When I fell madly for my husband in 1997, I had one of those moments when inspiration cocks the proverbial gun, and a creative force shoots out from your center. Have you ever had that? Time freezes and you awake to hear yourself saying “What the hell just happened?” You look down to see a glorious sketch, a truly inspired recipe or a perfect work of fiction. I know many of the famous songwriters and painters say their greatest works were created in minutes and during the process, they felt like they were outside their body.
“The Path” is not a “greatest work” but it was the closest I’ve sidled to spontaneous art. It might be terrible; it might be great. I don’t know. What I do know is I still remember, almost 20 years later, being bewildered that a poem, of sorts, emerged from me! Ha!
That is what being a young idiot in love will do for you! I hope you enjoy.
The path we traveled was rust colored. A few stray pebbles were scattered
along the springy floor. The air felt crisp on our faces.
From behind, the sun kissed our backs.
When we started on the trail, the trees were sparse and young.
As we have walked, they have become rich and mature and now
the emerald green firs tower overhead creating a tunnel of blue sky.
On our path, there have been times when I walked ahead of you,
and times during which you walked ahead of me.
The leader realized the experience was less about who got there first
and more about the shared experience.
Inevitably we would fall back in line together.
At times, there was a wall that would cover the path and disappear
deep into the forest on either side. There was no way beyond it.
It was comprised of gray stones fit together like a complicated puzzle.
There were no holes or flaws through which to see.
We would lean our backs against the wall, defeated,
looking back in the direction we had come.
Suddenly a brick in the wall would shift and then another.
We would turn around to find the wall tumbling down,
leaving a clear perspective.
An obstacle so seemingly insurmountable
and yet every time we made our way through.
There were also times when I wanted to step off the beaten trail,
maybe a brambled passage that looked as though
it had not been travelled in a long time.
Or a spot that allowed rivulets of light to permeate through
the dense brush sparking my curiosity to see where it led.
You would see my eagerness.
You always charged ahead to clear a path.
Once along our way you stopped and looked skyward
at a tree that was unfamiliar to me.
I didn’t recognize the branches, the bark or the needle-like leaves.
You would start to climb, and I would stand back
not comprehending your motivation.
But, eventually, I would lean in stabilizing and watching
your assent, supporting you.
Later, when you had landed safely in front of me,
there was a flicker of gratitude in your smile.
Often we moved along with purpose; occasionally we would meander,
other times we would rest on our backs, arms barely touching,
eyes closed inhaling the sun.
At one point we came upon a lake. Its expanse melted into the blue horizon.
You were hesitant and thoughtful about venturing in
and I had already disappeared under the kind waves.
We swam without needing to surface. I could see you clearly through
the undulating bands of seaweed. We played like seals and swam between rocks
and through underwater caves. I was touched by the smoothness
of the water across my skin and watching you, watching me.
I was joyful.
There were moments of darkness. It often seemed time to part.
But we would see the darkness was simply the shade
of an overhanging branch.
You would take my hand, and pull me into the light.
A few times along the path there was a split in the trail,
both trails evenly worn. Sometimes we chose together
and often we picked our own way,
knowing we would meet up again and share our experience.
This has been a walk with neither a distinct beginning nor end.
This path was not just a passageway to a set destination.
This path was about the experience of treading along it together.
The trees grow taller now.
But still, through the tunnel of sunlight near their encroaching tips
the path is perfectly lit. A little further perhaps?
What do you do to nurture creativity in your life? I would love to read your ideas in the comments section below.
A friend recently gave me a colouring book for Christmas. (Adult colouring books are all the rage in case you didn’t get the memo!) I tried it, and I enjoyed it! It doesn’t take much to have a few creative moments in your day. Creativity is so important for brain function! I challenge you to find one thing this week that you can do that you would consider creative. Knit, paint, draw, write, cook, sing… Being creative can look different to everyone.