Snaps of Summer
“Days tumbled on days, I was in my overalls, didn’t comb my hair, didn’t shave much, consorted only with dogs and cats, I was living the happy life of childhood again…I was nutty as a fruitcake and happier. Sunday afternoon, then, I’d go to my woods with the dogs and sit and put out my hands palms up and accept handfuls of sun boiling over the palms.”
– Jack Kerouac, from The Dharma Bums
The above quote is one of my all-time favourites. It reminds me of a very special summer in my life, part of which was spent writing at a remote farmhouse in central Alberta a couple of years after John passed away. I would escape from the madness of my life in Calgary for a week at a time and go to the farmhouse to work on the manuscript for my book, A Widow’s Awakening. There, I spent my days writing, crying and walking through the woods with my dogs, Sable and Soda. It was a tremendous time for both healing and creativity.
It also gave me a taste for what I wanted my future to look like (minus the crying) – not just in one week stints here and there but all year round. And my life now, in my little bungalow by the sea in Sidney, is that future…and I am grateful for every moment of it.
Although there are still tears (this summer especially with the recent passing of my Mom and Soda), I have a better understanding now that death and loss are an important part of life – and if you’re going to love a lot, you are also, at times, going to hurt a lot…and I’m okay with that 🙂
The trick, I think, is to let the tears flow when they need to – and enjoy the memories of those who have passed on without getting mired down in the sadness over what will never be again. For although the past cannot be recreated, the threads of joy from wonderful memories seem to weave their way into the present. And what I’m finding now is that when I do invite the madness back into my days – in small but intense doses – my life is vastly enriched for the better…and therefore so is my work & writing.
As such, I’m having a fabulously fun summer…and I hope you are, too!
Here are a few snaps from my summer shenanigans thus far:
And now I’m gearing up for “Camp Pope” which starts tomorrow: 7 kids (aged 6 to 14) are staying with me for 5 days. Ack!! Wish me luck 🙂
Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening and the upcoming book, Barrier Removed; A Tough Love Guide to Achieving Your Dreams. Maryanne also writes screenplays and play scripts, including the play, Saviour. She is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and the Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund.