Hello Autumn (haibun)

It’s been 10 to 12 C the past few days and today, she could actually feel a shift in the air. Windows were open all day and her two felines slept on their  carpets by the open patio door. By late afternoon, she could feel a chill and she closed the windows except for her bedroom where she enjoys the cool air under her warm duvet.

silky soft
stretching along her chest
scent of autumn
Inhaling freshness with a sigh
remembering their runny nose

nose peaking
above down feathers
breathing in crispness

© Tournesol ‘2022-09-23

Daily Moments Sept 23/22

Mid-morning calm (haibun)

(c) Clr'15 Chilling in the shad

(c) Clr’15 Chilling in the shade

I’m in the country this week minding my son’s dogs and cat. Heidi (German Shepherd) and Mia (Golden mix) are sisters and they are like two giant peas in a pod. They play together, sleep together, eat together but compete to get petted of course. And GiGi, the Persian could care less about those giants. She does her own thing. She loves jumping on the kitchen counter and drinking water straight from the tap and pleads with me daily. My son warned me NOT to do that since it took him months to have her finally drink out of a bowl. Since he leaves the kids for ten to twelve hours, he would not want her to dehydrate. It is so tempting  though to indulge the little thing, like Nana giving too many sweets to the grands…that is exactly how I feel with these pets.

It is a long trek to get to work for me but the peacefulness here is palpable.

birds muted

soft breeze pacifies

mid-morning calm

mid-morning calm

after canine game of tag

shadow bed

(c) Tournesol ’15

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the devil incarnate (haibun)

Remember when we had to get used to saying “The Artist- formerly known as Prince”? I was trying to find a way to name that Russian president [what’s his name] similarly. I wrote several forms. I was still not satisfied. Then I looked up some names he is known for today…”Dickhead” is one that caught my attention. But the only one that seemed to fit how I felt about him today is “Devil Incarnate – formerly known as Putin”.

dogs howl in mourning
baffled by the devil's work
longing their masters

echoes of rustling leaves
trees shudder with grief

midst the smog of war
clouds form from malice and greed
STILL - Ukraine's heart beats

(c) tournesol '2022-04-03



embracing moments of joy (haibun)

 

(c) clr’2022

As we hope to approach the end of this pandemic, a month ago the world witnessed an explosion of chaos, of violence, of trauma, of one of the worse assaults against humanity…I’m not an expert on this.  I am but an ordinary person who is in her late autumn years…or is it winter? Well, it is not spring or summer, so you figure it out.

Watching the news is a cat and mouse affair for me.  I want to be in the “know” but most days I can no longer handle it.  I know I need to be fresh and together so my heart is open to be filled with trauma, sorrow and the multiple questions from a confused generation of youths and young adults.   And so I watch the news 3 days a week to keep some balance in my heart…my mind.

I cry for youths.  I cry for my children and their children…heck, I cry for anyone who is younger than me and so many of their dreams are in question.  I weep out of fear, worry, disappointment with the world and how we have become split in so many ways…more than I have ever seen in my lifetime.

I have lived a long full life without the chaos we are faced with now but my heart aches especially  for children, teens and young families all over the world.

I have been trying to  embrace brief moments of joy…I heard a flock (gaggle)  of geese honking over my building at sunset last week…the sound made my heart beat just a little faster. My geranium is blossoming so much as it stretches out towards the sun in my bedroom window…embracing moments of joy, my feline stretching in the sunshine and my granddaughter talking to me in “her” language that is music to Nana’s ears.

 

don’t cry little one
the sun is shining today
hear the geese honk

April rains wash pain away
the sun will dry your cheeks

chin up little one
skipping rope and chanting rhymes
oh! sweet merriment

(c)tournesol ‘2022-03-30

Friendships (haibun ~ troibun)

Valentine’s is supposed to be about love and couples but since I had my children 4 decades ago,  it was more about LOVE for anyone who is very special to you, especially my immediate family. 

I remember cutting out Valentine cards to share at school to those “special people” …if it was someone, we had a little crush on, we did not sign it. I also helped my children cut theirs out as well and in this generation, they seem to include more people.  I am hoping that is indicative of the world we now live in…to be kind to one another…to show support and caring.

The media shows us the opposite because unfortunately “tragedy sells.”  Yet, with all that has been going on in the world in the past two years, I am sick of giving attention to sadness, cruelty, and hardships. I am not saying I want to live in a bubble, but I/we DO need balance…knowing about kindness and how wonderful many people have come forward to help one another warms my heart and that too should be in the media…not just an addendum at the end of the news.

One thing I have loved doing in the past few years is writing my own greeting cards and sending them out to some friends far and near…mostly friends who live alone like me.

