Fallow Fields

282644_313787522039273_1144809617_nI haven’t written anything for several weeks. Why? I’m not sure. Why do any of us lose momentum and stop doing something that we love, something we know in our heart of hearts is as essential as air?

Perhaps one day I will have the answer to this mystery, but for now all I know is that I often go through fallow periods in my writing. At these times, the words seem dead—except they aren’t. They are dormant like roses and fruit trees, waiting for longer, warmer days to produce a rush of new growth and blooms. I may not like it, but I’ve learned to trust this cycle, trust that the words will eventually come just as spring follows a hard winter.

There have been many changes and new developments in my life of late. It’s taken me 40-plus years, but I’ve learned that sometimes it behooves me to sit back and wait, see what happens before I open my mouth or put pen to paper. I’d like to say that’s what I’ve been doing, but it wouldn’t really be true. I wasn’t consciously waiting. I was stuck in neutral, mindlessly spinning my gears. I wanted to write, but I couldn’t muster the strength/will/courage to do so.

It’s not as if I’ve been completely idle. Instead of writing I’ve been meeting new people, reading, watching movies, and making plans. I’ve been sleeping and gathering my strength for battles I know will come. I’ve been transitioning Katie into a new afternoon therapy program and planning her birthday party. (My baby turned eight. How did that happen?) I’ve been cooking and creating new recipes. I’ve been working hard on a business plan.

The other thing I’ve been doing is going within, wandering in the wilderness of myself. I always tend towards introspection at this time of year, but in 2012, I’ve gone deeper and farther than ever before. I’m questioning my assumptions, re-evaluating my priorities. This has been an ongoing process since Katie’s adoption and diagnosis and my resulting divorce, but this year it feels as if I’m finally getting at the truth, getting down to the core of what it means to be me.

Katie may not always feel comfortable in her skin, but she has taught me, at long last, how to be comfortable in mine. It’s a wonderful gift.

Maybe it’s because of this, but I finally feel ready to tackle the next (and probably hardest) phase of my memoir. I could be wrong, but I think if I make a push I can finish it. Or at least get close.

Perhaps I needed the fallow period to prepare for this task Or maybe it was merely procrastination, pure and simple. I’m not sure. What I do know is that writing is easier when I stop fighting and trust the process.

It’s easier, but never easy.

Until next time,
Cynthia Patton

About Cynthia J. Patton

Writer, Editor, Advocate, Speaker, Special Needs Attorney, and Autism Mom. Also the Founder and Chairperson of Autism A to Z, a nonprofit providing resources and solutions for life on the spectrum.
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