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

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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”?

September’s Song

jenniferkellandperry.com

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.

September’s Song

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,
but reborn.

Friday Fiction: Reunion*

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– Reunion –

He sees her
at the edge

of the crowded soiree
and knows her instantly.

It is a blow.

The first time
in thirteen years
Fate has brought them
together
years for her
he’d heard
were far from kind.

He thinks
how dramatic
change can be from
Life’s random cruelties
and how no one
can prepare.

A nervous voyeur
he peeks into her eyes
smudged windows
at the brink
of unimaginable pain.

It frightens him
makes him wish
he hadn’t heard the rumors
the images evoked
and now the proof.

Her face
the same yet injured
from the inside of her trauma
haunted eyes far too mature
for her years
aspect stamped with the hurt
she tries to hide.

And he wonders
when she finds his broken smile
how it was ever possible
that once
she swarmed his secret dreams.

She turns away.

It occurs to him
she read it in his heart
and knows
the Muse has passed.

***

*First published here.

Jennifer’s Friday Fiction

Thanks for reading!

Friday Fiction appears on random Fridays as a place to share my writing in the form of short stories, flash fiction, poetry and vignettes.

Blogger Bouquet #52

wordpress blogger bouquetMiriam – aka Delphini510 – is a blogger I haven’t been following all that long, and yet she quickly became a favourite.

Her blog is My Window: Sharing my thoughts, poems, travel and art. It was chiefly her poetry that caught my attention.

From Miriam’s About page:

“It is a long way from a little island in North Sea to the British shores but I did it albeit in a circuitous route. Much will be revealed as I go along. I tried my hand at many things but the Arts have always been my love. From tender years books were never far from my side.”

Check out this beautiful, heartfelt poem by Miriam. It was difficult to choose just one!

Sorrow and Strength

Comments are closed here but you can leave a comment on the blogger’s page.

Have an inspired weekend, everyone.

Battered

TBT: to another lifetime ago. Maybe by sharing, it will help someone else know they are not alone.

Jennifer Kelland Perry, Author

If I have a choice, what do I choose
do I escape this place
do I run away
as far as no one can find me?
I have been struggling,
can’t settle down –
the cuts are deep. I try to heal
but it is hard to heal a hurt
deeper than the ocean.
I try but none of this is easy,
not as easy as bleeding words
angry, messed up,
stillborn on a white page.
How I feel nobody knows;
no one understands what
I have lived. Sometimes I hope
for a deep sleep and never
never wake up,
a kind of running away
from a sour reality.
But somehow I endure
suppress the hurts
pretend nothing is wrong.
Easy to say, isn’t it?
I cannot cry. I turn my face away
when he comes in,
hide the tears
hide the pain –
I’m afraid
they will inflame
and invite

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