Friday, January 31, 2014

31. I Love ... Sheep Grazing


The real thing,
but also pictures.

I recall a grazing sheep picture
in the hallway
on the way upstairs
in the house where I lived
when I was four years old.
It's the only picture
I remember.

It seemed back then
that most homes
had a grazing sheep picture.
Or some sheep picture.
The Good Shepherd thing I suppose.

Calming.
Pastoral.
Pastural.

That's what it is.

Whether it's a picture or real.
Even real ones are
almost stationary.

There's a place not far from us
that has a sign
'Do Not Honk At the Sheep'.

Really?
Who honks at sheep?
Who even THINKS about honking at sheep?
Enough people that it warrants a sign apparently.
Actually,
I have to confess.
The sign makes me WANT to
honk at the sheep.

Running sheep
are not calming.
Or all that common.
A sheep stampede ... rare.

Grazing.
That's what sheep love.
And I love
Sheep.




Thursday, January 30, 2014

30. I Love ... a Blanket and a Cup of Tea

On a gray November day

or a
snowy January morning

or when
I'm deep into a good book

or when
friend sits across from me

or when
I'm chatting on the phone

or when
I've got an armful of grandbabes

or
I'm writing 
or 
pensive
or 
planning
or
 dreaming.

Actually,
I love 
a blanket and a cup of tea
pretty well
anytime.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

29. I Love ... the Path Between


There are two ways
to get to my neighbour's next door
in Newfoundland.

Rather than go the smooth road
I always take the
crooked, uneven path
that joins our two homes
through the yard.

And every single time that I do,
I think of the days
on that island
when every visit between
friends and neighbours and families
was travelled
that way.

You choose where you step carefully -
there is not a foot of even ground.
It's sloping
and a little rocky
and some days a little boggy.

It winds along side the clothesline.

Not as worn as I'm sure it once was,
when the feet
of the dear souls that I have come to love
travelled it daily.

It's a sacred spot to me -
that path -
that island.

And to a farm girl
whose nearest neighbour is a bit of a walk,
it's such a great 
delight
to pop next door.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

28. I Love ... My Tree


It's got a split.
Deep.
Long.
I worry about that.

I want Brian to wrap him with wire so he'll
stay together.
He tells me that won't
help.
The day that he is intent on splitting,
he's gone.

I don't want to see 
that day.

When the wind blows
too strong.

 I cringe.
I'm afraid to look when
lightning is close.

I say a quiet prayer.

That tree,
that big, beautiful, old,
incredible
tree
draws me.

It throws its shadow
like a blanket
over my cabin
and across the pond.

It is my shelter.
It is my comfort.
From over here and over there.

It is my symbol
for all 
I Love
in nature
and all
I Love
on our land.

Monday, January 27, 2014

27. I Love ... My Tent


It's not fancy - 
just basic.

It has no rooms
and awnings
and all that
stuff.

But it has a top
that can come off
completely.

I can see out
everywhere.

And I can breathe.

And
I can put it up 
myself.

There's lots of room
for a single bed,
a table,
a basket,
boxes
and even a chair
if it's
just me.

There's of room
for a couple kids
or a friend.

There's lots of room for the
possibility
of
Adventure.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

26. I Love ... Walking


The ability to.

Many, many, many times,
 I have gotten out of my car
in a parking lot
and the thought comes to me:
"I am so blessed to be able to
walk."

I suppose it comes to me there
to supercede
any thoughts of whining
about how far away I had to park.

The fact that I can rise
when I want to,
and with ease proceed to
wherever I want to go,
is not something that
I take for granted.

There are times that I feel
like I could
walk and walk and walk
forever.

An evening walk is such a pleasant thing.
But way too often I make some excuse
that gets me off in another
direction
and I let go
of something
that could bring me such pleasure.

I need to walk.
More.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

25. I Love ...Chairs


which would be a fairly safe observation
if one ever looked around the house.
Or the cabin.
Or the haymow.
Or our place in Newfoundland.

I may have more chairs than most.

I used to be particularly drawn to rocking chairs.
I still am of course.
It is a specific and separate love.

But I am also drawn
to any wooden kitchen chair that has
an interesting shape, a pleasing colour,
is worn ... or cheap.

I have a bit of a collection.
I have been asked 'how many?'
The answer is
Lots.

