The Natural World

Over the course of my life, and especially during our marriage, we have been fortunate to travel a fair amount. We have seen many of the great cities of Europe, traveled around some (not as much as we’d like) in the United States and Canada, and seen parts of Mexico and Grand Cayman.

In many of those trips, we visited cities. No, don’t get me wrong, I love visiting cities. I love the diversity, the languages and cultures, and especially the museums.

This trip was one without cities. We visited towns that had no roads in or out, everyone needs to arrive and depart by boat or plane. We saw the natural world every minute of every day. Glaciers, mountains, the ocean, bald eagles, sea lions, porpoises, humpback whales, harbor seals, and sea otters. And all of it was glorious! It was far quieter in terms of noise than any trip we’ve taken other than to Gran Manan.

The quiet and beauty did us a world of good. We meditated without realizing it, and gave thanks for the glory of the beauty. I simultaneously hoped for one of the glaciers to break off a little piece so I could see it, and begged the universe to keep those glaciers healthy and whole. I was awed by the facilities of our national parks, their staff, and the natural world they protect — and I gave thanks for the forethought of those before us who protected these lands!

One of the park rangers asked us to think about what moments on this trip made us emotional, and to carry that power of the emotion back with us when we went home. For me? The glaciers made me very emotional. I was so awed by their size and beauty, so thankful for the opportunity to see them, and so greatly saddened and angered that we (as a species) are so negatively impacting the environment. I saw a “dead glacier,” one that no longer gets the snowfall it needs. I mourned for the loss of that glacier, and I mourned for the fact that future generations may never get to see a glacier in real life.

I have always believed in the power of travel. It teaches us, renews us, and impacts us in ways that are hard to explain.

As you travel, think about that question — what have you seen that has impacted you emotionally?

A Writer’s Brain

I have never understood how my writing brain works. Sometimes, I can’t stop writing — the words pour out of my brain. Sometimes, especially when stressed, the words dry up. In the past two months, as we have adjusted to our new reality, my fiction brain completely deserted me. No ideas, no joy in writing, nothing. Yes, I did finish the final editing on novel four before submitting it to the editors at my publishing house, but that was it for fiction.

Sitting on a plane yesterday, my fiction brain came back. Was it the altitude? Was it the taking a step back from the hectic pace of our life lately as we juggle all of these stressful appointments? Was it the hunger from the lack of food on the plane?  I don’t know what the cause was, but the result is that my fiction brain is back in a major way. Yay!