In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s hot out here in Texas. Especially this summer, with withering triple digit heat toasty enough to cook eggs on the sidewalk.
So I try to do my writing and creating indoors… until I don’t.
Some afternoons, you’ll find me sitting amid the cricket chorus on the screened in patio, my iced coffee sweating along with my body, an icepack wrapped around my neck.
Yesterday I was scurrying around at the uncharacteristically early hour of 6:30 a.m. My daughter asked where I was going. “To Mozart’s Coffee,” I hurriedly replied, “to get there and sit by the lake before it gets hot out!” With that, I was past her, book bag flying, hairbrush still in my hand as I ran out the door. But as I did, I heard her puzzled words behind me… “Boy, you go to great lengths for nature.”
That struck me.
Another friend and I were bemoaning that even indoors, this summer was so particularly brutal that it was hard to shake that feeling of stickiness. Yet I walk outside almost every morning, setting me up for overheating for the next couple of hours. Was I crazy, I wondered?
Yesterday, as I sat at the coffee shop’s wooden picnic table by the water and opened my laptop, my mind was buzzing and my body felt contracted. Then a turtle splashed and its head impishly popped out to look at me. The mix of musky water and brewing coffee wafted by. A sudden dance of leaves blew past my laptop and one floated onto my plate. I exhaled.
Before long, ideas were flowing along with the ice-water I was drinking. That’s when it hit me. I don’t go to great lengths for nature. I go to great lengths for creative joy. Which is what happens – for me – in nature. When I’m outside, an inner hum begins. My senses wake up and my overactive mind settles down — the perfect formula for creating.
When I lead Writing Retreats, we often do something I call a “Sensory Walk.” We go outside, turn the dial down on thinking and up on experiencing. What is the quality of silence between sounds? What is the feel of crumbling bark between the fingers? As our minds slow and nature tunes up its sensory symphony, joy arrives. Along with creativity.
I can’t tell you how many women find a spot to sit in the midst of this and start writing. Poems flow out… when they haven’t written poetry since the 3rd grade. Insights that were invisible to them just moments earlier arise. Hearts open and possibilities appear.
So no, I don’t go to great lengths for nature, but I DO for creative joy. For those fresh slate thoughts, the fully alive “all things are possible” creative state of being. And if I have to sit outside in the 100-degree heat to get it… well, at least pray it appears in five minutes so I can go back indoors!
I’d love to hear from you – what is your experience of creative joy? Or, what do you “go to great lengths” for? Click here, and then share your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of the blog.
Sunday, December 2, 2018
1 – 3 p.m. and 4 – 6 p.m.
Some people wonder what can happen in two hours? Well, come to our mini-retreats and find out! There will be spacious time to write and reflect, powerful prompts, small group sharing, poetry and dark chocolate. This is a time for creative renewal and coming home to your true self… all within the embrace of community. It’s also a chance to experience the power of the Creative Soul Community – an Austin-based tribe of women inspired to “bloom in our second half.” Mini-retreat theme and more details TBA.
Creative Soul Women’s Circles
Next Circles begin in January 2019
Although this season’s Circles are full, our next round of Circles will begin in January 2019, so stay tuned!
Inspired Momentum Writing Circles
One spot for our Austin writing circles is opening in early October. If you are interested in applying for the spot, email me for details. You can also get more information at https://www.carolynscarborough.com/services/writing-circles/