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.