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When I was a first-year drama student, I bought a moped from a friend, for the queenly sum of $300. Now that many years have passed, I can declare publicly that not only did I fail to register the moped (being completely oblivious to the fact that this was a legal requirement), but I also failed to get anything resembling a licence to ride the moped. Knowing that, you will perhaps not be surprised that I also failed to realise that I needed to fill the scooter with petrol.

All of these failures did come home to bite me, but the particular failure that matters for the purposes of today’s reflection is the failure to fill the petrol tank.

I was on my way to a party (feeling, I have to say, extremely fabulous on my unregistered scooter and wearing a vintage full-length houndstooth cape – which, it turns out, is not appropriate attire for riding a moped). It was dark and it was cold and when the scooter began to stutter, I simply tried to put more oomph into the throttle. I was already going at least thirty kilometres an hour, but I was prepared to push it to forty.

The scooter juddered a bit more. And then it puttered. And then… it… just… Stopped.

I tilted to the side, got my fabulous long cape caught beneath the wheel and then the scooter, cape and I all fell to the dirt. There was shouting and swearing and wondering who I could blame (ummm, only me, as it turned out), and then there was crying and after that I got up and tried to sit on the empty moped and scoot my way to the party as though I were on a kiddy scooter.

It was not the entry I had imagined.

Running on empty: it does not work. Not for scooters, not for families, not for artists.
What will it take to top yourself up today?

Think about the food that will nourish and fill you and the rest you need to be restored.

And in particular, on this day of rest, I encourage you to be restored in nature.

You cannot write from deprivation or depletion. You cannot create from exhaustion.
Wherever you are today, find some nature and take some time to let it top you up. If all you can find is five minutes, take that five minutes to sit on the grass, to smell a flower, to lean against a tree. Stop everything during that time and just let nature do its work.

If you have longer, find a body of water and get in it. Or take in a spot of ‘forest bathing’ – sitting beneath trees and letting their good green leaves do their work. If you’re mid-city, a single tree can do. If you have time, get to your nearest Botanic gardens. Or get some sand beneath your feet. Walk by a lake, or a river. Even a canal.
Decide on the time you have and try to be present and still while you sit or stand or swim or walk in nature.

It will feed you, and it will feed your writing.

And today your prompt…

Sunday morning…