It might be thought
that we have as many little buildings as we do
so we have somewhere to put
the chairs.

Perhaps.

And why
would one love
chairs
so much?
Apparently
I likes to sit.


Friday, January 24, 2014

24. I Love ...good pen. a fine pen, the right pen.


I don't like to worry that the words will smudge,
will disappear completely from the page.
Gone.

I've had that happen.
It's a sad thing to see.

It makes a difference ... the pen.

The words flow so much better when they flow.

Thick, fat lines are awkward; 
they make me write messy.

I enjoy writing so much more with the right pen.

And for me,
they are often illusive.
Four hundred pens and most likely
isn't one amongst them
that I will enjoy.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

23. I Love ... Music


All music.  

Reggae & Country & Classical & Folk & Rock...
All music.
Even Rap.

It is the most effective Mood Tool.

Want to feel cheerful?
Put on something lively.

Want to feel mellow.
Put on mellow.

Want to feel nostalgic?
Put on the songs
that bring memories flooding back.

How awesome to live
in a time when music is so 
accessible.

Music can
change a mood,
set a mood,
calm people down, 
rev people up.

A powerful tool.

And I love it all.
And I love that I can have it 
in my life with such ease.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

22. I Love ... Buttercups


I even love 

the word
BUTTERCUP.

Fragile.

Tiny.

Buttery yellow.

I think
summer fields
and 
children.
Me and mine.

Little hands.

Simple jars.
Simple days.

And I think about 
Jersey cows.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

21. I Love ... Red


Red. Reds.

Red everything.
Which is really something
because for the longest time
I hated
that I had 
red hair.

It was an embarassment.
It was a curse.
It was a taunt.
'Hey Red'
was used as an insult.

I was told to 
never, EVER
wear red.
It clashed.

I listened for 
way too long.
And then I 
rebelled.

I wore red.

I decorated with red.

The more I used,
the more I grew
to 
like
my hair.

Red 
now is magnetic
to my soul.

I like a splash of
Red
everywhere.

I Love ...
Red doors.
Red paint.
Red flowers.
Red journals.
Red jackets.
Red rooms.
Red wagons.
Red barns.

Red hair.

I am well Red.

Monday, January 20, 2014

20. I Love ... 9 pane windows


The real kind.
The old kind.

Wooden frame
with
layers and layers and layers
of springtime paint.

Wash the glass,
paint the wood.
We're fresh and ready
for a new season.
Year after year.

And then one day,
not.

'We'll leave it for next year.'
Then the next.

The nine pane owners are
old
and so is the window.

It weathers.
And weathers.

And then it gets replaced.

By vinyl.

Never needs painting.
Never weathers.

It is void of layers of paint.
And character.
And history.
And life.

The old nine pane
has a story.
It has seen the frost.
Breath upon it.
Faces
up close.

Peering faces from
outside in
and
inside out.

Then abandoned.
Replaced.
Discarded.
Blanketed now by weeds.

I find it.
I want it.
Because
I LOVE
nine pane windows.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

19. I Love ... Sundays


Which is kind of strange
since I basically have the
freedom
to craft any day
into I want.

Sunday
though, I like the word.
It says
 'something special'.
It says
REST
if you want to.

My favourite simple Sunday -
reading the Star
leisurely.
A second cup of coffee.

Brian watching football.

The kids coming to play at the farm.

A nap in my cabin.

Taking a journal to a quiet spot.

Anything.

Or nothing.

Sunday.
Does it begin the week?
Or end the week?

The only day that could be either -
depending on your
mood
or your
needs.

SUN Day.
Even as a
rainy, dreary, lazy day
there is 
comfort
knowing it will come.


Saturday, January 18, 2014

18. I Love ... sunsets



I should have a
bumper sticker
that says:
"I Stop for Sunsets"

If I am blessed
with colour,
I do indeed 
stop
what I am doing
and soak it in.

Sunsets do not get away on me
without me willing it to 
stay
just a little 
longer.

There is a
feel
to a sunset;
a calmness.
You just observe.
You cannot rush it.

It is there for everyone.
But everyone does not see it.

Those that do
can
hold it,
moment by moment;
a gentle slipping away
before
there is
darkness.

Friday, January 17, 2014

17. I Love ... Inspiring People


Inspiring PEOPLE
not
INSPIRING people.
As in
people who inspire me,
not the act of
me inspiring them,
although I would love that too
if it were at all possible.

