Happy Summer Solstice

I am not a born gardener.  I am a born flower appreciator but really that is where my skills end.  Before we moved into this house it had only been owned by one other family.  My 91-year-old neighbour Jean has told me a little bit about this family.  The mother, Flora was an exceptional gardener.  And so through no talents of my own, we enjoyed Lily of the Valley, tulips of all kinds, Irises, Hostas, Lillies this Spring.  And now for summer we walk out into the backyard to take in all of these…

This beauty started poking through the growing grasses overtaking the flower beds.  Thank goodness I waited until now to start pulling “weeds” or we might have missed it!

So many roses!

And climbing vines!

Oh and peonies…these don’t grow where I’m from…

And Mrs. Iverson’s favourite snowballs to remind us of what did grow in our forest home.  I’m loving summer already!

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Upon returning from Squam…

I’m not sure I know how to write about Squam.  I know for certain that my words will fail to capture the lived experience.  My photos are incomplete as I most often chose to put down my camera in favour of picking up knitting needles, pulling thread through fabric and putting pen to paper.  I feel compelled to at least try to process it, and while I do I’ll share it here….

…a picture to start.  Taken just after I arrived in my cabin. This screened in porch was just off the room where I slept.  Can you imagine?  I put down my suitcase and stepped into this space. I looked out at the breathtaking beauty of the trees, the rock lined path to the dock on the lake…”I’m here” was the thought that entered my mind…

That thought was quickly followed by feeling an intriguing mix of excited giddiness and utter calm.  If I’m honest, those feelings never really left me the entire time.

On the ride home my mind and my heart were full.  My soul replete.  Squam had been everything it promised to be and more.  I imagined telling friends and family back home about it in great detail.  But I found this task appreciably harder than I thought.  Today sitting at a friend’s kitchen table all that would come out of my mouth was “you should go” and “you need to go” and “it was 100 times more wonderful than I’d imagined”.  I was at a loss to express what Squam is or was…

For me, and I believe this is true for many, Squam is a deeply personal experience.  There likely is a common experience but I am hesitant to share what I think that might be lest another Squammie feel that I failed to grasp, to express, to capture the true essence of Squam.  I don’t want to paint an inaccurate picture.  But oh, I do want to share it!  And so my Squam story will likely come out in bits – my reflections on the common thread that surrounded us all, that brought us together during those glorious 4 days, my fabulous classes, the wonderful teachers, the inspirational attendees…and there are a few hilarious personal stories I’m sure to share, like being the Canadian in residence for my cabin (I do believe I bloody-well represented!) and I may regale you with a first hand account (I’m ashamed to admit) of the rather unfortunate dock disaster of Squam 2012…

So I will leave you, dear reader, with this teaser for a few more days.  Tomorrow I will be immersed in the final planning for the 4th Annual Birth Fest celebrations which takes place on Saturday June 16th from 10-2 at Portsmouth Olympic Harbour!  All you locals, I look forward to seeing there.  I will be channeling my inner Elizabeth in the hopes of encouraging everyone, exhibitors and attendees alike, to enjoy these four hours together, to connect, to share and to celebrate our Birthing Village!

Oh!  And then it is Father’s Day…so until next week then : )