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How Inspiration Can Come from Anywhere

When your eyes are fully open and your mind on alert, inspiration can come from anywhere. You must, however, be ready to receive and record it. It can show up in many forms. I’ve touched on each one in the following post.

A clipboard listing the sources of Inspiration. The words Life changing, natural, coincidental, inquisitive and visual are written on the page.

Life Changing Inspiration

The view from our balcony in BC, Canada

When my husband and I moved from our birthplace on the west coast, to our new home, here on the East Coast almost two years ago, I faithfully kept a journal at my side. It’s in these times of major life changes that the things you see and hear can become fodder for the harvesting, literally speaking.

As I look back in my journal to the first month in our new surroundings, I notice that I never mentioned missing the majestic mountains that I used to see every day. I thought I’d be so homesick for them, but they are planted so fully in my memories, I carried them here with me. I wrote in my journal in those early days that a life well lived is full of change and adventure. You must never fear the unknown if you are to grow as a human ‘being.’

Many of our friends in BC thought this was a crazy thing to do, especially because it would mean leaving our inspiring view of Mount Baker. They thought it extreme to jump clear across the country and start anew, but something called to us. It had been beckoning for a long time, and we finally decided to listen, to pay attention.

In this case, inspiration can come from anywhere, especially through life-changing events.

Natural Inspiration

A blazing campfire

We bought a house on a lake with almost two acres of land for the same price as a townhouse in the suburbs of Vancouver. The past couple of years have differed greatly from our old way of life. Here we enjoy swimming every day in the summer, campfires all year round, and are entertained by daily glimpses of wildlife from our kitchen window.

I’ve spent many early morning hours writing great stories (just check out my work here) on our dock, while slippery otters swim up to keep me company, or as massive, graceful Ospreys take a dive into the lake for an unsuspecting trout right in front of me.

We were lucky enough to find our beautiful, custom-built craftsmen home only fifteen minutes from the city, and just five minutes to the Caribbean-like ocean water of Crystal Crescent Beach.

So, we get the best of both worlds; quiet country living close to big city amenities. Apart from having our two daughters, this was the best decision of our lives.

In this case, inspiration can come from anywhere, just look to your natural surroundings.

For another naturally inspiring view, see my other blog post here

Neighbourly Inspiration

A sign with "Broadfalls Park, where a river runs through it" written in blue, surrounded by trees and grass.

I’ve heard it said from a man very proud of his maritime home that we ‘moved from the west coast to the best coast.’ In reference to the friendliness of the people here, I must agree.

We were only here a few days when we had our first visitors. The friendly couple next door came with a warm welcome to the neighborhood, along with homemade cookies and a bottle of wine. Needless to say, I adored theses two people instantly. You just don’t get this type of greeting, or find these types of people very much anymore.

We’ve gotten to know our wonderful neighbours slowly over the time we have been here. It was an easy and effortless transition from neighbors to friends.

In this case, inspiration can come from anywhere, even your own neighbourhood.

Coincidental Inspiration

In getting to know my neighbour Jenny, I discovered that her grandfather fought in WWII as did my father. Jenny and her husband are in their thirties, I’m a bit older (not saying anymore on that subject for now, ?).

Jenny knows that I’m a writer and mentioned to me that her grandfather, Flt. Sgt. Leslie Taylor wrote a memoir about his experiences in the war, from training at only eighteen years old in the Air Flying Corp to actually becoming a prisoner in Germany from January 1944 to May 1945. I have asked Jenny’s permission to comment on his book and include the cover picture.

I thoroughly enjoyed Sergeant Taylor’s book. Included in the memoir is a daily journal of his time in the war camp. The days he spent walking with his fellow soldiers, 239 km across Germany in the winter, starving and weak, must have been…the English language doesn’t have a word suitable for that kind of hell.

I remember my father saying so many times that he wanted to write about his wartime experience, but sadly, he never got around it. He passed 11 years ago, at eighty-five, and I still miss him every day. Especially his sense of humor and huge, contagious laugh. No one makes me laugh like he did, and that is a void I don’t think will ever be filled again.

In this case, inspiration can come anywhere, sometimes it appears coincidentally.

Inquisitive Inspiration

An old journal with sepia and black and white photos

After I finished reading ‘Wartime Memories and Adventures’ by the brave, intelligent, and sanguine Sgt. Leslie Taylor, I got to wondering if perhaps Jenny’s grandfather and my dad ever crossed paths during that time of WWII. Sgt Taylor was from England and did some of his training in Scotland, where my father lived and trained. My dad served in the British navy and was only a few years younger.

I got me thinking, wouldn’t it be poetic in a way if they did meet, and then, seventy years later, Sgt Taylor’s granddaughter ends up being neighbors and good friends with his wartime acquaintance, James Stewart’s daughter. You never know. It’s entirely possible.

In closing, I am thankful that Sgt Leslie Taylor survived his harrowing and tremendous ordeal in Germany so long ago, as I am grateful my father did. I am thankful for their service and for fighting for our freedom. Today though, I am also thankful they survived because otherwise I would never have had the pleasure of meeting his wonderful granddaughter and her kind husband, or their happy, gorgeous little boy.

I leave you with this to ponder as I rifle through some of my dad’s old papers and pictures. Maybe I can piece together a posthumous memoir of his wartime life.

In this case, inspiration can come from anywhere, in the bottom of a long-forgotten picture box, or at the bottom of a stack of old papers.

Visual Inspiration

Black and white photo of WWII military troops gathered around a WWII era airplane.
My father, James Stewart, in front of a fighter jet — second row from the bottom, 1st man on the right.

I love this picture. It brings to mind thoughts of camaraderie, bravery, and lost souls. I imagine my grandmother, saying goodbye to her fresh-faced, blonde and curly-haired, handsome boy, going off to fight in an ugly war. I see her worried face and tears, feel her fear that she may never see him again.

As I continue to look at the picture, my writer’s brain begins tingling with plot ideas and story lines. The possibilities are endless here:

-Love stories with lost letters of young love

-Heroic tales of bravery and uncommon courage

-Heart-wrenching dramas about young sons going off to war before even their first shave or first kiss

-Mysterious yarns about soldiers missing in action, still their fates unknown to loved ones

-Adventure tales about war-time experiences in humid and dangerous jungles, or vast, seemingly endless ocean travel

-Ghost stories with the hauntings of fallen soldiers on sacred battle ground cemeteries.

The inspiration goes on- treasures buried, long lost bodies uncovered that hold dark secrets of tyrannical plans of war…

I’m going to have to end here. Apparently, I’ve got stories to write and I’m burning daylight already.

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