The Pattern of a Writer’s Life in the Slow Turn of Seasons

In “Brief Delights,” writer Andrea Stephenson at Harvesting Hecate muses on the changing of seasons and beautifully compares the fleetingness of summertime to those lucid, high moments of a writer’s life.


Summer is a season of brief delights. Tiny beings on gossamer wings cloud the air for fleeting moments. Meadows undulate in an abrupt dazzle of colour. Birds swoop in from their long journeys to a frenzy of feasting and breeding. It is a season where things appear like magic, before vanishing as though they were never there. Where do they come from — the flies and the beetles and the butterflies? Where do they go to when their season has ended? They appear and then they fade, leaving behind traces on the air and the memory of wings. Summer’s long, light days can seem tantalisingly slow, and many of us remember treacly summers of our youth that were never-ending. But summer’s delights are ephemeral and the season rarely seems to linger in the way the dark, raw days of winter do.

In the long, slow turn of the seasons, I see the pattern of a writer’s life. A cycle of hope and despair, of tunnelling inwards to find a nugget of wisdom and reluctantly re-emerging to display it to the world. But if the writing life is a long game, then summer is those brief, dazzling moments of success. It is the moment when you write “the end”; the competition prize or commendation; the moment when you see your words in print; the pleasing comment or review. For most of us it isn’t a best-selling novel or Pulitzer Prize, it is a series of brief delights, that dazzle us temporarily, before we head once more into the doubt doldrums or the hard work of putting one word after another.

Read more on creativity and writing at Harvesting Hecate.


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August 21, 2017Inspiration, Nature, Personal Essay, Personal Musings, Writing, , , ,