Wednesday, November 11, 2009


To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.

Mary Oliver

I remember fingering bean seeds in the lint of a deep coat pocket.

Surrounded by iron railings and brick flats , I was particularly entranced by the dark recesses of a white slightly lilting porch.
That I was crawling out of the sun's reach didn't occur to my six year old scabby knees and hopeful heart as an issue, any more than the fact that they were lima beans I dug in, lovingly shared from my brother's plate.

Not pole or scarlet runners, but processed , cooked, and served with carrots and peas.

On other days I added dried navy beans , suddenly aware that the damp mud under my nails and in the folds of slouching socks was beautiful.
That I was wearing a secret.

Most days I played hopscotch and barbie, and school. I coloured and dressed my paper dolls and dreamed of canopy beds , locket necklaces and carriage rides.

I didn't climb trees or fences or even the forbidden staircases that grew up like vines with drying laundry leaves up and down those Montreal streets, providing escape routes for tag games.

But these diamonds of letting go and waiting for it to come back, felt like song lyrics of dreams to come true.
They smelled like the laughter layered in pine needles around a cottage. Like a soup ladle carefully running along the top of the pot to catch drips of shelled peas and pulled up carrots.

Just a prayer of giant snowflakes and star lit bedroom nights. Bedtime's steepled fingers could bring the tiniest little green piece of forever pushing up through the rain of a morning.

I'm sure when we moved yet again, I quickly forgot about those doomed plantings.

But the seeds of something grew.


  1. Visiting from your other blog... thanks for the lovely post! I also appreciated your pictures, particularly the one of the knobbly red berries(?) with the multi-colored leaves. So pretty!

  2. I like reading here, too. I think the seeds grew into something quite lovely.

  3. These photos and words are quite beautiful. Thanks for sending us this way. Also appreciate your visit earlier!

  4. Love the intricate detail in these photographs. Nature really is a world unto itself, isn't it?

  5. Beautiful, Deb. I always look forward to your poetry-prose posts.

    And thank you for those pictures! I could feel something in my chest expand as I looked through them.

  6. thank you for your kind words on my blog today....

  7. I love this line!!
    I remember fingering bean seeds in the lint of a deep coat pocket.

    Oh, and the forever pushing up ... beautiful. Very meditative. Beautiful.

  8. Such beautiful photos Deb! I admire people who can work the good earth and make something grow. I am not one of them, but my husband is, and I love him all the more for it.

    Your words and memories enchant me. They hold me captivated and I wish the post didn't have to end so soon.

  9. Lindsay ~ I forgot when I replied on your blog, to tell you that is a flowering dogwood tree

    Bee~ {{hugs}}

    S.Etole~ coming from you, that means a lot

    Joanne~ love finding beauty in the unexpected sometimes

    Kathleen~ you are most welcome, and I really value your encouragement

    Beth~ you are welcome. I commented so quickly, and hoped after that it was okay

    Kirsten ~ nature held /holds hope I think

    Angie~ both my husband and I enjoy it , we're not experts , but we are so in awe of it. And I don't know what to say to your comment other than thank you from the bottom of my heart. And I imagine I'll keep writing, so I hope you'll keep reading.

  10. Your photos are wonderful. And your words plant such a lovely image in my heart, time and again. You always leave me with something raw and real...

  11. Deb,

    This post is beautiful. So lyrical and picturesque. I loved it! "Just a prayer of giant snowflakes and star lit bedroom nights"...such a gorgeous line. And the photos are so lovely! Thank you, thank you for sharing.

    Happy weekend,

  12. My first time here. And I'm so glad.

  13. "They smelled like the laughter...." I never thought of laughter having a smell. But then you always make me see things new, fresh, familiar. Beautiful remembering.

  14. This is so beautiful. I'm so glad I found your blog--or you found mine--not sure which came first but thank you.

  15. so many things wrapped up in this post that have struck a deep cord in my heart. beautiful. xo

  16. Your photos are beautiful. This post is like a poem.

  17. Thank you so so much. Really.

  18. Your photographs are beautiful! So are your words. I remember long ago days of my gardening roots. Roots that I hope to get back into again someday.


  19. How magical. You are certainly doing your proper work. Beautiful photos and amazing writing. So happy you found me and then I found you. Thank you!

  20. Deborah~ Hi, nice to see you here. Thanks.

    Bethany~ Welcome, and thanks, and it's a bit confusing with the two blogs, but I'm glad you've stopped by.

  21. This is poetry, "On other days I added dried navy beans , suddenly aware that the damp mud under my nails and in the folds of slouching socks was beautiful.
    That I was wearing a secret."

    PS: I love Mary Oliver.

  22. I followed you here from your very kind 'delurking' post, and found this beautiful, beautiful post. Thank you.

  23. Maggie May ~ that means a lot , thank you. Your writing is so incredible.