I love people who inspire me
in all kinds of ways;
by their
tenacity,
humour,
gentleness,
fortitude,
tolerance,
honesty,
openness,
warmth,
grace.

I love people with a ready
smile,
laugh, 
hug.

I love people with open
minds,
hearts, 
arms.

I love people with
passion,
enthusiasm
and 
sense of adventure.

I love people who slog
through the mire and muck
of tough times
and don't come out
bitter.

I love people 
who love living.
Who are grateful for each day
no matter what it brings.

I love people who want to
LIVE until they die.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

16 I Love ... water over rocks


That's something
you don't even have to
see
to appreciate or 
recognize.

You can 
close your eyes
and you know 
it's happening.

Movement.

Coming from a source.

Not stagnant.
Not laying.
Not sitting.

Moving.

Over and around.

Creating sound.

Creating
a memerizing motion
that draws your eye 
to it;
draws your soul
to it.

It says to me:
"I am moving.
You don't need to.
Sit.
Watch.
Listen.
I am
churning and stirring.
If you will stay
quietly
with me 
for awhile,
I will
stir
your thoughts.
I will 
move
your spirit.
You can watch as I go
on
and 
on
and 
on.
And wash over
your cares
and round 
your edges."


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

15. I Love ... Blogger


Maybe
I just love
any technical program
that I can actually
figure out.

It's got to do some
pretty amazing things
for me to Love it.
For the longest time
I thought BLOG was the
most ridiculous,
unattractive word
ever.
'Blogger' would have been just
a dirivitive of a
stupid word.

I've grown
accustomed to it.

Blogger
is
friendly.

Blogger
is 
smart.

It saves my words
without me having
to remember to do that.

It allows for creativity.

It actually invites creatitivy.

It is my on-line journal.
And we know
how I LOVE 
journals.
And I LOVE
writing.
And I LOVE
photographs.

I can marry them all together
in the sky.

And when the 
time is right.
I can press a button
and
SLURP.
It all comes back to me
in a book.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

14. I Love ...frogs


and the 
joy
they bring
to my grandbabes.

Around
and
around
and 
around
the pond
catching the poor old fellas.

Over
and 
over 
and 
over.

Being
Delighted
and 
Excited
every single time.

I Love
hearing them
at nights ...
bedroom window
open.

The 
sound
of summer.

Remembering it,
longing for it
in the depths of
winter
while they soundly
sleep.
Somewhere.
Where are they?

While I
await
their return
to sing their
summer song.


Monday, January 13, 2014

13. I Love ... hands


Tiny little baby hands
with perfect tiny little finger nails.

Pudgy little toddler hands
holding on to one finger.

Grimely, sticky, dirty little kid hands;
proof of all their adventures of the day.

Growing hands:
little boy hands changing to a young man's;
little girls with sparkly polish
all too soon
with slender fingers
wearing a promise.

Hands of a hard working man,
a hard working woman.

Aged hands,
holding a lifetime
of days past.

Days of
 holding a baby,
holding a lover,
 holding a friend,
holding the future.

Hands together in prayer.
Hands
at rest.

Hands hold
it all.



Sunday, January 12, 2014

12. I Love ... Lupins


I didn't given them
any thought
at all
until I discovered that they grew
wild
in Newfoundland.

I am not there with them
every year.
I suppose that makes them
even more of a
gift to me.
Elusive.

A few times I have
painstakingly
collected the pods to spread some
summer joy
myself;
but it has never worked.
I can't tell if the soil is 
too rich 
for them or 
too poor.
They simpley refuse to grow.

And so I must
catch a glimpse of
 happy pink and rich rich purple
when I can.
In the wild.

And that, I suppose
is why I cannot cultivate them.
I am meant to love them
where I find them.


Saturday, January 11, 2014

11. I Love ... Old, Old Photos


I don't even have to know
who they were.

I have been known
to adopt people;
to give them a name
and add them 
to our family.

We have gained
Emily,
Jack,
Anna
and
poor Clara.

We take
 thousands upon thousands
of photos now.

I suspect that the
solitary
family photo 
from the turn of the century
will always garner 
more interest,
more examination,
more stewardship
from people
who don't have a clue
who they are,
than the multitude of photos
that we produce now.

