Tuesday, March 13, 2012


My beloved Pup, on our most-loved Wickanninish Beach

Over at dVerse, last Saturday (I am always so far behind. I move slowly these days!) the challenge was to write about 1999. 1989 would have been better. That is the year I took a huge leap, trusting the universe, to the home of my spirit on the wild shores of Clayoquot Sound. There I lived the ten most joyously happy years of my life. 1999 was another watershed year. It seems, my life goes in ten year cycles. In 1999, I could hardly believe it, but I found myself thinking: Maybe I have finished my time in this place. I had thought I never would leave. I wanted to live the rest of my life there, to die there. I still do. But something was preparing me for change, for more loss, in a life of many losses.

The die was cast. My health had failed, I could no longer work (exhausted by the two and three jobs at a time it had taken me to stay in that place) and I had to sell my trailer. Without an affordable place to live, there was no way to stay. So. 1999.

It was a watershed year.
I stood on the beach,
turning in a slow circle:
perfect beauty as far as the eye could see
for 360 degrees.

The thought intruded:
maybe I have completed
my time here.
I couldn't believe it,
but there it was.
Change was coming;
one had to flow with it,
see where it led us.

In preparing to leave,
I collapsed.
I left my beloved Tofino
by ambulance.
No time for a painful goodbye.

In the fall of 1999
I found myself
in the gray little mill town
of Port Alberni.
It was as close to the beach 
as I could afford to live.
And it felt like
the antechamber of Paradise.

In the November rains
I hydroplaned,
totaled my car, 
wound up in intensive care.

When I went home,
I was in bed for a time.
My wolf-dog was tied
on the end of a chain
on the porch,
barking his unhappiness.

He sat looking out 
at the gray city streets,
mourning his beloved beach.

As did I.

1999 was all about loss,
and grieving,
and trying to make a life
in the last place on earth
I had ever wanted to be.

But in 2000,
spring came.
I planted trees.
Pup and I walked
every forest trail
we could find,
visited every wild river, 
lagoon, pond and lake.

We made do
where we were,
since we couldnt be
where we belonged.

In time we moved
from town to country,
and that was better.
When I unhooked the chain
from Pup's neck
and told him:
"You're free!"
he made a little bow,
to thank me,
then danced
a happy wolf-dance
of happiness.

Now, he is gone too,
my buddy, 
my truest companion,
the one whose devotion
never wavered.
I mourn him
and the loss of 
our spirit's home
in equal measure.

Sometimes life hands us our dream.
Sometimes we have to hand it back.
We cannot stay,
so we make do. 
We try to remain
to have had 
those joyous golden
so-alive years
at all.

Most days,
we succeed.


  1. Wise words, Sherrie. Beautifully expressed.

  2. But in 2000,
    spring came

    ...I love this positive note, that despite all the tragedy this too shall pass just as winter passes.

  3. Yes Sherry. Every cloud has a silver lining, although we often don't see it for the darkness in our lives. We can look back at the happy times and say we had some good ones.

    A lovely piece of writing. :-)

  4. may you spend more days in antechambers of paradise dear Sherry.
    have you heard of Darjeeling?I was there for the last three days and it too resembles antechambers of paradise at times.your words made it reappear again.
    and thanks for your continuously encouraging comments.the last one was probably the fastest to any of my posts!

  5. you have lived some life and have something worthwhile to share. i think you are right to notice the spring in 2000. some years are off years but put into perspective the year can still be important for rebuilding. that wolf dog is big and beautiful. what a cool path through the forest. i'll be the beach was amazing too.

  6. sometimes life hands us our dream, but often we have to work for it

    like those times


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