Fall from Summer


“Summer ends, and Autumn comes, and he who would have it otherwise would have high tide always and a full moon every night. – Hal Borland

“I saw old Autumn in the misty morning stand shadowless like silence, listening to silence.” – Thomas Hood

 

 

The sunlit days are growing shorter. Light fails earlier. In our region we had a rather dismal August. I had been hoping for better days in September, but alas the month is drawing to a close, and sunny, warm days have been few. It is somewhat depressing. Fall is such a short season here. I am trying my hardest to shake off the dark moods that seem to be tied to the season. I love fall. I am not a fan of winter. But, on the other hand, long winter nights in front of a fire are comforting. It is a great time to hunker down with a good book and a mug of something hot by my elbow. It is also a good time to hone whatever artistic or creative skills I may possess. It is also a wonderful time for day dreaming – mostly about balmy days, hopefully on a beach, or in the midst of a beautiful forest. Ah, hope ‘springs’ eternal!

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The Buried Seed


Seed

Harmony

Contentment

Why do you elude me?

I ask for directions

It seems they can’t be found

‘Dig deeper’, answers my muse

Underneath all the flotsam and jetsam

Of daily life

Of schedules and responsibilities

Way down deep

In the bottom of the well

Under the self-made burdens

Under the self-made hell

With pick and axe I enter in

To the cave of subconscious I go

‘OH, please’, I beg

Let me find it

The seed of hope

Buried here

The right to bear arms


So many teardrops

So many years of senseless killings

The earth is soaked in blood

“Prayers and thoughts are with you”

Is said again and again

At school, at work, at concerts too

Bullets are buzzing like a swarm of flies

Insanity seems to rule the day

For the right to bear arms

Carries more weight than dead bodies piling up

Your child, sister, brother, parent or friend

Has paid a price most often charged to soldiers

But the war is now on city streets

In classrooms, churches, and everywhere

Who will be the next to die?

Where will the next shooter stand?

The grief, though real, is not enough to reach a cold, hard heart

And sorrows reach across this land in cities, towns, and counties

Where will it lead? When will it stop?

In the arms of first responders

In the land of the “free”

And the home of the brave

You’ve Got to Sell Your Heart


Truly inspirational….kudos to Christian Mihai

irevuo

In 1938 aspiring author Frances Turnbull sent a copy of one of her stories to Francisc Scott Fitzgerald. In the feedback he offers her there’s one great piece of advice: “You’ve got to sell your heart, your strongest reactions, not the little minor things that only touch you lightly, the little experiences that you might tell at dinner. This is especially true when you begin to write, when you have not yet developed the tricks of interesting people on paper, when you have none of the technique which it takes time to learn. When, in short, you have only your emotions to sell.”

You can read the rest of the letter here. It’s really worth the time, and it’s the kind of advice writers give only to closest friends. It’s not something you can tell anyone about, because most people will think you’re crazy.

Now, about selling your heart…

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Angels among us


To honor my mother

chopkins2x3

Thirty-one years ago my mother died of cancer. The days leading up to her death were painful, as the impending day approached. But they were also days of love, grace, and peace. My mother exited this world in the same way she lived – with faith and dignity and an all-consuming love for her family. She was my first example of an angel in human form. No, she wasn’t perfect. She had her faults, as we all do. But she was exceedingly kind and gentle. I am grateful for the example she left us on how to deal with the hard times and how to live life gracefully and prayerfully. I will always be so very grateful to have been mothered by such a woman.

There are angels among us. I truly believe that because I see so many examples of it in my daily life.  Such as the smile…

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Tomorrow


MOON resized

To live one day at a time

Sometimes, it can be hard

Other times peace arrives

And wings of hope spread wide

Let this be such a day

And let my spirit ride

May faith be my companion

And compassion be my guide

Let wisdom whisper truth to me

Let love rise on the tide

For time will stop for no one

This day a gift once given

It will not come again and so,

Help me be conscious

And not riven

not torn apart

Nor hard of heart

No bitter pill to swallow

Let yesterday, like an infertile field

Rest and lay fallow

For today will sow seed

All its own

We will reap them all

Tomorrow

One life that made a difference: Lt-Colonel Richard Alexander. A farewell and a tribute to a wonderful man


Seven years ago, I interviewed Lt- Colonel Richard Alexander for the Western Star, a daily paper published in Corner Brook, NL, Canada. He died on September 14, 2018, leaving behind many people who were touched by his life, myself included. He has been described as a hero, for he truly was a hero, and not only because of his actions during the Second World War as well as the Korean War.

When I went to his house to interview him I was a little nervous. I had no idea what kind of story I would write. I only knew a few small details about this man, but I knew he was a well-loved and respected member of our community. I remember his warm welcome when I arrived and his kindness and hospitality. I didn’t have a set list of questions. I had met and spoke with him briefly on another occasion and looked forward to a casual chat with this man who had intrigued me.

He had a way of making people comfortable, of easing any discomfort and making one feel like an old friend. Here is what I remember about that day that was not published in the story I wrote. You see, my editor had zeroed in on the Colonel’s heroic act in St. John’s during the Second World War – an act that was not recognized until sixty-six years later! But what stands out in my memory was his genuine humanity, his kindness, and his concern for all people.

Many people are horribly altered by the experience of war, the Colonel (as he was known locally) did not seem to be. What he seemed to most want people to know was that war is an awful thing. He had seen terrible atrocities during his assignments. He spoke about visiting schools on Remembrance Day and doing his best to deliver his message about the horrors of war and how it should be avoided at all costs. He became very sober, and sad, as he related this to me.

He showed me many photographs and he showed me his medals, of which he was rightly proud. He laughed when he showed me the citation from the government lauding his heroic actions that saved many lives in St. John’s. He found it amazing that he would be remembered for something that had happened so long ago.

The Colonel was a gentle man, humble, and down to earth. His life touched so many people, both at home and abroad. His courage and bravery are commendable. However, I think it is his faith, his kindness, and his intense respect for life that made the deepest impact. He was the kind of person who many seek to emulate, including me. I was blessed to spend time in the company of a truly great man.

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to meet and get to know a little about the man we called the Colonel. He will be missed and remembered with great fondness. May he Rest in Peace.

http://www.thewesternstar.com/news/local/heroic-act-recognized-66-years-later-korean-war-veteran-richard-alexander-honoured-for-putting-his-life-on-the-line-115722/