Reminders and Restarts

It has been a week of rejuvenation, and this makes sense, if we are taking our hint from the natural world. My garden has been fluffing itself up with coral bell, columbine, butterfly bush, Russian sage, yarrow–they are filling out and filling up their respective beds. A half-dead azalea bush that I bought for something like six dollars last year, which started the season with fewer leaves than hands have fingers, has now more than doubled that and continues to grow.

Sometimes we put things in the ground and wait for evidence that something has actually been done, has been accomplished. I am often that azalea bush.

Plants get nature’s timing to tell them to wake up, to grow and produce; I have found my kickstart in The Paris Review. My friend Alex pointed me to Sadie Stein and her Our Daily Correspondent column; each day when I arrive at work I am eager to see what Sadie is musing about today. Her pieces are grounded in the reality of her life–the latest column, for example, was inspired by a recent conversation she had with her mother.

I love her light yet meaningful musings about the day-to-day; I love being reminded of the wonder in the ordinary.

It has woken me up. Prompted me to recall that there are other people out there interested in thinking about lovely things and curiosities and little truths, less interested in trivialities and grousing and posturing and picking fights.

This camaraderie in mindset, in disposition is energizing, and it makes me want to get back to work–get back to writing–something I’ve been avoiding for nearly a month. It’s like a switch has been flipped in my mind; I have my cue to get up and go, again. Sometimes writers are tempted to see themselves as solitary, as trees growing tall and alone in the midst of a forest’s chaos–but I think I’m much more successful–and much happier–when I see myself instead as one in a garden of many like-minded; companion-planted and better for it.

I told Friend Alex, “It is weird; [this wake-up] makes me want to be both quiet and loud at once—I have something to say about life-and-things, but yet I could be content to write that out and be satisfied in the work.” 

If no one reads this post . . . I am still satisfied, because I am writing again–it is as if spring has come to my mind. But part of me wants to be loud and say, hey, you, realize the wonder in your every day; go find your Sadie Stein and wake up and immerse yourself in that wakefulness.

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