Thursday, May 10, 2012

Moving Means A Book Pleasure


Thanks to Irene for hosting this week's poetry Friday!  Run over to her blog, Live.Love.Explore.


    For several reasons, I know I will be moving this year, out of my home of 34 years, to be closer to my daughter and family and closer to work.  It will be nearer the city too so I can run over to a museum and other places for a few hours instead of making it an ‘event’.  But moving out of my home is not easy.  We’ve adapted it to us through the years, have lovely built-in shelves in several places, have created a wonderful porch with a good roof over our heads on rainy days.  I have planted so many flowers throughout the yard, some from a grandmother, some from my mother-in-law.  I don’t know if I’ll be able to transplant them because I don’t know if I’ll have a yard.  I will be saying goodbye to many kinds of things, and then also the intangible memories.  There is where the swing set used to be.  There is where the kids jumped the fence to take a shortcut to school.  Here is where the globe table sat.  Here is where the family pictures hung.  And on and on.  I actually am somewhat excited about going to a new place.  I don’t mind new.  I just mind leaving.

    A friend knows about this and gave me a book of poetry titled Home, Illustrated by Thomas Locker who also edited it with Candace Christiansen.  It is subtitled A Journey Through America, and filled with poems, prose pieces and blessings of what home means to many kinds of people.  There is a part of the poem Once By The Pacific by Robert Frost, John Muir’s Climb The Mountains, a portion of My Ántonia by Willa Cather, The River by Jane Yolen and others, ending with writing by Henry David Thoreau.  There is Tree by Eloise Greenfield and Lincoln’s My Childhood’s Home.  Each page is accompanied by a gorgeous painting by Locker.


     My favorite is a piece by Willa Cather.  I took a group of students with two of their mothers to Red Cloud, Nebraska one year where we visited all things connected to Cather’s wonderful stories.  Those descriptions of her prairie hold such good memories for me because of that reading group’s trip and because I live and work on the prairie although it is not those rolling grassy plains, but filled with homes and businesses today.  Yet, every morning when I arrive at school, a meadowlark trills its beautiful call and I think of Ántonia Shimerda.  Here is part of what is included in the book:  As I looked about me I felt that the grass was the country, as the water is the sea...and there was so much motion in it, the whole country seemed somehow, to be running.

And here is the beginning of Merle Good’s poem, Song of A People.    

Song of a People
We watch the past

create the now –
And wish to plant

before we plow –     
                    Find the rest here.

       Finally, at the back of the book is a marvelous hand-drawn map, with place names, author’s names included in the book along with the poetry.  Please look for this book.  It’s terrific, and I am thankful for such thoughtful friends.   And, since we will celebrate Mothers' Day in two days, and mothers and homes go together like sugar and cream, Happy Mothers' Day to you and yours.

37 comments:

  1. Linda, you have such a lovely spirit. Happy Mother's Day to you!

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  2. Linda, Happy Mother's Day.

    Moving is hard -- it must be especially so when you have put down roots for so long. I've owned 5 different houses in the last 12 years so the roots I put down are very shallow. I can't imagine leaving a home I've lived in for 34 years.

    I love the line "We try to catch/A closing door--" I know that feeling. Every time we've moved, I've had the urge to catch that closing door.

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    1. I actually have wanted to move for a while, to be more in the city rather than traveling to go to places I want to visit, so part of it is all good. It's just those memories that will be challenging to leave, for my grown children too! Thanks Katya. I liked that idea of catching a closed door too.

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  3. And wish to stay
    When we must go –
    We try to catch
    the closing door –
    Lovely, and bittersweet...I can imagine your mixed feelings about moving, although there is much joy in being closer to your daughter and family. So many changes, Linda...but you will no doubt meet them with your customary spirit of positiveness and calm acceptance. Thanks for sharing Locker's book, too - such beautiful paintings!

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    1. It is a special book, made all the more so because it was a thoughtful gift. Thanks, Tara.

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  4. I am sure you will find the new challenge, the new air, in a move. But I also know how hard it is to leave a place you have watched your family grow. Thinking of you on this Mother's Day weekend.

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    1. Happy Mother's Day to you, too Katherine. I love the idea of "the new air". Thanks for that.

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  5. I can imagine how you must feel, Linda. We've been in our home 30 years and I know it would be tough to leave. But in a way, it would be exciting too, I think. Blessings to you as you consider where to plant new roots.
    Thanks for sharing the beginning of "Song of a People." I really love:
    "–
And wish to plant

    before we plow "
    Happy Mother's Day to you, too.

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    1. Thank you Carmela for the wishes. It will be mixed feelings, which is a blessing. And I will be able to run over to see the family faster and for just a little while, which will be great.

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  6. When my husband and I were first married, we moved five times in five years. I swore when we bought our house I was never moving again. I told him I wanted to be the old couple in the big house that young couples with kids would say, "What do they need all that room for?" And now, I think we are that couple. But I still love my house! I can't imagine what you must be feeling at the thought of moving...

    On the other hand, you have given me the perfect gift for one of my students who is moving when school is out. Thank you

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    1. Oh, I didn't think of it for students, but some do need to move too, & it is so hard for teens. How good of you to connect it, Deb. Happy Mother's Day!

