Whip–poor–will! Whip–poor–will! A voice declares. It reaches across time and my remembering stops with the sound as it peacefully echoes back from a silent night of long ago. The summers of my childhood come alive with color as a cup of fiery memories overflows.
Yvonne & Freeda Baker
After supper, our family sat on the front porch of our home on Banner Mountain in the Ozark Foothills until time to go to bed.
Dusk appeared just as the whippoorwills began to sing. Fireflies flitted about the yard and some of them had the misfortune of getting stuck inside a jar, held by small, sweaty hands. Jarflies were so noisy that adult voices had to stop sometimes, but the children’s laughter continued and mingled with the noise of the approaching nighttime.
Daddy never said how tired he was or how hard he had worked or how aggravated he had been. It seemed as though he loved everybody he had ever met, and felt no ill will toward anyone.
And Mama was always unruffled, unhurried, and able to relax as she went about her household duties. The apron she wore has no replicas.
The modern day housewife seldom wears an apron. But her children need to feel the security that I felt on those summer evenings when my family gathered to wait for bedtime –when the dogs lay lazily in a corner of the yard, and chickens were on the roost, the door to the henhouse closed and locked. Once again the chickens had escaped the whistling hawk that sailed the clear skies overhead. Tomorrow would be another day. Whip–poor–will!
In my notes, I came across some good advice for writers who may feel discouraged from time to time. I don’t always follow these suggestions, but I’m sure they would help any writer who is sometimes disheartened.
1. Keep writing. Don’t show your newly-created writing to anyone. Give it time to
2. Schedule each work. Designate a length of time for each piece of writing. Get it done.
3. Revise and then be done with it.
4. Move on to other things.
Still, no thoughts come to me. I am tired of waiting. It seems I never will succeed in writing. Once, I held high my hope and desire to write. Now, it all seems useless. If I do succeed, what happiness will it bring to me . . . or to anyone? —Freeda Baker Nichols
Hemingway’s advice makes it sound easy. Write one true sentence, he said. What about you? Do you find writing to be an easy task? Or does it seem to be a tough assignment at times?
From my 1980s Journal: “Time is a most precious gift. We must cherish it as we would our very best friend. We must greet it with a most warm welcome and treat it with respect because the time of each day is as a guest who will not come our way again.” —Freeda Baker Nichols, Tuesday, March 25, 1980.