Monday, November 4, 2013

The Seasons of our Minds

I started to write this about my favorite season, Autumn, but when I sat down at my keyboard this morning and read the 110 words I'd written, I decided to start over.  We do a lot of that, don't we?  Starting over.

There's nothing wrong with starting over.  It doesn't necessarily mean we give up on something else.  What it really means is that we want to do something better than we did before.

Seasons of nature are always a special time, especially for new beginnings.  Starting over is a part of that.

Last week, I worked on my current WIP, a full proposal for the last book in my Desperation, Oklahoma series for Harlequin American Romance.  It's rough draft stage, so I try not to go back and make big changes.  Well into the second chapter, I had to leave my desk several times to do my daily chauffeuring.  Autumn means school days, as will winter and spring, and I spend a third of my daytime sitting in my car and driving to and fro.  That time sitting is often spent writing or editing.  So with the extra time that day, I started writing a scene in longhand.  After I got home and had some quiet time, I keyed it into a Word document and continued, thinking I'd done a good job.  By the next day, I realized the scene didn't work.  I'd gone off course from my basic idea.  I ended up scrapping it and starting over with the original idea.  Time wasted?  Not at all.

Sometimes our minds instinctively know what's right and what's wrong.  At other times, our minds may take off on a new road or go back and choose a different one.  It may be a smooth road, and it may be a rough one.  The only way to know is to take it.  I drove down what I thought was a smooth road, but it started getting bumpy.  Nearly to the end, I realized I had to start over.  When I did that, everything fell into place on a much smoother road.  There's nothing wrong with starting over.  Tell yourself that and you'll find new freedom.

Autumn is my favorite season.  I think that's because I remember the excitement of school starting after a long summer of too much freedom.  It meant seeing all my friends (and not-so-much-friends) on a regular basis.  I love the colors of autumn.  They invigorate me and make me want to make changes and start new beginnings.  Whether it's the colors of the leaves changing and the grass hibernating, or the new, crisp, colder air that inspires me to make changes, I'm smiling.  This is nature at its best.

This year is especially special.  I'm re-discovering the beauty of autumn.  For the past few years, we've experienced a drought, and the changing of the leaves had been a bit disappointing.  But this year, we've had rain.  The drought is over and nature is in full bloom.  As I drive along the riverbank to drop off or take the kidlets at their grade school or drive through neighborhoods with Maple and Oak trees among the usual Elms, I'm blown away by the vibrant shades of red, orange, yellow leaves that were green, not so long ago.  I need to remember to take my camera, but even taking pictures can't catch the breathtaking beauty of nature this autumn.

Life, too, has cycles, just as our days and seasons do.  At times we're forced into change, but even when it feels uncomfortable or is caused by something we believe isn't good, we eventually adjust and make things better.  We start over, we find a new beginning, and we enter a new season of life.  Make this new season the very best.
Every corny thing that's said about living with nature - being in harmony with the earth, feeling the cycle of the seasons - happens to be true. ~ Susan Orlean

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