It has been raining for days. A whole week, I think. And, this morning, thankfully, I can see patches of blue sky busting through the clouds, which are moving higher and farther away. This soggy, dark October still has plenty of time to show us its beauty, as I discovered when I was walking my dog today. For the first time since school has started, I found myself, this morning, finally noticing Nature all around me: the bright fireworks display of the maple trees in my neighborhood; the flurry of squirrels and chipmunks collecting and storing and preparing; the smell of autumn, that rich wet-leaf sangria that smells like apple cider and maple and sweet berry wine. One of the most inspiring phenomena to me, as a writer, is the natural world, and yet, I so often forget to notice it because I am scurrying and rushing and way too focused on my tasks and my to do lists.
But, this morning I remembered my sabbatical. I remembered that I pledged to myself to take time, to make time for Nature, as she so often calms me down and reminds me that everything is cyclical, that everything has its rhythms, that everything has its time. She also inspires me to be a writer in a way that nothing else can. Nature demands that I notice her, even when I'm too busy or too preoccupied. And, when her demands finally sink in, and when I pick my head up and look up--at the sky, at the tiptops of trees, at the hawks flying above, at the shapeshifting cumulus clouds--I am struck my emotion, by the flood of the feeling that everything is connected and that life persists, regardless.
This is how Nature inspires me to write. She makes me feel, deeply, and then I feel compelled to put down on paper how a little feeling can just rise up inside of me at the sight of a magnificent maple tree in its glorious red and orange autumn costume. I feel compelled to make a mark in my notebook that isn't inspired by anger or confusion or passion but one that is fueled by and inspired by an uncontrollable joy and awe of something much, much bigger than us, than any of our petty worries or battles.
The power and beauty of Nature is right before your eyes, right now, in its full splendor here in New England. Can you see it? Does it inspire you to write?