I’m grateful for siblings who listen and laugh with me.
First born…middle child (children) and the baby of the family.
We’ve avoided the traps of sibling rivalry, for the most part, at least. We were all “the favourite” in our parent’s eyes. We are all awesome, in our own unique ways, if I do say so myself, enjoying inside jokes and common interests and our hobbies.
I remember New York City with two of them and a trip still to come with the third is going to be epic.
They’ve given me the gift of becoming an aunt. They’ve shared new music (Bjork/Pinback just to name a few).
I love them all. They, all three originals and two in-laws, all my heroes, even if this particular Bette Midler song is overdone, over played, and over-the-top in their eyes perhaps. This song still makes me cry. They matter. I’m going for it with the sharing of these lyrics, because I would be lost without them:
They’ve kept me going through the hardest of times, their strength and integrity, their strength of character – best people I know.
It must have been cold there in my shadow,
to never have sunlight on your face.
You were content to let me shine, that’s your way.
You always walked a step behind.
So I was the one with all the glory,
while you were the one with all the strength.
A beautiful face without a name for so long.
A beautiful smile to hide the pain.
Did you ever know that you’re my hero,
and everything I would like to be?
I can fly higher than an eagle,
’cause you are the wind beneath my wings.
It might have appeared to go unnoticed,
but I’ve got it all here in my heart.
I want you to know I know the truth, of course I know it.
I would be nothing without you.
Did you ever know that you’re my hero?
You’re everything I wish I could be.
I could fly higher than an eagle,
’cause you are the wind beneath my wings.
Did I ever tell you you’re my hero?
You’re everything, everything I wish I could be.
Oh, and I, I could fly higher than an eagle,
’cause you are the wind beneath my wings,
cause you are the wind beneath my wings.
Oh, the wind beneath my wings.
You, you, you, you are the wind beneath my wings.
Fly, fly, fly away. You let me fly so high.
Oh, you, you, you, the wind beneath my wings.
Oh, you, you, you, the wind beneath my wings.
Fly, fly, fly high against the sky,
so high I almost touch the sky.
Thank you, thank you,
thank God for you, the wind beneath my wings.
“There, sitting on the warm grass, I had my first lessons in the beneficence of nature. I learned how the sun and the rain make to grow out of the ground every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, how birds build their nests and live and thrive from land to land, how the squirrel, the deer, the lion and every other creature finds food and shelter. As my knowledge of things grew I felt more and more the delight of the world I was in. Long before I learned to do a sum in arithmetic or describe the shape of the earth, Miss Sullivan had taught me to find beauty in the fragrant woods, in every blade of grass, and in the curves and dimples of my baby sister’s hand. She linked my earliest thoughts with nature and made me feel that ‘birds and flowers and I were happy peers.”
—Helen Keller, The Story of My Life
I’m trying to have the sense to live in the moment and to enjoy myself in that moment, whatever it might be, like Helen Keller and her teacher Miss Sullivan.
I am thankful for more time spent, just myself and my little buddy Mya.
She didn’t want to sleep the entire time. She didn’t want to miss one second of her time with Auntie Kerry.
Then Kim told me there are a few photos recently taken where Mya looks like me. I may never have my own children. My sister will never know how much this small thing, one I won’t ever likely fully understand because I can’t see the pictures, means to me anyway.
I am thankful for my last violin lesson for a few weeks.
Last time we missed multiple weeks it was I who was going away. This time my teacher is traveling.
I hope, like last time, I don’t fall too far back in my progress.
I hope her trip is everything mine was to me, all she hopes.
I am thankful for my return to the library.
I haven’t been to my writing group (The Elsewhere Region like I like to refer to it) since February, for a few reasons.
Everyone there seemed pleased to see me, a few even saying they missed me. I missed them and their wonderful imaginations.
We had little scraps of paper with a few lines of story prompt written on them, thanks to one of the members of our group, and mine included: a frog prince, a talking donkey, a cloud castle, and Betty’s wish list.
