On my smoothie break from writing, I started eggs boiling for the kids to dye. I often forget about eggs once I place the pan on the stove and set it to high. I’ll wander off while waiting for the water to boil, then an hour later realize, “Oh shit! The eggs!” This time, I brought Writing Down The Bones into the kitchen and read while I leaned against the counter and sipped my green smoothie.
As the water began to simmer, and the eggs rattled against the metal pot in excitement, I came across this line, which describes the fulfillment I’ve noticed since I began writing again:
I feel very rich when I have time to write and very poor when I get a regular paycheck and no time to work at my real work.
— Natalie Goldberg
That real work may be writing. It may be sticking my hands in the dirt; studying about the bottlebrush plant I think I may have killed; nestling on the couch before bedtime with our 11 year-old daughter, sipping orange tea and looking at pictures of butterfly plants in a magazine. It may be cozying up to a fire under the stars while the kids toast homemade marshmallows and poke sticks into the fire then pull them out to watch their tips glow. It may be snuggling with my husband and our kitties while I listen to birds twitter through our open bedroom window.
These past few days of writing again, of observing the world, of carving out the time to enjoy being alive, have made me feel very rich indeed. I may be writing about nothing, and the plants may not survive my care, but I am happy.