Inspiration . . . the often elusive treasure every wandering muse searches for. Inspiration is the heart and soul of a writer’s world. Inspiration breathes life into the written word. Without it, a writer could not weave a work of words into a beautiful tapestry for a reader to behold.

Inspiration generally finds me when I am not seeking it. It may rise from the ashes of heartache or drift in on the wings of a gentle spring zephyr. I have been inspired by the innocence of a sleeping babe, by the perfect sound of a child’s laughter and by sadness seen in the eyes of a grieving widow.

Often, when I am looking for inspiration, it seems there is none to be found until it sneaks in and surprises me in a quiet moment. Inspiration likes to wake me in the dark of night and steal my slumber, my sleepy eyes blur the words I pen to the page by the light of a midnight moon. I know too well if I wait until the morn, the moment will have passed and what could have been written will never be wrote.

Many find inspiration in the world around them, some find it within themselves. I have been inspired by questions asked and by answers given. I have found inspiration in the breathtaking beauty of a butterfly’s wing and in the clouded eyes of an old man on the corner, sitting in silence as people pass him by.

An American flag tattered yet proud, flowing freely and strong. The image of a soldier kneeling in faithful prayer, not knowing what tomorrow will bring, and watching trees gently sway as they dance with the wind. The sound of raindrops on a rooftop or the softness of skin, aged gracefully with time. The worn binding and soft pages of a treasured, old book. These are but a few of the many things which have inspired me.

I’ve been inspired by once forgotten memories that somehow found their way back to me. There are times when pain is my inspiration, instead of letting it fester, I let whatever words come bring healing. Unexpected inspiration can be born of anger and angst, I’ve found healing in these moments as well.

I have learned inspiration comes when it will. I have also learned to look and listen and feel everything within me and around me, so when it comes round it will not easily pass me by.

For some time now, I’ve not heeded the call to write when it beckoned and begged me to spill new words upon a page. I’ve once again opened my eyes and my ears and my heart to the inspirations that have long been crying out in effort to be noticed.

This blog, this new chapter is strange and exciting. Until now I’ve kept so much of what I have poured onto the page for myself. I’ve been my own worst critic. I’ve let self-doubt take my hand and lead me astray. I’ve limited myself to paragraphs and chapters here and there, tiny samplings of what I hold inside. I’ve published randomly around the web, articles that merely left me aching to write more, stifled by word counts and subject matter.

Perhaps, in part, this was the reason I stopped clicking away at the keys and jotting down thoughts and dreams. The reasons why are meaningless now, I’ve taken this leap of faith and as sure as God gives me the words I share, He will continue to provide inspiration . . .

Crystal R. Cook

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