Thursday, April 12, 2018

Room for Joy

It is funny the moments that stand out, illuminated, after all is said and done. Sometimes, often with me, the smaller they seemed, the deeper that I feel them.

I woke up on the Christmas tree farm in a jet-lag haze, emotional to be once again in that bed that had held me during the most difficult of times. In lifting the blinds (I have to stand on the chair to make them stick, wobbly), I saw frost on the grass, orange early sun glistening and my Sister's car churning to warm up under a Michigan winter.

So, I hadn't yet missed her, she still hadn't left to teach her classes. She works so very hard, Robin. My Dad would have been so proud. I am too.

The staircase in the farmhouse is steep and so I gripped onto the polished wood railing while running down the stairs to try and catch her in my ski-socks feet. Through the living room, past Sweetie and Lucy, the dogs that I am so delighted to see again (and relieved, for neither are spring chickens), sliding across the kitchen floor and with a bang of the screen door behind me, I catch her. She looks at me with surprise.

"Have a great day!! I love you Sister!!" She is already getting into the car, she has to go but she is smiling and shouting back to me quick wishes in return. I know that she is really happy that I am home. And because my love for her is over-flowing and I want to make her laugh, or maybe because it is really, really cold out and I am in my pyjamas, I start to bounce around like I am on a pogo stick. Boing, boing, boing, boing. Hair flying, my breath in tendrils in the air as I am laughing. And then she has driven off to start her day.

I have countless such examples in my head, my heart, from my visit to see my beautiful family.

You know, I don't want to say something along the lines of, "this love is always there,"  - even though it is - because I struggle too. And it is to the motion of that struggle -  the flip side of the coin of my bouncing - that I want to say, "wait. No really, wait." For now back in France, even newly returned from being so loved, I have woken up quite differently, twice in tears this week alone with exhaustion from my current job and longing for the creativity that makes me sing loud songs of freedom. I look at the professional camera body that I bought in the States that I haven't yet touched - the biggest purchase of my life - with something edging towards bitterness, for which I sound the alarms.

"Wait. No really, wait." Because, can I be brave enough to turn the question that has been burning inside me into a statement? This one, the main theme calling to me...

It doesn't have to be this hard. 

Since I decided to try and stay in France, I have experienced much, little of it simple. "You are a warrior, " someone said to me recently. It isn't the first time I have been told so. But I don't wish to be a warrior anymore. I lay down my arms.

I had to go back to the old house the other day, my Ex welcomed me smilingly. He has grown so much in his new relationship, it is quite something to see. It was shocking when he opened the gate, for it was the Dday of pruning both the massive olive and magnolia trees that shadowed over our lives for years. A mountain of twisted branches and blackened olives slippery underfoot. Kipling, my crazy amazing dog that I had not seen since last September (we won't go into that now) covered me with kisses. And he is not the kissing kind.

There was light, and there was...there for joy.


  1. That is a beautiful image of you and your sister. It reminds me of the movie "Frozen," where the true love that breaks the evil spell is the one between the sisters.
    As for it being hard, as Frozen's Elsa said, "Let it go!"
    So glad you posted; I have been thinking about you. And what a wonderful story of family and love.

  2. Quality over Quantity every time .. and this is a quality piece! Merci, Rocket

  3. Oh, Dear Heather.......please play this song (one which I've loved for many years) for you and your sister. I really loved your posting (having read it five minutes ago on this sunny day in North Carolina. You're lucky girls to have each other.

    go to:

    "Surpise, goodbyes, and tears unanswered,
    Promises that fall...
    Can leave your hopeless dreams defenseless,
    Backed against the wall.

    But I will always hold you near
    No matter where you go, you're here...

    As long as I have have a heart,
    You've a safe place to dream in.
    A tree to carve your name in
    As long as I have a heart.

    As long as you need a love
    that time won't take away?
    Baby, you've got it made....
    as long as I have a heart".

    Sincerely, and with continuing admiration,

    David Terry
    The Webb House
    Hillsborough, NC

  4. SO GLAD there is room for joy again!! xoxo

  5. Hi Heather, I am a redhead too ~ we are gentle warriors as I think life requires that of keep moving...ever deligent ~ for we all tire of sadness, being alone, then in a swoop, JOY again ~ I love, many articles support me ~ GORGEOUS poem here by David Terry ~ drop down to Florida, stay with a kindred spirit, me, & we could drive to NOLA 3 hours away or simply "be" on the Gulf of Mexcio ~ I have written you often all these years, we even exchanged personal emails while you were in France ~ welcome home again! XO

    1. Oh, it's not a "poem", Bliss, and it's certainly not by me....those are the opening lyrics to the song to which I included the youtube link.

      ---david terry

  6. One day at a time Heather. One day we all got to where we are meant to be.

  7. I was surprised to see you were already back! Treasure those moments ... and Kipling's kisses.

  8. So good to read your post....ever on and upwards....

  9. So good to hear about your trip home and back. Just curious as to your new pro camera???

  10. Hi Heather, I guess that what you are saying is that it's time to stop fighting and to just "be" -- at least for a while. You will use that camera soon and I can't wait to see what comes out of it. Thank you for the images of the lovely Robinson women -- and Kipling! As always sending love and wishing we could meet.

  11. So glad to hear from you! I’m greedy, I want more, more of you, your beautiful writings and photos and just to know you’re in the world and are surviving and finding joy! Take care -such a special bond (&photo) between you and your sister! Lovely!!

  12. I enjoy your writing so much. Thank you.

  13. Sending even more love for your journey, Heather, may it wander sweetly when needed! xxx

  14. Moments, even a brief moment of rest, bring comfort
    and beauty in the finality of knowing
    we can belong in one place,
    others, for visits
    and renewal.

    "there for joy. "

  15. What joyful, cozy photos — nothing more wonderful than being surrounded by love, human & canine family all

  16. I started reading your blog when you were together with your boyfriend. I loved seeing your house and glimpses of life in France.
    Your pain has been so very palpable for so long now. I hope you can heal.

  17. So much happening in both our lives. We persist.

  18. magnificent put up, very informative. I ponder why the opposite
    experts of this sector do not realize this. You should continue your writing.
    I'm sure, you've a huge readers' base already!


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