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...a glimpse into life on Vancouver Island, needle felting, photography, food, gardening, etcetera...etcetera
"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is."
Maxim Gorky

Thursday, July 21, 2016

On not being Roy and Grace...

One of my first 'dates' with Tom was going to look at a house he was interested in buying.
A year later I moved into the house and the following year we were married there in the garden.
That was 17 1/2 years ago and now we are preparing to say goodbye to this house...
For the first 13 or so years our neighbours across the road were an older couple
named Roy and Grace Kennedy. They had lived in the house they built for 60 years.
Roy was a machinist who could make and fix all manners of things.
He had the funkiest ride-on lawn mower that used to cough and sputter and 
it would take him 2 or three days to cut his front grass of about a third of an acre.
He was a tinkerer. Always busy in his shop.
His wife Grace was a city girl from the mainland and she once told me
"I never liked it here."
Imagine living somewhere for 60 years and never liking it or at least learning to like it?!
I had my days like that here sometimes though.
Years and years ago I felt I didn't have a lot going on here.
I had left my job and friends and most of my family back in the city and even though
it was only a 45 minute drive away, I still felt a bit isolated and lonely.
So Tom had a beautiful separate 10 x 20 studio built for me.
It was my escape, my haven, my saviour in times of darkness.
It was where I went to allow my creativity to flourish, to experiment without
the need to clear it all away at supper time.
In the end I made a life here.
I made some dear dear friends.
I became involved with the yoga community, the foodie community
and started working at the local flower shop.
I became involved in the Fine Arts show and exhibited there several years in a row, 
and again made some close friends through the arts community.
From day 1 we always had a garden...
It got bigger, fuller, structures were built.
Some plants thrived, some failed...all a learning process.
Several cats have come to rest here.
We had chickens, goats, horses and bees...
And of course, for 12 years, we had Griffin...
So much a part of our landscape that I still think I see him out of the corner of my eye
lying on the porch or surveying his Kingdom from his perch on a mossy rock by the back door...
So how do you leave it all behind?
You don't.
You carry it all with you in your heart and soul.
As the Be Good Tanya's sing
"You pass through places and places pass through you.
And you carry them with you 
on the soles of your travelin' shoes"
How true!
This place will always be part of who we are.
Who we were.
Who we've become.
We hope to have someone buy it who will carry on where 
we are leaving off.
Health reasons will carry us to a more manageable home closer to the city
where we will dream up new schemes and adventures.
Different pictures will form in our heads and take us down other
dusty, intriguing roads.
It's a lesson in letting some things go.
But never the memories...the picnics in the secret garden, the walks to the lake,
the warmth of the fire on windy, wet days and snowy, quiet nights.
Big full moons through the bedroom window.
The pulse of this place is here in our hearts.
And we leave some of our own blood, sweat and tears in the soil.
Our voices may be heard in the trees.
Our laughter, the barks, meows, clucks and whinnies...
all arrive to greet whoever may unlock these doors.



Limner said...

You didn't mean to make me cry, did you??? This is lovely.

Jacquie said...

So difficult. We lost our house and moved to an apartment. Short sale. Happening to so many in the U.S. But we're where we want to be. One day we'll have a house again. I miss the garden most. We too are getting older. Having parred down so much in terms of stuff, all that remains is the happy. This transition has so much to teach. I know I want another dog. Our Griff was in the form of two girls, an Aussie and a Bichon. The boys are grown. We're so far away from family. You listen, to all the wonderful memories, and the costs in terms of time and funds and then choices appear. It's easier to figure out what you need most once you move. Like transplanting an overgrown plant. You are after all what brought beauty to the place. You'll do it again. And forgive me. I don't know you. Get another Griffy. There's nothing like a pup to make you explore a new place. The very best of wishes.

Jacquie said...

Oh no... I'm sorry. It's just they have a way of pulling us along. Of getting us up and out and forward. I can't wait for our next pup. A couple more years. Think about it. Sometimes we get stuck in our own thoughts and they, well, just won't stand for it.

I just happened to open Red Bird by Mary Oliver. And this is what Percy had to say.

farmlady said...

So many memories. I know this is hard, Kerry. Your home was a beautiful place and then there was Griff. My heart is sad for you. I cried reading this. I wish you good memories, a good start in your new place and love. It will be OK.

Suz said...

oh dear sweet aching heart

Katherine Dunn said...

wow, well, you might know if you remember who I am that we just left our farm in Oregon for a new farm property in Maine. I can empathize with every sentence here. I can't tell you it will be easy t leave, or certain days will be harder. But for me, your explaining how you started to build your life there, after feeling a bit lost [lack of abetter word] after you left the city/home and friends/family-that is what I would hang onto. The fact you rebuilt a life , and will do it again. I know when I moved to our first farm in Oregon, I had so many days of upheaval, questioning what we'd done, etc...when I have shaky moments here, and I do, I remember what we built. I am wishing you smooth sailing to find that new place of purpose.

Ciara Brehony said...

Beautiful post, Kerry. And what a beautiful place too. It's not easy to leave a special place, but you know when it's right. It is so true, we take these places with us. Three years later I am only just beginning to realise how much of our special place came with me (and also how much I left behind). Best of luck with your move. xx

Hawthorn Spellweaver said...

I have left many homes behind - some times it is easy to move on, others you leave a piece of your heart behind. Beautiful words and a beautiful place.Your next home will soon start to make memories too x