the beach: in memory of Barbara Beacham

I enjoyed my experiences participating in Barbara’s Mondays Finish the Story flash fiction prompts.

Image credit: (image provided by Joy)

For her, it was always the beach.

Toes tickled by icy wavelets. Footprints in wet sand.

Breakers racing ahead of hurricane. Ballet of migrating shorebirds against undulating horizon. Orange fingers of dawn caressing the tide’s turn.

Treasures. Discovery. Beach glass worn smooth by a thousand tides. Glinting blue, green, crystalline. Sand dollars. Sea urchins. Mermaid purses. Moon shells.

She rested her back against the beach sentinel rocks. Sun warm on face, rippling waves, bird calls. She thought for a moment, then began.

She wrote with her favourite pen in her favourite journal. She felt she had written well.

She closed the book. Closed her eyes. And listened to the million year old lullaby of the sea.


Written for the flash fiction for aspiring writers special challenge in honour of Barbara Beacham

Thank you, Joy, for the opportunity to remember Barbara in a most fitting way – a piece of flash fiction in her honour.

mapping my muse: the dykelands’ girl in words & photographs

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Writing 101: Day 17

I’ve often written of living in a tiny house next to an apple orchard. Those halcyon days when seasons, sunshine, ancient dykelands, Suzy (the wonder dog), planting, tending, harvesting, learning spun my tales. Eagles perched on trees outside the door; downhill cross-country skiing across the creek. Walks on the dykelands; rippling, undulating sea-grass. Multiple-bloom mutant sunflowers; berry-stained fingers and chins. Acres of reds, golds, oranges; apple pies and scalloped potatoes.

Of course, my memory is more select than most. But the years on the farm represent the stillness before the transitions. The last of innocent hopes and dreams. Dip pen and ink to calligraphize. Love unconditional.

I am not the same woman who lived and played there. She is one of my former lives. But, I think of her fondly. She wasn’t to know the cartography of decisions made, dreams ignited. She couldn’t foretell pain, passion, and passings. She believed in elves, magic charms, laughter. She was not yet consumed by the darkness. I miss her.

I created several Google Earth maps of the same area to share, with running commentary of the memories and the todays.

Now a winery, vines replace the apple orchard; the little house is gone. Barns replaced by large winery building. Only a few of the eagle trees remain.

But the shape of the marsh dykelands still change with each tide. The tamed still are tilled and act as pasture. Roads still wind along the dyke tops. The copse of trees where Suzy (the wonder dog) lies buried continue to guard her grave. Birds still migrate with the seasons. Strange to come home to half memories.

Embedded, notated, ready to move from draft to published post. Then a strange notion: what if my dykelands name is also embedded in my guided walking tour? I froze. This blog has been my fictional autobiography. Keeping a distance between who I am and who I write.

And, then I thought: don’t zoom in too close. Don’t name names.

I can only be your tour guide to my past.

PS: First attempt at a gallery/slide-show! It’s redundant but . . .

All photographs (c) copyright phylor (tale weaver/ing) 2015

(c) phylor (tale weaver/ing) 2015