MY MOTHER

Twenty-two years ago, today, my Mother passed away on Saint Patrick’s Day.  Her favorite color was green.   She loved St. Patty, a patron saint of Ireland and shamrocks, although she never drank whiskey.  She loved to do an Irish jig, look for four leaf clover and yes, she was superstitious.

She was the youngest child in a family of nine.  A train they took from Saskatchewan to Vancouver, they forgot their youngest child.  One of the kids said, “Ninky, Ninky is running behind trying to catch up.”

Auburn hair, hazel eyes, five-foot-two and always a smile.  When I went downtown with her, I had to add an hour to my time.  She stopped and talked to everyone.

That day in 1999 the Anglican church in Chilliwack was packed.  Friends, acquaintances, neighbors, all came to say good bye.  Good-bye Maggie, Margaret, Auntie Ninky, Mum, friend and neighbor.

You’re not forgotten Mum.  Your happy dance and spirit lives on.  Your courage and resilience give hope and trust to those of us who still remain.

Twenty-two years ago, we planted an Elizabeth Magnolia in our front yard on Emerson in memory of you. Its tall straight trunk, like yours reaches toward the sky.  Every Spring the large ivory cup shaped blooms bring beauty to the neighborhood.  The straight and sturdy tree trunk resembles you.  Way up high in the sky, heaven received an angel in you.

© r.f.c. March 17, 2021

My Sojourn – My Gift

I’m writing “My Life Story” and today I came across this poem. I wrote it in 2007 when I did my sojourn in the Maritime Provinces:

My Gift

To the top of the hill, I walk each day,

A relationship they say

Is needed for a Blessing to stay.

When half way up,

I turn around and look back down,

ON HOLY GROUND!

“Queen Anne Lace”,

A needle prick of blood inside,

Reminds me of mortality.

The yellow flowers

Look like stars, they nod sometimes

And seem to smile.

Today as I walked to the top of the hill,

An idea popped into my head!

I’ll pick some flowers and take them back

To the sisters and their sacrament.

I went about with happy joy,

Plucking and pulling and arranging them,

Until I met a stubborn one,

I pulled, I tugged,

He wouldn’t budge.

Not noticing and moving on,

I pulled and twisted till out she came

Lacking in passion I am not

Sometimes though compassion lost.

Beautiful flowers at my feet,

THANKYOU for a lesson taught.

© R.f.c. Aug. 13, 2007

It was most definitely a gift to stay at the beautiful St. Joseph Renewal Centre in Mabou, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.  The sisters were more than kind.  I stayed there for three weeks and was treated like family.  The day I left the nine sisters of Notre Dame got up early and waved me good-bye. I will never forget them or their gift of hospitality and welcome. After returning home after my three-month sojourn on the Maritimes the first Christmas card I sent was always to those dear sisters.

St. Joseph’s Renewal Centre closed Oct. 3, 2018 when the dwindling number of sisters were down to three from the nine when I was there in 2007.  An article in the Cape Breton Post – “It’s a major loss to the community.  They’ve done so many wonderful things – they’ve taught in our schools, and been a major part of our community…after 131 years (1887-2018)

See the hill behind the retreat centre, the sisters called it a mountain. I had great fun telling them it was a hill. I enjoyed walking up it everyday.

PEACE MY FRIENDS – ‘THE AWE OF EACH NEW DAY’ I await the next unfolding as of Jan. 20, 2021

WAKE AND WATCH the universe shrugs itself into wakefulness, as night surrenders slowly to day and shadow relinquished itself to light.  I watch this display and realize that the moon lives in the lining of my skin, the sun rises with my consciousness, and the earth thrums in the bottoms of my feet.  Everywhere I go, I take that sense of wonder and mystery with me.

I’VE BEEN REFERRED to as odd before.  Nowadays, I prefer to refer to myself as “awed.”  I want awe to be the greatest ongoing relationship in my life.  I want to move through my days floored by the magnificence and generosity of my Creator.  The breaking of a day, the silence between words, the light emanating from a real conversation, and kindness, truth, love and the apparently random hand of grace:  I want to remain gobsmacked by all of it. Rendered speechless by wonder, I wait the next unfolding.  Peace, friends.  Be awed today.

