May 11, 2020
Cracks of Time by Carol Harrison
I enjoy traveling through the mountains at various seasons of the year.
Ice encrusted rocks glint in the weak winter sun. No water runs down their surfaces. Cracks and crevices are hidden from view. The landscape rests..
In spring, water freed from its winter prison gushes out of tiny cracks and over rock faces, glistening like diamonds in the sunshine. By summer, only the larger waterfalls gush, while the cracks trickle a bit of water over the rocks, causing them to glimmer in the sunshine.
Sometimes these cracks are almost imperceptible without close examination and at other times wide, yawning gaps in the rocks. The water might be a trickle, a raging waterfall, or a spring coming forth from the cracks in the rocks.
Our writing lives can be like the water coming from the cracks in the mountain rocks. Ice encased, winter waterfalls are the seasons of our lives where we feel trapped by difficulties, pain, or grief. It might be a a place of enforced rest. These can become times of preparation, adding vivid details to what we write later on. We need time to be refreshed physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually and rest allows the facilitation of restoration. During this time, where it feels writing might never happen again, we can spend time reading, learning, being quiet with God, gain perspective and healing. Sometimes planning for a future season seeking that dim light of hope at the end of the tunnel becomes part of the landscape of frozen cracks.
Then we escape the rest time or struggle. We seek some action. Ideas abound, words pour forth with abandon and we carve blocks of time, whether small or large, to capture the waterfall of writing before it dries up or our time becomes more limited, blocked by other obligations. It amazes me how many words can be written during a set-aside time, even short ones, when I place a priority on it, and quit procrastinating.
When life gets busy and the writing time trickles until it almost stops, I find that jotting ideas as they come helps me prepare for another season change when writing starts to flow. I used to jot ideas quotes, thoughts, story ideas, and plans on pieces of paper and put them away in desk drawers, file folders, and where ever they landed. This proved to be good and bad. Having the ideas written and captured for later use was positive, but scraps of paper meant wasting precious writing time searching for what I needed. Now I use a notebook, or a notepad on my phone if I am out and about. When ideas strike, I corral them in findable places.
Ecclesiastes 3: 1 says "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:"
In verses 2 - 8 the writer lists times for various activities like birth and death, planting and harvesting, weeping and laughing, keeping and throwing away, being silent and speaking. I believe there is a time for writing and a time for rest and preparation.
I do get impatient waiting for the winter season of nothing flowing from the cracks of time to pass, or the summer waterfall season where time to write trickles in bits and pieces. But I remind myself how God's timing is perfect.
Three years ago, another writer, Ruth Keighley and I, felt God nudging us to write down stories of amazing things- miracles - God had done in each of our lives. We wanted others to read and know that the God of the Bible is still God today. We listened and began to write some of our own stories and gather from other people as well. We had time to write or so we thought. One serious issue after another crept into each of our lives. Writing stood still, as if encased in ice.
A crack of time arrived and we tried again only to be met by more limitations. During these tough times, we prayed, we read, we cried and we waited. We published our book, Making the Crooked Places Straight, at the beginning of April during a time when many people felt their lives had become crooked, unimaginable mazes with this new normal way of living under COVID-19 restrictions. God's perfect timing.
So as we seek to find cracks of time for writing, let's not be too hard on ourselves. Remember there is a time to rest, be refreshed, and learn. There is a time to write in whatever small moments of time present themselves or we force them to come. The time might be so short all we can do is jot down ideas for future reference. Finally, there are those times to quit procrastinating and use the huge crevices of time. Let the ideas pour forth as waterfalls and allow projects to come to completion.
Carol Harrison writes from her home in Saskatoon, SK, in whatever cracks of time she finds or chooses to make. She loves to tell stories, encourage others, and hang out with family.