No time to talk, my brain is getting a massage

That is what I told myself the other day when a crowbar couldn’t wedge another event into my calendar. Massage was the most soothing word I could think of to keep my brain from dissolving into quivering globs of gelatin.

The rush began before sunrise, when my children descended from their cocoons sleepy, hungry, and demanding. I have no clean gym pants. Sign this permission form. Where is my clarinet?  By the time the yellow bus appeared I was ready for wine but the teenager needed a drive to school, across town and through road construction that has been half-done for six dog years and costs an extra half-tank of gas, each way, before heading into a publisher meeting where over liquid breakfast (tepid coffee) we generated a to-do list for me that outnumbered his list four-to-one, including item 5. Write next book. Then, it was off to a job that actually pays money, where I spent two hours listening to a new government program that could do great things if – yep – I started another to-do list. Lunch was at the junior high as an in-school mentor to two eighth-graders.   Still swallowing my sandwich, I dashed to afternoon crafts with a lovely group of ladies set to sip tea and stitch holiday pillowcases, until I had to leave mid-stitch to meet the yellow bus and refuel the youngest for dance.  Then pickups, supper, dishes, laundry, baths and an hour of TV before the house was finally quiet and I collapsed into bed.

As much as I yearned for sleep, my creativity flowed like sap from a maple tree. I longed to write. Why?

The day replayed again, except this time instead of a horror movie I saw a documentary and before I knew it, I learned something.

The time lost sitting in road construction was gained in conversation with my teenaged son, who chatted about music and braces and his excitement about the Christmas holidays.

The publisher’s coffee was lukewarm but our conversation was sizzling with the release of our new book and the possibility for our new ideas to take shape.

The government meeting: there was money and the will to use it. Time to propose a marriage of groups who for the first time are seeing the value of working together?

Mentoring: teen girls giggling with hopes, fears, and compassion for my attempts to master my new iPhone.

Craft afternoon: the generation gap really does shrink with age.

Immersed in sunshine then chilled in darkness, sap from the maple tree flows watery and colourless, with only a hint of the sweetness within until boiled and bottled, it becomes liquid gold.

Immersed in the moment, chilled in the air of transition and boiled by the constraints of time, the brain is massaged to savour each experience and reveals its sweetness in a flood of inspiration.

There is a point to the busy schedules. It just may take some boiling to find it. And a whole body massage or two, just to be sure.