I have a pretty healthy fantasy life. Well, maybe not healthy but active, anyway. It may come from a love of myth and fairytales where every part of the natural world is infused with a soul. Or it could just come from living in the middle of a forest in the middle of a mountain where I swear the voices I hear are from the talk among the trees and not just in my head.
Thing1, like many boys, fell in love with cars as soon as he was old enough to push a Matchbox car around on the floor. When he was two, he put his cheek to the ground, hunching over to study the motion of the wheels as he nudged it back and forth over a road that had been printed on a small rug. When he was five, he drew cars in profile, telling himself stories under his breath as he drew.
The stories grew quiet as he got older, but I never forgot that, as much as he loved cars, my Thing1 was a storyteller. He was a writer.
He is many other things too – a computer geek, a researcher, and a worker. And, when I’ve suggested he start a blog or journal about his research or his experience with chronic illness, he’ll often respond with, “I’m not really a writer.”
I don’t know where he got the idea he wasn’t. Maybe we all get a bad grade in an English class and convince ourselves we ‘can’t’ write. But, thankfully, curiosity and passion are waiting show us we’re wrong.
Thing1 is taking a gap year to deal with his illness. Choosing to put his health over his immediate education left him with an emotional void, and he’s been working to fill it. He’s reconnecting with old friends and teaching himself new computing techniques. And, when he’s had energy, he’s been test driving cars.
Most of the cars are way out of my price range, let alone his, but for 30 minutes, he’s no longer sick or feeling a void. For the duration of the test drive, he’s talking and reviewing. He’s telling stories again.
Last week he started a blog with an eye to gaining the skills he’d need to do tech support for the people who make WordPress. He discarded a few initial ideas of writing about nutrition or Ulcerative Colitis or even computers and decided to write his passion.
He signed up for WordPress and, like your average teenager, had it figured out in 2 minutes, setting up a new blog called DrivingExperiences.net. Then he put together his first post and sent me a link. As I read the post and heard him describe his vision for the blog, I realized he had found the silver lining in the gap year. And I told him what I tell everyone I meet who is finally writing their passion.
“You were always a writer. You just needed to remember it.”
Normally by this time of year, peak foliage has come and gone. It’s been wet in southern Vermont for much of October, so the colors haven’t been magnificent, when they’ve been dramatic, it’s been too yucky out to really appreciate them.
October’s half over now, and the mountains by my favorite field near the Battenkill are nearly naked as Vermont goes into that quiet shoulder season between summer and foliage tourism and skiing. this year, we are getting a little gift in the quiet. The trees at some of the lower elevations are still relatively clothed, and what is left is nothing short of glorious.
Storm blew through on Monday, and Tuesday morning I spent the hour and a half before work driving around to see how much of the foliage had been made casualty to the wind and rain. my favorite stand of Birch trees near the Equinox Mountain is more more naked. There are still bit of color, but with more rain and wind coming this weekend, we won’t be there for long.