Once Upon a Time*

img_7744

Last week while I was sifting through old papers, I found this piece of writing from decades ago. Thankfully, we have all made peace since then . . .

Once upon a time, there was a girl from St. John’s.
At the age of fourteen,
she moved around the bay with her family.
She hated her curly hair,
adored her Persian cat,
and loved to get lost inside stories and songs.

When she grew older,
she fell in love and got married.
She was happy.
She had a beautiful little daughter.
Not long after,
she gave birth to a handsome son.
She liked to tease him and call him
her little “curly boy”
because he so much reminded her of herself.

A few times,
when she and the husband had terrible fights,
she had to take her girl and boy
to her parents’ house.
But the husband would always tell her
how sorry he was,
and she would go back because she loved him,
and wanted to believe him.

Eventually, she stopped believing.
She moved back to St. John’s
and started a new job and a new life.
She still had her beautiful daughter,
but she lost her curly-boy
to his dad.

She found someone
who reminded her of her love
for stories and songs.
She loves her cats,
still hates her curly hair, and
misses her son
with an ache that never goes away
and leaves her pillow wet with tears
every night.
Still, she knows
she is doing the only thing she can.

She hopes someday he will understand
how, once upon a time,
there was a girl from St. John’s
who couldn’t fight anymore,
and only wished for
a happily ever after.

~ Jennifer Kelland, 1995

picnic table in a winter garden

*Evergreen post from 2014

January Blue*

It’s a blue winter day on Perry’s Point.

It isn’t a sad and lonely day, but one painted with the hues of a brilliant blue sky and a blanket of sunshine, the kind of day where the sun and snow merge to design graceful shadows in the hollows of the landscape.

IMG_0056 (800x521)Sun on the newly fallen and drifted snow creates a tapestry of shadowy forms,
from the palest baby blue to the deepest of indigo.

IMG_0067The slanting afternoon rays of sunlight hold little heat,
but warm the heart of this nature-lover nonetheless.

IMG_0075 (800x519)The surface of the snow waves and crests,
while most of the bay lies still under a layer of slush and ice.

IMG_0076 (800x475)Dunes of scalloped white surround me…

IMG_0123 (800x541)…and the only hint of sound is the faint exhale of a frigid breeze.

IMG_0089 (800x533)Certain feathered creatures have already been here.

IMG_0114 (800x518)At the end of the Point I reach the icy blue coastline…

IMG_0096 (800x533)…where the water is still full of movement in spite of the sub-zero air.

IMG_0084 (800x402)Cold, but fluid…

IMG_0085 (800x383)…clear and beautiful.

IMG_0145 (800x623)Other shadows dapple a weather-worn barn…

IMG_0149 (800x428)…and sun-bleached fences.

IMG_0152 (800x533)Hidden in shade, a bird house waits for spring, and a new tenant…

IMG_0130 (800x522)…while our neighbour’s fishing boat awaits a new summer.

IMG_0163 (800x574)Ben Perry’s shed is called a “store” around these parts.

IMG_0159 (800x472)Still more shadows hide in furrows of snow and last summer’s grasses. I wade in.

IMG_0068 (800x533)My toes are like ice cubes inside my boots at this point. I hop over the fence to home.

IMG_0155 (800x571)Time to put the kettle on…

IMG_0183 (800x533)…and thaw myself out with a cup of tea.

IMG_0182 (800x533)And my world changes from blue to green.

How is your January going?
What is the colour of your winter? 

*ThrowbackThursday – This is a reblog from January 2015.

Vivian’s View From Here: 6 Months Without Her

On my morning jaunt outside,
I believe I see Maisie again.

Just when I thought
I was over her,
from the corner of my eye
I see her step, sylphlike,
through the wind-riven grass
—a slim, graceful shadow.

My heart leaps.
The idea of her, home—
on Perry’s Point once more!
Joy flashes, like
the spangle of sun
upon the ocean around me.
A dream, a wish, short-lived.

As the chill of the first winter
without her closes in,
I will miss the cuddles,
the companionable silences,
the nose bumps,
our years of moments shared
ever since we were wombmates.

I won’t dwell on
what once was. Instead,
I will carry my sister with me
until we meet again.

Maisie, you may have left Perry’s Point
but you will never leave our hearts!
♥♥♥ 

In case you missed it: Sad News

Comments are closed, though my staff would appreciate you leaving a like for my post. – Vivian

Evergreen Post: Summer Lovin’

I’ve been taking a blogging break while away from home these past couple of weeks, so today I’ll share a photography post from a beautiful July day six years ago.
Remember 2014, when life was simpler?  ~*sigh*~

I plan to return to regular blogging with a new Sunday Snap, on—you guessed it—Sunday!

***

Summer in my province of Newfoundland and Labrador, compared to most of North America, is short but ever so sweet. What makes it so cherished, to my mind?

The following photos were all taken in Lead Cove, the little community where I raised my children.

I love my home for its natural beauty,
its refreshing, rugged and
unspoiled charm,
for its clear and wide blue skies
without a whisper of smog.

245

I love the clean, sparkling water
and the glistening rocks adorning the coastline
that beg to be traced
and trod upon by eager footsteps.

241

I love summer in Newfoundland
for its breathtaking views
of seascapes and landscapes
when I embark on a hike.

