Tuesday, 26 August 2014

'Tis Almost Fairy Time

"When the first baby laughed for the first time, the laugh broke into a thousand pieces and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies."
                                                                                                       J. M. Barrie


"I felt in my bones; first, that this world does not explain itself. It may be a miracle with a supernatural explanation; it may be a conjuring trick, with a natural explanation. But the explanation of the conjuring trick, if it is to satisfy me, will have to be better than the natural explanations I have heard. The thing is magic, true of false. Second, I came to feel as if magic must have a meaning, and meaning must have some one to mean it. There was something personal in the world, as in a work of art; whatever it meant it meant violently. Third, I thought this purpose beautiful in its old design, in spite of its defects, such as dragons."
                                                                                        - G. K. Chesterton

"Since it is so likely that children will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage."
                                                                                   - C.S. Lewis
"I have explained that the fairy tales founded in me two convictions; first, that this world is a wild and startling place, which might have been quite different, but which is quite delightful; second, that before this wildness and delight one may well be modest and submit to the queerest limitations of so queer a kindness."

                                                                                                           - G. K. Chesterton


"'That is what makes life at once so splendid and so strange. We are in the wrong world. When I thought that was the right town, it bored me; when I knew it was wrong, I was happy. So the false optimism, the modern happiness, tires us because it tells us we fit into this world. The true happiness is that we don't fit. We come from somewhere else. We have lost our way.'"

                                                                                                     G.K. Chesterton

"I laid out the laws of reality. Butterflies and lightning do not strike twice. And then God spoke.

'Do you see this man? He said to my son. 'He is your father. Do not believe a word he says.'

The second time the butterfly landed on his arm.

How many lies have I told him? I and the world both. I have repented now. I no longer tell him that he can't touch the moon from my shoulders. I tell him to stretch, and I offer to run and jump. There may be a dragon in the mulberries. I make sure to check. And I look for fish under the couch."

                                                                                                    - N. D. Wilson

"This is exactly the message that fairy tales get across to the child in manifold form: that a struggle against severe difficulties in life is unavoidable, is an intrinsic part of human existence - but that if one does not shy away, but steadfastly meets unexpected and often unjust hardships, one masters all obstacles and at the end emerges victorious."

                                                                                             - Bruno Bettelheim

Sometimes you just need to invite a dozen church children over to make sure they have not forgotten about the unseen - that to possess the unseen is to possess everything. And that is faith.

- Millie

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Book by Book.

For my 13th birthday, I must have received a plethora of notebooks, because there is one that I still have, for the sole purpose of recording each book I read.

I filled the last page yesterday, writing across the back of the cover to bring this chapter to a close.

I’m turning 23 tomorrow.

Before I chuck the dilapidated thing into a box, I’ve enjoyed flipping through the pages. That many years, means a lot of books.

The first page has a number of titles written in gel pen. The last page’s handwriting is considerably improved.

Books tell stories, sometimes the arc of a lifetime. What I didn’t count on, was the books I read to tell a little tale about me.

A couple pages in, I apparently read three Hardy Boy’s books in a row. A few years later, I was doing the same thing with Agatha Christie novels.

At age 14, I read The Westing Game and then a few weeks later, finished Pride and Prejudice for the first time.

 The teenage years are a funny balancing act, reading Louisa May Alcott, Oscar Wilde, and Redwall. Oh, and a lot of Ramona and Beezus books.

Back and forth… trying to decide whether to grow up.

I’m thinking of independence as I read the titles too. A funny thing, those growing up years, where you read what you’re told (who reads Homer for fun?) and you read what you want. Wodehouse, Sutcliffe, and Amusing Ourselves to Death. A few Dear Canada’s back to back.

 Life, my notebook tells me, is a staggery path to good choices and mature decisions, one book at a time.

Perhaps at times, I was overzealous. Reading The Over-Load Syndrome at 15 years?

The more I look, in fact, the more I see the books I’ve read as dots; dots connecting the grown up moments to the little girl. Some books stand out more than others. I read Gilead and Tale of Despereaux at the same friend’s house. Both profoundly moved me. I remember crying for the first time over a book…Our Mutual Friend, in fact. Reading Stephen Leacock finally solved my age old wonder whether I indeed ‘had a sense of humour.’

And My Name Is Asher Lev was the first book I remember leaving me with no opinion. Just big eyes to look at the world.

It’s been a lot of water under the bridge, a lot of books over the bedside table. I won’t be writing every title down anymore, although I do track my reading progress with friends on Pinterest.

But the words will still be telling the story…of characters, and of a growing up. Of change. Slow.

I wonder what sort of index 33 will have?


Friday, 1 August 2014

For This Friday Night

I believe that in everyone's secret soul there is a thrill seeker.

