(Note: If you saw an earlier version of this post a while back, my apologies. I had some technical difficulties with it)
My writing rituals come and go. I once got hooked on a webcam of baby hummingbirds my uncle showed me (to my dismay, it has since been taken down). When I sat down to write, I checked on those scrawny, ugly baby birds, and I came to see them as mine. What I found most mesmerizing about that webcam scene was how the mother hummingbird parented. Mama bird zoomed off in a hurry to somewhere–gathering nectar, probably. She droned back in a flash, so fast in fact, I couldn’t even see her return trip. She fed the delicate liquid into their mouths while their lazy heads with still-closed eyes flopped around. Then she’d push the babies back down with her feet as she turned in circles and made herself comfortable on top of them to keep watch. What a mom!
As if divining my recent online birdwatching, Children & Nature Network wrote about how we can parent more like hummingbirds. I shared theirs and other tips for how you can raise free-range kids in an article at Natural Parents Network last week. I appreciated one of the commenters, who wrote: “…there’s room to disagree on which specific practices are unsafe for which children, but…the bigger problem is neighbors calling police or CPS rather than asking children and parents if they need help or expressing their concerns to them.” Thank you, Crunchy Con Mom, for elucidating my point.
I spend most of my writing time in a local coffee shop now. But in a way, it’s a similar background scene to the hummingbird webcam. I love being amidst all the humming busyness of the townspeople. That din is becoming my writing soundtrack, and it doesn’t hurt that they serve a wicked awesome ginger scone there.
AND, that place is all about me; when I’m there, I can fall into a flow where things like laundry and Instagram don’t exist. Pilates is that way too, but sort of in an opposite way. At the coffee shop, I am happy and feeling quite smug for having chosen such a great location to write. When I’m in Pilates (doing Pilates? Pilates-ing?), I’m wondering what kind of an idiot chooses such a punishing activity like Pilates for a Monday morning. But it must be good because I keep coming back for more.
I hope y’all do something special this week that’s just for you, even if it hurts a little bit. And give your veterans a hug from me.