I travelled home to Atlanta last week to meet the Davis family crones. We have each endured and enjoyed over a half century, some of us plus-plus that. Our bodies have changed, as have our goals and lifestyles. We six hold remarkable collective and individual strengths that serve as a bright beacon marking our journeys.
Transitioning into my writing life as a septuagenarian has meant stepping out of the saddle from my beloved horses, working part-time, and scaling back yard work. Recently my sweet man asked the young feller that mows our two acres that once pastured my mares, to also cut grass and weed-whack around our house. I am grateful even as I acknowledge this marker into the next decade.
These days, writing and bookish endeavors consume my creative energy. And, provide a healthy measure of stress. Each year, my most treasured Christmas gift was from Mother – a book. After her death, friends and family filled that gap with certificates at Barnes and Noble or books chosen from their reading adventures. Although picking up the pen in earnest as an oldster, I recognize writing as ever present. In college I wrote for The Flambeau, the Florida State University newspaper which morphed into another publication in 1971. As a young professional, I wrote freelance articles for magazines and newspapers before finally arriving at fiction seven decades later. Another marker. . .
When I rode in the foxhunting field, riders encourage each other to “kick on” and follow the hound music through trappy terrain, jumping coops and across fences. Sometimes a horse caught a leg and caused a spill. Occasionally one of those hunters outright refused a jump. Now and then a rider lost her balance and came unhorsed. But each time, my fellow riders and I remounted and continued. Oh sure, the following days were saturated with aches, bruises, and Ibuprofen. Now I shout “write on” to my fellow authors, noting success and rejection.
Markers pile up on my journey. I keep score. Gotta smile at the bitter sweet adventure of it all.