I've been looking forward to this summer for ages; it's been a tough year at school, I haven't visited my novel for months (Rosie - or was it Daisy? - will need therapy) and, back in the real world, my son's getting married. Four days from when you read this. Eek! There are other changes too. In the autumn my youngest leaves home for uni and I start a new job, reducing my hours in order to free up writing time. But this could be tricky for us - I may need to take up busking. (Must dig out descant recorder.)
Three weeks in, I find myself in a strangely surreal state. So grateful it's the holidays, enjoying a stretch of suspended time to dream/write before the wedding - the anticipation almost as pleasurable as the real thing - but not wanting it to pass because then the summer will be over. Long awaited, precious. But that's the way it is. Once something begins, it must end.
It reminds me of that haunting Greenday song: -
I've had a few, modest, writing successes recently, but in places I would never have dreamed would accept me. At times, it's been so exciting I've hardly slept, Am I alone in this? You toss endlessly between restless sheets, stroking your published words, veering between fantasies of becoming a national treasure, and (the far more likely) scenario of being received with a sneer, to sink without trace. After a few days and nights between Clouds Nine Plus and Minus, when neither of these scenarios occurs, you finally settle into normal operative mode again, feeling vaguely ashamed and ridiculous.
It's the hardest thing but our writing successes, as well as our failures, cannot be allowed to define us. Because the grief or the thrill will pass. Our craving for permanence is a longing for significance not in this world but in that other one, set within us by He who alone truly understands both the joy and disappointment of creation. Fickle vessels, unbelievably He still chooses to use us and our craft to help keep the ancient magic alive; all are loved; all are significant; all are safe in His hands. Through summer and winter alike.
What God begins, will never end...
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Deborah Jenkins is a primary school teacher and freelance writer who has written articles, devotional notes and short stories. She has recently completed a novella, The Evenness of Things, available as an Amazon e-book and is currently working on a full length novel.. Deborah loves hats, trees and small children. After years overseas with her family, she now lives in south-west London with her husband, a Baptist minister, and a cat called Oliver.