I had an interesting insight Thursday morning. I must admit that, grateful as I am to have a novel coming out next Monday, I still tend to berate myself for not achieving this goal earlier. Sometimes, I think if I had just lived my life differently, I would have published a book sooner.
However, as I meditated on Thanksgiving, I was gazing out a different window than I usually do, looking at a bush with a strong central trunk and many, many branches—all of them bare because of the season. Suddenly understanding hit. Yes, perhaps I could have gone straight up that center trunk from the base to the tip, but I didn’t. What I did instead was to scoot out on one branch to gather flowers. In a different season, I scooted out on a second branch to collect fruit. Another time I crawled out on a third branch to take in a new view. Yet, each time I returned to the center trunk and climbed a little higher.
And so it went throughout the years and across the cycle of the seasons. I could have tried to go straight up that trunk to the pinnacle of the tree, but I chose a more meandering path, and because of it, my arms and my heart carry many more treasures. I think that both my life and my writing benefit because of that.
7 responses to “Climbing to the Top”
Good point, Ruth. A lean life probably doesn’t yield as much for a writer than one enriched by experiences both good and bad along the way. Too, a tree grows to full maturity only as it shoots off branches along the way. I’ve never seen a tree that forms a single trunk with no branches at all plus all the indications on the trunk that tell you it’s had bad years and good years. Some years it was well nourished and thrived and other years it was plagued with disease. Thanks for the post. Lots to think about.
Thanks, Linnea. I think my subconscious may have been brooding on this for a while because I felt compelled to do the tree drawing a couple of weeks ago, and then on Thursday, it all sort of came together.
I thought of you yesterday – wasn’t sure if you already knew it, but Jerome and Betsy play a part in the final installment of the Horatio Hornblower TV series 🙂 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZWhyyAU1OQ
Yes, that’s what gave me the idea for the novel. I saw the episode, looked up their story, and realized it was much more interesting than shown in the program.
My problem has always been that I wanted to grow high like a tree to see the beauty, yet I always managed to stay in the garden and mingle with the shrubs. 🙂
I understand this post so well. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for commenting, Diane. I appreciate what your analogy adds to the concept.
Very thoughtful post and interesting comments——