Who is Betty you ask…well I asked myself that same question. It was the first try for me, in a while or at all really, at writing fantasy. I liked what I came up with, though I have no idea where I was headed with it, but then my equipment decided to cause a problem.
I was reading my story in progress out loud to the group, they were riveted, and then the second half of what I’d written seemed to vanish. I am sure I wrote it, but my technology doesn’t always cooperate.
I am thankful I could answer a few questions about how I’ve learned and lived as a blind person, for a good cause.
My sister’s sister-in-law works with a young boy who is blind. She helps him in his neighbourhood school, but she had some questions about how I’ve grown up, how I learned, and how my mom saw it all from the parent perspective.
She had the coolest keychain on her keys. Instead of a cube with coloured squares, she has three blocks that move from one side to another, and they contain tactile dots. They are braille dots and they make different letters in braille when you mix and match them.
A fun thing to do with your hands. She sounds like an excellent teacher who wants to keep learning the best possible ways to teach her student to be as successful in his life as possible and it seems he is lucky to have her.
I am thankful for a friend reaching out, mentioning me to her friend, and a new and possible connection made in the world of women writing and women’s storytelling.
Thank you Lizzi. Women helping and supporting other women. We can always use the help. I appreciate it.
Who knows what will or will not come of it, but that is what making connections is all about.
I am thankful for a lovely first visit with my new neighbour in my home.
We had a nice talk. Many more to come.
She even warned me about the roofers coming to her house and called me this evening, to check on me, when she thought she heard a noise over here.
I am thankful for this earth.
I watched Bill Maher say that 45 needs to forget “Make America Great Again” and instead “Make Earth Great Again.”
I totally agree. Mars is cool and everything (says this fan of planets since childhood) but we don’t have licence to be careless, reckless, and destroy this planet, just because some want to get there. It is not the answer to our problems of environmental and climate changes. Taking care of this place, the one already with plenty of water and life and the air we breathe, that will benefit us all in the end.
As many said, every day should be Earth Day for us all.
I thank all the scientists in my life: my oldest friend, my many excellent doctors over the years, my cousin and his wife, my new friend who is also a writer, Bill Nye The Science Guy (for teaching me to love our solar system when I was a child), and to so many who are much smarter than I am in these matters.
I owe science big and I believe those who marched all around the world were warranted in doing so. We need to make a statement. Science is worth fighting for.
I am thankful for another excellent episode of Anne The Series.
A young girl runs through a dark, snow covered forrest, carrying a lantern and wearing only a thin layer of night clothes.
Ahead By A Century.
I am glad Anne and Diana are allowed to be friends again so soon, but I didn’t expect these three things to happen, all in this one episode of Anne The Series: Diana’s sister almost dying, Anne meeting Great Aunt Miss Josephine Barry, and Gilbert suffering a huge loss.
The fist fight is one of the memorable parts of this one, likely brought on by grief and a need to defend a newly growing love and respect, even if the source of that love and respect doesn’t make it easy, like one before her.
Though Anne is conflicted about what her future should be, between romance that most young girls are desperate for and her strong ambition, she knows when she listens to her heart.
This episode is all about letters, long lost pleas that will now never be addressed and unfinished business and apologies.
More flashback with Marilla this time, as a young girl, about Anne’s age. Sadly, youth cannot last and family obligations altered everything, but not necessarily for the worse, for some more than others.
Matthew offers to help Gilbert, Marilla and Gilbert have a enlightening conversation about place and time, and Anne finds a kindred spirit in old Miss Barry, who the writing hints as having had a long same sex relationship with another woman. This was never even alluded to in the series I loved growing up, but the times are changing and I am glad for that. It was one of the pleasant surprises of this week’s instalment.
Some of my favourite themes explored in this narrative are those exploring grief, loss, stubbornness, regret, and how decisions can or may influence the future.
