It has been a time of renewal, a time of shifts and loss and mourning, a time of giving and holding others, a time of allowing self to be swept aside. My father in law passed away on Dec 1st, one short week earlier we had finally moved house, the nights were long and cold, I packed and unpacked, we haemorraghed money- my husband was a selfless soul endlessly on the road caring for his father and mother, answering endless telephone calls- moments lost, tablets forgotten, repeated conversations, fragments of life recurring then receding, we collected groceries, cooked meals, later we watched as he listlessly slept and shouted and screamed in some other life, some other world crying through pain for help and searching for security and struggling for each long laboured breath until he was gone.
Each day I have gone to work, in my new job, loving the company of my new colleagues, welcoming the benign banter of everyday life, desperate for a smidging of something that resembled a slower pace, a calmer moment, welcoming the newfound calm of our homely little house, genuinely craving the solitude that I know will energise and bring renewal. The moments where the sky in all its splendour is the most treasured and important thing, when the cold chill biting at my fingers and toes reminds me of the joy of life, longing for the frozen earth to yield to spirited snowdrops and there to be enough space for me to savour the solitude that I love so much.
January brings snow
and frozen slivers of ice
Witch Hazel shivers.
© Alison Jean Hankinson.
This is for D’verse. Love to all and Happy New Year.
In Japan they have a word Kintsugi and it relates to keeping something and continuing to use it even when it has become damaged and care-worn. I am finding that as I age in our very materialistic and modern world that this idea resonates greatly with me. I feel that I myself am almost Kintsugi as I have been broken and fixed so many times.
I no longer feel the need to have everything shiny and new and in the latest style, it is as if I feel now more than ever that there was a time where it was the meaning that gave the value and this was more important than the monetary value of the “thing”. On my wall I have a clock that my mother got for me many years ago and its monetary value is meaningless but it still adorns my wall, she got it for me because she thought it would appeal to me and it still holds that value and the love that came with it deep within.
Sunday afternoon was very cold and wintery and in an attempt to stave off the cold we ventured into Bruccianis for a hot chocolate. Bruccianis is on the promenade at Morecambe and it opened in 1939 and still occupies the same building and much of the interior design and decor is still untouched and it is now a grade 2 listed building.
For me the comfort is in its menu. It takes me back to days gone by when I would warm my hands on a mug of Horlicks in the Bus Station cafe in Rawtenstall after shopping with mum, Terry Jacks and “Seasons in the sun” playing on the radio. The menu here boasts Horlicks, Vimto, Bovril and the ultimate decadence of the Knickerbocker Glory. It isn’t shabby chic, or modern art nouveau but simply still the same as it was many years ago.
Its wealth and beauty is that it is what it is. No charlatan here. A place to warm up with a hot chocolate in the winter-time and chat with family and friends or a special ice-cream treat at the beach in a red-hot summer when the sand feels like it is on fire. Sometimes we don’t need perfection what we really need is congruence and familiarity.
Morecambe by the sea
Icy cold toes, winter sun
Horlicks comforts me.
© Alison Jean Hankinson
I am submitting this for Haibun Monday at d’Verse, it breaks the rules a tad, but I think it reflects change and perhaps it is also indicative of a change yet to come, a return to a different set of values.
We walked to heal our hearts and minds. The wind cut through like glass but the sunset set the ripples alight on the water. It was spring and a time of birth and regeneration. New life blossoming all around. But we walked with heavy eyes.
We walk often, it gives us chance to talk, or not as the moment requires. We walk to fill our souls with the soothing spectacle of the distant mountains and listen to the gentle lap-lap and let it wash over us. We are losing a loved one who is between the autumn and winter of his life and the knowledge that he is slipping away is becoming more than a whisper on the wind.
Spring blossoms slowly
Sunset cuts through the anguish
Life melts like glacier.
©Alison Jean Hankinson
This is for d’Verse.
It feels as though it is winter that has lingered. I look around me daily and wonder at the daffodils just peeping through and everything seems to be a month behind where it was this time last year. The order is the same, but the flowering has been delayed, the rosy red tulips are only just nodding their heads toward the sun and yet April is past midway and almost done.
Then just a sprinkling of sunshine and an early evening stroll and we have stolen moments of pleasure to treasure as the daylight lingers and the smell of spring scintillates the soul.
Ripples of lingering spring
Sunsets in the west.
© Alsion Jean Hankinson
This is for d’Verse haibun monday.
It was a very grey holiday, there were some bits of bright blue sky and sunlight reflecting on the freshly fallen snow but the background theme and feeling was a dreary dismal dullness of the darkness felt too long, and the sludge and slush of snow left to linger after a cold and brilliant winter.
We went to Leith -one of my dad’s favourite songs is sunshine on Leith by the Proclaimers and I wrote about it once in They Sing For Him. So we took a winter trip to see the sunshine in Leith. It is a suburb of Edinburgh on the coast and this is what mesmerised me most, the fact that it was on the coast. I had been to Edinburgh several times to the Castle and the sights and never really thought of it as being coastal. The architecture was grey and mesmerising, It was like waking up in a different time and a different place, a truly dystopian setting. It had its own unique beauty.
Solitary crocus speaks
Winter’s dirge recedes.
©Alison Jean Hankinson.
The Proclaimers version
2016 cup final version
Chortle- been away too long- forgot to add the link. This is for d’Verse haibun Monday. Love to all.
Prunella preferred pugs
As a matter of fact
All whiskers and fur and sitting on laps
Not for her.
Prunella preferred pugs
Snug as a bug in a rug
with her dog in a shrug
By the fireside.
In the winter.
©Alison Jean Hankinson.
The image is from pixabay and is free to use.
Burnished brambles soft
underfoot on winter hike
brisk I catch my breath.
Returning to England after eleven years in New Zealand and finding the immediate transition from summer soaring heat to winter chill more than a little breathtaking the temptation to hibernate has been more than very real, so it was with some trepidation and a whole lot of zealous determination that made me venture forth on Sunday to conquer Heversham Head post Sunday roast in Sunday best with hiking boots. I managed to avoid face-plant in mud..and was rewarded with landscapes beyond imagination.
Alison Jean Hankinson.
This is for Haibun Monday with d’Verse in response to the challenge and guidance provided by Bjorn. The image (my own) was taken following a brisk walk up Heversham Head on Sunday afternoon and is from the descent at Fluster Gap. It was rather chilly and bracing.
#d’Verse haibun Monday
It was a crisp clear winter’s morn
The town was still waking
The bridge was awash in early morning glory
Breathtaking beauty in a moment
Of luxury and peaceful contemplation
These moments are cherished
The moments where our existence
However minuscule is in perfect harmony
With the world around us.
Alison Jean Hankinson
Te Matau ā Pohe is the name of the bridge in Whangarei, it was opened on Saturday 27 July 2013. The bridge spans the Hatea River from Pohe Island to Port Road. Its name means the fish-hook of Pohe.
The symbolism of the fish-hook, it represents strength, good luck and safe travel across water.
This was written in response to d”Verse poetics. Link here:
d’Verse poetics abridged
I took the photos on the morning described, I had taken Ellen to work very early one winter’s morning and just had to pull over and take in the beauty of the moment.
Christmas lights glitter and glow as the festive season is in full flow
An unexpected and unwelcome visitor steals through the shadows
Puts prime of life on ice and she is gone too soon.
Shattered souls weep amidst the shards of broken glass.
Alison Jean Hankinson
image: By Gina Paulucci (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons