In a place where the oak canopy opens and there is full sunshine, the Seminole-Wekiva Trail asks what you want before you die.
A little apart from the murals of Paint the Trail, a section is painted with chalkboard paint. There’s chalk to write your dreams. What do you want to do before you die?
I stopped when I first saw it, struck by the question. It’s so big and yet so basic. It implies that you aren’t, yet, doing the thing you want to do.
Maybe the remoteness makes it easier to declare what you want. The wall is covered in layers of writing. People wrote who they want to marry, or just that they want to fall in love. They wrote they want to become the best at something. They wrote they want to move away from their home city, dreaming of the wider world.
Some came back to write that they did the thing they had written before. These are written in large, victorious letters.
I wrote a dream earlier this year, and I think of my chalkboard heart often as I work towards it. This year has been about editing my stories better, paying attention to how they are crafted, and submitting them. With more submissions, I’ve received more feedback, and that is making me a better writer.
Happy first day of Camp NaNoWriMo to my fellow campers out there! By participating, you’re making your declaration of what you want to do. You’re carving out time to write, riding the thrill of a story coming together in your head, and pushing through the muck when it slows. I’ll see you along the way at #5amWritersClub and near midnight, trying to get my daily word count. Come say hi at Leaves and Cobwebs, and we’ll sprint together down the trail.