I am sitting at my writing desk looking through French doors at my backyard. My Yorkie, Jasper, is curled at my feet on a vintage Persian rug that frames my workspace. As his body rises and falls with breath, he becomes a metronome for my writing practice.
It is morning and although the sun is still low in the sky, it paints bright rectangular patches on the white Adirondack chairs outside. The chairs look crisp as they sit on faded rose colored sandstone surrounded by grass I have watched grow from seed to a lush intense green that only comes with spring and patience.
I have lived here five months. I knew this was where I belonged as soon as I saw the afternoon sun drench the small living room as it flooded through large windows. The palm trees, blue sky, and outdoor space that stretched beyond the interior evoked a feeling of hope that I hadn’t felt in years.
This is where I will write my memoir, I thought. This is where I will come alive again.
The yard was not flourishing when we met. We had that in common. The grass was dying, vegetation was sparse and brown hedges had tiny brittle branches that poked out like frail fingers. I knew that, like me, it needed nourishment. Attention needed to be paid for growth to happen.
So here I am writing every day and fertilizing small rose bushes that are finally loaded with tight buds. I try not to hover over them as I long for their blossoms. I remind myself to relish every phase of nature’s unfolding. To be in the moment. To come to my laptop with gratitude for blank pages, not only for those that are filled. To appreciate the process, no matter its stage.
The open landscape gives me permission to unfurl. The vast sky beyond this glass door and the thicket of trees across the ravine remind me of limitlessness. They remind me that the arrangement of words and the ways to express moments are infinite. There is much beyond what I can see but I know it’s there.
Work still needs to be done in this sprawling garden. There are large patches of soil that long for new shrubs, trees, flowers. These will be planted in time and as my budget allows. But for now, I will cultivate what already exists. I will focus daily on the page, my living metronome, and that which has not yet sprouted.