I sit down to work on my memoir this afternoon as I do most afternoons. The editing, the rewriting, the tightening, the examination of prose, development and theme consume my focus. The stack of 220 pages is broken in sections. Select pages of my manuscript sit on my reader stand while I transfer my handwritten markings to my Word document. A stack of components I need to review as part of my comprehensive checklist hug my manuscript.
The end of 2015 will be here in 8 days. One more year will pass soon and I’m still working on my story. As much as I want to measure my progress and affirm its goodness and success, I can only be reminded how far it has yet to go. The idea is daunting. My memories are fading. My theme threads seem to be weakening and I doubt that what I have deleted over the 10 year-in-the-making memoir might have diminished its voice, my voice and omitted details that were important to its very character. I can only tell the reader what my memoir is not about, though in some roundabout, circular, simple way, I do manage to say what it is about. But I have to work on this commentary to be more precise.
Part Six, the last part of my memoir before the Epilogue and I read these words as I remember writing them with ease and comfort knowing that I carry my memories of my birch buddy with me now giving me strength and perseverance with each reflection.
My birch buddy was my sanctuary. As a little girl I admired its white papery skin peeling and curling like no other tree in my yard. Its delicate leaves, hanging like slender earrings from twiggy branches, boasted shiny green in summer’s health and shriveled brown in fall’s hibernation. It was protection from the sun’s heat in summer and allowed a winter’s sun to warm my little body. My special tree was shelter, providing safety from roots to tallest limb, to newly born bunnies. With every birch tree sighting over the years, a deep breath followed, and in my breath of life, I reaffirmed that everything was going to be all right.