The above two paragraphs were quoted from p. 90 “EMBERS”-  One Ojibway’s Meditations by Richard Wagamese

My awe and reflection. Jan 9, 2018 I wrote:  The words that struck the deepest cord with me are; I await the next unfolding.  Peace, friends.  Be awed today. I await the next unfolding. 

Patience I am told is a virtue, and I am short on patience.  As I view the  president of the United States and the leader of North Korea my patience if any, escape me.  I viewed them as dip-sticks. Oh my, I am judging, condemning and anything but compassionate.  Mother of God please lead me to be open and loving so peace on earth will be.  When I view with awe the beauty of glistening white new fallen snow, the magic of a mountain in purple glow, the scent of pink wild roses, the innocence of a newborn child, it is then I believe.  All is created in God’s image and likeness.  Take me back to my innocence.  I pray for patience to view with awe the prosperity we enjoy, the connectedness we bless and with which we are blessed.  Beauty, love and kindness surround us.  Goodness is God, and goodness will override power and dishonesty.  Let go of my disbelief and trust in myself and the universe.  The fault is in my disbelief.  Believe in the awe of each new day as it dawns from darkness to twilight to light.

HAPPY NEW YEAR

I chose a card from The Virtues Project and it is apropos for the first day of 2021:

Acceptance is embracing life on its own terms.  We are open to what is, rather than wishing for something different.  We face the truth in all circumstances with honesty and courage.  Acceptance helps us to bend without breaking in the winds of tests, to gather the lessons and step forward with new wisdom and awareness.  We affirm others and ourselves for the qualities we do have and avoid judgment and criticism for what we don’t have.  Accepting myself allows me to give what I have to the world.

The virtues project

Christmas 2020 – Merry Christmas – May Hope, Peace, Joy and Love be yours!

Fred came to live with me November 2015. My daughter, was visiting from Edmonton. It was her often Fall visit to Mother. Checking up on me, she found me still thinking, walking and alive.

We hadn’t celebrated Thanksgiving together so we decided to make a turkey dinner with all the trimmings for just the two of us. We’d combine a late Thanksgiving and an early Christmas.

We decorated my apartment for Christmas. I’ve not put up a real Christmas tree for years. I had a little fake guy who was already decorated. I’d bring it up from storage put it on my coffee table in the corner. I’d string red lights around the about 12-inch-high fake guy, plug the lights in, voila – done!  

That is, until Christmas 2015 we decided for old time sake to buy a Norfolk Pine to decorate. Off we went to Home Depot.  We picked out this full, green, alive Norfolk. We put him in a grocery cart and wheeled him to the cashier. He was about 4 feet tall. Good, when we got him to my car, we flipped up the back seat in my Honda Fit. He rode home safe and sound.

We carted him up the elevator and into my apartment, all the time admiring his beauty. We found the perfect spot for him, in front of the living room window. We decorated him with precious memorabilia, I am sure to others looked like crap but to us it brought back happy memories. We found Elvis Prestly`s Christmas CD. Just like old times, we cranked up Elvis and decorated the tree. Back then on Emerson we’d tie the Christmas tree up with string to the living room window so it wouldn’t fall over.

We fondly talked and laughed and reminisced as we decorated our Norfolk. We remembered the year when we finished decorating our Christmas tree.  W had it all secure and strung up to the window. We sat down admiring how great the decorations were spaced, how the lights were even, and how straight we had it propped up when, Georgia came around the corner. She stopped dead in her tracks and then took one running leap and pounced into the middle of the tree. Crash, over it went. I`m not sure if she thought it was a big green mouse all lit up or what? Cats can be strange creatures in their thought pattern.

When we finished decorating our newly purchased Norfolk Pine, fully decked and decorated we sat down to admire him.  Just like old times Elvis was singing, ‘I`ll be home for Christmas’. My daughter chimed up and said, “I`ve got a name for him, “Let`s call him ‘Fred’, he looks like a Fred.”  Fred it was. 

