft glow of candles, tapping away at the light keys of the compact keyboard of a humming laptop as soft tones of carefully selected tracks and albums fill the air with energy. It is not there yet, but the study of my dreams is not the massive, oak-rich den with a blazing mantle and imposing bookshelves. It's me, surrounded by the things I love, working with the things I am blessed to have, and thanking God for every moment I can burn my candles late into the night chasing my aspirations.

I awoke and I found myself in a world changed but the same, with a heart honed but softened, and a mind full to bursting with openness and naked virtue.

Thank you God for Becky and for her gift of Simple Abundance, that could not have found me in a darker hour and that effortlessly led me into the healing sunrise of hope once more.

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