Relaxing in the garden, bathed in the sunís golden glow, auditory nerves tingled by the buzz of bees, cheeks and hair caressed by a gentle breeze, the fragrance of freshly mown grass and blossoming lavender mingled with the aroma of percolated coffee, creative juices flow. I pick up my pen. Words gush onto the paper of my notebook which is encased in a pink silk cover.
Late at night, a scented candle emanating light and fragrance, gentle music titillating my neurons, wrapped in an exotic woollen shawl which was given to me by an Indian family with whom I stayed so many years ago, chocolate coated almonds by my elbow, the memories, real and imagined, flow from my mind through my fingers into the snazzy laptop.
Then the weekend finishes. Reality hits. Monday morningís alarm rudely interrupts my dream lifestyle.
Oh, yes, Iím a writer. Amongst lifeís rich tapestry are creative moments snatched in the garden after finally mowing the ankle-high grass or an hour of writing late at night after the demands of the day have been satisfactorily dealt with. I have stories to tell, and tell them I will.
My work has taken me to fascinating places. Iíve met people from around the world, representing almost every soci-economic-religious-racial strata that exists. Iíve sampled foods that some of my peers would never have considered to be edible. (Some treats are tastier than others. And texture is ever so important.) Iíve listened to music, much of which soothes the soul although some Ö Chinese opera in particular Ö jangles the spine. My eyes have drunk to the point of intoxication the beauty of both empty alpine meadows and bustling Asian markets. Iíve been hosted by government officials in splendour as well as aging temporary residents in lean-to dwellings crammed between burgeoning urban developments.
Apart from my own experiences, almost daily these days, I also hear of the exploits of extraordinary men and women who serve in places well off the beaten track. All this makes me a privileged writer with stories to tell.
Every day I write. Emails, articles, reports, thank-you letters, newsletters, request letters Ö thousands of words each day. God has called me to be a writer.
And yet I long for those moments in the garden or late at night with the laptop. My dream is to retire to a home in the hills, sleep until late each morning, then pad out into the garden in my fluffy purple slippers where I shall write, write, and write some more. How the grass will get cut, the coffee brewed, the groceries done, the bills paid, let alone how I will make a contribution to the community is not yet clear. Perhaps Iíll just work till mid-afternoon, volunteer as a lollipop lady at the local school crossing, do my errands on the way home, then put my feet up and munch on chocolate coated almonds. Thatís when Iíll dream of the fulfilling adventurous life Iíve had, and plot the next chapter of my work ready for the next dayís writing project.
Thatís the plan. Right now, however, is the present. While Iím hale and hearty, it is time to be gathering the stories. Itís not like Iím not writing. Itís just a more utilitarian style of writing at this stage. Utilitarian, that is, except for those late Saturday afternoons and the stolen midnight moments when I indulge in a more creative style of prose.
Iím a writer. And life is good.
This piece is mostly factual. I came back to my home country after time away partly in order Ďto writeí. Yet to my frustration, God clearly led me into a different line of busy although fascinating work, related to my previous cross-cultural escapades.
Writing this piece, in a midnight hour stolen from sleep, He has shown me that I AM writing, and reaffirmed that I AM indeed called to write. Itís just not quite the way Iíd envisaged.
I should confess, however, that the part about the freshly mown grass is pure fiction. Outside the back door, it remains ankle-high as I type these words. Right now, though, Iím not too worried. It is dark, so I can't see it, and I am typing on my snazzy red laptop, absorbing the heaterís rays, munching chocolate coated almonds.
Iím a writer. And life is good.
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