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The struggle of the bud, to become a leaf
Spring is the twitchiest time of the year. The xylem is moving in the trees, bringing fuel to the buds. Flowers are emerging. Critters are pairing off. It’s a heightened time of sensations. In Alaska, it was always a tricky time. The return of the sunlight makes people restless. A person teetering on the knife’s edge of stable mental health, can go over. The rush of serotonin resembles the breakup of Alaska rivers, chaotic and indomitable.
In Colorado, the transition is gentler. We don’t experience the highs and lows of daylight, or temperatures like interior Alaska. It’s subtle, yet the frenetic energy remains. But I’ve decided to embrace the twitch. We’ve all heard those aphorisms about the seasons of life. Perhaps we’ve even scoffed at them (I have). Women are often subjected to the archetypal phases of the maiden, mother, and crone. As if we are defined by creation, fertility, and our ability to nurture, and only those things. A woman happily in my crone era, I’ve learned that the buffet is open. We get to choose how we meet the seasons of our life.
The environmental shifts may be determined by where and how this big mud ball we live on spins through the cosmos. But we have some agency over our personal seasons. Maybe today you are more fallow, but tomorrow you are bursting with the energy of spring. Transformation is forever at our fingertips. The Amy who exists in Colorado, is different from the one who lived in Alaska. Beyond the geographic change, the people who have met me in Colorado, have met a writer, a creative. In Fairbanks, I was someone different. Forcing ourselves into one solid state of being seems unnatural. If the world around us is constantly evolving-- shouldn’t we?
That doesn’t mean that change is easy. It would’ve been easier to stay in my full-time job, in my cabin in Alaska, in the safe structure of my life. Instead, I am bearing down on a new obstacle, one that brings transformation again. One that will usher me into a new season.
We are now a little more than a month out from Voyage of the Pleiades landing in your hands. Am I excited? Yes. Am I terrified? Absolutely, yes. When we embrace change, it’s risky. A step out into the unknown. And when I decided to throw all in with this writing life, I knew it wouldn’t be hours of bliss, with the words spinning from my fingers. Writing is hard work. And publishing your book, is even harder. I write for myself, but more importantly, I write for you: the audience. Next month when this book is unleashed on the world, I guarantee not everyone will like it. That’s fine, that’s part of the subjectivity of art. But I would be holding something back from these musings on changing seasons, if I didn’t admit that it’s probably the scariest thing I’ve ever done. I’ve had my work under public scrutiny before, but never with so much on the line. This book (and the one that I’m revising) are 100% my blood, sweat and tears.
So, I’m sailing through the twitchy spring season. I’ll leave my writing desk, go outside, and look for harbingers of change. The birds that have returned, the mercurial mountain weather, the promise of growth in the garden. I’ll ignore the calendar, resist the temptation to count down the days to June 6. My eyes will remain gazing forward, toward the new season on the horizon. I will be here standing on the deck, leaning into the wind.
*The title of the post is part of a line from Jim Harrison’s poem: Spring.