Watching Trees Breathe

I have this habit of getting motivated to write out all my thoughts and feelings, seven different stories simultaneously, then somewhere along the way I lose it. I should have written about this or that. But it’s gone now. I don’t know if I consider myself a writer, because I do things like punctuate poorly and never keep a journal. I have about seven half-assed, sparsely-scribbled journals. And about all of them have pages which, in the end, wind up as grocery lists, schedules, and positive affirmation doodles, or underwater landscapes.

I think it was Flannery O’Conner who said something along the lines of.. ‘I never know what I think until I read what I write’- which sounds about right. I don’t know a damned thing until I’ve written it. Funny then, how the idea of writing motivates me about as much as watching trees grow in real time.

Then again, watching trees breathe life is nothing short of beautiful. It’s calming— stimulating. It’s living a moment of total presence, which is absolutely everything. Catharsis. I love being among the trees. Like I like writing, because it silences all other voices.

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I’ve spent time—caught up—waiting for the inspiration to strike. I recently spent ten months traveling solo. Inspiration was everywhere. Hell, I took a volunteer position as a volcano-trekking guide. My job was sunrises, sunsets, and setting up tents. I spent most of my time outside, but I didn’t write about it much. It was so real, and yet at times I reeled from the present moment by feeding into the anxiety of waiting to be. I camped under the stars, and something about it was everything, yet somehow, sometimes, I wasn’t enough.

Turns out, there never was a moment spent just waiting that was worth the energy. This is why I choose nature, to chip away at the not-enoughness, to stop waiting and to glimpse the everything. This is why I write, why I stopped beating myself up for not writing enough, or even having a point. Because I’d rather get stuck enjoying the process than expecting the result. I’d rather not worry about reconnecting the end of this story to its beginning. It was never meant to come full circle. I was just flowing without expectation, because, like the trees, I don’t wait to be as I grow toward the light.

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