Nature's Library

Lake Manitoba 

Shorelines attract me. I’m drawn to them like a bookworm to a library. They’re meeting places—where the water connects to land and to the sky.

Tangled Roots On Lake Winnipeg

I especially like rough, neglected shores, off the beaten track. A couple of days ago it was cold, windy, with intermittent rain. Not the sort of weather my dog, daughter and I had envisioned for our beach-combing adventure—but inviting—nonetheless.

The pre-holiday, off-leash dog beach was pleasantly deserted. It was just us, the crashing waves, and nature. We found art in timeless stones and in the driftwood of uprooted trees. So many stories in the ancient stone, in the wave-crushed sand and in the bare, mangled roots of once strong trees. 

I take pieces of this history home where they get artfully (I try!) arranged in my garden like souvenirs from a journey, or artifacts in a museum. My garden tells silent tales of other places and past traumas. Out of place and yet showcased … made meaningful by my memories and imagination.

My mother's shore
The Baltic Sea off the Curonian Spit

Seems to me there’s a writerly point to all this. The stones and the roots—damaged or changed by storms and by time—are like characters in a novel. Moments of trauma, of heartbreak, of the relentless passage of time, creating insight and receiving artful (I try here too!) placement into a narrative. My garden, my stories, my attempts to make meaning out of the random chaos of life. Stories ... shorelines where imagination creates art.  Shorelines … time-less and yet so time-full. 

My father's shore
View on Heligoland of the North Sea

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