The pine trees creaked and swayed with the breeze making the daytime friendly forest seem unfriendly as the night progressed. She shuffled along hurriedly to reach her destination. Imagining all the creatures she could encounter while she moved along the path picturing coyotes, wolves, or even bears traveling in the woods next to her. Although she knew the reality as she walked this path daily and was only likely to encounter the squirrels playing their games, with the hawks and owls in the sky overhead keeping watch. In the daytime she was a brave strong woman traveling these paths all alone, but in the evening she reverted to a child fearful of every nightmare she’d ever had coming to life within the very forest she loved so much.
This was her home, a home she had worked so hard to reach. The same place she ran to with fear and sadness in her heart when her sister passed away, the same place she spent so many years running away from small town life with big dreams in her head. When her dreams came crashing down around her she found herself with only one place to go, only one place she wanted to go, home, to this land, the land of her family. It might not seem like much to some, only about thirty acres give or take, but this land was the land where she grew up. The place where her childhood memories were most pronounced. The place where no matter what she knew in her heart she belonged.
Her career on the other hand, didn’t agree. In fact, she’d given it up to return to the place of her childhood. It was one of the most difficult decisions she’d ever faced, but in the end she knew it was the right choice. Careers can come and go, but family, well, family is forever, and her family needed her as much as she needed them. No one ever understands until they lose someone close to them. It changes everything. The family dynamic, the way we laugh, the smiles on our faces, they all come differently now. She needed to be with those that understood her grief and those that felt how she felt.
She looked sharply to her left hearing a twig snap. These very woods were the heart of her family. Thinking back she remembered when her sister decorated the trails for Easter and hid the Easter baskets among these trees. They weren’t scary then, but her mood was dark today and the whipping wind causing all the branches to crack and twist while she walked among their midst suited her.
She’d had a rough day today. Since returning home she’d spent many days working odd jobs to make ends meet, not able to hold down a steady career in such a small community. After the accident that took her sister’s life she began to write, stories, blogs, articles, journals, anything really feeling that the writing was therapeutic in its workings. She took the plunge just last week to leave her last steady employment and pursue her writing full time, however today was frustrating her. She had taken her laptop out into the forest hoping for inspiration, and ultimately ended up distracted by all the noise of the woods. Between the chirping birds, and clambering squirrels, even the rustling of the leaves had gotten to her. She had accomplished three pages only, and she didn’t feel any of them were up to snuff, so she knew it was likely tomorrow she would have to start again from scratch.
She was nearing the end of the trail, up ahead she could see an opening signaling the end of the forest and the start of the fresh cut lawn near the house. She increased her speed looking forward to just curling up in her bed with some hot cocoa and a good book. Fall was a beautiful time of year, her favorite in fact, but this day had not gone well and she needed to unwind. She felt like she had worked overtime having put so much pressure on herself to complete as much writing as she could today only to feel as though it was slapped back in her face. Now that she had unlimited writing time at her disposal she seemed to get less and less writing done. As she reached the front steps to the old house, she thought about this wondering how she was going to get through this. Wondering how she was ever going to become the writer she dreamed of becoming. She climbed up the steps deciding as she did that tomorrow is another day and perhaps with the storm that comes tonight inspiration will ring through to her dreams and she will pick up her laptop and start typing with a fever she didn’t know she possessed.
She was clearly raised by a family of dreamers. Everyone had their big dreams. Artists of all kinds were in her family, her mother, the chef in every way but title. Who read and experimented with cooking like it was nobodies business. She was an artist in the kitchen. Her father, the master of the outdoors, crafting his art in his landscape designs, and through maintaining and decorating the trails with his little touches. He was an artist. Her sister, the other writer in the family, lost far too soon, the keeper of quotes, the saver of books, the best book club creator of all time. She was an artist of words. Most of all her family was filled with dreamers. While her mother was not a chef in title, she dreamed. Her father, not a landscape artist, dreamed. Her late sister had dreams of fulfilling the lifelong goal of being a published author, and then there is her, another dreamer. Suddenly filled with the goal of being a published author. Suddenly entranced by the written word. Is she just a dreamer as well? Although her family is filled with dreamers she believes they have reached their ultimate goals. Will she now have the strength to follow through on hers?
Her family supported her decision to leave her steady job and pursue her goal of writing. She did not want to disappoint anyone least of all herself. She thought about her writing up until now. She had been trying very hard. What if she just started by writing a story about her own struggle, her own strife in life? She could write for days on a subject like that. Perhaps all she needed was a new subject matter to write about. Perhaps she was trying to hard to force a story out of herself. Perhaps the story was already there. As she reached the door to the house she smiled, realizing as she did that she was struck with something she hadn’t been in quite awhile, inspiration.
She opened the door, running to her room, the most chaotic place in the house, having never gotten around to unpacking properly. She sat down on the bed pulling her makeshift desk, a blue tray table over to her. She set her laptop down and opened it. She knew what she had to do and she had to do it now. She had to write.