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  7. I have put a hold on that book at the library - thanks for the reference. I have loved Cather but have not spent time with her of late. Great reminder and best wishes for your move and this new season.

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    1. Thank you, Juliann. Cather is one I return to now & then. She is special in that sentimental, love of place way.

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  8. Thank you for sharing all of this, Linda - the wonderful poem and illustrated book and your own mixed feelings. All best to you in coming months as you chart your course for a new adventure.

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    1. Thanks Robyn, I appreciate your wishes. New adventures mean new poems, don't they?

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  9. Looks like a wonderful book, Linda. How bittersweet to leave your home of 34 years! I know we'll have to move someday, too, and don't even want to think about any of it.

    How fabulous that you and your students visited all those Willa Cather landmarks! Thanks for sharing that excerpt. Good luck with moving on and new beginnings. It will definitely be nice to be closer to your daughter and family.

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    1. I agree, the closeness will be just great, to run over for a quick nosh, of course! That trip was quite wonderful and the Red Cloud people treated us well with oodles of Cather info & places! Thanks Jama.

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  10. I love this book. You inspired me to dig my copy out of the dozen or so boxes of books we have stacked in the apartment and read it again. We just moved, and it was so hard to give up our home. With the economy, and trying to make ends meet on my income alone, we had no other choice. We hope to have a much smaller and less expensive house built. (We found it cheaper to have a house built than to buy an existing home, but we'll need to relocate to another state.)

    Like you, "I don't mind new. I just mind leaving." I will keep you in my heart as you make this transition. I know you'll find "home" again. Hopefully, being closer to family will make the move a little easier.

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    1. How wonderful that you have the book and might gain some pleasure in it as I have because of your own move. Thank you for sharing about your move, too, Linda. I hope you find a small and cozy home just for you in the future!

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  11. Ah, the yin and yang of movement from old to new. I totally understand its bitter-sweetness!

    Good luck to you, Linda. New adventures ahead for you. I'm sure you're looking at your current digs with new eyes as you must do when you are soon-to-be-departing from it.

    Your brain and senses are going to be so stimulated by living in a new environment!

    Jet

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    1. You see, this is why I share these things with others, because I gain new insight, as you've shared. New challenges, new thinking, always good! Thanks!

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  12. Linda,

    Such an emotional time this must be for you, anticipating your move. Your words said it all. I had a hard time when we took down our pool a couple weeks ago. All I could think about was how much I loved those days. Sometimes we ache with memories of days past. Wishing you the best. Here's to making new memories. ~ Theresa

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    1. Thank you Theresa. I think it is a time for those things to happen, but that doesn't make it easier does it? I appreciate your sharing of your time too.

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  13. One of my greatest finds this year is the poetry book you recommended, Teaching With Fire - even until now I am loathe to return it to our library. I have a feeling that this book would be another great find, if I do locate it in our libraries. Will hunt for this one soon.

    Moving is always stressful, the physical aspect of it, not to mention the emotional one. It is always a journey of the soul, and one that I am sure you would adjust to with grace, with 'comfort' and with your usual equanimity. Sending you rays of love and light. :)

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    1. Oh Myra, you are dear to mention that book, Teaching With Fire. It is just wonderful, isn't it? I'm so glad to have brightened your day once in a while too. Thank you for the wishes!

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  14. "I don't mind new. I just mind leaving."

    So true.

    Best wishes as you turn towards new places and times. You have shown us that turning towards does not have to mean forgetting what's behind.

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    1. Thank you Mary Lee. New adventures coming, and good memories behind.

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  15. Linda-
    Wow! What a capture of setting and mood! I felt like I was right there walking through the house with you! And like several others have said, I love the line, "I don't mind new. I just mind leaving." Beautiful. I'd be glad to help pack a box or two after school is out! Carol

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    1. Thanks, Carol. I will remember your offer. There are no big plans now, but hopefully I will be able to do something concrete this summer instead of just thinking about it.

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  16. Goodbyes and hellos. This sounds like a beautiful book to help with both. Happy Mother's Day to you, too!

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    1. Thank you Ruth. It is a special book gift.

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  17. My favorite: "I don’t mind new. I just mind leaving." Me and Mary Lee are totally on the same wavelength this Roundup! And how wonderful that you have a friend so thoughtful to give you such an appropriate gift and that you are finding comfort in poetry. I'm excited for your "new life!" Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks Irene. It's interesting to have written about it, makes it seem more real now, and all your and others' best wishes are terrific.

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  18. When we moved to town from the wonderful house in the country where I learned to garden, I prayed for a place where I could grow a few flowers. The house we found is small, close to the mall, with a postage stamp front yard. But walk to the back and it's heaven. The original owners were gardeners. For the first three or four years, new plants would come up that I had never seen before. As you pack up and leave, I'm hoping that the new place will be a haven with room for all the memories and a few flowers, too.

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    1. Lovely personal story, Doraine. I hope that I can find just the right place as you did. "All the memories and a few flowers too" sounds good.

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  19. "I don't mind new. I just mind leaving." I love that! It's so true. I always want to keep the best of what I have and add new to it, too. This looks like a beautiful collection--adding it to my TBR list. Thank you for sharing it, and good luck on your new home hunt!

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Having a conversation is a good thing!