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.