Gayle M Irwin

Composing Creative Conversations:
Writing Stories, Engaging Readers, and Encouraging Authors 

Just Like Seasons, Our Lives Change

May 17, 2022 by Gayle M Irwin

Spring and touches of summer wrap most of us now where we live. In my part of the world, the western U.S. state of Wyoming, spring finally fully arrived. Green grass, pink, red, and yellow tulips, and plentiful, colorful songbirds, including goldfinches, enrich my eyes. The warmth of sunshine touches my face, and the sounds of robins and finches fill my ears. The fragrance from blooming shrubs such as crabapples, bring enticing aromas to my nose and the bountiful sunshine warms my skin and brings a smile to my face.

Seasons change. A month ago, snow filled my front and back yards and the frigid temperature enveloped me. I am happy to welcome spring to my region!

Just as seasons change, so do our lives. Graduates from high school and college look forward to their futures. Engaged couples plan weddings – and futures. Elderly people experience pains and diseases not known before. Some changes we welcome, others not-so-much. Yet, change is inevitable. Just as a baby grows into a toddler, then an elementary school student, and later high school and then matures into adulthood with a job and major responsibilities, changes in life happen whether we want them or not. Many parents would love to keep their children as babies or toddlers … but that’s impossible. We may want to keep birthdays at bay when we hit 40, 50, or 60 as well, but again, that’s not possible.

Winter leaves, and spring arrives. Spring grows warmer and turns into summer. Cooler air and turning leaves bring in autumn, and snow and cold usher in winter. We can’t stop nature from moving from one season to another nor can we halt changes in our lives.

I’m facing multiple changes in my life now and in the near future. I turned 61 in March; next year, I’m eligible for Social Security, and I’ve decided to retire. I feel called to write more books and share more stories with people through magazine articles. Freelance writing opportunities increased for me earlier this year, and though my book writing has been put on hold for a time, I’m grateful for the numerous opportunities to share important stories, such as Missing and Murdered Indigenous People, and the Love of Community after a fire destroyed 100 homes in a small Montana town. Soon a story about the significance of Yellowstone National Park during this year, the 150th anniversary of the park’s establishment, will publish, reminding people of the wonder and beauty and importance of Yellowstone and other lands set aside as national parks.

Retiring and focusing on writing are changes I welcome yet also not easy decisions. Leaving a well-paying albeit part-time job in which I feel secure knowing my income and creating a writing business where one is paid upon publication, and therefore, uncertain how much income each month is scary. But I trust in the opportunities that have come my way and in the expansion of others.

I recently participated in a 3 1/2 -day writers’ conference and I’ll soon attend a 1-day session. Through these experiences I not only learn more about the craft and business aspects of writing, but I also meet others who can help open more doors, in particular for magazine writing. I’ve compiled a list of editors and publications in which to submit ideas and articles, and I look forward to beginning that process in the next few weeks.

Change – not always easy to go through, but often helps us to grow in a special and significant way, just as flowers and children grow and change, brightening our lives.