There’s something living underneath our back porch. I don’t know what it is, but I have my suspicions… I’ve never seen it, so I can’t be sure, but the hole is just the right size for a bunny or a skinny skunk. Maybe a raccoon, but they tend to make ‘em hefty around here, so I doubt it.
As much as I should want it gone, I don’t. What can I say? I have a weak spot for wildlife… for example, there’s a mourning dove sitting on an egg in our front porch window box, and tomorrow is day 14… that means it’s just about to hatch. That little egg has been underneath Momma & Poppa dove’s warm bellies for two whole weeks, and it’s time to come on out into the world.
Lately, I’ve been feeling that way about my manuscripts. Of which there are many. They’ve been languishing underneath my “belly” for, in many cases, years, and during that time I’ve watched other writers let their manuscripts hatch and fly free. Sometimes before they were ready. Other times, their babies took off and soared.
I’m afraid to let mine go. I hoard them like a bird who refuses to get off the egg, even when a little beak starts poking through the shell. Just a little while longer, I think, and it’ll be perfect. Then it’ll be ready.
But it won’t, will it? (Rhetorical question.) It’ll never be perfect and ready the way I want it to be. At some point, I need to step off the nest and let it go. If I keep all these words underneath me for too long, I’ll suffocate them and be left with nothing.
Underneath is safe, sure. But freedom is worth so much more.