Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: First Love.

270744_10150217121326644_2859095_n (1)

This is a bit I wrote for my beautiful daughter when she was seventeen. Bittersweet. 

 

Last night

I tried to explain

First Love Heartbreak

And why you hurt so much.

 

Love is complicated

Messy and not always fair

Happily ever after

Isn’t guaranteed

The odds aren’t in our favor.

 

I didn’t want you to learn about

These intricate feelings

While you were so young

I hoped you’d be

As old as dirt

Like me

Before this happened

Or better still I hoped

You’d beat the odds

And be one of the rare ones

Whose First Love

Was your Forever Love.

 

You are my beautiful girl

Who up until last night

Believed in the art

Of romantic gestures

The nuance of passion

And lyrical promises.

 

Right now

You’re not only mourning

The end of something

You thought would last forever

Or at least longer than it did

You’re mourning

The loss of The First.

 

The knowledge that

You’ll never have that again

Is the frustrating veracity

The slap of reality

The cold water

Splashed in your face

The agony and anguish

We all want to escape.

 

You cried and said

You would never love another

The way you loved him

And the truth is

You won’t.

 

You only get one

Like this.

11037153_10152839445821644_3781745839098422191_n (1)

10422138_10152594718886644_3787766509740215438_n (1)

463145_10150821032286644_1591618065_o (1)

Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Take What You Need.

19491_51942b19c19153.39812755-big

I found this note taped to a bank of mailboxes.

They are part of the scenery on the country road that I walk every day.

This is how I do lunch.

Take what you need, it said.

So I did.

19491_51942b58690d26.00214958-big

The next day I passed this same bank of mailboxes.

The note with the offer to ‘take what you need’ was gone.

Maybe it was just a one-day thing.

Like a sale at Walmart.

IMG_1368

For a second I was saddened by its sudden disappearance.

Then I smiled to myself and moved on.

Because I still have what I took.

IMG_1373 (1)

Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Foster Wisdom.

1660634_10153275093600918_8749340678496488461_n

Girl Warrior. Foster Wisdom. Seek enlightenment, illumination and insight at every turn, every opportunity. Grow your intuition and awareness of the world around you and the one within. Fine-tune your instincts and your vital sixth sense. Follow your hunches and listen closely to your gut feelings. For these are the essential bits in the Sage’s toolkit.

First you will need to take a journey inward. You will also need to open your mind to all the possibilities that abide there. You will be opening the door to the unknown, the unexplored, the unfamiliar, and above all else, the uncertain. You will be knocking on the door of mystery and magic and all things mystical. The prospect of this may frighten you. Don’t let it. Open the door and walk unflinchingly through. This is a big step and a brave move on your part. But it is a prerequisite on the path to true understanding.

It is here that you will begin to know the difference between the accumulation of information and knowledge and that of wisdom, knowing and genuine insight. It is in this pilgrimage to the deepest corner of your soul that you will discover the Universal Truths, your highest self, your eternal being and your infinite connection to the Divine. It is from this vantage point that you will do your best work.

It is both exalting and humbling. And when you get there, Girl Warrior you will know.

35079_548072038408_4087212_n

179295_10151011488756241_207467813_n

20374_235933366643_4859793_n

996770_10153175780051846_5736140582044169071_n (1)

1174801_722159450838_851068682_n-1

549068_10151311860481266_832046573_n copy

1689252_10152263472556522_1109959689_n (1)

1916999_121169931265_5124502_n

10337703_10152462913441266_5812304108691446204_n

10377028_10152573166780996_4942566012810565599_n (1)

11071095_10155570795980507_6373806578364881025_n

10390901_10153011366016223_8739443119910476525_n

10262003_10152091861431205_9073105800857871298_n-1 (1)

11863340_10155970637495444_3577105112980171700_n

432011_10150959934111266_1223367921_n (1)

1384_10153178524996846_2437256274822896672_n

12107990_10156180266710113_987581549695212661_n

 

 

 

 

Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Press Pause.

 1097970_722159570598_1225206415_n (1)

Girl Warrior. Press pause. Give yourself a time out. Take a break. A breather. Remove yourself from the busy-ness of life. Especially when you feel you have no time to do so. For that is when you need it the most.

Step away from the chaos that surrounds you. Separate yourself from all the noise and nonsense. Beat a hasty retreat from the racket and wild rumpus. Clear the incessant commotion inside your head that’s tearing your fragile spirit to shreds. And wreaking havoc with your overloaded senses.

Stop the madness Girl Warrior. Check out of Hotel Crazy. Find your place of refuge. We all have a sacred space, a thinking spot, and a place where peace is waiting. Go there. If you don’t have one, find one or create one. It’s that important. And once there, take the time you need to revive, rejuvenate and refresh. Breathe new life into your weary bones.

