Monday, May 7, 2012

The Winds of Change

 The wind blew all night, last night, and is still blowing, this morning. When I went to bed, it was coming from the east. When I got up, it was blowing from the southwest. All night long air surged through the pines, sighing, and the wind chimes dinged endlessly. The still-almost-full moon illuminated a silvery world of flouncing branches and far, platinum hills. I imagine the great vortices of the sky, turning in the night just like the stars; massive volumes of air twirling in a mysterious dance. These are the winds of change that blow away the cool weather of early spring and usher in the heat. The little tomato starts in the garden must be dancing with joy!

Yesterday I finished the first major round of revision and editing of Fiesta of Smoke, a day ahead of schedule--another cause for dancing with joy! It’s almost ten pages shorter, as a result, and a whole lot smoother. I realized in the process that some of the details of the plot, while historically accurate, may seem like fantasy to readers, so I’m going to have to write an epilogue explaining that things like the Albigensian and Children’s Crusades; the Ammonite religion that claims direct, unbroken lineage to Egypt’s pharaohs, and their Sau Tahuti, who never dies; and the current affairs of Mexico, including the fantastic profits of the drug cartels, are all factual. Three myths retold in the book, Egyptian, French and Rar├ímuri, are accurate, as well.

As soon as I had sent the manuscript for Fiesta of Smoke off to the publisher, yesterday, I went out to the garden and began weeding. My friend in Kentucky, Tammy Horn, author of Bees in America: How the Honey Bee Shaped a Nation and Beeconomy: What Women and Bees Can Teach Us about Local Trade and the Global Market, wrote me this morning, saying,

Editing and weeding are equally satisfying, I've discovered.  I had always told myself that I didn't have time for a garden when writing the two bee books, but now that I have a back garden and a front garden, I *love* helps me the same way that editing for about 15 minutes can "jump start" me into writing.  I worked on my garden all day yesterday and it was just a divine experience to turn off the phone, walk away from the computer and be in the sun.”

To which I responded:

“Tammy, you're a woman after my own heart! After so many months in my head, eyes glued to the screen, being in the garden pulling weeds was like heaven, and so grounding! Things are just leafing and budding out, at our elevation, a reminder that the book is in the same phase. No need to panic. Everything ripens at its own pace.”

To which she sent back the rejoinder: 

“And a good reminder that so much development happens in the ground first, before the greening takes place.”

What would we do without Mother Earth, to keep us mindful of the cycling of things? How would we keep ourselves from panic, when life sinks into earthy darkness and seeming inactivity; or when we look at its bare sticks and despair of our lives ever greening, leafing out, budding, blooming and bearing fruit? What would keep down the fear when the strong winds of life blow, if we forgot that they are bringing in the warming trend that makes fruits and vegetables swell and ripen?

Let’s all take the time, today, to step into the sun, to breathe deeply of spring’s scented air and to spread our arms to the winds of change. They’re blowing, whether we like it or not. We may as well welcome them with open arms!

1 comment:

twilightme said...

First, CONGRATULATIONS on finishing your manuscript a day ahead of schedule and for trimming 10 pages. WOW!
Second, your blog about winds of change and weeding and editing was just what I needed this morning. I'm at the opposite end of a project from you. The VERY, VERY beginning (which I wrote about on my blog yesterday: your words and Tammy's are like music to my spirit as swim in the confusing morass.
Weeding breaks or essential even now in the beginning stages. Thank goodness for Spring.