242

Whether I traverse
its beaches of sand or
climb its rocky windswept hills,
I know my camera will find its aim.

I embrace it because
the bushes and shrubs,
green and lush,
are heavy with fragrance
and of wild roses in bloom…

183

…while in the gardens,
the planted perennials are brilliant with colour,
delighted at last
to spread their bright petals to the sun.

181

182

I love the hardy trees of Newfoundland
in summer…

178

…as they stretch
their ripe foliage to the sky.

184Shot through with rays of sunlight,
a shimmering haze settles over the treetops
like a warm summer veil.

323

After a long winter and dismal spring
of cold, naked branches,
they, as I do,
breathe a sigh of gratitude
at the return of this warm and golden season.

234

Are you filled with summer lovin’ where you live, or is the pandemic interfering?

Originally published here on July 29/14

Reflecting on the Little Things

For me, this winter has been a time of deep reflection. The dormant months are ideal for slowing down and looking inward, giving one a chance to rest, to heal, to quiet the mind and to focus on the spiritual side of life.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about and missing my mother more than usual. She has visited me in my dreams quite often in recent weeks.

I wonder why.

I suppose I could chalk it up to growing older and becoming infinitely more aware of my own mortality. Or maybe she knows I need her more right now.

Today, I dedicate this post to you, Mom. I wrote the following piece in January of 2012, ten months before our final goodbye.

 

The Little Things

 

You always hear people say that we shouldn’t love the material things in life, and usually I am inclined to agree. However, in one particular area of my life I must beg to differ. Sometimes we have certain items that are so very precious to us because they keep our memories bright.

My mother is now in the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease. She has changed so much in the past few years, from a vibrant, independent and beautiful woman, into a person who needs constant care. She can still smile in recognition at me but can no longer carry on a conversation of any sort. We are losing her, bit by bit, with every visit and every passing day. This is probably why I hold on so tightly to a few items that came from her.

As I write this, I am wearing a pair of wool slippers that my mother knitted for me. They are teal blue and white with little bows sewn on the top. I found them a couple of months ago when I was sorting out some storage items, and even though they are a little tight, which was the reason I had put them away in the first place, I’ve worn them ever since, stretching them so they would fit. Just knowing that she had made them for me gives me comfort.

While I was looking for Christmas baking inspiration a few weeks ago, I came across a recipe for cherry cake in my collection, written in Mom’s elegant handwriting. I remembered her making that recipe many times over the years. My heart ached with loss as I read it, but I knew I had to use it. Now that Christmas is behind us for another year, I still have some of that cake left, and I savour every bite.

And on my right hand, I am wearing my mother’s wedding band. It had been sitting in a little box in my dresser drawer for months, waiting until the day it would go on her finger for the last time. So for now I am wearing it because it makes me feel closer to her, and to Dad as well.

So please don’t try to tell me that things aren’t important. Sometimes it’s the little things that we need to hold onto, the touchstones for our priceless memories. Sometimes it is all we have.

Our lovely mother in her younger days

Tree in Autumn*


On the cusp of her dark autumn

November gathers and descends
once bright in October’s glow
her fallen raiment of gold
now flies upon the wind.

Stiff limbs scrape the starless sky
mute shadows fill her spaces
so no one sees the cracks
wrought by her many seasons
of frost and limp regret.

©J.K. Perry

***

*Photo taken November 14, 2019 in Grand Falls-Windsor

Nighttime and Here I Stand:
2 titles in #2019picoftheweek challenge. For details see MariaAntonia

A Rocky Isle

jenniferkellandperry.com


“She’s a rocky isle in the ocean

and she’s pounded by wind from the sea.
You might think that she’s rugged and cold
but she’s home sweet home to me.” *

jenniferkellandperry.com

*from “Song For Newfoundland”
   by Wayne Chaulk

Where is your “home sweet home”?
Please share!

“Sweet as Childhood”

“…the late afternoon sunlight, warm as oil, sweet as childhood…”
~ Stephen King

I will be away from my blog for the next two to three weeks. 
Take care, everyone, and I’ll catch up with you in August! 

Nature More

jenniferkellandperry.com

~ There is a Pleasure in the Pathless Woods ~

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less,
But Nature more.

~ excerpt from Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage
by Lord Byron

img_1663
jenniferkellandperry.com

Wild Geese

Beloved poet Mary Oliver passed away on Thursday at the age of 83.  Oliver’s poems were much inspired by the link between the natural world and spirituality.

When I read her poem Wild Geese back in 2015, it stirred me to write about my feelings of belonging, or lack thereof, and of my own place in the world.

Having lived through a number of moves, changes, and upheavals, my transitions often deemed me as a newcomer who will probably always feel a little like someone on the outside, looking in.*

Yet, when I read that poem and let the words sink in, they seem to grant me the freedom to love and experience all the things that mean the most to me. I can now belong in this life I’ve created, just as everyone belongs to the bigger picture that is the universe, to bear witness to a journey filled with joy, sorrow, and exquisite beauty.*

Of course, Mary Oliver said it better than I ever could:

photo: jenniferkellandperry.com

*Excerpts from my blog post: Belonging, March 12, 2015.
Many of the comments on your own feelings of belonging were a real eye-opener for me!

What is “your place in the family of things”?