I love lying under trees on grass still wet with dew, arms outstretched. Above me, the breeze runs its fingers through the branches and the tree sighs and lets go of a few unneeded leaves.
I don’t know what kind of tree this is, and it doesn’t matter that it is a nameless stranger I found in a park in an unfamiliar city. The only thing that matters is that it stands here, stretching its green canopy above me, reminding me that I am safe, that I am loved.
glimpses of blue sky
Q: Is being on sabbatical as thrilling and as terrifying as it sounds?
Q: What do you know about being on sabbatical now that you wish you had known before?
A: A few things come to mind…
1. I wish I had known that it wasn’t a good idea to tell people that I want to write during my sabbatical. Because now, of course, everyone asks me how the writing is going, when I’m not writing yet and am not quite ready to write yet. I’m still at the rejuvenating stage of things (see my answer to the next question).
2. I wish I had known how difficult it would be to let go of my old job. I spent the past four-and-a-bit years pouring all of my time and energy into building a new library. I am so proud of that space and of the services the staff and I created. And now the library is going on without me, and I without it. Our paths have diverged, and it was surprising to discover that the library and I are two separate entities. I had forgotten that at some point over the past few years.
Q: So really, what are you doing?
A: I am taking the summer off. I am riding my bike, going for long walks and to yoga, and playing with clay in the pottery studio. I am spending extra time at the farm and visiting friends all over the place. I am sitting on my balcony reading books (and not even all that fabulous Can Lit I’ve been saving for “when I have time” – more on that in a future post). I’ve been taking lots and lots of long afternoon naps.
If you don’t believe me that it is possible to make an entire, completely fulfilling summer out of these things, try it some time. Trust me.
Q: Where is that beach?
A: Pacific City Oregon. I was in Portland for five days last week and rented a car to go to the coast on the last day, and found myself on this blissful beach.
Thank you for reading! I love it when people stop by to say hi. All kind and thoughtful comments are welcome.
As you can see, I’ve been posting things here for a little while.
My main motivation for starting this blog is to give myself a deadline to write on a regular basis. I intend to post something (anything!) at least twice a week.
Will anyone read along? Who knows. This space for writing is – like everything else this year – an experiment.
A few things I plan to include in this space:
- Updates about my sabbatical
- Writing about my current and past travels (coming soon!)
- “Research notes” about interesting tidbits I find while researching Alberta’s history and my own family’s history for a writing project I am planning to work on later this year
- New poems and other short pieces of creative writing
- Thoughts about creativity and the writing process
- Notes about books I’m reading
If you’re reading this, please say hi in the comments. All kind and thoughtful comments are welcome.
Not just the “how to” part, but also the fun of it: coasting down hills, riding though puddles, stopping for ice cream on the way home. I don’t know what changed and made me want a bicycle after so many years of not having one, but I’m glad I have it and I’m glad I’m riding it.
See you on the trails.
Each year, the city’s tendrils creep closer
to the ruins of the farmhouse of your
birth. Our family’s firstborn Canadian.
When you were only two weeks old,
the census taker spelled your name wrong,
unable to understand your parents.
No matter. You thrived like the prairie grasses
and now I am here: more than a hundred
years later, only a few miles away,
part of these urban rhythms, bearing witness
as this city that was your future consumes
my past beneath this holy, expansive sky.
Dad shows my brother, sister-in-law and I the layout of his grandparents’ house near Ellerslie, Alberta. Photo credits: Gladys Kublik, 2009.