I do not know about you but when I get something in the mail, I get so excited…I run upstairs and put the envelope on the dining room table and make myself a cuppa tea and then I sit down and savour it. Sometimes it is one line and other times it is a bit longer but the fact that someone cared enough to write something on paper, put it in an envelope, sealed it with love, addressed it with care and attention, put a stamp and walked or drove to drop it off in a mailbox means so much!

I had another selfish reason to do this as well. It inspires me to write a poem and talk in writing to a friend, and forcing me to walk to the nearest mailbox which is 1 km away…so it is also beneficial to my physical and mental health to walk which is something I have not done much this winter especially since my fall early in January. It made me wary of walking on icy sidewalks.

I often try to spread out the cards so I have to go out more often. 

This is a troiku (new form of haiku created by Chevrefeuille, at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai I wrote a few days ago, that made me think of my friends this valentine week.

 

greyness lingers
lockdowns hold us prisoners
when will winter leave?

greyness lingers
looking for a bit of light
shining in my heart

lockdowns hold us prisoners
soon the days shall pass
Oh, see the light shine

when will winter leave?
thankful for a caring friend
brightens every day

© tournesol 2022-2-11

 
la grisaille s’attarde
les confinements emprisonnent
l’hiver nous quittera quand?

la grisaille s’attarde
mon cœur s’alimente à la poursuite
de la lumière

les confinements emprisonnent
bientôt le jour va paraitre
voilà, luminescence

enfin l’hiver nous quitte
enchantée d’une amie dévouée
égaiera chaque jour

© tournesol 2022-2-11

 


			

From the mouth of babes ~ Haibun

She hears stories from those who have lost a parent to Covid since 2020.   At that time we lost so many seniors here in Quebec…the most deaths in this country are in this province.  She hears people say, “Oh, it’s mostly folks in their 80’s” as if that makes it less painful to families who have lost their parent or grandparent and not have the privilege to be by their side.  Her heart bleeds when she hears this and she’s so grateful her parents passed before this pandemic.  She feels blessed to have been with both her parents when they died. So many families did not have that privilege. Some said goodbye on flat screens, others never did. And too many died alone or if they were lucky, alongside a compassionate health care worker.

Her worse fear was for her grand daughter, a Covid baby born in 2020, would not be strong enough to fight this virus.  Two weeks ago, Covid visited her daycare and she also tested positive.  Fortunately she weathered through this virus very well as did Papa and  Mama.  Her prayers were answered…her family is still safe.

The world is at crossroads. Families and friends are arguing.  Families are not visiting each other…adult children are pushed away from their parents…the vaxed versus the unvaxed.  It reminds her of hostile political times in the 1970’s here…the separatists vs the federalists. It feels the same way it is destroying relationships among friends and families. However, it is different because people are dying…on both sides…the vaxed and unvaxed are getting sick and the health care system is cracking. Over 20,000 health care workers are off sick or have resigned!

She fell on the ice the other day on her way to the bus to get her booster shot (3rd dose). It was icy and even though she had cleats on her boots, she still tripped over a big chunk of ice under the snow.  She could see herself falling and in that split second she told herself, “Oh, thank goodness there is a young woman a few feet away”  she was hoping she would help her up.  She had actually turned her head to see her fall, but just walked away.  She wept from disappointment …it hurt more than her bruised ribs.

She feels blessed that she can still work from home…counselling youths and young adults especially during these challenging times.  It is the first time since 9/11 she hears calls from youths worried about their future …just as we are all worried.  In fact it is the first time that she feels a solidarity among humans who are struggling…a worldwide shared compassion.

She limits her personal contacts to family and a few older friends who live alone like her so they can encourage each other and regardless of the content of the conversation, they always end it with something positive and sometimes funny.  Laughter is contagious and therapeutic.  The sound of a person’s laughter lingers in their memory and makes them smile.

Photos on her smart phone, videos of her grandchildren and video chats sustain her these passed two years.

A toddler smiles
A new treat with three layers
Unravels her treasure
Licking precious sweetness
Her first Oreo cookie

Daddy’s smartphone rings
Baby rushes eagerly
Nana’s visit!

Looking in her eyes
Filled with life and purpose
Hope fills Nana’s heart

© tournesol ‘2022/01/15

Inspired by Chèvrefeuille’s haiku – Restarting

a world in flames
reaching to regain freedom
a new day rises

© Chèvrefeuille ‘2022

Happy Birthday, Mom (troibun) ~ daily moments

On the 2nd day of summer, a baby girl was born.  I wonder why they did not call her Summer but of course it did not translate well in French.  And so, Colombe (Dove in English) was born.  She was planned, so I hear from stories from my GrandMaman, on one Sunday afternoon.  How did they manage to have the house to themselves and what on earth was on their minds, coming from Sunday mass?

My grandparents had a flat on the 2nd floor of City Hall at the time, because my grandfather was Chief of Police.