In January when I took the decorations off Fred, I moved him to the south wall to sit beside the couch. I watered him, talked to him, and misted him with warm water, but slowly his branches got dry and prickly. I`d clip them off, one by one. In March Fred looked very thin and spindly; finally, I decided Fred would have to go. I left him alone for a couple of weeks until I mustered up the courage to deliver him to the green recycle bin. I got down on my bum and pushed the pot with my feet to the door. I got a black garbage bag so I wouldn`t get potting soil on my white carpet.  All went well until I pulled one branch out of the pot, it wouldn’t budge.  I pulled, I tugged but he stood strong.  He didn’t move. I tugged again, he looked pathetic and weak but nope he wasn’t leaving the pot. Third time, no luck, fine I thought you can live if you must. I pushed the unsightly one limb Norfolk back into the living room. I placed him in front of the patio doors, watered him once a week, never to mist him again. He lived. He had no branches at the bottom. Really, he looked like a palm tree with prickly needles but he thrived, strong and healthy.

I went back to Home Depot, bought a baby Norfolk Pine and potted it at the base of Fred. I had another plant that also looked sadly pathetic.  It was an Alocasia plant with only one stem and one leaf.  I was going to throw her away but instead just for the heck of it I planted her under Fred beside Baby Norfolk.  That one stem and one leaf grew into the most beautiful deep jade green leaves with patterned white veins.

Fred and Alocasia became best friends and together with their little baby Norfolk they blossomed into a family of green delight.

Fast forward to 2020. Fred and family sit in front of my patio window, dressed for Christmas in the little wrapped Christmas gifts my son and daughter in law strung together some 30 years ago.  The little glass angel given to me by Jessica a little girl I looked after at Apple Rose Infant Toddler Care, again so many years ago, sits at the top of Fred. White lights twinkle and brighten the dull, short days of Advent.

A few weeks ago, in my journal I wrote:

Fred didn’t die, instead he continued to thrive.

Five years later, he is happy with his friends.

They’re growing so big I don’t know what to do.

My living room is in their hands, they’re taking over.

What do I do?

Do I cut them back or put them outside?

They are beautiful, alive, they bring green into my life.

It looks like a nursery in here with Purple Violet and her child,

With Christmas Cactus in rosy red, not to mention Fred.

They Bless my life and Elphie girl, my service dog, she lays here at my feet.

MOTHER

 

MOTHER

One hundred years ago today,

Mother entered into this world of ours.

World War One about to end.

Her Mother died when she was nine,

The Great Depression soon begins.

Time, it is elusive.

Me, her first was born,

World War Two about to end.

Time, it is elusive.

She died nineteen years ago, it seems like yesterday.

Time is neither here nor there.

She lived ‘till she was eighty-one.

She danced, she laughed, she loved.

Time, it is elusive.

But,

She, was real.

 Her beauty, her essence, her beautiful auburn hair,

Still lingers on today in warmth and presence in the air.

Happy Birthday Mum.

© RFC May 1, 2018

Happy Halloween – Happy Birthday

Boo Baby Boo

Halloween!
Eighteen years ago today,
Your Daddy called to say,
Some pains in Mummy’s tummy,
He thought the baby was on its way.
At the hospital,
A nurse in witch’s costume
Came in the room with play.
Now, several hours later,
In mid afternoon,
Down the tube and into the room,
Came Belly Button Boo!
Daddy cut your umbilical cord.
Mummy sat up and smiled.
Gram was happy to see you.
The doctors and nurses
All gave a cheer and said,
“Hello Little Pumpkin,”
“We’re glad you are here.”
“Happy Halloween, WHAT… A…TREAT!!”
Five days later, Mummy and Daddy and you,
Came to Grama’s house for dinner,
Mummy was singing a song.
It went like this:
“Emily Rose, Emily Rose,
Chubby little fuzzy little,
Stuffed with fluff,
Oh…Emily Rose, Emily Rose,
Chubby little fuzzy little girl”

© R.f.c.

PROCESS of CONNECTION, Open to the MYSTERY

CONNECTION

In me a process of dance and light.

The blue embrace of gravity to keep me safe.

