"Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never Is, but always To be blest.
The soul, uneasy, and confin'd from home,
Rest and expatiates in a life to come."
~Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man
I can finally see my driveway, and the track of muddy paw prints inside my door testifies to the promised arrival of spring. Eventually. I know we'll see more storms, and more snow on the ground, off and on, for at least two more months, maybe three. It's easy to feel discouraged and despondent when one of Colorado's spring storms blows in and dumps six or eight inches of snow on ground you'd just rejoiced at seeing again after the long, dark months of winter.
So I cling to those little signs, and the fact it's still light outside at six o'clock in the evening, and the birds I heard chirping overhead when I went out to feed the chickens this morning, as confirmation that spring is on its way.
Healing—physical, emotional, spiritual, relational—is a similar process. There are good days and bad days, and the bad days are especially discouraging after a spate of good ones. However, as my dear husband keeps telling me, every tiny hint of progress, of improvement, is a sign, a promise, evidence, that things are eventually going to be better than before.
That's the nature of faith, according to the author of the book of Hebrews.
NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].
Heb 11:1 AMP
The writer's journey is one of faith, too.
There are bright, sunshiny days when you reach your word count, find just the right turn of phrase, and come up with the perfect plot twist. And there are stormy days when your own writing makes you want to gag, when you realize your story doesn't just have a sagging middle, it has total plot prolapse, or you get yet another rejection letter for that novel you've been carrying in your heart longer than an elephantine gestation.
But just as we don't give up on spring's eventual arrival during a March snowstorm, and we don't give up on healing and recovery in our bodies when symptoms rear up again, we can't give up on writing when we experience "dry spells" or setbacks, or disappointments. In truth, there's probably never been a better time in history to be a writer.
With that said, it's about time for us to begin planning another Western Slope get-together! If you have any thoughts or ideas about what, when, and where, let me know in the next week or two.