Each day gets two point something minutes longer, and already, at the beginning of February, I notice a difference. It’s my first winter in the Pacific Northwest, so I’ve had to adjust to the darkness, just as in the summer I had to adjust to the days that seem endless. “You will sleep more in the wintertime,” someone promised me, and he was right.
January, with its slow pace, allowed me to make plans for the springtime garden without feeling rushed. My first seedlings are now sprouting on windowsills, and I’m feeling less like a hibernating bear and more like a mother early in the morning, tiptoeing around while everyone’s asleep, making preparations. It’s a shift in perspective that has made the darkness bearable.
Planting vegetables from seed requires patience. Each morning and evening, I give them a spritz of water. I have some growing directly on windowsills, while others sit on a table under a grow lamp. Every few days, I plant a few more. Little by little they sprout, some more delicate than others. I have to listen to them, adjusting water and light needs based on what they show me in their growth. Late this month, I’ll be able to put some of the hardier souls in the ground. Hopefully these modest sprouts will produce a bounty of food later in the year, and I’m also learning how to preserve the harvests that I get.
As a writer, I feel as though I’m doing the same thing. I’m re-evaluating what I’m willing to do to market my work…and what I am not. I’m planting small seeds by working on a new novel. Another wonderful idea is starting to emerge that could turn into yet another book, so I’ve added it to the idea list for now. I will blog when I want to, rather than trying to blog for a certain number of days every week, and I’ll comment on others’ blogs when I read something that I find meaningful. I want to remember the joy and play of writing and not worry so much about trying to sell what I do. If I read a book that really jumps out at me, I’ll write about it…but frankly, I’ve read a lot of sucky books lately, and I no longer feel the desire to come up with a good one every single week.
It’s natural to want to share one’s work, just as it’s natural to want one’s efforts in the garden to produce food and flowers. I just don’t want to be so attached to the outcome that I forget to wander the garden to visit the plants, or forget that writing is supposed to be fun. As the sun adds a few more days to its journey across the sky, I am adding back a bit here and there, but just a little at a time. That is enough.