Anne goes to give her apology when she finds an abandoned house, Marilla is stuck with her regrets, and Matthew goes to the bank to make some mysterious financial transaction.
Season finale already next Sunday. That went fast and I hope the break isn’t too long, that a second season is in the works.
“Romance is a pesky business. No sense to be made of it.”
—Miss Josephine Barry
I am thankful for books, but not only them, but books in accessible formats.
On World Book Day, I am not just thankful for books, though I am always thankful for those. It’s being able to read them, hold them, learn from them, and to access them in either e-format, audiobooks, or in braille.
This wasn’t always possible if you couldn’t see to read and it still isn’t always made easy. I just want to be like Helen, with her love of reading and learning. Or Anne and hers.
And so one more week ends and another begins. It’s all still an endless, giant enigma to me.
For the first sound I heard the other morning, as I awoke.
The cooing of the morning dove.
I love that sound and it was fitting, for what was to come, along with the April rain.
For different viewpoints, from a friend.
We had a nice early morning talk, when we both couldn’t sleep.
She knows me as only one of a few blind friends. She thought a site called “The Blind Writer” would get me read. She was only trying to help.
Not my thing. Had to follow my heart, but the site could turn into something, even if I don’t take on the name myself. There are lots of writers who don’t know what they are doing. That word “blind” can mean many things.
For a lot of interesting writing discussion.
The group at the library was a few short, but we still managed to have some excellent Writer’s Circle talk, even though our table was more of a square.
Also, I asked them a question, to get their opinions, as I am starting to trust them.
I asked about what they think of me as “The Blind Writer.” They answered same as me. Just confirmed my thoughts already.
They are writers too. They love writing too. They know me as Kerry now and understand I want my writing to stand on its own.
For another successful violin lesson.
I drift a lot, when I lose concentration or a bit of the strength I’m building in my arm, but when I am in that little room I block out all the rest of life’s stressors.
For 80s music.
With the death of Prince, I am reminded why I love the music of that decade so much.
It is nostalgia and a flashback to my childhood, from the earliest days, as I wasn’t even born until halfway through those ten years, but my family was all younger then.
Seems now like a simpler time, even if that is simply an illusion.
For the newest Michael Moore film.
Some would say pure propaganda, but he makes excellent points, makes you laugh, and moves you throughout.
For our earth, and my favourite oceans, on this Earth Day.
For my brother’s completion of the year of his current college semester, for the most part.
When it began, back in January, he’d just had his accident. we weren’t sure what would happen, but he is almost done and has some big plans.
For William Shakespeare.
All this time, 400 years on, his work still resonates. Even if I don’t know it all. Something lasting the test of time must have something special to offer us all.
For literary children’s programs.
With it being 400 years since William Shakespeare, language is a valuable lesson, even language a child is too young to comprehend.
My nephew is three, already so curious, and on his way with the alphabet.
The word was “flustered” and my nephew was repeating it, even if he didn’t know it had meaning.
“The voice of the sea is seductive; never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander for a spell in abysses of solitude; to lose itself in mazes of inward contemplation. The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace.”
Many don’t appreciate William Shakespeare and his language, just as not enough of us value our planet. Both have given and still give us so much.
Thank you both, from the bottom of my heart.
Yesterday was Earth Day and today Shakespeare is being celebrated.
I am watching a show about the opinions of those who have looked down on the planet from a perspective I will likely never get.
It is the same view on the earth during the time of William Shakespeare, if man or woman had been looking down from above.
That’s remarkable. Sure, things have changed, sometimes not for the better, but in other ways definitely. Still, the earth continues. It started long before and will likely be here long after I’ll be gone.
We are not really above the earth. We are not better than it or in control of it. We are a part of it. We are just observers. We aren’t meant to be above nature and the planet. Earth. We should not aim to conquer, control, overtake.
