April Fool’s Day has got me thinking about a couple reasons why I feel quite foolish.
The first is that I didn’t start drawing and keeping a journal sooner. When I look back at all the moments I could have captured (but didn’t) and the skills I could have honed (but didn’t), I feel a deep sense of regret for an opportunity squandered.
The second is that I didn’t save what I wrote when I did manage to write until only a few years ago. I began writing consistently and saving my work in March 2020. At that time, I had no plans to save my journal entries as I had historically thrown them all away. Thankfully, my husband (then boyfriend) encouraged me to begin saving what I wrote — as well as what I drew (I also began drawing in 2020) — and for his wisdom I am grateful.
Even though spring began a couple of weeks ago, the season hasn’t fully kicked in. An unusually cold winter has delayed the blooms and swarms of barn swallows I’ve grown accustomed to welcoming during March, making me acutely aware of even the faintest signs of springtime as they slowly roll in and the storms roll out.
My investment of three years into steady journaling and drawing is paying dividends in the form of my own book of life. Weather logs, nature logs, drawings, and journal entries about all manner of things have helped me notice life in a different way, turning the ordinary into the extraordinary, and giving me a deeper appreciation for the long winter of the soul.
A glance back at my journals helps me understand what has passed and provide some perspective on what’s to come. My journals have become one of my most treasured possessions. Having them to look back on to see what I was thinking and feeling during life’s rougher moments gives me a shot in the arm of confidence: it shows me that even during the darkest seasons, everything will be okay, and that with a little patience, spring will return again, both inside and out.
There is a happy ending to all my foolishness, however, and that’s that I got started and kept going. Over the past three years, I’ve filled several binders and journals full of thoughts and drawings…precious memories that will serve me a lifetime. My journals have become one of my most treasured possessions.
I’d be a fool to stop.