Guest blog by Cynthia Lovely
The rustic swing hung in a sheltered nook between the main hall and the new hotel. It beckoned me, promising an escape from the hectic pace of classes and workshops. Unable to resist the unspoken plea, I settled into the seat with a sigh of relief. It creaked slightly as I begin the gentle swaying motion. Tilting my head back to look up through the surrounding trees, I caught the faint fragrance of rhododendrons lining the path. The sun was warm upon my face, balanced out by the cool breeze rustling through the overhead branches. Distant murmurs of conversation from students rushing to class faded away as afternoon sessions begin. Quiet settled over the writers retreat center. The only sounds were the birds chattering around me and the soft brush of my feet against the dirt.
Bits and pieces of devotions, lectures and workshops flitted across my mind as I swayed back and forth. At the morning session a speaker had offered a simple definition of a writer If you write, you are a writer. I shuffled my feet to slow the movement while grasping tightly to the rough wood. “I am a writer.” It sounded good out loud. No one argued the fact and the birds chirped their agreement in pleasant tones. Smiling to myself, I kicked back into motion, repeating the statement and allowing it to sink into my spirit. I thought of the inspiring messages I had heard all week long. I am a writer. I remembered my faithful friends who continuously encouraged me in my craft. I am a writer. I recalled the happy surprise of winning a scholarship to the conference. I am a writer. There was the joy of my first published article. I am a writer. The memories formed a positive parade, marching beat for beat along with my rhythmic swing. Suddenly I stopped. The culmination of events and experiences came sharply into focus. There was no longer a question in my heart or a stumbling over the phrase. Months of doubts and insecurities had subconsciously been slipping off my shoulders to bring me to this place of reckoning. A definite shifting occurred inside of me; like a puzzle piece fitting perfectly into its rightful place.
This interlude, at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, will remain etched in my memory and upon my heart. I departed from the conference determined to pursue my love of writing. I have not lost the certainty born in me that day. Several published articles later: I still recall my moment of clarity. Closing my eyes I feel again the free flow of the swing and hear the faint echo of the relentless refrain matching the pulse of my heart. I am a writer.
Cynthia A. Lovely works on her freelance writing from her old farmhouse in upstate New York. Her computer geek/musician husband totally supports her passion for the written word. Publications include: Reflections, Romantic Homes, Cross & Quill, Interpreter, The Connection, Pentecostal Herald, Living Light News of Canada, Poets & Writers, Daily Gazette, National Association of Baby Boomers and the recent release of Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Gift of Christmas and Tales of Christmas.