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a Valentine from Patsy

It’s Valentine’s Day here in chilly Florida. I brought my old ladies a tub of daffodils, and Mum bought some fresh scallops for us to cook for supper. We three have spent a happy day doing not much of anything; I bundled up and walked twice on the beach, picking up and admiring shells, particularly, today, the liquid glint of mother-of-pearl inside abandoned oysters.

When the sun came out, I persuaded Mum to come and sit outside with me until the clouds covered the sun again; we sat by the water looking at the boats go by and the noisy sea birds, and talking about raising children, her mistakes and triumphs and mine. Nearby, a great blue heron stalked about, then stood motionless on one spindly leg while I took his picture. He seems to live in the backyard of the neighbour Jim – someone told us that Jim feeds both the heron and his friend the egret, who is often there too. But today the heron was alone, not at Jim’s but near us, dignified and still.

A calm, loving Valentine’s Day, made even better by an email from my beloved friend, writer, actress and poet Patsy Ludwick from Gabriola Island, sending me an exquisite Valentine’s poem, freshly hatched – a poem that urges me to look back again on the small, perfect moments of this day. It is my great pleasure to share Patsy’s beautiful gift with you.


after all the lovers have departed

to other arms or the deep embrace of death,

another awareness arises

a drift of snowdrops, scatter of daisies, shine of dandelions,

a rush of wings, skirl of cloud, tilt of sail, splash of ducks,

a whiff of seaweed, tangle of driftwood, ripple of sand,

a bend in the trail, slant of sunlight, patch of dappled shade,

a solitary heron standing on one leg, a cat asleep on a windowsill,

frogsong all night long, glimmer of moon, dream of mother of pearl

in such a world,

how would it be possible to fall out of love?



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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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