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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: War and Peace (not about the book) (07/07/11)

TITLE: Live to fight another day
By Nadine Clark


“I start the day, the war begins”. Casting Crowns, a Christian music group, include those words in the lyrics in their song, “East to West”. I like the lyrics. I relate to the lyrics. On any given morning I can find myself at war. This morning is no different. I get my coffee, notebook and pen and head to the side porch. I set up shop in my glider chair with my feet propped up on a small table. I plan on finishing a story this morning, before the deadline. The problem is I didn’t write my outline. I have it in my head but not on paper. Unfortunately, I’m a visual person and it helps immensely if I write it down in advance. My progress is obviously stalled. No matter, it’s peaceful out here. I have coffee and the birds are awake.
An interruption from a life insurance agent on this summer morning is an irritant with or without a story outline. I had to take the call because my husband told the guy that I take care of all that life and death stuff. As I converse with this guy, I watch a robin stroll and hop and search and stop for its daily meal. I find myself listening to its sweet song, “Cheerily, cheerio, cheeri-um, cheerily”. I end up making an appointment with the guy because I like watching birds more than I like talking to agents on the phone. I’m supposed to be writing. My attempts to do so out of doors can be unfruitful. However, I am doing two things that I love, writing and observing nature. The war begins.
As I settle in to jot down a couple of ideas, I notice a deer fly making its way up the screen. He was desperately trying to find a way out of the mesh. If it were only a butterfly or little bird, I would have gently assisted it. This, however, was a deer fly, an enemy in my midst. It appeared weak as it struggled up then down. At one point it almost fell backward off the screen but caught itself. I thought about squishing it but it was awkwardly positioned between the rungs of my railing, making for a tough kill. It was weak anyhow so I went back to my outline. It didn’t look like I would get bitten by that deer fly today.
Soon after I hear the tell tale sound of an angry wasp encroaching upon my sanctuary. This particular enemy of peace and purpose causes a “fight or flight” response. This day, I was frustrated and ready for a fight. I rolled up a magazine and waited for my opportunity. This wasp, instead of being weak, was angrily beating against the screen. It was also stuck between the Christmas lights that are still up. Moving those lights for a clear shot would bring my fingers dangerously close to the enemy. I braved it, weapon in hand. This wasp, oblivious to my intent, suddenly flew down behind the table. I nervously peeked over the side to catch sight of it. I was half expecting it to fly back up and sting me directly in the face. It remained out of sight. I knew it was somewhere, but I had a story to write. My enemy would live to fight another day. I went back to my work. However, every slight movement resembling an insect in flight caused my heart to quicken.
Insurance agents and my love/hate relationship with nature were not the only interruptions. My daughters needed rides, my sister called, extending an invitation to “get away”, and another friend called just because we hadn’t talked in a couple days. This is real life. This is my war and my peace I still have no written outline. I finished my coffee just in time to see my grandsons and their mama pull in the driveway. This battle will be continued and I’m fine with that. My insurance agent will be relieved to know that I, too, will live to fight another day.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Nancy Bucca07/20/11
This was an interesting fight, and how many of us can relate. The struggle to fight, to write, and to do what's right is truly an every day battle.