Writing Out Loud

Turning Inwardly

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We’ve come through yet another long snowy period here in Maine, and it’s not over, with a couple more storms on the immediate horizon. I’ve written before about winter being a time of drawing in and pulling the emotional covers more tightly against myself, and yesterday was another example of that. There is something about an excruciatingly long day spent inside that compels one to ponder and to contemplate. And yes, sometimes, this can deteriorate into brooding. It probably has to do with that old saying about an idle mind being the devil’s workshop. That does make sense. The more time you have to think, the more liable you are to spend too much of it thinking about the wrong things or dwelling on issues that you can’t immediately do anything about.

Once again, I went to bed early, as there just seemed to be no point in doing otherwise. I’d already spent the better part of the day deep in thought. I’d already done however much reading my eyes can stand for one day, and I’d already gone long past the point where anything on TV would be able to hold my attention. And on days like that, music isn’t always a good idea, as I can never predict just when it will go from enjoyable to painfully evocative. So, what else to do but sleep? I woke up often during the night listening to the wind in the trees, until finally around 4 a.m., it stopped. And now, there is just a light breeze moving last  year’s old dried oak leaves on their branches. The blue jays are once again at the feeders, using their beaks to knock the snow away, focused entirely on loading  up on the calories that help them survive this time of year.

Today, it’s with relief that I greet this gray-white landscape, knowing that, at some point, the sun will break through. I’ll be able to crawl out of myself, or out of my shell, as my mother used to call it, and inspect the storm’s effects on my surroundings. I will shove all those thoughts and yes, fears, back into their dusty corner for a little while and thank God and nature that I was able to open my eyes this morning and to set about exploring this day.

A friend told me once that I “think small.” Ah, but there again, she had no idea of the places I’ve been inside myself, inside the imagination I was given, and inside the pages of the books that have long been my doorway to the rest of the world. With all that considered, being inside here is really not such a bad place to be after all.

Photo Copyright @2015 Rachel Lovejoy

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Author: raelove1950

I've been writing personally and professionally for over 40 years, and recently started writing books for Amazon Kindle. During the last 25 years, I have also written for the Journal Tribune in Biddeford, Maine; the Maine Sunday Telegram in Portland, Maine; Current Publishing in Westbrook, Maine; and the Reporter, a weekly newspaper based in Waterboro, Maine. I recently released a book entitled "From the Urban Wilderness: Life in the Southern Maine Woods," which is a collection of essays taken from a weekly column I wrote for the Journal Tribune from 2010 to 2016. It is available from Amazon.com and CreateSpaceStore.com .

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