The backyard calls to me. My blueberry bushes are starting to wake up, with tender new leaves starting to unfurl and reveal themselves. The proud pomegranate displays its many tiny leaves like it is bragging. A precocious lemon tree requires my persistence so that it doesn’t produce fruit too soon. I wait, impatiently at times, to see what the grapevines are starting to do. And now I have a pile of concrete half-blocks to create a raised bed where the vegetables will grow. Wednesday, the new soil arrives so I have something better to plant in besides the stubborn Texas gumbo. I am a novice gardener, taking a class through Urban Harvest, but I have always known that I love digging in the dirt…and I love creating. I am delighted every day as I get to know my plants, and from them, myself.
For many years I talked a lot about life, but didn’t do a whole lot of living it. I thought I would write a book someday, but I somehow never found the time until a long illness taught me how precious and fragile dreams are by taking from me, for a time, a God-given ability. Now, two books are out, a third one is finished and ready to query a publisher, and a fourth one, which I will publish for free online, is close to completion. My writing dreams, as well as many other more personal dreams, are coming true. What has been the difference?
One thing I know for sure: following my dreams has been scary. Each creation has brought up inner fears and doubts. I think that’s why many of us spend so many years just talking about them, and making excuses for why we don’t git ‘er done. When push comes to shove, it’s not lack of time or money that stops us–it’s fear. I haven’t yet found a project that didn’t scare me at some level, but as I study the lives of other authors, I have discovered that this is pretty normal. The difference is that fear becomes a reason to do something, not an excuse not to do it. Fear becomes excitement, because it is my signpost that I am on to something interesting. I am an explorer. The work of creation becomes its own reward, and the completed project, while rewarding, more of a byproduct.
I spent the last month focusing on a move, hence the wonderful back yard with new life developing. Now, settled in, I’m ready to work again. Ready to write more. Ready to finalize a few projects. Ready to query that novel. Ready to work, ready to be scared, ready for wonder.