Resist the urge to overthink or complicate things. Finding a place to rest and recover can be as easy as drawing a hot bath filled with your favorite fragrance, locking the door to the outside world, lighting a few candles, pouring a beverage that nurtures your spirit, and closing your eyes as you sink into the sweet soothing serenity of silence.

Then just let it all go Girl Warrior. Let it go.

12723_10153853814940113_1185200500_n (1).jpg

20571_318281711240_5695865_n (1)

73998_10151125084486266_1649759122_n (1)

150889_491362654576_8147195_n (1)

259811_10150667362780113_1168885_n (1)

283355_10151098736046266_1067961574_n (1)

540720_10151770650209577_631922167_n (1)

574780_10150955387651220_317241232_n (1)

600995_10151024472936241_2112944060_n (1)

10292146_10152149000756220_4197255766731980281_n (1)

10516857_10152290062036220_5408725514843843217_n (1)

DSCN1578 (2).jpg

303297_10151013246220236_1171571345_n (1)

 

Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Listen Up.

189291_10150108504826266_2325166_n

Girl Warrior. Listen up. Listen attentively and actively when someone is speaking to you. Listen empathically. Sympathetically. Conscientiously. Listen with your ears. Listen with your eyes. Listen with your heart. Engage all your senses. And your extra senses also.

Give all your attention to the one doing the talking. Whether they have come to pour their heart out and confide in you. Or pour you a cup of tea and all that is required is some comfortable conversation with a cookie.

Focus on the one across from you. Do not allow yourself to become distracted, diverted or drawn away. Don’t let anything trump or eclipse this moment between you. Turn off your cell phone. Close your tablet. Shut down your laptop. Turn off the TV. And tune in.

Then lean in. Look hard into their eyes. Let them know they matter. What they have to say matters. Their thoughts and feelings and fears and hopes and dreams count for something. This is important stuff Girl Warrior. Respect, regard and reverence are composed and crafted here in these everyday exchanges. These ordinary little tête-à-têtes that happen so often we take them for granted. These soulful heart-to-hearts that we assume will always be. But the truth is, they won’t. So don’t squander even one single solitary conversation by not being fully present.

Girl Warrior let the one across from you know that you have not only shown up, but you are fully engaged. And listening.

29052_398712776265_4401962_n

181568_10150394643570113_6576065_n

184623_10151175362886266_1683075344_n

197078_10150108491901266_2204483_n

268018_10150725545380113_6154068_n

285077_10150725593740113_3602708_n

303386_10150828316951266_572587530_n

10262159_10152363239375120_1297365456949369735_n

10363877_10152518277616266_7685472152881204428_n

10885271_10152462912101266_1631611982673336042_n

11692527_10152830588141266_2161410705091114231_n

190478_10150114141256568_3748468_n

Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: Don’t Judge.

11188302_10152677869471266_6098191698659457944_n (1)

Girl Warrior. Resist the urge to judge. Criticize. Condemn. Crucify. Cast aspersions or make snap decisions about the words or deeds of others. Not everything is as it appears on the surface. Nor at first blush. Outward appearances are often deceiving.

We all have a backstory that affects the present-day things that we do or think or say. And some backstories aren’t so rosy. Glowing halos do not hover above everyone’s head. For some, the crown of light has been dimmed or extinguished completely. And there is no glory. The reasons for this loss of luminosity matters not.

What matters Girl Warrior, is that you take a step back. And ditch any self-righteous attitude. Holier-than-thou posturing. False feelings of moral superiority. Shake loose the sanctimonious, smug and self-satisfied belief that you are better than the girl next to you, the one down the road, or across the world. Instead take a walk in another’s earth-worn shoes. You may find their pain unbearable. Enduring one single step impossible, much less going a mile.

For this, and only this, will allow you the grace to see things from a different perspective. To hear the true meaning in the silence between the words. To fully understand that there is usually more to the story.

And always remember this, kind and loving Girl Warrior, judgment is a door that swings both ways.

 

166634_10150394700470113_2525783_n (1).jpg

10351148_10152216094521266_6299726377599588583_n (1)

971163_10151393499291644_268009758_n (1)

971008_10151523671406644_1783669925_n (1)

10435901_10152216094836266_873591484312823477_n (1)

546093_10151330565231644_1644571200_n (1)

10550971_10152167732801568_491274296887628535_n-3 (2)

548153_10151000440476266_472715410_n (1)

IMG_0553 (1)

IMG_0543 (1)

 

Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: For the Love of Mary Passingham.