My brush then dips to freedom green,

More air and less rigidity.

Then yellow light comes bounding in

Where life and dance do soon begin.

A hint of brown gives groundedness.

There’s hints of red and fire within.

My body blue, I’m not sure why,

But to the left the blue turns red,

Another burst of fire.

Around the edge I feel compelled

To stroke my brush… connectedness!

Now at the end some solid lines,

Blue, strong and straight ahead.

Now as I look and make some sense,

It is about connectedness, and at this age of 64

I look and see experience.

I see the past, my life it is.

Present life today I live.

Future birth unfolds.

Process it’s called.

This work it is to understand

The BEAUTY of a life well lived.

© Jan. 3/07 Rfc

 

ACCEPT THE MYSTERY

I ask myself, what is the mystery?  My answer is Life, it’s all pure mystery.  It’s how I got here, how I’ve lived all these years.  I’m seventy-four years old.  Just about three quarters of century on this earth, that’s a long time.  I started out totally dependent on my mother to nurse me and my father to provide security.  Mother always fed me but not so much the nourishment of emotional food.  Father gave me security when I was very young but that security became less and less and by the time I was fourteen – gone.  He was gone, my security was gone.   He literally drove away.  We watched the tail lights of his car go down the hill and disappear around the corner.   Emotional abuse followed.  He disowned me when I was fifteen.  I disowned him when I was a young mother in my early twenties.  What a mystery!

I had three boys and one daughter, happy years.  I had a brain tumor and a marital break-up, tough times.   I went to college, a means to an end to get back into the work force, an Interesting time.  I made a big move from small rural living to city life.  Full time employed as a single parent, a busy time.  There was growth, challenge and change.   Empty nest was an adjustment, retirement was an adjustment, kids gone, job gone, house gone but I’m still here.  It’s a mystery.

Believe I must.  Believe all is well. The baby was born, the young girl grows up.  The young woman marries and has children.  The middle aged woman discovers her strength.  The old woman accepts the mystery of life and believes all is well. There were mistakes, events, life, and mystery.

© Dec. 9/16  Rfc

LOVE LOVE LOVE

2017 posies for Easter Sunday cross, me and my family

Love, love, love…

Me and my friend were walking

In the cold light of mourning

Tears may blind the eyes, but the soul is not deceived

In this world even winter ain’t what it seems

Here come the blue skies, here come the springtime

When the rivers run high and the tears run dry

When everything that dies shall rise

In our lives we hunger for those we cannot touch

All the thoughts unuttered and all the feelings unexpressed

Play upon our hearts like the mist upon our breath

But awoke by grief, our spirits speak

How could you believe that the life within the seed

That grew arms and reached, ad a heart that beat

And lips that smiled, and eyes that cried could ever die?

Here come the blue skies, here come the springtime

When rivers run high and the tears run dry

When everything that dies shall rise

Love, love, love is stronger than death…

By Matt Johnson “Love is Stronger Than Death”  1993

EASTER SUNDAY POST APRIL 16, 2017

LAURA LAMB CHILDREN’S BOOK

Laura Lamb is a story about me when I was a little girl. I wrote the book to and for children. My desire is for the story to promote a connection between children and nature.

Laura is a lonely little lamb as I was. We lived on 17 acres of bush land. I was an only child until I was 7. No playmates lived close by. The trees in the forest, the ferns that laced the ground, the green soft moss, they all brought me a feeling of joy and life and love.

I saw the story of Laura Lamb work its magic when I read it to a group of pre-school children. The group of about 20 children gathered around me for circle time. A little boy who I knew well was propped up on his knees at the back of the class. I watched him knowing he had attention deficit. He did not fidget, poke the other children or make noises. He sat completely focused and intent upon the pictures and the words. When I finished reading he said, “That is cute.” My heart soared.

I enjoyed writing “Laura Lamb Finds the Forest” and I hope more than many children will enjoy the story.  I hope they will sit still and listen and feel the beauty of nature.

© 2017

Please contact me to purchase book at my email –  expressionsbyroaline@gmail.com

Laura Lamb happy with ferns and tree tunk roots