It’s hard to put into words how much I loved the segment on Delia Owens, who is the New York Times bestselling author of “Where the Crawdads Sing”, on the Sunday Morning show this past weekend. (See video of interview at bottom of post)
Delia is 70 years old, and “Where the Crawdads Sing” is her first novel.
She spent almost a decade writing the book.
In the segment, Delia talks about how she has spent her life in remote areas, Africa and now northern Idaho, and how she loves—and at times loathes—the isolation of these places.
She said sometimes she gets so lonely that she feels like she can’t breathe.
The reporter said, “But you like a little part of that?”
Delia responded, “I do. And I decided to write a book about it.”
I related to so much of what Delia said because of some similarities in our lives.
While I’m not a New York Times bestselling author, well, not yet, it did take me almost a decade to write and edit THE SPIRIT FACTOR.
And just like when she was writing her novel, inspiration came to me when it came and could not be forced.
Oh, and I, too, have a plastic storage tube full of old drafts, and scribbles and handwritten notes on pieces of scratch paper, that I wrote at all hours of the day and night when inspiration struck.
But I really found a kindred spirit in Delia when she talked about how she seeks out and loves isolation, and how she feels at home in nature.
The title of Delia’s book was taken from a phrase her mother used to use, when encouraging her tomboy daughter to take to the woods around their rural Georgia home and listen to what those woods had to say.
Delia explained that she learned from books that crawdads really don’t sing. But she learned from her mother that if you go far enough into the wilderness by yourself, and there’s nothing but you and nature, you will hear the crawdads sing.
Delia currently lives in a remote area of northern Idaho, and says that, “This is where the crawdads sing,” and that it took her a lifetime to find it.|
When my husband Michael and I decided to move from Southern California to a place in nature, we went on a year-long search to find a place “where the crawdads sing.”
We ended up finding a 10-acre property in the mountains of rural northeastern Washington that was surrounded by nature.
When we drove up to the property, I knew instantly it was home.
My spirit craved the silence and wisdom of nature, and also isolation after living my whole life in neighborhoods and working for many years in Los Angeles.
I fell head over heels in love with the forest that surrounded our new home and the nature that lived in it, taking long daily walks through it so I could hear the “crawdads sing.”
And, boy, did they sing!
What I “heard” in nature was different than the man-made information I had been taught and told my whole life.
It breathed life into me and my spirit, healing a depth of brokenness in me that I didn’t even know existed.
For the 9 years it took me to write and edit THE SPIRIT FACTOR, I spent as much time as possible in the woods, observing nature.
I crossed paths with a mountain lion and a lot of other wildlife.
I witnessed up close the courage and resilience that nature faces life with every single day.
I listened to nature’s voice and did my best to translate it into words without distorting it with any agenda.
I feel that I was successful accomplishing this.
To spend almost a decade on this project, and for much of the time not really knowing when I would finish writing, was challenging. So was the isolation.
But what I learned during this time is that you have to allow yourself the time and space to fully explore and understand what you are writing about.
In order to do this, it takes listening to the “crawdads sing”, or as I call it, listening to spirit, which requires isolation and time in nature.
Inspiration can’t be forced and ideas can’t be manufactured. You can’t rush them.
This can be a hard thing to surrender to. But it is important to understand.
It’s also important to understand that this pertains to us and our lives, too.
Delia started writing “Where the Crawdads Sing” when she was in her sixties and became a best-selling author at age 70.
Many of us think that if we aren’t successful by a certain age that we never will be successful.
But discovering and becoming who we are takes time. Actually, it takes a lifetime.
Delia said it took her a lifetime to find her home in northern Idaho where the “crawdads sing,” and that’s okay.
No matter how young or how old we are, the most important thing is that we keep searching, learning, listening, evolving, and becoming the truest version of ourselves we can be.
THE SPIRIT FACTOR is a completely new and revolutionary philosophy — based on the simplicity, intelligence, and wisdom of nature — that provides us the tools to tap into the limitless potential of the human spirit.
THE SPIRIT FACTOR helps you identify, understand, and remove the eleven most-common obstructions to spirit.
THE SPIRIT FACTOR is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.