It is fall in my part of the world. The leaves are changing and starting to cover the ground with a thick carpet of colors. Now is the time that we prepare for the fast approaching winter.
Annual flowers are taken out to the woods and perennials are covered with mulch. The last of the garden is harvested and soon the ground will be cultivated. Wood is brought nearer to the house and put in long neat piles. Screens are taken off the windows and winter clothes are brought out of storage.
We also decorate our houses with brightly colored gourds and orange pumpkins. Some take the scary Halloween route and others the beautiful rusts, gold and browns of autumn.
Schools starts and the big yellow buses twice a day make their way through the countryside picking up and dropping off kids carrying colorful backpacks.
It is an exciting but busy time of year. But for most in this part of the country at least four hours a week is spent yelling encouragement and words of despair at a group of tough strong men who try to see who can get a leather oblong ball into the end zone the most times. Yes, footballs rules.
For me, this fall is a time of huge reflection. Last fall I was sitting in my husband’s deer stand watching an eight-point buck eat an apple, while wondering what my path in life was and where it was heading.
In the fall I enjoy spending time in the woods. I don’t hunt anything, just watch, enjoy, and think. Last year I was unemployed and feeling out of options. The job environment for me the last few years was not a kind one, and to be honest I didn’t want to go back.
So, as I watched that magnificent animal, who would make it through the hunting seasons and is still around this year, eat that apple, I decided to write the story that I kept creating in my mind every night so I could fall asleep.
Not telling anyone, I began to write, and found it isn’t as easy to put words on paper as it is to think about them in your mind. By November, just before the family arrived to celebrate Thanksgiving, I sent in Bear’s Pup. Six days later it was accepted.
This fall as I watch the little dogs run through the leaves and I put the hummingbird feeder away, so I can replace it with the big square wooden feeder for the finches and chickadee’s. I reflect on the changes of this last year.
I have gone from anxiety and uncertainty to works in progress, edits, reviews, blogs, interviews, meeting new friends and gaining new experiences that I never imagined. And I’m a writer.
There. I said it. As the warm days slowly become cooler, and we face the upcoming forty below temps, I reflect upon this year’s gift. I’m a writer. I tell stories people actually want to read. And I am very thankful for the bounty this year has given me.