Saturday, February 6, 2010
Come For a Walk with Me
Sleeping late is not like me, but I have been sleeping so well the past three weeks that only once did I wake at 4 a.m. Other mornings Sarah has gotten me out of bed but rarely before seven. Usually, after Sarah and along with coffee, writing was my occupation for morning after morning. I say was. I wrote every morning, not suspecting that inspiration was seeping away, ebbing like the tide, until two stories in process had gone flat and dry. What now? Delete 5,000 words and begin over? Begin something else? Read another book? Take a break? Saturday morning I decided to take a walk.
After a pouring rain that kept her inside for most of the day before, Sarah was happy to get outdoors before sunrise. Ground and air were full of smells for her to investigate.
Cats preened as they waited for weekend fishermen to appear.
A small heron (sorry, no picture of it) floated effortlessly over Hammock Creek on its way out to the Gulf, while woodpeckers and kingfishers took up posts over sheltered water. Everywhere around quiet little Aripeka life was swooping and singing, and being out in it felt wonderful. Does “heaven” really lie offshore, as the sign on Norfleet’s store proclaims? It’s not right here?
A soft breeze caressed my face, as I walked north, Gulf to my left, sunrise to my right. The Florida sawgrass coast evokes the Illinois prairie in my mind’s eye. Can you see it?
On the prairie, farmhouses, barns and shade trees form islands in the vast ocean of plowed fields, whereas here the offshore Gulf hammocks stand out like sentries of land in unbounded fields of water.
The sunrise was here, there and everywhere--in the east, naturally, where one expects it, but also in the light creeping over the sawgrass to the west and in the clouds overhead and in their reflections in the water at my feet.
Looking back at these pictures and recollecting indoors the sensations of a beautiful morning in the open air, I can’t help thinking that inspiration’s departure, whether its absence be temporary or permanent, left beautiful gifts in its wake. And if I write no books, there will be no dearth of books to buy, to read and to sell. Others, more talented than I, will make sure of that.