Monday, September 18, 2017

When Glory is Fleeting

Why bother? I showed a friend the other day the photograph I had taken an hour or so earlier of a beautiful blue Morning Glory I had just happened to notice seconds before I got in my car to drive to pick her up so we could go on our weekly swimming,lunch and errand outing. She commented on the beauty of the blossom and asked about where I had them,how many I'd planted,and how long they stayed in bloom. I said the two blossoms I'd seen this morning might be the only ones I would get and that they don't last very long. Why bother? she asked. I answered "Just because they are beautiful." When I got home that day the two blossoms I had photographed were gone, closed up and done. The beautiful morning glories had had their glory for just one morning. Today I took pictures of two more. They were just as breathtaking and I paid very close attention to each aspect of the gorgeous blossoms, the leaves around them and the glory they presently put forth. When I got home two hours later they were both gone, not closed up as the last time, but one broken away lying limp and shriveled on the ground, the other stripped bare with only the stamen and one small sliver of petal left on the vine. Glory so fleeting and almost missed had I not happened upon them exactly when I did.That entire concept leaves me in awe and brings tears to my eyes. Why bother? Why love and put energy into the beautiful and meaningful treasures life gives us? Why let yourself feel the awe of the amazing when they die, they fade, they disappear? Why bother? Oh, not to bother would be the bigger tragedy.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Dealing With Discontent

Yesterday my friend Kathy and I went to look at the Hospital lottery house. I found myself during my typical wakeful hours in the middle of the night imagining myself living there. This morning I attempt to put some feelings of discontent to rest by thinking of the story my mother used to tell me about the house with the golden windows. The moral of that story was to appreciate what you have instead of looking at what others have wishing it was yours. I am not a little girl wishing I lived in the big house on the far hill with the golden windows but that doesn't keep me from sometimes looking at a life different than my own and dropping myself into that reality. I can imagine walking out of my master bedroom to the back deck and pool. I can imagine sitting in my impressive office writing. I can see my friends and family sitting around the granite half moon end of the kitchen island. In all that dreaming I push myself back to the reality and to the beauty of my own golden windows (even if most of them need replacing) I am approaching a major bathroom renovation and at this point have a picture and two facecloths that are leading my vision. I am afraid to demolish , to create chaos , to become vulnerable. But I keep reminding myself of the suffering and loss that millions of people around the world are experiencing due to flood, fire, earthquake, hurricanes and war. How can I not fully embrace my house and see the beauty it holds? Buy the ticket , dream the dream but get on with the life I have been blessed with.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Back to School

Yesterday and today I spent a fair amount of time on Facebook scrolling down looking at back to school pictures. I love them . I love the excitement on the kids faces or in some cases the indifference. Usually they stand in new outfits with back packs over their shoulders. Some photos show the walk to the bus or the stepping out of the bus door. Lots of kids are holding signs announcing their grade placement. Some fancier signs give all the data. Age 5 , Kindergarten, what I want to be when I grow up. Pictures of celebration and pictures of acknowledgement of just how quickly kids grow up. I used to say to my kids that I was going to put a brick on their heads to keep them from growing. I remember wishing I could freeze an age or a stage or a phase, a moment in time or the way our family was at a certain time. Oh how very futile that thought is. We want what we can never have and couldn't have from the moment our children entered the world.Our kids grow and change. We have our kids as long as we have them and can do nothing but accept the hard truth of that. I of course see this in the awful reality of having lost my oldest boy when he was twenty. I think of sweet Ava and sweet Frankie who are gone so soon. There is deep sorrow in the loss of a child. I find myself so often feeling the need to preach to parents to pay attention, to cherish the moment. I restrain myself because like so many other truths it is not up to me to make sure people know them. The truth of the ebb and flow of life , the rapid passing of years, the ups and downs of loving and the challenges of living our lives is not my truth to tell but belongs to us all. Each back to school photograph tells that truth loud and clear. When I sign a copy of The Year Mrs. Montague Cried I write' Always tell your own story". That is the thing, we all have our own story to tell. The moments are packed and precious and each day holds a piece of that epic story.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Floods , Fraility and Fatigue

To be very clear I am not feeling sorry for myself in this entry. I realize the weariness and heaviness I feel this morning is nothing compared to what thousands of people are dealing with in Texas and hundreds of thousands in India. But I am weary this morning and somehow feel the need to give voice to that. It is the long Labour Day weekend. We have had a taste of the cool temperatures to come. We've had the furnace going for the last two nights and I have not been in the lake since Monday. Monday afternoon I went for a delightful swim with a friend and then we sat on the shore for two hours enjoying the wonderful gift of conversation. Time in no way wasted when two friends catch up discussing a hundred things and feeling the deep connection of experience and caring. The rest of the week unfolded dishing out moments of obligation and duty, sharing and giving and being there as best I could for friends and family. On this day that approaches my parents 69 wedding anniversary I am burdened with the challenges that lie ahead for them. I wish I had the ability to make the impact of physical and cognitive impairment easier for them as they face the changes that are sure to come. One day at a time is the wisdom I am holding on to this morning. One days gifts and one days burdens. One days worries and one days blessings. Put your feet on the floor and be what you are called to be. Give what you can and take what you are given from those who are walking their own paths. You will get back in your lake and you will again feel the lifting of fatigue and feel flickers of hope and optimism .

