Leaving It All Behind

Remember that feeling you get when your plane takes off? It might not be a fresh memory, given the times we’re in. For me, it feels close to elation, that lift-off, that leaving things behind, heading off to somewhere fresh and new, especially if it’s a vacation I’m beginning.

I think a lot of us are feeling grounded these days, in so many ways. My daughter lives in Montreal, and it’s about to begin another stage of lockdown—a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.. Not that there’s much to do anyway beyond her own four walls, but it still feels like another layer of freedom gone. Even here, in B.C., our bubbles are immediate households only, which feels restrictive, and it must feel even harder for those living alone. Sometimes FaceTime is not enough.

Yesterday, in the forest, it was so good to see other people and their dogs, from a safe distance, out in the post-rain morning, and also to walk long stretches alone. When I hike alone, I can stop whenever I want, take in more of my surroundings, snap pics, feel moss, and practice one simple thing I do when I come across a bridge or a gate made from two trees: I mentally leave the past behind.

It doesn’t have to be a conscious list of things or memories, but more of a general feeling that I’m leaving something behind me that I no longer need. (Like 2020 in general?!)

Afterwards, a lightness follows, almost like the lift-off. It feels like a micro-vacation. Put your hand up if you need one of those right about now.

I’m grateful for the woods nearby—its own mini escape room that I’m in no hurry to leave—and all the gates and bridges and chances to feel a little lighter.

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For the writers in the room:

I’ve just begun teaching the first month of The Creative Six-Pack, and I’m excited to get back into facilitating these offerings for writers at all stages of the journey. This first month is all about writing practice, so students are working hard on short daily exercises, meant to kick-start the whole writing process. There are spaces still available for this month and the whole 6 months, if you’re interested! Just drop me a line.

Later this month, I’m also going to be a part of my friend and writing partner’s amazing new offering: Traci Skuce has brought together 20+ writers, creatives, editors, and publishers for a complimentary masterclass series that will serve fiction and memoir writers who want to write and finish their books. Whether you’re just getting started, feeling stuck on a project, searching for new ideas, struggling with time management, or nearing the finish and wondering what’s next, this summit just might have something for you. And, it’s totally free. You can sign up here:

Stay well out there.

J