Every day is a battle in the garden. A battle for survival, weather vs. plants, Dizzy and Jasper vs. plants, critters vs. plants.
For me, finding, or rather, making time to write is also a battle. When both my kids started back to school for the whole day this past fall, I took advantage. I’ve been writing almost every weekday for three to four hours a day. What a difference that kind of writing time does for my writing, rather than the tiny increments I attempted to steal, once in a while, with the kids at home. A regular routine of writing practice several hours a day, five days a week. Time to write, and think, time to rewrite, edit and submit my work, time to set goals and accomplish many of them.
Time for me to be a real writer.
Spring is so many magical things for me. I open the door, step out into our yard and I’m immediately assaulted by the beautiful scents of a land waking up. The freshly mowed lawn, the overly sweet lilac bushes, my spicy, seductive roses, all damp with the morning dew. Dew which intensifies the plants’ heady aromas. And then there’s the sun-warmed afternoon, with all traces of the dew gone, new scents fill the air, the warm earthy dirt, dry lavender, the faint perfume of the clematis clamoring to overtake our shed.
I brush my hands over certain flowers or herbs and their scents linger on my skin, my spring perfume.
Spring also means lots to do in the garden, raised beds to clean out, seeds to start,
compost to spread, weeds, weeds and more weeds to defeat.
It’s like an addiction for me, and I kind of want to ignore all my other responsibilities, including my writing, and just go be in the garden. I want to be a ladybug exploring the forest of my strawberries, the thorny stems of my rose bushes, the arugula that’s already grown as tall as me and flowered. I want to nap on the warm grass next to my soft dog while the few puffy clouds linger in the sky. I want to put on my raggedy garden clothes and gloves, pour my coffee and simply dig in the dirt. I want to plant new marigolds, study the daily growth of my seedlings, even attack the weeds while the sunshine warms my skin and the spring perfume feeds my soul.
All of these garden activities can easily be used to procrastinate my writing. And I’m seriously awesome at procrastinating. But just as spring is the garden’s awakening, so is it mine as a writer. Essays and stories overflow in my mind itching to get out. Spring means I have to find a balance between writing and gardening, but this is the first year since before I had kids that I’ve put so much time and effort into my writing, and it feels great. In the past two weeks alone, from pieces I’ve submitted in 2016, I received two rejections, one honorable mention for a contest, and one piece accepted for publication. That feels awesome!
Now that spring is here, the battle begins. Do I spend my time in the garden and yard, or do I continue to write all day like I’ve been doing since September?
It’s a battle, but it’s a battle I welcome and enjoy, the fact that I get to create a balance between two worlds I love. A battle where some days, there will be many fallen soldiers, it’s just a question of where they will fall, in the dirt or on the page.