11 Aug The books have arrived!
“Grrr! I BROKE MY NUMBER ONE LIFE-LONG HABIT TODAY. “
“Do you want to know what it was? Because I was such a spirited, lovely, little girl when I was a kid, I had to teach myself not to become excited, when I, occasionally, stepped over the line, as it was a sure-enough giveaway, if I did. So, instead of getting all hot and bothered with a boiling hot reaction, I trained myself to go ice-cold in temperament. My advice to many people, who become all shook-up with emotion, has always been “There’s no sense in getting excited.”
Yep, I broke my own rule, but I have decided to forgive myself because it was such a momentous day. My first published book, called ETCHED IN MY MEMORY, is arriving within the next hour or so. “So, what?” you ask, “People have been publishing books for eons. What’s the big deal?”
Hmm? My finger reaches out with the intention of deleting that mouthy person, right now. But, then, I think better of it, and I decide to answer rather than deleting him.
I’m 84 years old; I have been working on this book since I was 3 or 4 years old, when Mahtah, my great grandmother, and the matriarch of our family, told me that the first important years of my life were to learn everything she and the other elders could teach me. They open my five senses until I actually feel like I now have six senses. When I was 7 years old, we moved from Narrows Arm to Egmont where I entered “the Whiteman’s School,” just as they directed. She said I was to take the knowledge the elders had taught me and weave it together with what I would learn in the White Mans’ School – to make a new way of living and surviving in the world, by combining the two ways. I have tried my best to do this. Even when my third-year UVIC English professor wanted to have my writing published, I declined, because Mahtah, said “Not yet.”
Well, this year she gave me the ‘go ahead’ – so I am publishing my first book. I have written many stories, since I was in grade five because I always knew I had this to do. Mahtah said if I wrote the stories properly you – the Reader – would feel the truth of my work. I think this is a worthy reason for breaking my own ‘not getting excited’ code, don’t you?
It was hot out that day, so we were sitting on the opposite side of Xenichen Ave. where it was cooler.
Justin, Starwalker, Emily and Holly Ann were on hand to help the truck driver to offload a pallet of books.
The bird that sings within my breast was givin’er for all she was worth. I checked those around me, to see if they could hear my bird, but they didn’t.
I just have to tell stories; it’s cemented into my DNA.
I was telling them about my husband and I docking our boat, the Black Duck, down at the government wharf at Porpoise Bay. Rich stopped to ‘BS’ with someone. I was standing in the parking lot beside the Lighthouse Pub, looking up the long section of Wharf Street. The wind always blows smartly down that street, because there are no obstructions. Suddenly I noticed what looked like a huge tricycle with Mary Poppins riding it. It was all black and moving towards me quite rapidly. I didn’t even realize I was speaking out loud, but I was. Sometimes I think I will never grow up.
I was saying, “I believe, I believe, I believe,” when another voice cut into my awareness, and there was this guy, whom I didn’t know, standing there looking up Wharf Street and saying, “I believe, I believe, I believe.” I don’t know if he was seeing the same thing I was, or not. Well, the Mary Poppins look-alike turned out to be two or three huge groups of balloons that some vendor somewhere must have lost. They kept on sailing right out past the island and out of sight. The guy who was standing there – got all excited and embarrassed, turned red in the face and hurried into the Lighthouse Pub. Well, so much for Mary Poppins. But my books have arrived and I am so pleased, that my ancestors finally believe I am ready to meet my destiny.