Thirty Minutes Under the Oaks

My feet and the most amazing oak tree.

My feet and the most amazing oak tree.

I’ve been feeling somewhat uninspired in the writing department lately, so I decided to see if a change of scenery would work a little magic…or if not full-blown magic, at least clear my head and spark some new ideas. I jumped in my Jeep and headed to the lakefront and, you know, it’s pretty hard not to feel inspired when this is your view.

The Mandeville Lakefront…all calm waters, century-old oak trees, delicate Spanish moss…beautiful and unique to this area. I was here two days ago taking some sunset pictures, and that was when I realized that I don’t spend enough time here. I can get from my house to the most picturesque place in town in eight minutes. I can stretch out beneath the mother of all oak trees (and I am while I’m writing this), and it doesn’t cost me a penny. On perfect days like today, I can kick off my shoes and walk barefoot in the cool, perpetually-green, south Louisiana grass. I can watch spirited (and very noisy) squirrels chase each other around these enormous tree trunks. I can catch pieces of lively conversations as walkers pass by. I might even catch a glimpse of a sailboat or two. It’s a little slice of paradise two miles from my door. I ask myself why I don’t spend more time here, and I realize there is no good answer. Sure, I’m busy. We all are. But if I’m too busy to soak in a little nature, reflect on the things that matter to me, and maybe even write a few words, then I’m just too darn busy.

So, I created my own little challenge for myself…to write for a minimum of thirty minutes every day, regardless of how much I have on my plate. (Don’t worry…I won’t post it all!) In a perfect world, I would always do my writing here, in these beautiful surroundings, but I know that that isn’t likely to happen. Life (or weather) will get in my way, and I will find myself stuck in my house, which really isn’t such a bad place to be. I do plan to come back here, or somewhere equally beautiful, at least twice a week because I think it will keep me motivated. And the distractions here are a lot more fun than laundry and bill paying. I can throw something on the Foreman grill if I get caught up in my writing and forget to make dinner. (Oh, who am I kidding…the Foreman grill is major cooking for me.) If my thirty minutes happen to come at a time that my family is home, I know they can survive without me. Odds are they will find me a lot more pleasant once I’ve had a chance to recharge.

I’m excited about this undertaking, and I challenge you to join me. Carve out thirty minutes each day to do something just for you in a place that makes you smile…or breathe a little more deeply…or sigh in a good way. Let’s see where it takes us. 🙂

Lake Pontchartrain at sunset.

Lake Pontchartrain at sunset.

*I should add that I am having oral surgery tomorrow and will be heavily drugged. While I think this is a valid excuse for missing a writing day, if I should accidentally put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), and if I should, in my haze, think that I have written something post-worthy (which will, no doubt, be complete nonsense) please do not hold it against me.

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