My grandmother often said that out of all the children there was always one that was chosen to take care of their parents in their old age.  My grandmother used to call Colombe,  “Mon baton de veillesse’’ (old aged stick…which really means ‘old age crutch’.)

But you must remember in those days in 1925,  good Catholic families prohibited from family planning…this baby was planned.  GrandMaman used to say a baby planned on a Sunday was ‘’un bébé d’amour’’ …I am not sure love child means the same thing.

And so June 22, 1926, Colombe was born…the fourth child, the middle child of seven.  Of course this was a small family compared to other good Catholic families back then.  My grandmother was fortunate to have learned young, as a midwife, when a woman ovulated…and so she found her way to plan her family despite the sin she may have committed.

I wonder how they spoke about this plan coming home from Sunday mass.

Mother:  I think it’s time to plan for a child that will take care of us in our old age.

Father:  Okay [with a twinkle in his eye and skip in his step.]

Mother:  Yes, this afternoon would be a good time while the children are at the cottage.

Father:  I aim to please, my love.

I don’t know if she carried her to term of 40 weeks, so I imagine this discourse took place sometime in September or early October…oh my!  I wonder if it was on my Grandmother’s birthday, October 13th….[rushing to check 1925 calendar…okay, so let’s add a bit of imagination to this story] 

On October 11, 1925,  GrandPapa asked his spouse what she wanted for her birthday October 13th.   And that was her present!  I bet GrandPapa wished he could gift her like that more often…[chuckles]

Colombe certainly became a special “baton”…when her little brother was only one, he had TB and she had to quit school having completed Grade 9 to take care of him for two years while he had a body cast. 

From there she later went to Montreal at Hairdressing school at Morgan’s (The Bay).  She stayed at her sister’s who had a baby and a toddler and became a live in Nanny when she was not in school because her sister like to wine and dine with the rich and famous and her husband.

She never really got to live life on her own freely…and when she met my father, who was auditing a company in her small town, they married six months later.

I’m glad she did because I wouldn’t be here today .There is a story to tell on that day forward but suffice to say the best part was having moi and my sister, right? [smiles]

She was an amazing daughter, friend, spouse, sister, mother and the most loving and fun Nanny as well.  I am so glad my children have fond memories of her.

Happy Birthday, Mom. Even in heaven, I bet there is some heavenly celebration you so deserve.

autumn love
sowing seeds in fertile ground
June blossoms thrive

autumn love
embryo warm and safe
winter womb

sowing seeds in fertile ground
praying for a good harvest
faith, hope and love

June blossoms thrive
Creator’s love in abundance
reaping virtues

© Tournesol ‘2021/06/22

P.S. Dear Mom. Please sprinkle your magic down here tonight so the Montreal Canadiens can beat the  Vegas Golden Knights.

Daily Moments – Happy Birthday Mom - Troibun

a Big covid day ~ Daily Moments ~ Haibun Apr 8 2021

Today was the big day!! Yep, my daughter was kind enough to take time off her busy work day to pick me up and drive me to get my first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.  It’s done!  I feel fine and so grateful it is over…thankful to my daughter and every person working or volunteering in this project.

Okay, that is now but last night I was worried.  I had a sore throat for the past two days and a sinus headache last night.  I have chronic rhinitis and some allergies so all this is NORMAL but when you are getting an important vaccine, your mind plays tricks on you…especially if you are a worry wart.

So I got up at 4am and called the health line and the nurse said I should be fine. I mentioned that I heard you are not supposed to take Tylenol the morning of the vaccination and asked if I could take Advil…she had not heard about this but mentioned that Advil has more side effects and did not recommend it.  I took care of my throat and sinuses with salt and a good rinse a few times, then honey/lemon drops. Yeah, that worked!   I know I was being silly but the mind does what the mind wants sometimes.

By the time I got to the centre which is an old Loblaws (grocer) building, I walked in the building and waited my turn at the gate.  There were 5 lines.  I never saw so many old people in one spot….haha, yeah, it was like looking at me, times 500.  There were more single people than couples.  I mention this only because a couple told me a few weeks ago how they were shocked about this.  I had never really noticed that. Of course it depends where you are in your own life. 

As I waited at the glass door for my turn to get through the glass door and register, I saw all the stations, and rows and rows of people…my heart started pounded, my throat tightened and I struggled to breathe. The more I paid attention to what was going on in my body, the harder it was to breathe.  I quickly scolded myself…telling myself, “Okay, stop it! Now count 5 things you can see…keep looking at what you can actually see!!”  I never got to what I hear or smell…just grounding myself with instructions to myself to articulate in my mind each item I could see and my breathing returned.  Nothing like trying to practice what you preach…and it works!

