in Kelowna, where we often hiked.
I taught them to love all these things too.
I always knew I loved the earth, with its
smell of sage and ponderosa pine,
the rattle-snaked brown hills of my childhood
dotted with yellow blooms in springtime;
lake-scented summer mornings, sweet pea
and hollyhocks in my grandmother's garden.
I always knew I loved rivers, swirling through
rock-walled chasms, salmon leaping up
impossible stone rapids each fall, just when
the world turns orange and red and golden;
and, most of all, the sea, with its wild song,
its white-maned horses galloping in to shore,
and the ancient forest full of treed beings
I stopped under, to feel their history
and listen to what they might be
whispering to me.
Even before all that, I loved sharpening
a brand new pencil, the soft curls pungent,
falling from the sharp lead point; and crayons
to colour a world brand new, and jars
of sticky white paste. Fresh pages, and my dismay
when inevitably the sharpness of my nib,
clotted with ink, made a hole in the paper
doing writing exercises of big OOOOOO's
across the page; my fear of spilling the inkwell,
(my wonder now that it never happened.)
I remember blotters, and how my love of words
started then; I remember paper dolls with
their paper clothes, cutting so carefully; and
BOOKS! armload after armload, week after week,
a treasure trove carried home from the library
for 70 years. And I remember
how we folded paper into triangles, writing
messages on each space, putting them on our fingers,
opening and shutting them like mouths,
till you received your message, hoping it
would be good.
Now here I am, a lifetime away, remembering.
How rich life is, in seasons, in colour,
in beauty, gifting us with sunrises and sunsets,
trees and flowers, wild wolves and whales,
mountain peaks and soft yellow valleys
where deer gently circle in tall grass
to sleep through shimmering summer nights.
And stars! and bioluminescence! and devoted
doggy hearts and wagging tails! and music,
to serenade our youth and remind us,
once we're old, of how once, long ago,
(and yet in an eyeblink of time),
we dreamed. We dreamed. We dreamed.
Inspired by Things I Didn't Know I Loved by Nazim Hikmet, a Turkish poet, shared by Wild Writing's Laurie Wagner. I always knew I loved all these things so I took the positive route.