Friday, November 7, 2014

Savor the Harvest (November Theme)

by Naomi Kinsman

What's your take on showers? We all have to take them nearly every day, and maybe we even enjoy the thinking time they offer. But they take up so much valuable time, don't they? Not only the shower itself, but then afterward, the lotion and drying of hair and getting dressed and putting on of make-up make me feel like I'm slogging in slo-mo on the way to the start of my day. I thought I was the only one who woke up with a groan on hair-washing days. Yesterday, though, I was talking to a friend, and realized shower-frustration might be a universal feeling.

It's not just showers. I bet if you sat down right now and listed daily-life obstacles, you'd have a list of at least ten, and maybe even fifty. We have slo-mo hours in traffic, weeks when inexplicably our devices stop speaking to one another so we have to reboot and reload everything, and even months when every time we sit down to create, question leads to question, creating what feels like an ever-tangling spiderweb that we're sure we'll never escape.

This morning,  I read a post by Michael Hyatt about how a shift of perspective can lower stress. I, for one, need a shift of perspective regarding all of these obstacles. Maybe you do, too. Not a fake one that kind of makes me feel better because I'm sugar-coating the truth, but a true shift that feels solid and authentic.

I looked up the definition of harvest this morning. My favorite definition was "a supply of anything gathered at maturity and stored."Questions come to mind. What am I planting? What's maturing in my creative life? What's ready to be gathered and stored?

If you're anything like me, you're trying to harvest all the time, hoping you have the superpower of not needing to plant seeds or let the crops grow. If we consider wheat or grapes or any other crop, we see that growing seasons are long. In fact, they influence one another year after year. Maybe this is what all that slo-mo is about, allowing a growing season for our creativity short term, and long term, too. Maybe as question piles on top of question and I'm sure nothing is happening, the true work is being done. The crop is maturing.

And thus, the shift of perspective. That time isn't wasted time--it's the growing season.

Okay, but here's the thing. When I'm reaping a harvest, it's not so hard to nod my head and say, "Yes, I wish the development hadn't taken so long, but I see the value of the process." In the midst of the questions, I'd be more likely to bang my head against the wall rather than spout anything so reasonable.

That's why, when we do come to the harvest, when the book or project takes form, we must savor the experience. We need to gather the crop and then take the time to reflect on the journey. The WHOLE journey. Maybe we need to write ourselves a letter about how this creation came to be. That way, in the next growing season, we have a tangible reminder. We have to remember to let our crops grow, to not harvest them too soon, too impatiently.

Right now, I'm in the growing season. I wish I had such a letter. I'm going to put a sticky on my desk to remind me to write one when this project comes to maturity. And then, I'm going to do my best to let the questions pile up, let the spiderweb tangle, knowing that with time, the crop will be ready to harvest.

How about you? Are you in a growing season? Mid-harvest? I'd love to hear your thoughts on showers, our piles of questions or the value of writing letters to oneself during mature moments.


photo credit: Carosaurus via photopin cc

5 comments:

  1. Definitely planting seeds, Naomi. You're right--it's so important to appreciate and enjoy every stage of the journey.

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  2. It's not always easy, though, is it? I'm growing a novel right now, doing NaNoWriMo. I love the process because I am able to dive in and explore the territory of a novel, which I can later go back and revise.

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  3. What a helpful post! I'm at the planting seeds stage of my writing project,too, and it's frustratingly slow. I love this framing of the project though. It's easier to see the end of growing a crop than writing a novel and gives me more patience. Thanks!

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  4. A lovely reminder to savor all the stages, from tilling that first rich soil, to planting the seeds, hopeful weeding and watering, and then, harvest (and harvest celebration!).

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  5. Love this post! And yeah, I feel the same way about showers!!

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