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
for its clear and wide blue skies
without a whisper of smog.
I love the clean, sparkling water
and the glistening rocks adorning the coastline
that beg to be traced
and trod upon by eager footsteps.
I love summer in Newfoundland
for its breathtaking views
of seascapes and landscapes
when I embark on a hike.
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…
…while in the gardens,
the planted perennials are brilliant with colour,
delighted at last
to spread their bright petals to the sun.
I love the hardy trees of Newfoundland
…as they stretch
their ripe foliage to the sky.
Shot through with rays of sunlight,
a shimmering haze settles over the treetops
like a warm summer veil.
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.
Are you filled with summer lovin’ where you live, or is the pandemic interfering?
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.
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
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:
*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!
I wrote the following in September of 1994. It was a time of great transition for me.
I wanted to express my readiness for the next chapter, and my anticipation of what good things might come my way. When I wrote it, I had no way of knowing I would be meeting my future (and now present) husband later in that same month.
To me, these heartfelt words of my younger self are still fresh and very much alive. They have no expiry date.
The September sun falls warm upon my face
as I blink back a lonely tear.
But to be alone isn’t so bad.
A decade of fragile dreams, dashed,
had prepared me for this season of solitude.
Hadn’t you known it was inevitable,
poor battered heart?
The gulf I see ahead is blue, unknown,
and strangely comforting.
I knew I would face it someday.
As surely as I had faced the impossible gulf
of a love that could no longer support us,
like a ropework bridge – frayed, rotted,
stretching into a sadder tomorrow.
No, it couldn’t be trusted to help us across.
I finally accepted its condition and turned away.
The summer of change has passed,
and an autumn of new beginnings beckons.
A crisp welcome breeze blows
the last stray doubts from my mind.
I watch a dry russet leaf skitter and dance
to a uniquely different song, of a September that holds
the inviting promise of a life not ending,