From a child, I have always loved nature – its flora, fauna, landscapes, sounds, seasons, colours, textures, wildlife, gardens and animals. Gradually, the pleasure derived from viewing and imbibing natural scenes has intensified with age. I have always been moved by the beauty of words in songs, poetry and prose. Along the journey, I have found that juxtaposing pictures with written words intensifies the impact of the messages; an example of the whole exceeding the sum of its parts.
Like many of you, I have experienced the “climate” of life: its changing winds and shifting currents, wafting me from time to time deep into the valley, lifting me on to the plain or raising me up the mountaintop. I have learned that on those occasions when, through its incidents and accidents, life throws you into the valley, you have to land there. However, you do not have to stay there. There is space on the plains and vacancy on the mountains but you need leverage to get there. At those times, you may want to reach into an available toolkit of readings, re-orient your focus, consciously look at the lighter and brighter side of life: pull yourself up, pivot, leap, somersault, if you must.
I have had the experience of navigating through many conflicting emotions. I have learned through reading and writing to flip sadness to see happiness; turn around doubt to create confidence; bring on relaxation to ease tension; invoke lightheartedness to beat depression and replay past successes to bring on new resolve. Focusing on the beautiful creates enabling beliefs which generate empowering emotions. What is powerful is the realization that you may not be able to control the starting point of a journey, but by your focus, you can certainly choose its end.
This series of books is an invitation and opportunity for you to share my private gallery of an assorted collection of words and pictures.
You will find in it:
- assorted short stories
- celebration of incidents
- scenes of Nature
- mood “anatomy”
- word play and
In the collection, there are four volumes.
- This first is Finding Joy – In the Valley, on the Plain or the Mountain;
- the second is Finding Joy – In Covid Days;
- the third is Finding Joy – In Retirement and
- the fourth is Finding Joy – In Bereavement.
As you explore the visual and verbal messages in this series of books, I hope that at this specific season of life or on this specific occasion, some items in the collection will resonate with you, enlighten you about yourself and others and bring you joy. I trust also that somehow, within its pages, you will find a key that will help you to unlock hitherto closed emotional doors. I pray too that you will encounter a gem: my inspirational gift as you continue to navigate life’s convoluted journey.
Volume 1 includes playful pieces about water in ponds, rivers and streams. In the valley there are experiences with rejection, disappointment and a strange dream. The Christmas season, the exercise routine and a vacation celebrate life on the mountain. The collection ends with thanks and appreciation for life – in the valley, on the plain or the mountain.
Volume 2 addresses wide ranging themes including a lighthearted play with words, The journey takes us to the valley through encounters with negative emotions and frustrations. However, there is much to celebrate on the mountain with a New Year, a new grandchild, the end of the rainy season and new memories. The Flower Vendor and Caribbean Cruise are stories reflecting the diversity of life in the Caribbean. They offer glimpses of geography, biodiversity and culture. Not surprisingly, the collection ends with a prayer of thanksgiving for all the experiences – on the plain, in the valley or on the mountaintop.
In Volume 3 , playing with words gives as much joy as flying a kite. Events like a burglary cause doubt and fear. However, there are prospects of love and optimism about the future. Flight delays and misadventure is a feature of Caribbean life as illustrated in the story of Flight 408. The volume concludes with a whimsical prayer for foods, farmers, cooks and friends.
In Volume 4 , there is joyful play about sounds, colours and mindless wanderings about yesterday , today and tomorrow. Depression and death interfere but perseverance, smiles and sunsets work their magic. The conniving beggar and a playful astrological interpretation of life inject their own humour. The volume ends with a prayer of thanksgiving.