Saturday, 9 June 2018

Facing North

My back garden faces north. That doesn’t mean I can’t grow anything in it; it just makes it a little harder.  Sow too early in the season and it doesn’t germinate, then I have to plant all over again. My lawn is permanently damp throughout the Autumn and Winter, so by the time the Spring comes round, there’s as much moss as grass. It isn’t even nice moss that would be soft to walk on; it’s brown and scratchy and unpleasant. Every year I go through the process of raking it up, spreading compost where it was and then reseeding it. Depending on weather conditions the seed doesn’t always germinate, and I have to reseed it again and again. Here is this year’s third attempt, complete with cat:

Sometimes I feel as if my writing faces north. The novel I began writing last year was sown with such promise. Then the chill winds of family illness and bereavement, frequent travels with work and other commitments, and the joyful but time consuming wedding of my youngest daughter prevented me from getting on with it. When life calmed down again and I resumed the task, I went through what I had already written and found much that needed to be raked up, thrown onto the compost heap and reseeded with fresh ideas. Parts of it seemed out of place, irritating instead of comfortably in place within the story.  I sowed away with gusto, hoping it would flourish this time.  I think it’s beginning to germinate now, and may be a worthwhile project in the end.

For my grass seed to germinate, I’m told I have to keep it moist, without over watering it. And I’m trying to keep my writing watered with prayer, reflection and meditation on the word of God. The Gospel may be woven into it subtly, rather than overtly preaching, but I still need to be drawing from the water of the Spirit if I’m going to end up with a story that grows lush and green and reflects the Creator whose creativity is mirrored in our own.

At any rate, it’s my hope that just as my garden grows into a place of beauty like this:

so my story, even though it deals with some of the weeds and “tares” sown by the enemy in Jesus’ parable, will ultimately reflect the beauty of the God in whose praise I endeavour to write.

 Ros Bayes has 10 published and 4 self-published books, as well as some 3 dozen magazine articles. She is the mother of 3 daughters, one of whom has multiple complex disabilities, and she currently works for Through the Roof ( as their Training Resources Developer, and loves getting paid to write about disability all day. You can find her blog at and her author page at Follow her on Twitter: @rosbwriting.

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