Apologies everyone, for it has been a few weeks since I posted anything to my blog. It has been a busy few weeks as I am now engaged in saving the planet in multiple ways--inspiring a love of reading and therefore helping to increase the cognitive faculties of my fellow humans, and working for a renewable energy company to help save us from ourselves and global warming. It is time consuming, but I digress...
I woke up this morning and two thoughts immediately sprang to mind. The first was that on this day two years ago, my mother passed away. The second was that I needed to do a blog post, and some work on this book business I have started.
I started with the book business. Emails sent, forms completed, proofs approved (watch for things coming soon!), and had some lunch. While I was eating on the patio, and watching the butterflies hovering in the hibiscus and allamanda blossoms, I thought of mom.
Mom was everything gardening. She would have loved to see photos of the plants down here in Barbados--things that would never grow on her farm north of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
She was also everything story. When I was in the Arctic, she loved my emails and sent back questions and reactions. She liked the tales of giant siksik and cheeky snow buntings. She laughed at the Arctic Robins (seagulls) arriving in the spring. She listened on the phone as I told her Inuit legends I was learning. She often told me I should write a book.
She would have loved the tales of cheeky grackles performing their organized crime routines on the birdfeeder while the general public, a.k.a. bullfinches, stay out of the line of fire. She would have laughed at the story of the giant moth tapping at the window. She would have likewise laughed at my tales of another late night visitor, a cane toad, that sneaks out to eat the cat food local strays leave untouched. She would have told me I should write a book.
She would have visited and helped me hunt for geckos and snails. She would have made a squidgy face over some of the creepy crawlies, like milipedes, but watched them with fascination. She would have been happy that I finally wrote a book!
She always read to us as kids. She encouraged reading and sometimes you could even dodge chores if it was a particularly good bit and you promised to someone else's chores the next day. Books were Christmas and birthday gifts. Books were shared around the family. Each time we moved, she would get us library cards in the new town and we would find new books to devour as each community had different collections.
A chair placed in the sun, mom with a book in one hand and a cup of coffee or apple juice in the other. This is how lazy days were passed. In the living room where she could see outside, or on the deck surrounded by flowers and the buzzing of bees, a book close to hand.
She introduced me to Laura Ingalls. She bought me every new "Black Stallion" novel as they came out. She showed us James Herriott's humour and love of animals. She showed us Little Women and Little Men. Anne of Green Gables and friends lined the shelves. There were tales by the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson. She helped introduce my siblings and I to worlds beyond.
In one home, I would be in my treehouse reading while mom worked in the garden below, occasional offerings of freshly pulled carrots flying up into my hideaway to rouse me into action and helping.
As an adult, books arrived in the mail with crumbs between the pages, sticky notes saying "you'll LOVE this bit" or "get a tissue box, this next bit is tricky". She would tell me a book she enjoyed and I would find a copy. I would send her the same. Books and story became a big thing.
I like to think that, whatever your belief system may be, mom is somewhere quietly reading in a garden. Maybe she used her newest library card to check out one of my books. Maybe she had a copy shipped to her Express Post. I like to think that she is smiling and enjoying it.
I like to think she's telling her friends..."Ruthie finally wrote a book!"