A shoebox
would contain most people's lives
back then;
now
it's an external hard drive
or cloud back up
for a year or two of
images.

Old, old photos:
even without
archival ink
they survive
even if their stories
don't.



Friday, January 10, 2014

10. I Love ... the cursive L


I love the look of it.
I love making it.

It's graceful,
like
figure skating
with your fingers.

It's balletic.

It's flowing
like
directing a symphony.

It was my favourite letter to write
when I was learning cursive writing.

L and S

I envied people whose names started with those letters.

Funny,
I married into an 'S'
but I'm quick and sloppy with it.
Half the time you can't even tell
it's an S
It's not the practiced, musical S of my childhood.
Musical
because it always reminded me
of a backwards treble clef.

But my L is.
Always.
It's hard to sloppy-up an L.



Thursday, January 9, 2014

9. I Love ... birdsong


I love the word.

I love the concept.

I love the connotation.

I have an image
in my head that is
BIRDSONG.

It is a red winged blackbird
collaged on top of faded
musical notes.

Simply. 
Eloquent
in one word
or two.

Perhaps it isn't a real word -
an official word.
It doesn't matter.
It is in MY world.

"And in the morning they awoke to birdsong."

"The evening ended with gentlest of birdsong."

Birdsong.

Birdsong.

Birdsong.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

8. I Love ... the lake



In fact,
I picked my college 
 for the sole reason
that there was a
lake
close by.

As are so many,
I am drawn to water.

Soothing,
rhymic,
meditative
or
powerful.

Gentle lapping 
or
 fierce pounding, crashing;
both are equaly
appealing
to me.

The great lakes are like the ocean;
the horizon going on 
and on;
the perfect landscape for
sunsets.

A quiet lake is magnetic
to me as well.
Peaceful.
Still.
The call of the loon;
the fragrance of the woods.

The lake with its seductive power
 can make me
pensive,
melancohly;
it can make me
relax,
disengage with chaos,
it can take me
away.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

7. I Love ... a Snow Day


Seriously.
I do.
I really, really, really do.

I love it
when the snow is 
whirling and twirling,
and the wind is
growling and howling.

I love it when 
I don't have to second guess
whether to venture out;
when there is absolutely no possibility
 for me to go 
anywhere;
even though I most likely
wasn't going to anyway.

I love it when
I think I shouldn't have to
work
even though
I don't have to leave the house,
which means
 I really don't have a
legitimate excuse.

I love it when 
the woodstove is roaring,
the kettle is hot
and my only mission
is to curl up with a 
book and cuppa.

I love it when
the roads are closed
so NO ONE
can go anywhere;
when everyone is home
Safe & Sound & Warm.

I always loved it when I
was young
and I woke up to
'ALL BUSES CANCELLED'.
I loved that same announcement
 when my kids
were at home.

I guess I have never got over that feeling
of a
SNOW DAY
being a
BONUS DAY.

Monday, January 6, 2014

6. I love ... reflection



Not the 'thinking' kind,
although that's okay too,
and I probably should be spending
more time in that activity.

It is of the
mirror image
that I speak.

If there is reflection,
there has to be
stillness
and
light.

I suppose that is relevant 
to the thinking kind as well.

In darkness it seems
that I do not gently reflect;
I am all over the place,
digging up random bits.
If I have a candle flickering,
I calm my mind
and reflection comes
easier.

But I digress.

The reflection of the image.
That is what I see,
dismissing the original;
looking
for the subtle differences
upside down;
watching
how the most gentle movement
can shift and distort it
but still
maintain
its 
recognizable form.

And perhaps even make it
more interesting.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

5. I Love ... trees



Pick one thing.
Only
one thing.
You must live
without the rest.
One thing
in nature,
you get to keep.

How difficult
to let go of the water,
the lake,
rivers,
the sea.

Tough choice, but
I would have to choose the
Tree.

God's best sculpture.

Strong and enduring,
yet fragile and mortal.
Functional.
Protective.
Shade and birds
and 
beauty.

New leaves;
blossoms;
full leaf;
fruit; 
autumnal tints,
naked and barren.

Each and every
stage and season
necessary,
valued,
cherished.

And then upon
death,
still giving
in new and different forms.

Every bit as valuable.
And a chance even moreso.

