This is also appearing at ANWA.
Have you ever tried to force a plant to grow? Or a flower to bloom? Or force fruit to ripen? Have you ever tried to force inspiration? That doesn't work so well either. I wasn't exactly trying to force inspiration for this blog post --I just got excited when I had an opportunity to visit the gardens at Thanksgiving Point yesterday. I planned to wander the beautiful grounds there and come home with ample analogies for nurturing the inner writer like a gardener might nurture his flower beds.
It was Two-Buck Tuesday, so I brought my children. We arrived and the place was packed. We were there no more than six minutes when my four year-old said, "Can we go home to Grandma's pool?" Of course we stayed, having just driven numerous miles and paid admission. But my time there was not the leisurely, contemplative kind. I spent the next few hours helping my child stay engaged in the vibrant outdoors. The vibrant, hot, humid and crowded outdoors. Oh, isn't that what summer family vacations are for?
The gardens were great for a day trip with my children. Had the conditions been different, I might have been struck with ideas for writing. But maybe not. Those inspiring ideas are like the gardens --they bloom when they are ready --not always when we are.
As for nurturing the inner writer, this is my conclusion: Take your kids to the gardens (or any other lovely place) to nurture them. Buy a 15 cent notebook at any school supply sale and take it and yourself anywhere you'd like . . . and write.