While on a 7-mile run this morning, I chased shade up and down the streets of Ashland Park. The area is an early 20th century residential neighborhood with primarily single-family homes developed around the gorgeous Henry Clay Estate, a National Historic Landmark.
The development was designed to include an abundance of large shade trees, green space and curving streets with few right angled intersections. If you get lost, you’re in trouble. Today, I did, but quickly found my way out. There’s a wide variety of architectural styles, which makes this area a prime route for runners. It’s full of beautiful homes and extraordinary landscaping.
The thought that I was chasing shade kept percolating while I was running. I didn’t think past the literal meaning—searching for protection from the sun—until much later. After I’d stretched and cooled down, I realized that I’m probably always chasing shade in some form or another.
My office is a shady place. It has plenty of light and a great view of the tree line and creek in the back yard, but it’s shady in the sense that a canopy of protection floats over the space. My books and pictures, mementos and running medals fill the room with a sense of who I am. I’m comfortable and happy working at my desk. I chase it with joy first thing in the morning.
Yes, my room is my shady place, and I’d wilt from the heat of commitments and deadlines if I didn’t have it, much like I would have wilted during my run without those big, old trees in Ashland Park.
Where is your shady place? Do you get out of sorts if you don’t spend time there? Do you protect it as much as it protects you? I hope you stay cool there.
Happy writing and running, Kathy
My writing space at home is one of my "shady" places but here I am in my hometown and after reading this post, I realize, my hometown is also one of my most important "shady" places.
I live several hours away, but I come back during my kids breaks from school, a week here and there for Fall and Spring Breaks, Summer vacations. My mom and I were just discussing this and she said I don't just come here so my daughter can spend time with my side of the family, but because it's one of the place I go to "recharge my batteries."
Touching my roots, sitting in my "shade" revives me, inspires me and helps me beat the heat of life. ;)
(Great post today Kathy!)
Hi Katherine: I contacted you on Twitter about your self-pub experience. I didn't want to tweet my e-mail address and couldn't find yours. So here I am, a late-blooming writer with one novel and a few stories under her belt, all unpublished. I'm not sure I want to self-pub, so I'm reaching out to self-pubbed writers with stories to share. If you don't mind, what are your sales figures? In what amount of time? Do you have anything positive to share about your traditional publishing efforts? No offense, but I'm getting a little weary of pessimism in regard to trad. I'd like to hear from you. Thanks, Margo Christie email@example.com
Taryn, I'm so glad you have a couple of "shady places." Thanks for letting me know. Enjoy your visit at home. It's funny how another person's random thoughts can have an impact on someone else. That's why we write, isn't it? Kathy
Margo, I'll send you an email. Thanks, Kathy
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