Time stops when one is unemployed. I no longer have to set an alarm to get to work on time, I can do my chores anytime of the week and I don’t get impatient in the lines at the store. When life slows down a few notches, you also tend to be more observant at the objects surrounding you. It hasn’t been very fun without a paycheck every week, but it has given me a new outlook at all the things I have been missing out as a writer.
At the unemployment center a few weeks ago, I was mesmerized by the most beautiful Tabebuia tree at their front entrance. I dreaded going to the place for an orientation session, but the tree left quite an impression on me that I ended up bringing my good digital camera on my next trip so I could capture its beauty at all angles. The tree’s trunk and branches twisted like a serpent and with spring finally in Florida, it flourished with hundreds of its bright yellow, trumpet-shaped flowers. I research the tree’s history, as I never knew its name even though I saw them every day at my apartment complex, and was inspired to write a poem about it. I not only gained knowledge, but I was able to use my gift to create something beautiful.
I think back about how many missed opportunities there were during my daily travels. How many other moments in nature I didn’t see because I was too angry with the drivers in front of me or that homeless man on the median who probably has quite a story to tell? What about the tender moments between siblings at a park or those dry leaves left over from winter flowing into the sewers? Everything we see has the potential to become poetry or a chapter in a book. Never again will I take the little things for granted and even if I don’t get the chance to write about them, at least I was able to see them with appreciative eyes.
Work Cited: Goldberg, Natalie. 1986. Writing Down the Bones. 2nd Ed. London: Shambala Publications.
Written by: Donna J. Sanders
About the Author
Donna is a freelance writer and blogger in West Palm Beach, FL. She is the author of Ataraxia, Cardboard Signs, Devour Me and Charcoal Kisses.
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