There is a tree farm in the Columbia River Gorge that always intrigues me. The rows are so perfect and organized. One day the trees will be harvested and made into paper for books. Looking down the rows as one drives along reminds me of those children’s books with little pictures at the bottom of each page that form an active story when rapidly flipped. I pulled over this time when I drove along beside them and there, at the end of the row I saw something I’d often missed speeding along: a bulb of light at the end of the row.
I’m looking for that kind of clarifying light right now. Late last month my husband Jerry had a lacunar stroke.(You can find out more at my blog). Two weeks later, he had a heart attack. Nothing in our world seems straight and organized right now and there seems to be only enough light for the next step.
But that’s what much of writing is about, too: knowing enough to write the next sentence and trusting that more will arrive to fill the pages. One can’t rush too far ahead or one will stumble in the darkness. I can’t afford to look back…the light is right here, in front of me.
Jerry’s doing well and has home services for a time. He’s walking with his walking stick (a gift from a reader in Boise, Idaho, years ago) all the way to the mail box. I’m so glad it isn’t seven miles away as the mailbox at the ranch is! He’s talking well and even made a couple of jokes and we both laughed out loud. What a joyous sound, laughter in the morning.
Many of you are in places in your lives where the light may seem distant and pale. I hope you’ll remember the trees. I didn’t see the glowing globe until I pulled over and stopped. I think I’ll be doing more of that in the months ahead carrying on as I must knowing there is enough light for the next step.
Jane Kirkpatrick is the author of twenty books, including The Daughter’s Walk. She’s won numerous awards and believes our lives are the stories others read first. She and her husband of 35 years live with two dogs and a cat on small acreage near Bend, Oregon, USA. Her website – www.jkbooks.com.