As I entered, I was told to remove my mask and with cooking thongs, the person gave me a new surgical mask.  Then I was told to get in the line and follow.  I was relieved to see there were markers that were 2 metres apart.  The couple behind me kept moving closer…I looked over my shoulder a few times and they got the message…well, okay, the last time I did look, I gave them “the Mother Look”.   Haha, I think the man got it and told his partner.  I realize when you are with another person, chatting, you can lose track of the distancing.  But let’s face it, we still have to be careful, and I think I will remain a bit strict in that area for a long time to come. 

One of my pet peeves pre-pandemic times are people who hover too close to you standing in line especially at the cash register when I am paying. It really irks me!  I would turn my back to them in the past…now I have found the courage to say, “Could you back up please” and if they stay put, I will add, “Back up! have a little respect for others. My space is also protecting you.”  I guess this is one thing the pandemic has taught me, to assert myself and when that doesn’t work…be a bit little aggressive. Before I would sigh out of frustration or once on my own, cry and be sad that there are some people who just don’t care about others. 

I realize that is a generalization and that some are just so covid fatigued, apathy has instilled and depression…so I know I need to be aware of that when asking to respect the 2-metre space.

By the time I got to register for the actual vaccine, I asked the gentleman which one was I getting and he ticked off “Pfizer”…yay!!  then I moved on to another person to answer questions about my health etc an in no time I was sitting at the station.  A lovely lady introduced herself giving me her name and profession…she is a pharmacist. I asked her questions I was concerned about and she was patient and did not rush me off.  Then I moved on to the section to sit and wait for 15 minutes. During that time a gentleman came over to ask for my vaccination“receipt” and added the date of my next vaccination in July…and voilà! As I waited the 15 minutes, my daughter texted me to ask if I was ok. I love her so much for caring and bringing me here and waiting.  I know she is very busy with her work as a manager and teenage boys, but she did not complain.  I texted her to tell her I was going out to wait and the sun was glorious!  Many people were sitting waiting for their rides and the man next to me had pulled down his mask and was coughing…hmmm, not too bright…so I moseyed on away from him a good 20 feet!

I feel so fortunate having adult children who care…taking time away from their busy schedule to drive Mom around for something like this.  However, I do look forward to my 2nd dose so I can jump on the bus, rent a car and get around…drop by to visit them rather than they coming to pick me up.  Covid has aged my habits by a good 15 years, meaning, no longer driving (since I do not own a vehicle) and afraid to take public transit to get around and taking the bus to the car rental place.  I say aged because I know my kids worry about me due to my lack of mobility as well for my health. 

I have spasms of weeping for a few seconds most days worrying about our future but they are short lived.  I can talk myself out of negativity.  Talking to a few friends and of course family and virtual chats with my grand-daughter uplifts me all the time.  I find myself closer in many ways to my children and have grown even closer to my friend/soul sister 650 kms away.  It IS so important to connect with a few people who you can laugh, bitch, cry and laugh with, at the drop of a hat.

I have indulged in too much screen time but watching so many medical shows that are American, I feel so fortunate to be living in a country where we all pitch in to pay that little extra on our paycheques so we can benefit with free health care no matter who you are.  Sure a few private clinics have surfaced due to the high demand but people who have insurance and/or can afford this …fine.  I know I can walk into a hospital and not worry about being charged anything except for a private room maybe but other than that, I do not have to put off getting medical attention because I don’t have a better insurance coverage or am not wealthy.  I never had to wait until I was 65 in order to get any  kind of health coverage.  So, yeah, I feel blessed living here.

I am thankful I still can work part time from home, eat well, (well, maybe too much these days) and live in a comfortable condo with all the amenities I need in walking distance.

I can’t wait for things to open up so I can slowly prepare for retirement…to explore more passions where I can volunteer…maybe find one or two places for diversity.  I am not ready to stop until I know I can stay active.

plants forming buds
others are late bloomers
still… feel the movement
life is slowly awakening
beauty once again

© tournesol ‘2021-04-08

flowers for valentine? ( haibun) Daily Moments Feb 14/2021

The earth has been diseased for decades and now for over a year, the world is still held hostage by a virus that has no mercy and gets stronger over time. Humans are at war with a trillion drones hiding in wait…yet, they are invisible! And so we walk around with the only protective gear possible even in this high tech era that we live.

Social distancing
Wearing a mask
Washing your hands

Social distancing
Preferably
STAY HOME

Wearing a mask
When you can’t social distance
Forget the lipstick

Washing your hands
BEFORE TOUCHING ANYTHING!

Scientists working tirelessly to give humans ammunition but it’s a slow,process to gear every human..

In the meantime, is nature really healing? I mean aside from seeing a bluer sky, is it really? When things get safer, how many humans will revert to old, damaging patterns? This “time out” is perhaps an opportunity for humans to change. Here is one way to hear from a long time environmentalist David Suzuki 

A bud
Struggling to blossom
Needing air and water

A bud is just a bud is just a possibility …

© Tournesol’2021-02-14