All summer, while grass grows and clover overtakes the yard, our crocus bulbs, with wilted, yellow leaves still exposed, quietly gather sunshine and build a food supply for next spring. By autumn, they enter a dormant phase which continues through winter. It snows and rains and sleets. Still, the crocuses rest, waiting for the perfect moment to bloom. And when that springy moment arrives, they burst forth with tiny purple blossoms that take my breath away. Sometimes, I impatiently wish I could hurry them (and spring) along. But try as I might, I can’t force them to bloom. They bloom when they are ready.
As a writer, too, I sometimes impatiently hurry a story or poem along, thinking that if I try hard enough, I can force that story to bloom, even if it’s not yet ready. If I’m honest with myself, though, I realize that my best stories and poems are the ones I let quietly gather sunshine, while I, often subconsciously, work out details, grow the plot, develop the imagery, the meter, the rhyme, until, at last, like crocuses bursting forth, the story or poem practically writes itself.
My goal this week, as I survey my garden of stories and poems in progress, is to be crocus-like and let those pieces that still need to develop beneath the surface do just that. With spring-like fervor, I’ll find the one that’s ready to burst forth. That’s the one I will write this week.