I will never see the earth like those astronauts or most people, for that matter. I know I want to leave it healthier for those I love, even 400 years in the future.
I spent my Sunday with family. I am lucky to be born into a rather nurturing one at that. Not only are they all caring and considerate people, but they show that care to all living things they encounter.
This particular Sunday I spent walking through the woods, on the land next to where my cousin and his wife live, with them, my aunt and uncle and their two dogs, my parents, and my other uncle who was visiting from Germany.
I needed an afternoon outdoors, in nature, to clear the cobwebs from my head. It was a particularly rough week for technology. It was nice to “accidentally” leave my phone at home and just experience the natural world with some excellent company.
One of the dogs approached our group, as we stood and waited for my cousin to return in dry clothes, and a smell pierced our nostrils.
The dog had obviously been rolling in something.
My uncle, creative as he is, referred to the smell as “putrefying flesh”.
This is nature, people, at its most raw, putrid, and pure.
My mom is the kind of nurturing mother so many children would do anything for.
She’s the kind of woman to talk all big and tough about not taking in an animal one minute. The next, she’s going above and beyond.
A few years before our eventual, eventful, and fragrant nature walk, we were out on the deck when we heard a noise coming from somewhere nearby in the trees.
It was the sound of some poor creature and my mom went to discover what was making such a mournful screeching.
Baby squirrels. Their mother, sadly, had been found as road kill just down the highway. These tiny babies were orphaned and without their mother they would surely starve to death.
My mom couldn’t just sit back and let that happen.
She took the little things and cleaned them up. Again with the beautiful yet yucky reality of nature.
If the squirrels stood any chance of survival, she was their best bet.
For the following days, my mom kept them in a shoebox, fed them with a syringe, and hoped for the best.
Unfortunately, the one did not last long at all, but its sibling began to grow from the nourishment my mom offered it. It became our little pet. We would open the shoebox and immediately it would claw its way out and onto our lap.
It would crawl up my arm and nestle itself on my shoulder and against the warmth of my neck.
This wasn’t the first time my mom would take in newborn and abandoned animals. She had a natural gift for nurturing them and nursing them to health.
Of course, sometimes all the loving care and nurture in the world aren’t enough.
This second squirrel passed away shortly after.
Raccoons that became my mom’s friends, even when they grew big and were on their own. She would sometimes hear a scratching at her window, someone wanting to say hello.
My mom’s favourite form of exercise has always been gardening. We always had plentiful flowerbeds and gardens and my mom was always out there, working to make our yard beautiful.
Now, as our group walked through the woods, the dogs weren’t the only ones pummelled by all the different scents in the air.
Nature was all around us. The numerous branches and twigs crunched and cracked underfoot.
The sun was warm at first, but the wind was persistent.
The dogs ran about and we talked and walked. My cousin and his wife, my aunt, and my mother in particular, they discussed the many different plants and flowers and vegetation we passed.
I just listened to the shared knowledge of the native plants and things, between them.
Trilliums were just starting to bud.
Deer tracks could be seen.
Bloodroot. This one was new to me. A flower that bleeds all over you when examined.
The roots of all the trees growing in the woods and the flowers that give my mother and the others so much joy. You can’t help feeling inspired when you hear how they talk, so lovingly, about these natural wonders.
A red and grey feather. The twittery call of a favourite bird of my aunt could be heard in the distance. Wood peckers. A crow attacking a hawk.
Nature is all around us. It’s out there, if we choose to immerse ourselves in it, taking it in, in all its splendour.
These people are at the root of my growth as a person. These roots go deep. I couldn’t ask for a more nurturing bunch of people to call my family.
Happy Earth Day everyone. I hope you find people, animals, and other growing and living things to nurture and be nurtured by and that the roots are deep and healthy.
Nurture or nature?
I say: why must we choose just one?
#1000Speak on Twitter
April is the month of nurturing.
Stop and smell the bloodroot and the trilliums.