This week, the rain finally came. I had that experience I sometimes have, after being sick for a long time, when I wake up and realize that I finally feel better. I didn’t know how long, how tired, how dried-up I had been. But, then the rain came.
All summer, I’ve been writing, finishing up Flickering Hope, and then drafting my new book, Waves of Light. Word after word, the stories have taken shape. Writing, for me, is like pouring love onto the page. Only recently, scenes have only come out as a trickle. There’s no pouring going on in my office.
I thought a long time about that word, love. Is writing really like pouring out love? Love for whom? The little girl I used to be? My readers? And when I write scenes full of conflict and trouble, how is that a loving act?
I think it is because even as I write scenes about loss and hurt and disappointment, I hold on to the belief that in the end, my characters are going to make it through the darkness. Their lives won’t be perfect, and all their problems won’t be solved. But they will make it to the other side.
Howard Nemerov said, “The only way out is through.” If I can believe this, truly, with my whole heart when I write, then writing is exactly like calling a friend when I know they need encouragement. It is like sending a card just because. Like rain, after a long, dry spell, our writing can bring hope and a reminder that nothing is impossible. This reminder may be for our readers, but in many ways, it is more for ourselves.
So, today, rain is my inspiration. As I walk from my car to the grocery store, or from classroom to classroom, freshness is in the air all around me. The ground smells like waterfalls and fall-time forest and like growing up in Portland. And tiny tendrils of new possibility are beginning to sprouting up in me.