Finding the Spark

Confession time. I’ve been in a complete journal writing slump for two months now. Nada, literally nothing has been documented since Thanksgiving weekend. Due to the interesting combination of an exceptionally busy holiday, sick kids, and mainly my first trimester of pregnancy which has kicked my butt (in the big picture this is a good thing!), I’ve had little to no energy to find the time to write. I crawl into bed at night with my eyes halfway closed, Saltines on the nightstand and drag my body out of bed in the morning at the absolute last minute possible. All the while guilt builds and builds. Oh, and our recent weather does not help.

Thursday the temperature in my car never rose above zero, ranging somewhere in between -7 and -2 (I can hear my CA & FL friends laughing out loud). You literally race to and from your car if you need to travel. Unfortunately this only makes me want to stay in bed longer…but not to write. To just be. And herein lies the problem. Where can I find the enthusiasm, the incentive to write when I’ve become a cave woman in my own home?

This whole journal funk reminds me of the beloved locations which bring inspiration to me whatever state of mind I’m in.

The Oregon Coast has become my home away from home. Every August we head west to find peace and calm. And we’re never disappointed. As I take a seat on the sand dune, my toes sunk down into soft sand, kite surfers flying down the coast, my world becomes clear again as the elements that surround me take control of my senses. The sound of waves crashing into shore linger in the background almost like the white noise of a bustling coffee shop. The sun and fierce wind blast my face as I can smell the salt in the breeze.  It brings an overwhelming peace to my mind and I find myself wanting to write every afternoon I can.

Another favorite is our garden. I stick myself in the middle of rosemary, peppermint, dahlias, succulents, cucumbers, swiss chard and more and allow the abundant growth to take over. It reminds me of the richness of the earth and all that can grow within us. I journal about Oliver eating chives, Emmett picking tomatoes and life at that moment in time.

And when I think of the ultimate journal writing location I quickly picture myself at my Uncle & Aunt’s cabin on Ojibway Lake just past Ely.  Luckily few motor boats exist on the lake and the sounds I take in are either the slight waves coming from the paddling of a canoe or a loon call in the distance. With some homebrew, peanuts and lake water to drink by my side, I take in the beauty created around me. The words flow freely from my mind to the paper, often not about my singular life, rather, feelings of blessedness and thankfulness for the abundance we have been given in our lives.

But back to my winter funk. I finally decided to drag myself to a bakery I frequent with the hope a latte and homemade butternut soup would spark the pen and break the spell. And lo and behold, it worked. The snow fell beautifully as the sun shone through the window and I felt my body lift as my breath turned into an easy rhythm. There are moments in life when “hunkering down,” as my best friend often says, is exactly what one needs at that time. My journal is always waiting for me. It might be challenging to find a point in the day when writing takes priority or downloading my emotions to paper is something I’d like to do. Letting go of regrets is first and moving on comes next. The spark inevitably finds its way back and allows my handwriting to fill me again.

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