Giving the very most of a life,
from seed to the end and beyond.


Saturday, January 4, 2014

4. I Love ...clotheslines


That's no secret.

My love of clotheslines
is well documented
in the four books 
that I have created.

I love
what they represent:
family,
home, 
simplicity.

Days when we took 
time
to let 
nature
orchestrate a bit of our day,
our life.

Soft breeze.

Sunshine.

The fragrance
of freshly washed bedding
when you climb
between the sheets.

I love 
driving around the countryside
and spying a line
that tells a story.

I love 
that some areas
still have wash day on Monday.
You only know that because of
clotheslines.
Dryers tell nothing.

I love the 
act
of hanging out the wash.
Co-ordinating it.

I have loved
watching
my line change over the years.
Growing.
Growing.
Growing.
In number and size.

Diminished now.
But every so often,
once again,
a little pair of sleepers.


Friday, January 3, 2014

3. I Love ... sunrise


I don't see that many.

I should arrange to see more.
I could arrange to see more.

There's no reason I don't
other than the fact
that I would actually have to rise
earlier.
Which I could if I didn't stay up
half the night.

But when I do rise
and see the sun do the same,
it is a glorious thing indeed.

It's not just
the colours
that make it
wonderful,
beautiful,
remarkable,
but the simple fact that the day
is so much longer.

Those few hours before 8 am
are such a treasure.

A treasure that is within my grasp
every single day,
if I would.

Sometimes
even if you 
LOVE 
something,
you don't grasp it
and hold it.

We should.


Thursday, January 2, 2014

2. I Love ... writing


I suppose that's why I have such a vast - oh yes,
 VAST
collection of journals.
That definitely will be another 'LOVE' entry.
The pure quantity of them justifies its own space.

I need to stick to the topic with this LOVE book;
with this little exercise designed to help me
keep it brief, within the space ... concise.
AS IF my thoughts are ever
that.

This is to be an exercise to write;
to arrive at the page
and Begin.

I Love to write.
For me it is a quiet time with Me.
 Me and my thoughts.
Pen to paper.
Minimize distraction. 
Harness the chatter in the skull.
I find it
peaceful,
meditative,
healing,
inspiring,
therapeutic,
productive.

 Sorting out all those words
and thoughts
and events
that I carry in my poor old tired head
brings me pleasure.

I love to write.
I always have.



Wednesday, January 1, 2014

1. I Love ...that the dates don't match



I love that I can let go of the expectation to use this book
'as intended'.
That I can be a rebel
and chart my own course.

That sounds like a stretch to go there
from just daring to write 'differently' in this book.

It's not really.
It's been an evolution for me.
It has taken a lifetime to feel the freedom to
not 'fill in the blanks' as expected.

I could so easily have been one of the people
who do that
forever.
Always do what is right and proper.
And expected.

I lacked confidence and self-esteem.
I was an introvert to the enth degree;
 as a child, as a young adult too.

I almost said
'I wonder when I changed.
I wonder how I changed;
how I grew?'

But actually, I know.
It's because
I Love.



To Know That Love Is All There Is ...


It’s no secret that I am a Journal Junkie. 
I fall in love with the style and the feel,
scoop it up 
and THEN figure out what I will do with it.

Two years ago I came across a sweet little gold embossed leather-look one 
with the ever-so-cool magnet clip that tickles me. 
I certainly didn’t need yet another daily calendar for 2012 
but I bought it anyway and waited for inspiration. 
It came quickly.

At the top of each page I wrote: 
“I Love” …
 and then proceeded to fill each one 
with the many, many, many things I love.

It kept me in an aura of gratitude.
 It proved to me that the
 joy and celebration 
of my world 
is in the small, everyday things.

I decided that this year
 I would transfer my journal over to this form for a couple reasons.
 It’s a good exercise for me to commit 
to writing and working with photos every day – 
it gives me something to show for my year.  
And in the end I will just have to click a button 
and will be able to publish it in a more legible book form that my little journal.
 I love that!

We have Big Love for our family and friends of course … 
but there are a million other
 random little things that 
light our lives and stir our hearts.

 It is my hope that this might move someone else
 to think about that 
which delights and inspires 
them on a daily basis.

I already have chosen the words to go on my headstone at the end of my days:

To know that Love
Is all there is
Is all there is
To know.

This is what I have Loved.