Inspiration in Paradise

19 Nov

When Tracey’s husband Michael announced we would be going to an island for a weekend of relaxation, my thought was that I would have hours upon hours for writing and editing. With the initial manuscript edits just in from my editor and a short story due, I had my laptop in hand, ready to crank them out.

Yeah, not so much. What I didn’t expect was how busy relaxation could be!

But the funny thing is that even though we were always moving and doing things, it always felt like we were on “island time,” as they say in the Caribbean. We did whatever we wanted whenever we felt like it, so we never felt “busy” in the sense a trip to a big city would feel. Instead, we spent plenty of time strolling along the beach, walking along a pier to watch the fish jumping (we had no idea what they were jumping for, but it was pretty funny), and—my new favorite activity—kayaking.

But even though I was “busy” and didn’t spend much time on my computer, I got something even more important—inspiration. I’m sure it’s no surprise to anyone that a vacation on an island can inspire a person. The day we went kayaking was my favorite. The water was like glass and the sky was cloudless blue. I stopped in my kayak to be “in the moment”—noticing how there was no end and no beginning where the water met the sky, the gentle swaying of the seagrass beneath the water, and the gulls whose wings barely tipped the water as they sailed past. There is beauty everywhere, of course, but we are usually in such a hurry that we miss just how wonderful the natural world around us really is. In fact, it was at the island that I got inspiration for my short story.

As we bid farewell to the sun on the last evening, it was a bittersweet moment. We would be saying goodbye to the island we loved, but we all knew in one way or another we had changed for the better. For me, the lesson that I took back with me is to stop and enjoy the world around me more often. Well, that and to stop eating processed foods. The way we cooked at the island was so healthy that it (with the support of my fellow Chick Eva) kickstarted a whole new way of eating for me, which I’ve continued and will continue for—well, forever.

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One Response to “Inspiration in Paradise”

  1. Peggy J. Sheridan November 19, 2012 at 11:44 pm #

    Yes, the only place I truly feel like I can breathe is when I’m out in nature. Can’t wait to go kayaking again…after your edits are done!

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