 We seek the little or large...the things that make us smile, laugh and sometimes what makes us sweaty palmed.

Or other times, the thrills land in our lap. A few words with big brothers and before you know it, you're double dared to ride a helicopter.


And  who could ever regret doing something like that?

So here's to it. Here's to landing in a cornfield on the edge of town.

Here's to the sound of blades and wind everywhere.

Here's to the sun coming down over the prettiest of hometowns.

Here's to sharp turns and for a split second, not really knowing where my head is supposed to be.

Here's to my finger marks on the inside of the window.

And here's to ten minutes of grinning at new things.

Cheers guys.


P.S. They are giving rides all day tomorrow too. You should do it.

I bet it's good for your blood pressure.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Coming Home

Some vacations are for seeing and some are for tasting. I think, if I could choose a word, I would say that this one was for talking.


Talking on the road, talking on the beach, on the couch…after dark. Especially after dark…


….and when you get home, you realize what this vacation meant for you.

So you could smell the air a little deeper. Inspect the garden with greater joy. Taste the tap water, and hug the home faces, and remember the creaks in your floor.















It is a testament to the best of friends when their talking sends you back with new eyes for seeing. And vacations are for renewing, and this time…for coming home.


Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Making New Normals

Day 1 in the morning: The power being out was annoying.

Day 1 by bedtime: I was resigned to hurricanes being a tolerable way to spend my Saturday. Candles are always fun, after all.

Day 2: No power was more confusing than anything, and I developed an insatiable thirst (of course). I started making a list of electrical things I was thankful for.

Day 3: I stopped reaching for the light switch constantly. Nor did we bat an eyelash when serving peanut butter and bread to company.

And by the time our power came on in the evening of Day 4, I was almost gripped with some bittersweet thoughts. The list had somehow morphed in my mind, and had become an account of happy things from four days without power.

For starters...1. SO. Much. Sleep.

2. BBQ food around the clock.

3. No more excuses for avoiding the weedy garden.

4. Taking soap and towel down to the river afterwards.

5. Remembering to use the clothes line more often.

6. Slowing down, because you can't run up the stairs with a candle.

7. Room temperature water is better for you.

8. The house is entirely quiet in the morning.

9. This. (Makes me chuckle.)
10. And our fridge and a couple freezers look really clean now.
Which is well and good. Although really...electricity has its pro points too. Flushing toilets with the pull of a lever?
Pretty fancy.

Monday, 30 June 2014


June is a great month, really. The whole summer's ahead, and the nights are still cool.

It is also the best of time to relearn what my heart already knows. Scratch the What I Learned (summer brain). This month is for fixing my eyes on the good things that are here.

...in the garden...
eating and drinking with the best of the best...
reading...a lot...
I went on a ferry for the first time ever!
....playing and singing into the night...
drinking coffee in bed...

....learning to play hard.
And knowing, knowing, knowing that God is at work.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Poems from May

A person or two has asked about my poems of last month’s challenge…so I’ve selected some that may or may not make sense.

I found the everyday a place extremely ripe with inspiration.  The only problem is it led to a somewhat cryptic style of poetry. For there are moments that have such weight in one’s heart - but mean little to anyone else. You had to be there, in other words


I suppose, however, that could possibly be what poetry is all about?

So welcome to my world. Good luck.


May Day

The sun is liar

Wide eyed wind takes my breath

Spring, when will you come?



Despite the morning warmth, rain comes

And despite the love, which wraps

Close, kind, comforting, blessed;

Loneliness will open the door,

And swirl around my ankles, dark.

It does not care that Truth is mine,

That I can speak the words of every promise

My eyes, it wishes to blind,

My heart, it feels the ice clutch.

And hands, idle on my lap, close to fists.

Yet the mists will not rise

Despite their whiteness turning to gray,

With every passing friend,

I still can open palms and wait,

For God to send a butterfly.


Somewhere, wars, the blasphemy rages on

Somewhere the living fight to live

And the dying seek to rest in peace.

Somewhere the wind only moves ash

Chalky tears of destruction and it will not cease.


But that, you baby there in overalls;

Need not touch the blessing of blue eyes.

Let the wind move curls instead

And let you point in peace, over there

A roguish cat stalks the squirrel.



After winter’s cold, toes trapped

It is good to feel the grit.

And mud splashes up my leg

As I try to jump the creek.


Low Country Boil

He’s chuckling, the bearded cook

And brawny arms he brings to bear,

Stirring, sweating, amid the pots.

The two backs bend, to lift and spill

And mouths drop in the cloud of steam,

Like supper, as it tumbles to the table.

Corn, rolling over sausages and

Potatoes, softly breaking in their skins.

A blessing said, the cook must smile

For joy is in the sharing.

And the spoon, it rattles down,


In an empty pot.