I sat on the ground beside her, watching the sun set over the fields. The light here was always golden, a place perpetually bathed in the last sunshine of the day. For hours we sat, without speaking. When I’d arrived I’d greeted her, quietly. And she’d smiled and nodded. She had seemed happy to see me. It had been a few days since I’d visited.
Now, after hours of silence, she finally spoke. “Winter, I’m happy you’re here. I’ve noticed though, that you don’t really want to speak to me.” She turned to face me. “You’re holding back. Why is that?”
I shrugged, looking down at the ground. “I don’t think I’m holding back, not really. I just don’t know if I feel like talking. I don’t have anything to say.”
She nodded, and we sat for a while longer. I looked at her, and my stomach twinged with guilt. Why didn’t I want to talk to her? Why was I uncomfortable, here in her presence? Wasn’t this the one place where I was supposed to feel whole? Where I came to make myself feel complete? I considered leaving. I could already hear the voices, calling me back. It was tempting, to run towards them. Leave things as they were here–awkward, unfinished. But if I left, was there any guarantee that I would be back? Or would things grow more and more uncomfortable, until I could never come back?
“I don’t have anything to show you, Calliope.” I finally broke the silence. “I should have more to say, and I don’t. Nothing that’s worth saying, anyway.”
“Why don’t you let me decide?” She answered quickly. “I don’t judge.”
I shook my head. “I’ve been coming here for so long, and I’m still not where I need to be. I should be farther by now. Nothing is as it should be. And at the rate I’m going, I don’t know if it ever will be.” I turned to face her. “There’s no point to showing you what I have, or saying what I have to say. It’s terrible, it’s incomplete. It’s not where I wanted to be…”
“Bring me the words you have.” She interrupted me firmly. “Bring me what you have, bring them without fear, without hesitation.” I opened my mouth to protest, but she continued to speak. “Bring them knowing that what you have to say is exactly the right thing, for the right time. You are exactly where you need to be.”
“No I’m not. I’m stuck.” I answered back. “I don’t have much to say. My writing, it’s overwhelming me. The task at hand, the book, it feels like a tsunami. I can’t see my way through it. It pummels me, overtakes me and sometimes I just stop fighting it. I don’t know if I’ll ever see my way through it.”
“As long as you continue to visit me here, in this place, Winter, you will always make it through.” She smiled wistfully, her eyes now staring off into the horizon. “You have to forget what came before, the times you quit, the days you didn’t show up. And you have to trust that the person you are now, you at this moment in time, is the exact person you need to be to write your story the way that it needs to be written.” She looked back at me. “Your life has all been leading to this moment in time. And I will always be here, anxious to help you write it. But if you don’t come, then I can’t help you.”
“But…” I tried to speak.
“Just show up.” She shook her head. “Just show up. And I’ll be here to help you with the rest.”
I nodded, finally relaxing. She smiled. “Show me what you have.” Taking a deep breath I pulled out my notes. We read them as the sun slowly faded in the sky, and we made plans. I felt whole.
And when I finally headed for home, I felt that I was where I needed to be again. I had shown up. No, my words weren’t perfect. My writing was far from perfect. But I knew, now more than ever, that if I showed up, every day…I would eventually get to where I wanted to go. Every day, I will go. And the muse of writing, the inspiration that keeps me moving forward, will show up to meet me.
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