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A long and Winding Path


I was forty, a little over halfway to now. My life was on track with my childhood dreams. I was a wife, a mother, and a secondary school English teacher. Those three fit together.

By the time I was forty-one, my life had changed drastically. I was still a wife and a mother but a songwriter instead of a teacher. I do not mean I started writing songs part-time. I mean I quit teaching and moved from my hometown (and family) to Nashville to be a songwriter. No longer was my life on track.

I was not following a dream; I was answering a voice inside. Some call it destiny or fate. I call it my path. Moving to Nashville was the first step on what has been a long and winding path with many stops along the way.

After eleven years of fairy dust turning to something between a rock and a hard place, I moved back home and closed my heart to songwriting. I got a job teaching English at a university. Teaching was no longer my dream or my passion. It was my survival.

At sixty-six, I retired from teaching. To my surprise, my path led me back to the music world, this time in Muscle Shoals. What I now realize is that was just a chapter.


I am seventy-seven, well over halfway to the end of my life. There’s nothing for which my life should be on track. I am still a mother; I am still a writer. Now I know those two are not enough.

By the time I am eighty, what then? In the time between now and then, I will be on my long and winding path traveling through this new chapter. (What a mixed metaphor!) Now instead of writing songs, I write books. Once again, I am following a call. Unlike when following a dream, the destination is unknown.

For now, my days are routine. I begin my day writing morning pages following Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. That bleeds over into Women’s Fiction Writers ninety minutes write-ins. I focus on writing

There’s no fairy dust or magic, just focus and persistence. Not knowing where the path is leading is part of my path. With age has come a slower pace. That and being in a good place lead to less anxiety. I do not know where I am going, but I am good to go.

I like beginnings of chapters in well-written books. I am in no hurry for this chapter to be over. I am content to savor every word. So here’s to a day of writing.