By Suzanne Gwinner
At the end of May I gleefully waved goodbye to my cherubs at school as they scrambled into an assortment of cars, SUVs, and minivans waiting to whisk them away to the beaches and mountains of our fair state and beyond. Don’t get me wrong. I love my work, but teaching bright dyslexic and ADHD children is an adventure not meant for the timid. Summer break is a well-deserved respite for a veteran teacher.
Early in June I spent ten days exploring Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. The summer crowds had not yet descended, cool weather prevailed, and wildlife roamed unperturbed. Attaining one of my life goals – observing wolves in the wild – made me tingle. On three separate occasions I watched different wolves interact, undisturbed by humans. My spirit rejoiced.
Now, school is out, vacation is tucked away in my mind’s eye, and summer has delivered her most precious gift – the gift of time.
Seated at my computer, refreshed and rested, I make plans for my gift.
The lack of it seems a constant theme in American life, but for the next eight weeks time will be my friend. I’m giddy at the prospect of unstructured time. This year I will put writing high on the priority list, schedule time for it instead of giving it the leftovers. In the past it has been buried under home improvement projects, golf, and travel. Like an artist molds clay, I can shape time into forms that appeal to me. Most likely I’ll carve it into big chunks. That’s the kind of time I like. I’m not good at doing a little here and a little there. Multitasking? Not my strong suit. When writing, I like to lose track of time. It’s a luxury, I know. Sometimes I skip meals, or work late into the night. I like that kind of time. I love the surprise when I turn off my study light to go to bed, and darkness envelops the entire house. Only then do I realize the late hour for the lamp timers have all clicked off. Even the dog has curled up in his bed to chase dream rabbits. That’s the kind of time I cherish. And it is to be cherished, for off in the distance I hear a little voice whispering, “Eight weeks! You only have eight weeks!”
I admire people who write books while they toil at demanding jobs; I just don’t know how they do it. Finding big chunks of time during the school year is almost impossible. So, now that summer has delivered her gift, I can work on another of my life goals - to write my book. My materials are in order, the outline is complete, and the story plays like a movie in my head.
All that’s left now is to put the words on paper.