Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Don't Take It For Granted!

Whenever I'm asked where I live and I reply, "Bermuda," I'm more often than not met with a
wide-eyed expression and that person telling me how lucky I am.
I happen to agree.
Most of the time.
You see, a funny thing happens when you live on a beautiful island in the middle of the Atlantic.
You start to take it for granted.
As I've gotten older, I've realized how true this is. The fact that I can remember my own childhood more vividly than my kids' early years tells me something.
I haven't been paying enough attention to my surroundings.
The lazy days of summer take on an entirely different meaning when you have two youngsters to keep busy, shuttle to and from activities, protect from the sun and sea and generally ensure they have the best vacation of their lives, year after year.
I was so preoccupied with the daunting task of motherhood that I often forgot to stop and take in the breathtaking beauty around me.
I neglected to pause amidst the chaos on the beach and really take it in.The pink sand, the turquoise ocean - lost on me. I did not allow the salty air to penetrate my lungs for long before I was up and chasing a child or retrieving a ball from the waves. I let a lot of walks in the park become chores rather than pleasure. I'm sure there are countless other moments that slipped past the radar of my memory because I was running too fast. It is so often the way.

The beach in the picture above is Bermuda's most famous Horseshoe beach. Self-explanatory, it's shaped like a horseshoe. We moved to a new home last year and the beach is just down the hill. Now that my kids are pretty much grown, I walk with my dog, and I do stop along the way to take in the view. It is indeed as breathtaking as it looks. As summer approaches, Bermuda comes into her own.
Soon the roads on which I drive will be lined in pink oleander and bright red Poinciana trees. Yes, town will be teeming with tourists and they will annoy me as they putter along at astonishingly slow speeds on the busy narrow roads, but the beauty of my island home will offset any aggravation I might feel. I have learned to appreciate the place in which I live.

I have noticed a similar pattern with my writing. I sometimes get so caught up in the need to 'get it done', overshadowed by the looming presence of word count goals and the ever present fear that I will never see my words in print, that I forget to sit back and take in the beauty of the story.
Published or not, my books are still my works of art. To me, they are beautiful.
The very gift of writing itself can often be overlooked. We get so busy with all the fine details and the 'rules', that sometimes we forget about the fun we used to have just creating. I think sometimes that's why I get stuck in the middle of a story. I'm so anxious about 'getting it right', that I've lost the enjoyment of wandering through an unknown story world. I have to recommit each day to take deep breaths, appreciate all aspects of my life, and let that shine through my writing.

What about you? Have you found yourself in this place? Are you taking things for granted?
It's easy to do, but I pray that each time my mind races ahead and I forget to stop and take a breath, God will give me a nudge, and I'll take a time-out!


  1. Cath, great post! I'm living the 'busy mum with school aged children life' and it's hard to jump off the merry-go-round and smell the roses. And I totally hear you with regards to writing. Our goals can overwhelm us and we miss the beauty in what we're creating. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us :-)

  2. I have just been pushing to finish a manuscript and I'm sure that I have gotten so caught up in the action in places that my readers won't be able to visualize the setting. Thanks for the reminder to take a deep breath and enjoy the scenery. Wales (where my WIP takes place) is so beautiful. How can I show it without slowing down the action? A challenge.

  3. Cath, I understand fully what you mean about learning and abiding by the rules. I've been there. It stifles the creative flow so that we become caught up with what's right and what's not, while our creativity is calling out to us,'What about me?' Isn't the writing about me, not the rules? Thankfully, I took time out and listened to God - write from the heart and the rest will come.

  4. Over the years, I've discovered whenever I start taking things for granted, God has HIS ways of dealing with me. At the time some sure are not always welcomed of course but it is His love that is dealing with me. Thank you for this timely reminder, Cathy!

  5. I agree heartily. Well, is it that we were given 'Eden' and we threw it away? If I stray too far from nature and for too long, I get sick. I've just returned from a week touring and walking among the mountains and lakes of Jura (as in Jurassic)- Franche-Comte region - and as always, am overawed with the beauty of our planet. And refreshed and ready for my creative battles.