Brief delights

Summer is a season of brief delights.  Tiny beings on gossamer wings cloud the air for fleeting moments.  Meadows undulate in an abrupt dazzle of colour.  Birds swoop in from their long journeys to a frenzy of feasting and breeding.  It is a season where things appear like magic, before vanishing as though they were never there.  Where do they come from – the flies and the beetles and the butterflies?  Where do they go to when their season has ended?  They appear and then they fade, leaving behind traces on the air and the memory of wings.  Summer’s long, light days can seem tantalisingly slow, and many of us remember treacly summers of our youth that were never-ending.  But summer’s delights are ephemeral and the season rarely seems to linger in the way the dark, raw days of winter do.

In the long, slow turn of the seasons, I see the pattern of a writer’s life.  A cycle of hope and despair, of tunnelling inwards to find a nugget of wisdom and reluctantly re-emerging to display it to the world.  But if the writing life is a long game, then summer is those brief, dazzling moments of success.  It is the moment when you write ‘the end‘; the competition prize or commendation; the moment when you see your words in print; the pleasing comment or review.  For most of us it isn’t a best-selling novel or Pulitzer Prize, it is a series of brief delights, that dazzle us temporarily, before we head once more into the doubt doldrums or the hard work of putting one word after another.  Sometimes these dazzling moments seem far apart, like midwinter yearning for spring.

Summer is a season of expansiveness.  A time to use the long hours of light and warmth to replenish us for the winter ahead.  In this season, I feel the hope of sending my work out into the world.  The stories jostling for a home will find one; the manuscript waiting for an agent won’t be discarded.  That hope and what it may bring sustains me as a writer, just as the memory of summer comforts me when the light is low and the cold chatters my bones.

Of course summer’s brief delights don’t appear from nowhere, and nor do those of a writer’s life.  They are the result of months, even years, of preparation.  The larvae creeping through the mud, waiting for wings.  The seed incubating in the earth, waiting for petals.  The story percolating in the mind, waiting for its words.  Their magic is that of toil and transformation.  So it is no wonder there is delight when they finally emerge.  No wonder summer has a frivolity lacking in all the other seasons.  It is a time to bask in these transient delights.   We will bid them farewell soon enough and move towards the bittersweet dark.  And as we do, perhaps we will cast a wistful look behind us and remember the dazzle of the light.

Many thanks to James Clark for recommending this post to WordPress Discover.  James is very generous in highlighting the work of other bloggers, why not pay him a visit at https://jamesclarkthenextiteration.wordpress.com

260 thoughts on “Brief delights

  1. Love the metaphor of things waiting to germinate or bloom –whether it is an insect, a plant seed, or a writer’s thoughts. Beautiful words, images, and pictures. I’m enchanted. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi, read your amazing words. Glad to know your views, they are very empowering. We have a website http://www.fuzia.com which is a website for creative women to share their creativity on a global platform which can be used to empower million of other women. It shall be great to have you as a part. Moreover, the theme is love. Your views there shall be very empowering. Looking forward. 🙂

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  8. Beautifully written.

    I do believe, however, that success can be sporadic for a writer. Those are the bright sunny days that seem to appear out of nowhere for a few hours, before disappearing into winner yet again.

    Thanks for sharing.

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  9. There is a sense of calm in your writing. Resonates well with most of us “the writers”. Favorite paragraph ” In the long, slow turn of the seasons, I see the pattern of a writer’s life. A cycle of hope and despair, of tunnelling inwards to find a nugget of wisdom and reluctantly re-emerging to display it to the world. But if the writing life is a long game, then summer is those brief, dazzling moments of success.”

    Breathtaking photography

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  11. A magical post, Andrea. Thank you.
    I think it is very important for us as artists to know our process. It may include months of hibernation, who knows. But it is the process that is personal to us.
    The great thing about the flora and fauna is that they have no need to know their process at all …

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  12. Wow! Loved the comparision and found it extremely inspiring. Now, when I feel despair of not having too many people read my blog, I will think of it as a process that I must undergo before my writing is appreciated. Thank you.

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  14. The quote and the picture describes the nature perfectly. However, the world we see seems to be too far from nature. I wish humans can be successful to create a new global community living in peace with nature, before it is too late.
    “Andrea Stephenson on nature, the seasons, and writing: “In the long, slow turn of the seasons, I see the pattern of a writer’s life. A cycle of hope and despair, of tunnelling inwards to find a nugget of wisdom and reluctantly re-emerging to display it to the world.”

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  15. Beautifully written and accurate to boot: “A cycle of hope and despair, of tunnelling inwards to find a nugget of wisdom and reluctantly re-emerging to display it to the world.” Thank you for sharing!

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  16. Just realised the Summer and Winter cause I never paid so much attention. But in Mumbai we have Monsoons here and I m waiting for the October heat and the following Winter. I m following you now. Visit my blog to, I think good writers should always stay connected.

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  17. I love the comparisons you draw between the seasons and being a writer! I can completely relate to how you say summer and it’s long days can inspire you to get your work out there! Enjoy the rest of the summer! This post was beautiful x

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  19. The beauty of living in Florida is that Summer is not brief, but a whole year long delight 🙂 It was a conscious choice to move here and a difficult process, but well worth it. I love your writing, Andrea. So beautiful.

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  20. Wow! Andrea, this is phenomenon writing and rightly desrerves the huge number of likes and comments! You draw a beautiful analogy between writing and life of nature…so true and brings the creative process down to its real esssence. Your words have stilled my busy racing mind and brought instead reflection upon the writing craft. I wish you best of luck with your stories jostling for attention…gosh, they deserve it! 😀😀 BTW the photographs are stunning, surreal almost and the butterfly one has a special place in my heart! Warmest wishes to you ❤️Xx

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  21. Wonderful writing and photography Andrea ~ this post is simply magical. Congratulations 🙂

    The description you write about “In the long, slow turn of the seasons, I see the pattern of a writer’s life. A cycle of hope and despair, of tunnelling inwards to find a nugget of wisdom and reluctantly re-emerging to display it to the world.” Something wonderful is always out there and part of the struggle is taking this beauty in whatever form (whether in the form of happiness or sadness) and bringing it to the world to see. The brief delights of summer is the opening act to the embrace of autumn which I love so much. Your writing makes me excited about possibilities 🙂 Take care and wish you the best.

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    • Great to hear from you Randall, I hope you’re well. I do agree there is beauty in whatever life bring us – autumn is my favourite season so although the brief delights of summer will be over, there will be much to look forward to.

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  22. Good morning Andrea….your words and images are simply exquisite. Your words are written paintings….your photographs, images that I could live with forever. Summer is such a fleeting time…reminding me that we must never take our time for granted. The bittersweetness of Winter brings with it a whole different feel and energy….Thank you so much for this wonderfully clear reminder. Hope you enjoy a lovely August weekend…..I am already seeing the change…..trees are thinning and every now and then a few leaves have turned…..I love when this happens. Janet 🙂 x

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