As I look across my pages, I find myself thinking aloud.I look at the writings I have left here. I see the adverts for my novels. I wonder where I might be today if I had simply "settled." Settled for the education I had and doing with it the best I could. Many have done that and some have in fact gone on to be very successful in their lives. I am very happy for those that have. But I wasn't content to stay where I was. Maybe I should go back a year or two... o.k. more than a few years, so you know where I started from.
At 13 years old, I was finishing my eighth grade education. I was already looking at college and what I wanted to be. I was going to be an Oceanographer and write about every creature I encountered in the deep blue sea. Living in Florida made that dream even easier to see. We spent days and weeks at the beaches and weekends were for Key Largo and Key West. I studied the fish, I read about them as I had since I was 7 years old. I learned you couldn't take tap water, add a cup of table salt and keep sea horses alive in it. I learned if stuck your hand in a hole in the coral, you might just get bit. I spent every day after school at the canals in Miami, fishing, catching turtles and ducks and anything else that looked as if it wanted to be studied. There seemed to be no end to what I could find to fuel my desire to achieve my dream. And then, life took a huge turn for me. A change that brought on new dreams and new goals for me. A move that would set my feet on the path towards writing today. Even writing about "Things I know about being self-taught."
I will break this up so as not to have you reading forever. Let me tell you the event that changed my life forever. Just before my eighth grade year was to end, my father was given the opportunity of a lifetime. The owner of a pest control business in Miami, he was asked if he wanted to move to Canada. A man we were acquainted with through our church in Miami had purchased a ranch in the mountains of British Columbia, Canada. Set 35 miles into the mountains, the valley opened up into 1000 acres of grass and forest and wildlife that will stay with me forever. It's beauty was unmatched by anything this young boy from Miami Florida had ever seen. Perhaps I will write another time on "that" life.
Accepting the offer, my father sold his business, moved his family to this beautiful place and began a new life. This is the life that was to make me rethink all I had dreamed of before. The oceans of Florida were now what seemed to me to be half way around the other side of the world. The dreams of being an Oceanographer were faded and hard to reach from a stool set beside a Holstein milk cows legs. Bringing in cattle to be branded and raising pigs and goats took most of this young boys time. An absolutely fantastic life that so many young boys dreamed of experiencing. But not the life of a college educated man that just wanted to write about what he saw. That would take years of self discipline and of reading every thing I could get my hands on to read. That is where the next blog you read will begin. Because there are so many things to know about being self taught.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Posted by Darrel at 6:35 AM