I’d forgotten how enthusiastic spring is down here. In the lowcountry there is no easing into spring – everything throws itself at you all at once. The azaleas are everywhere, in pinks and salmons and lavenders and reds. The piney woods are full of them. There is so much flora to see and smell that you get a little drunk from it all.
My favorite is the wisteria. Wisteria reminds me to breathe. Deeply. Wherever I am, whatever I’m doing, I have to pause and just let the scent wash over me. I’m not kidding. I’ll stop in the middle of the street if I get a whiff. It drugs me, makes me forget everything else. Some people don’t like it because it’s a parasite – it can totally take over a host tree until the only thing left living is the wisteria, until it looks like just a big wisteria tree and there’s no evidence of the tree underneath. But I don’t care. It’s my absolute favorite.
I’m remembering how to slow down here, how to notice the world around me more. The smell of wisteria, the fog hanging over the river in the mornings, the broken-glass-glint of the sun as it hits the ocean. The dragonflies and herons and pelicans. I sat last night on the screened porch for an hour watching a gecko wait patiently for his supper to happen by.
My attentiveness seeps into my writing. I sit outside on the porch writing when I can these days, and though at times the beauty is distracting, it’s also nourishing, and I think my work is better for it. At least, I hope so. But either way, I’m enjoying the writing much more when I’m not trapped inside. If you’re a writer, try it. Go sit outside to write for a while, in a park or at the beach or in a tree house. Anywhere there is fresh air and the smell of flowers and the sound of birds. Then, if you’re sitting outside communing with nature, even if you’re having a bad writing day, it’s still a good day, right?