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Whispering Hope

Thank you Audrey. The words and melody of the hymn Whispering Hope resonates in my mind this morning. In the night I gave thought to the words I might write today but opening Facebook this morning my heart lurches toward the sorrow of another family facing loss. The loss the Short family of Port Aux Basques,NFLD is feeling this morning is deep and debilitating and beyond understanding. I met Stacey and Lew two years ago and got to meet their beautiful Ava. At that time they were perplexed with the frequency of seizures that had started in their healthy oldest granddaughter. They had been told she had epilepsy and were doing their best to deal with what that would mean. Shortly after the diagnosis changed and they were told Ava had Batten Disease. They knew nothing about that disease but as they learned about it they quickly realized the nightmare that was to come. Many hospital trips and many life changing setbacks had just begun. As a family they faced each one with as much courage as they could muster and always with strong, determined love and loyalty. Ava had a little sister and another one soon to be born and her Mom faced all Ava's disease threw at them while still mothering her younger daughter and new baby. They gave Ava every fiber of their being as she fought bravely. Last night Ava's brave fight was over. Her little body succumbed to the horrors of the disease and her beautiful smile was extinguished. At Audrey's funeral yesterday I heard and witnessed tributes to her beautiful smile and loving presence for almost 93 years on this earth. How are we to understand why one smile lasts 93 years and one only 6 short ones? There is no understanding and only the whisper of hope in such sorrow.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Breakfast at the Cottage

What a glorious morning it is. I took my coffee to the front veranda(the cottage) and had a few minutes of amazing reflection and bliss. Our big old drooling , sneezing, begging dog joined me trying very hard to step on my feet. I quickly wrote my journal entry and took in the sights , the feel of the day and the quiet beauty. One more week of summer holidays. I realize I could go back to work anytime I wanted to. The rigid schedule I lived by for twenty nine years is now fluid and flexible but I use the margins of it to organize myself to the discipline of writing. I am very excited to get back to work but somewhat nervous about the challenge. I think back to the beginning of the six books I have published. The beginnings were as unsure as the work I hope to start next week. Some small seed of an idea started the process of finding story , character and letting the writing swell as I sat each day allowing it to unfold. I love the process and trust it more than I did at first but still feel the fear and doubt . This is much like the trepidation I felt preparing my classroom , looking at my class list and undertaking the challenges each school year brought. The challenges, the rewards and the joy of the job. The whole jumble once the door opened and the kids came in. So a few solitary moments at the cottage helps to prepare me for all that getting back to my office will bring. I can not even begin to say how very thankful I am for the opportunity to be there.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Two Weeks From Today

This morning I took my coffee and journal out to the back veranda and took in the beauty of the sights and sounds around me. The sun was strong burning off the thick morning dew . I could feel a trace of fall in the air while at the same time feeling the beauty of summer. As a teacher I would already be feeling the tug of the school year coming and feel the need to hang on tightly to the last few days of summer holiday. I know my daughter in law feels that same tug. The tug is different for me these days. In two weeks I will return to my office and to the work I have been given the chance and privilege to do since giving up the work I loved for almost thirty years. I now am happy to let someone else welcome the Grade Four students when school starts up again. I will be busy writing books. I will begin writing my eleventh book. Six have been published ,one awaits publication in the spring and three sit on the back burner waiting. Someone at the market on Saturday said I will need a bigger table soon. I am happy that I still sell all six regularly although Meg would say The Sewing Basket doesn't get its fair share of recognition. I will squeeze as many books in as I can and be thrilled as each one arrives. For now I look forward to two weeks from today when I will say goodbye to my summer routine and welcome my writing routine again for another year. Today I have a plethora of peas and beans to pick and some weeds to pull. I have a lake to visit a couple of times and I look forward to attending Charlotte's Tea with my sister in law and friends this evening. Oh the joys of summer and the anticipation of fall. Kathy Thornhill's beautiful hooked masterpieces hang on the wall beside my table and I love that the one with an open book and pile of books is in full view.