Thursday, May 10, 2012

Waiting in Vermont

Writers do a lot of this. We wait for inspiration for stories and for characters' names. We wait for the perfect word, for word from the readers of our early drafts, from agents, editors, publicists, and events coordinators. We wait for cover art, galleys, and books, for reviews and profiles, for invitations from book clubs and from talk show hosts. We can wait a very long time for those.

And while we wait, we pretend we're not waiting and plant lettuce, and then we wait for the sun to come out, and then for the rain, and then again for the sun, so we can walk our dog, while we wait, impatiently, for the seeds to poke up through the soil. 

We wait for the dog to do her "business" and for other dogs to show up to play.

We wait for teaching jobs and freelance assignments and for the coffee to brew.

We wait for emails, phone calls, contracts, and for the contractor to start renovating our bathroom, so we can pretend we're busy and not waiting for emails and phone calls and inspiration.

And then, while our backs are turned, the lettuce seeds turn into pale green rows.

We watch our perennials broaden and wait for them to bloom, wishing each blossom would wait just a little longer before it died. We wait for the Farmer's Market to open. We wait, uneasily, for the season's first black flies.

We wait for local strawberries, tomatoes, basil, raspberries, blueberries, and corn. We harvest our lettuce while we wait, wishing that word from others and inspiration were as easy to come by.