Archive for December 2010

A Gathering of Thoughts

December 30, 2010

A Gathering of Thoughts

During these last few months while dealing with health issues, other unsettling worries have plagued my mind: the fear of my creative side seemingly to have taken leave without notice, the inspiration that I once took for granted, no longer a resident inside my head, and the joy of racing to the computer to jot down a quick mind-scene was something I did in my past. Fears! They grew with each passing month; doubts…a word now much too familiar. The only easing of this dilemma came in the local newspaper a couple of weeks ago. The article stated that when one is experiencing digestive problems, it is associated with food and food is the basic thing that sustains life. When this situation is present, it is a mind-body involvement like no other health issue and all daily worries fall aside while the mind is held hostage to the moment. I grabbed that thought. Maybe…all was not yet lost!

And then, last week, it happened. My husband, John, and I were on our way to Chapel Hill Memorial Hospital for a final test, and as I stared out the car window, my mind suddenly came alive! I pulled a notebook from a small luggage bag, lifted the pen from the wire spiral coil …and wrote!

I’ve missed: letting my eyes look toward the horizon, noting the tree limbs bared of their leaves, skeletal in their silhouettes, the ground blanketed with winter debris of crushed leaves, broken branches, and endless clutter left by animals and humans. Ahead a long stretch of highway maps our way as we travel. I’ve missed this comfortable silence inside the car, and the soft drone of tires against the pavement; the rush of a car or truck as it passes; together, they free my mind to take in all the groundswell on either side of the roadway. I see Nature in its truest form: the fallen dead trees here and there, and odd shaped rocks tossed like misguided markers across the terrain. Now and then, signs bear witness to being in unfamiliar territory: Flower Patch, And More, Sit & Sip Café, and then, propped against a small wooden shack, I spot a thick cardboard sign with bold black uneven lettering, Deer Corn Sold Inside.

Outside, the clouds hang low, masking the hour of the day, giving a sense of quieting time.

I’ve missed seeing snatches of houses through an unexpected break of the dense forests, smoke rising up from hidden chimneys and sitting momentarily just above the tree-line; all clues that this is a peopled area. I’ve missed the different nuances that define one region from another: a farmhouse off in the distance, rust spots on a barn giving its tin roof a bit of character. Here and there, silos, with parasitic vines climbing their round walls, sit a short distance from the main houses. I’ve missed the sight of small churches that dot the roadside, and the wooden crosses planted atop a cleared hill, along with horses and cattle grazing behind fenced plots of land.

It is widely stated that writing is a solitary endeavor, but for me the crowding of my mind is like having company…welcome visitors that stir and delight my soul!

Elizabeth Towles   Dec. 27, 2010