As I write this note, the two-inch snowfall melts outside the window, and the weatherman predicts temps in the twenties tonight. I have covered all my tender peas, lettuce, and spinach, but my heart quails at the prospect of losing blossoms on the tulip pear or on the pansies in the window box. Still, beneath the coverlet of white, spring trembles, preparing to begin again the rites of renewal and growth. And then that song plays in my head…”Don’t stop believin…”

I step away for a few days, and the world changes again. Near-80-degree temperatures yesterday and today make all the spring phlox pop. The clematis climbs the trellis and shoots forth pods that will become pink starflowers soon. Peonies spring up, too, among the herb beds. Along the path in the nature preserve, white and purple violets and wild geraniums gather, catching the eye with their startling petals. Despite all the medical and political mayhem of the past several years, Life, it seems, is determined to persevere, its glory undimmed by human concerns.

When I contemplate the possible choices we humans can make, the direction our fortunes can go, I am humbled by nature’s simple acts of renewal. I placed seeds in the garden beds four weeks ago, trusting that they would emerge. Now, peas shed their white pod heads and stretch tiny fronds to catch the frames I’ve installed to help them grow tall. I had faith in the promise of rebirth. Now I see it in the rows of lettuce and spinach marching across the earth. Should I not, then, trust that the talent within me has a reason for being and that faith, nurture, and persistence will produce results?

The past months have tested all of us. Authors are no exception.  All my careful plans for launching my last novel disappeared as restrictions grew. My poems have been rejected more often than accepted. I have struggled with the question of going on in the face of difficult times, eyesight problems, and the inner critique voice proclaiming I’m not good enough. Yet, can we not say the same for all endeavors? Courage in the face of disaster, belief in the face of rejection, persistence in the face of resistance– these are the traits that will bring my goals closer to realization. It is not enough to say I want a thing. I must pursue it with my whole heart. The stories are waiting for us to bring them to life. The question is, do we have the guts to do so?