Those things, good Lord, that we pray for, give us the grace to labor for.
~St. Thomas More
It's inside of me. I can feel it pushing, trying to stretch and uncurl its petals, this flower of mine. This flower of Me.
Some days it's stronger than others and I feel it's almost there, almost free, but then it grows still, frozen by doubts.
What will it look like, this composite of seeds blended together over a lifetime? Will one color dominate, washing out the others, or will they all be in there, a mish-mashed rainbow?
Will you be able to see the writer, who can't help but try to capture and direct the flood of words constantly streaming through her brain? The photographer who always has a camera pointed at the world, hoping to freeze what her eye sees? The re-awakened business person who sold lemonade and knick-knacks on her childhood curb? The personal historian who loves to ask nosy questions... who finds true life stories as fascinating as fiction?
I don't care. Just bloom, already!
These late-bloomers inspire and encourage me to keep trying...
Mary Wesley was in her fifties before she published her first book, one of several for children she wrote. She went on to write a novel, "Jumping the Queue," published in her seventies. It was rejected several times before MacMillan Publishers took a chance on it. By the time she died at ninety, she was a widely popular, successful writer.
Harriett Doerr went back to college in her sixties, after her husband died. She published her first novel at seventy-three, "Stones for Ibarra," went on to write many novels, short stories and essays... and win the National Book Award.
Mary and Harriett make my 52 years feel younger than ever, God bless them!
Other late-blooming authors include Frank McCourt (60's), Richard Adams (50's), James Michener (40's - a spring chicken!), Laura Ingalls Wilder (60's) and Raymond Chandler (50's).
Although I started writing years ago, it's taken me until now to believe in myself enough to make it a priority over other parts of my life. Not necessarily a belief in any talent I might or might not have, but in my doggedness and desire to write, and the belief that those are the keys to success as much as, or maybe even more than, talent.
I'm just too stubborn to give up now.