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For months, I couldn’t write. Started a decade ago and worked on intermittently, my “novel-in-progress,” wasn’t progressing. Was it ever going to grow into an actual first draft? It had a title — The Hand of Ganesha ~ Clara and Dottie go to India— but after 200 pages, I’d stopped. The two protagonists, like me, were adopted daughters. Unlike me, they had not dealt with the issues of adoption.That’s what brought about their trip to India. I loved the idea behind the book, but it was not going to write itself.
Oh, there were plenty of excuses. Last Fall, I had the house updated: a new exterior stuccoing, fresh paint inside, and new flooring. I was engaged in a year-long decluttering campaign, selling or donating at least a fourth of my possessions. How could I write with so many demands on my time?
Then, just as I was about to knuckle down and get to work, along came the best ski season in years. I’ve loved skiing ever since moving to Northern New Mexico in the 1960s, and, like many of my friends who are still skiing, I want to enjoy the sport while still able.
How could I write with fresh powder snow in the mountains?
And so it went until one snowy morning when a blizzard made it risky to drive anywhere, much less up the windy ski basin road. OK, I told myself, time is running out. I don’t have forever.The clock is ticking. Our days are numbered. Driven by such thoughts, I gathered the photo albums of a research trip I’d made to southern India. I’d start by looking through pictures of the Shore Temple complex at Mahabalipuram. This would be the setting of my novel’s last section. Memories of the trip and of the novel I’d first envisioned came flooding back and I picked up at page 201, where I’d left off.
Just then outside my office window, four deer wandered into the snow-filled yard. Noses to the ground, they began grazing. Apparently there was new grass growing under the snow. They would find food no matter what. After watching them until they ambled on to feed in the yards of my neighbors, I opened my laptop and resumed. I wrote for an hour and continued each day throughout the week. The momentum will continue. In a mysterious way, the deer inspired me to get busy. and just write. Thank you, neighborhood deer.


Have encounters with nature ever helped you in mysterious ways? Please send me your stories through this website. Especially if they relate to adoption or to writing, I’d be interested in publishing them. And join me on alternate Mondays for an adopted daughter’s reflections on adoption and life.