Thursday, August 4, 2011


"Inch by inch,
and row by row,
this is how
our gardens grow."

In the 80's, I was part of a wonderful community of alternative lifestyle musicians and creative artists of all kinds, based around a coffeehouse called Brock and Friends. When I first walked in the door, I knew I was Home. I entered frozen solid with trauma, and those lovely people shone their smiles and the light of their love on me till I thawed out and my petals began to unfurl.

The song above is one that my friend Roger used to play and sing, the rest of us often joining in........the live music was wonderful in that little house full of plants, stained glass and healthy veggie food.

That place changed my life. I wrote this poem, way back then. I also grew a huge backyard garden, in those days, to feed my hungry kids: row upon row of watermelons, cantelopes, peas, beans, corn, tomatoes, everything you can think of. I had a fat rabbit who wandered up and down the aisles munching, and who would lie beside me as I weeded.

In March, in Kelowna, the ground was still frozen, hard, and unyielding. But soon the sun would come and I would once again be planting my garden.

My friends said the little nature fairies must be working with me in the garden, everything was so lush. Those were happy years.

You might like to read the short prose piece I wrote about the coffeehouse here:

March 3, 1981

Tiny stirrings,
Buds curled, waiting,
Limp, brown grasses
trying to turn green,
A busy twittering of birds
too long silent
in the bare brown branches
of winter........

Soon I'll be planting seeds
in warm, dark earth,
watching greenness growing
where once a wasteland lay,
Letting the seeds go
to grow
whichever way
they want to grow,
having finally learned
to just let living flow.

Perhaps a wondering lurks
within my eyes this year
as I start my slow walk back
from Siberian retreat.

The last frozen wastes
are melting near my heart
and tentatively
-oh, more carefully
this time-
I ponder what new thing
might emerge
from this springtime
of possibilities
I see.

I think
it might be nice
to plant something
besides carrots here
this year.

I read this poem once at poetry night, and everyone chuckled at these last lines. Brock gave me a hug and asked the room at large: "Doesnt she look cute with her long purple dress and her black leggings?" Beautiful people. Happy years. A gift in my life.


  1. oh my, sherry, how i adore you. i *love* this glimpse, love it. yay!

  2. Smiling like a demented cat over here

  3. Treasured memories of people who helped shape your future by making you at home in your present, a gift for sure.

  4. sigh! the way you can paint a scene is brilliant - the frozen wastes - the seeds - loved it! nice!

  5. Sherry, so glad you found that family of like-minded souls! I have loved communal living in the past. When you have the right group, set upon goals to renew the earth and each other's souls, only good can come of it. Thank you for giving me a dream of peace and harmony! Amy

  6. This poem is so full of hope and possibility and the warmth of friendship. I enjoyed reading about the community that inspired the poem as well. I bet you looked great in your purple dress!

  7. This has always been one of my faves among your poems, Sherry, knowing how much the cofehouse years meant to you and how you blossomed among new friends! I loved that time of life, when our children played together, shared innocent secrets and grew up faster than we could fathom!

    We've come a long way, old friend, and I still see you clearly in that fab purple dress...LOL!

  8. Thanks for sharing... your happiness reflects in this piece. I especially like the 4th stanza.

  9. This was pure pleasure reading, Sherry. As you know, I am a keen gardener as well as lover of the arts. Every line here, from introduction through poem warmed my soul. Aren't you amazed by the bounty we receive when we open our hearts and work hard? Lovely. Just lovely.

  10. So lovely. The food, the comfort of friends. Just lovely.

  11. I never tire of visiting your site, Sherry. I so feel as though I am transported to another place and time. Gardens nourish heart and soul. Beautiful!

  12. Beautiful memory shared, Sherry. So much of you 'took root' in those days to become the 'fruit' of who you are today. Inspiring to read your words!

  13. Thank you for a wonderful insight into your beaufiful life. Gardening is a Zen to me and look forward to the day I can resume to put my hands into the earth. Running over to read about the coffee shop. I had one of those places in Marin County, North of San Francisco, in the 80's. Local Musicians in a great local place. Love the poem

  14. I love all the words you use to nurture this memory! I love you found a community that embraced you~ It makes me feel good to hear your words, to read and know this world still exists! I still wish you would write that book ;D xXx Beautiful~

  15. I love the memory of that place and the garden years.

  16. Sherry,
    You were quite a trend setter with your purple dress and black leggings!!
    Your words Sherry, are full of hope and renewal. Just like the hope that springs from the new garden seeds.
    You are in a good place now Sherry, with your words and online friends!
    All Good Wishes, Eileen

  17. This poem beautifully illustrates the healing power of springtime and gardening. Thank you for sharing this story of renewal.

  18. And that was back in the 80's. And you still keep on growing strong. And of course the last lines of the poem are ticklish. Wonderful people.

  19. Love your humor in this and your alliteration is beautiful!


I so appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.
Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!