By Jan Verhoeff
I’m a content girl. Now, I know that has a double meaning here, but I’ll try to explain so you can know what I’m talking about in just a quick sunrise moment.
I’m all about the sunrises and sunsets of life.
They bring color to an otherwise ordinary day, even out here on the plains.
It was late 1990’s and I was married with four kids, a single mom by any definition, with a husband who still showed up randomly. The kids wanted to spend the night at the lake, and we already had friends there. I had a tent, sleeping bags, blankets, and a collection of random camping gear from those days when my family camped out in a motorhome, but the kids wanted to sleep on the ground in the tent. So, I caved.
My husband was gone at the time, so when we showed up at the lake, our friends helped set up the tent and dinner was in the cooler, so the kids spent the evening sitting around the campfire listening to crickets and telling stories. The boys were still little, so they snuggled.
As bedtime arrived, we unrolled the sleeping bags and climbed in. I’m not going to tell you I slept, I didn’t. I can’t remember when I finally dozed off, but it wasn’t until early morning and I was up stirring the fire and making coffee by the time the sun came up. I sat by the fire drinking coffee, waiting for the world to wake up, and watched the sun finger the skies with color, then fade to daylight.
I’m a writer.
I can find inspiration in a broken twig. But sunrise sends the words flowing through whatever pen I have handy onto paper. I can stir up purple prose from clear blue, but give me a colorful sunrise and I’ll find a bazillion ways to describe it.
Oceans of color wash across limped clouds, drifting over salted prairies as the coyotes lift their cries to the rocky cliffs. Chants of morning birds fill the trees. Rushing water babbles incessantly as it pushes on toward the sea. Life begins…
No matter how many times you spend the night at the campground, if you’ve ever heard it, the legends come flooding back. Warring Indians, white men taking over the land, and encampments of settlers resting at the edge of the Arkansas River make for many stories, whether your heritage is Indian or Pioneer. At sunrise, those stories take on voices, echoes in the darkness, faces in the night, and life…
You begin to visualize the events, the sparring, the battle, the ideology that brought pioneers traveling hundreds of miles from family and friends to this impenetrable destination. Dust storms, blizzards, and hard living belonged to the Indian. White man, perverted by luxury, fine china, and soft cloth struggled to survive.
Inspiration comes from everywhere on the prairie.
All you have to do is look. Open your eyes and look around you, it’s there. It’s in the rocks, the wild buffalo grasses that lose their color in a drought but brighten the moment rain first hits the land. More than anywhere, inspiration is in the legends. Actionable content comes from the legends that fill the prairies with life, color, and reality.
As I said, I’m a writer. I’m inspired to write about history, life, and how to make a difference in this vast, overwhelming land. I am inspired to help people. There’s nothing easy about living on the plains. Jobs are hard, labor intensive, and not real easy to come by. If you’re determined to live there, you may have to create your own job, learn to live off the land, or learn to build a life there, and live through learning. It’s been done for decades.
You may need to learn how to contribute.
This is the action part. This is the take away from that morning in the camp, watching the sunrise. My take away from that sunrise was inspiration. My contribution, what I gave back, was a lifetime of learning, sharing, teaching, and writing… Reminders that when the sun comes up, you have another opportunity to start the day anew, go again at this thing called life, and give more of yourself to make a difference. Everyday’s a new beginning. Every single morning when you wake up, you have the opportunity to take away from the legends and history of your life, learn something and figure out how to give something back.
The sun rose this morning to clear blue skies… What are you giving back today?
Jan Verhoeff offers web design, content marketing, graphic arts, and coaching for writers and small business owners, from her home overlooking the Eastern Plains of Colorado. She has a heart for telling the stories, writing your story, and building a life with your business online. Visit her site at JanVerhoeff.com for more information.
This post sponsored by Real Deals Magazine