Monday, March 15, 2010

The Natural Writer

I am not a nature girl. I haven't gone camping since I was a Brownie and all the other little girls chose me to be their "bathroom buddy" - the one they woke up to walk with them to the bathrooms. In the woods. In the dark. I don't dig in a garden, although I do manage to keep some plants alive. I don't like "critters," especially in the house. Ask my husband what happened when one of those little Florida lizards made its way inside our old apartment. And don't get me started on palmetto bugs.

Overall, nature and I are on civil, if not friendly, terms. So, I find it extremely interesting that one of my favorite places to go is ... the beach. I'm not talking about swimming or sprawling in beach chairs (although I enjoy those, too) but walking ... and walking ... and walking. My husband and I walk on the beach as often as we can. It clears our heads and our lungs. It's where I can breathe. I look out over the water and feel both incredibly small and huge with possibilities at the same time. Inspiration and imagination ride the waves, lapping at my toes, receding, then returning. Always returning.

Then, when my husband and I sit in our little courtyard at home (remember, no garden for me!) and I close my eyes and feel the sun on my face, solutions to character issues and plot tangles drift like puffs of white clouds through the shocking blue of my mind's sky. The distance from my laptop and blogs and rejection letters seems so very great then. But I always return to the words.

Because isn't that what writers do?


  1. Well, that was beautifully written, Madeline-and kinda made me miss the beach.

    I love to sit on the beach- I always bring something to read, but then I look out to the water, and my mind wanders, and before you now it, the sun's setting.

    Oh, NOW I really miss the beach!

  2. Thanks, Cathy! If you need a tangible reminder, I can send some powdery white sand your way. Just say the word!