Then it made me sigh.
Three editing projects, two collaborations, and one writing project. That’s what I had planned to accomplish in 2023. And here we were only a few months until the end of the year, and what did I have to show for it? NADA. The turning leaves were a clear reminder that a year had been wasted.
But had it?
I hadn’t procrastinated. I had tried to start on the writing project, but I just couldn’t get traction. Every turn I took I ran into a wall. Nothing seemed right.
The collaborations stalled. New people needed our time or family responsibilities took precedence.
And the editing sat in a manila envelope next to me reminding me it was there . . . but I opted to read instead. In fact, this had been an unprecedented year of reading—all style and genre of books.
I looked at the colors again. What made them so beautiful? A quick Google search to the Forest Service’s website gave me a crash course.
Pigment: Each species of tree has its own pigment composition which in turn gives it its unique color palette.
Length of Night: The shorter days and decreasing light causes the life veins to begin to close off.
Weather: Temperature and moisture are the primary effectors.
As I thought about this, I realized that my year, though devoid of any new writing, had not been a waste at all. Like the three elements that were bringing these beautiful colors to my window, each new influence in my life also held a purpose.
The difficult times, those “night” events have influenced my personal “pigment.” Then the fluctuation of “warm days” and “crisp refreshing nights,” has now pushed many of those colors to the surface.
And the reading? That reading provided some creative stylistic ideas and some much needed background for my project, prompting me to make major changes to the original idea. I was excited again. I was ready to write.
All of 2023’s goals have now shifted to 2024 and, as of this writing, my hope is to make major progress on all of them. BUT, God may have a different timetable again, and if that’s so, I am okay with it, for just like the beautiful tree that is transforming before my very eyes, I am reminded that “He has made [and continues to make] everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11).