When you’re a writer, there’s no such thing as wasted time. Everything you do enhances your craft, in the end.
On one of the last warm days of our endless Northwest Indian summer this year, I played hooky from work for a couple hours in the afternoon.
I had an important task to attend to: My lithe, athletic 9-year-old daughter wanted me to climb a tree with her.
She’d been just about living in a tree all summer, and wanted us to do this together.
The weather forecast indicated this would probably be the last unseasonably warm day before fall finally arrived. So it needed to happen now.
I was a little scared to attempt it.
Though I loved tree-climbing as a child and spent many hours in the branches of one of my girlfriend’s big maple trees, it had been a few decades since I’d left the ground.
I couldn’t get up the first one we tried. Which was sorta sad.
But I didn’t give up
On the far side of the park we found another tree with a better array of low branches, and after a little huffing and puffing, I was up.
For the first time in decades, I was in a tree.
And it was grand.
I could see all across the park, over rolling lawns to where a stand of trees showed the beginnings of autumn colors. Birds circled by.
The wind seemed so mild and fair, from this height. The impossible late-October sunshine so warm.
I was out on a limb
Which felt scary, but also exhilirating.
Could I get down? I had visions of tumbling out onto my head, which would no doubt happen just as neighbors walked their dog past.
I had Ariella lead the way through the descending levels of branches. Then, suddenly, I found out why I’d come.
“You climb down so fast,” I remarked, struggling to keep up.
“My spirit climbed down even faster!” she replied matter-of-factly, as she expertly navigated the final branches. “Look, mommy — it’s already down to the ground.”
I have no doubt she saw that vision, of her spirit roaming free.
When’s the last time I felt that, I wondered.
I realized I needed to schedule more time like this. Time to take risks.
Play hooky. Live a little.
We should always be expanding our notion of who we are and what we’re capable of, in our lives away from the computer.
Of how far our spirit can fly.
Then, we can approach that blank page — or screen — ready to pour our souls into it.
What’s made your spirit soar recently? Leave a comment – I’d love for you to share it.