Ma in shorts

Dear Love,

I wanted you to know that my great grandmother’s name was Mary Passingham and she was born on the Isle of Wight. And that some day I’m going to write a romance novel and use Mary Passingham as my pen name.

I wanted you to know that I have always had a passion for reading books and I think that was a gift from Mary Passingham.

I wanted you to know that when I was growing up and everyone else in my house was watching television, I read books. And that I dreamed about another life that had nothing to do with the one that I lived.

I wanted you to know that my mother was raised by Mary Passingham and that she died when my older brother was two months old.

And that my mother loved her dearly. I say my mother, “loved dearly” because Mary Passingham was the only person who ever called my mother “dear” while she was growing up.

And I wanted you to know that because Mary Passingham called my mother “dear”, my mother at age ten, would walk two miles to Eaton’s to buy Mary a spool of embroidery thread. Just to be her dear. And because Mary taught my mother how to embroider. And my mother taught me.

I wanted you to know that Mary Passingham had no money but she loved my mother dearly and that once she gave my mother a bottle of Evening in Paris perfume for Christmas. My mother cherished that bottle of perfume. It didn’t matter that it cost only seventeen cents because it was a gift from Mary. And she received no others that year.

I wanted you to know that I never understood why I loved books so much until my mother told me that Mary Passingham spent her days reading books, doing embroidery and growing vegetables in the summer. In the summer my mother and her sisters feasted on Mary’s garden.

And I wanted you to know that Mary taught my mother how to bake bread. And my mother taught me. And that my mother loved sandwiches made with Mary’s homemade bread and lettuce from her garden.

And that I love sandwiches made with my mother’s homemade bread and lettuce freshly picked from her garden.

I wanted you to know that I love to spend my days reading books, doing embroidery and growing vegetables in the summer.

I wanted you to know that Mary Passingham had a china cabinet made of carved oak filled with knick-knacks and trinkets and that my mother polished it for her every Saturday morning.

And that my mother has a china cabinet made of Canadian maple filled with knick-knacks and trinkets but I never spent my Saturdays polishing it. Although I loved that china cabinet.

I don’t have a china cabinet but I have a house filled with knick-knacks and ornaments. And I love them dearly.

I wanted you to know about all these wonderful gifts that Marry Passingham gave to my mother. And my mother gave to me. I never knew Mary Passingham. Only my mother did.

But I wanted you to know that I love my mother dearly just as she did Mary. And even though I never met Mary I loved her dearly too.

Love,

Boo

Footnote: I came across this sweet little piece today while looking for an old story I had written called The Sixteen Jacket. I hadn’t seen it in years and thought it was lost. Both this piece and The Sixteen Jacket were written decades ago when I was a young woman, and long before my mother died. I don’t even remember who “Dear Love” was. I’ve decided to share it unedited, and exactly as I had written it back then, to honor with loving kindness the young blossoming writer that was just beginning to emerge from a veil of shy awkwardness.

Cherished pillow cases embroidered by my mother.

Cherished pillow cases embroidered by my mother.

I spent months embroidering the front of this denim skirt.

I spent months embroidering the front of this denim skirt.

Diaries of The Breadman’s Daughter: The Maple Tree.

IMG_3110 2

I have a Maple Tree in my front yard.

I brought it with me from Ontario as a tiny sapling.

I removed it gingerly from its mother tree the morning I left to return to BC.

I wrapped it in a wet paper towel and a plastic baggy.

I placed it carefully into my purse where it journeyed across Canada with me.

I loved it so and made a promise to my parents to take good care of it.

I planted it temporarily in a small terracotta pot.

I replanted it and replanted it into ever-bigger pots that sat on my sunny patio.

I watched as it grew and grew until it was the same height as me.

I bought a little white house after my parents died just around the corner from the rental.

I lovingly removed the Maple Tree from its final pot made from a wooden barrel.

I planted it permanently in the front yard deeply anchored in the solid earth.

I called it Marion after my mother.

She is well over twenty feet tall now.

She is far bigger than my mother could have ever imagined.

She is a faithful reminder of my mother and the life we shared.

She provides a welcome canopy of shade.

She keeps my front room cool and comfortable in the summertime.

She is beautifully naked and oh so graceful in the winter.

She quietly stands guard and watches over this little white house.

She is eternally helpful and obliging that way.

She also makes me feel safe in the shelter of her branches.

She changes color with the seasons but not the way her mother tree did back in Ontario.

She wonders about some of those autumn colors of her lineage.

She ponders the reason they are missing from her leaves.

She thinks her mother tree looked divine in a particular shade of red.

She mourns the loss of the things she did not inherit.

 IMG_0761

IMG_3108

IMG_0764