They say you can’t go home again. But that is exactly what I did. It was only for a couple of days but I found my old child-self and it was glorious. Not a care in the world, clambering over rocks along seaside paths, avoiding the precious swathes of blue camas, dodging the heavenly scented prickly gorse and inhaling the sea air that is my Oak Bay. My two sons and I explored the steps to Middle Beach at Shoal Bay and I showed them where there had once been a salt water pool, a favourite swimming spot in my youth. And we joked around taking photos of each other on the brightly painted chairs at Harling Point.
I was back in my home town of Oak Bay at the request of the Oak Bay Heritage Foundation to talk about my book Growing Up Weird: A Memoir of an Oak Bay Childhood. Friends and family came, important dignitaries came and my sister brought me flowers. One hundred and twenty people came to hear me read!
The audience was warm and welcoming and laughed in all the right places. I felt I was holding them in my hands. When the applause broke out, Robert Taylor, the lovely MC said I was a rock star.
Truly my fifteen minutes of fame.
The Heritage Foundation’s Ben Clinton-Baker did an amazing job with his slide presentation of archival photos that accompanied my stories. And the charming ninety-two-year-old Oak Bay author Fay Pettapiece, brought me a copy of her just published memoir “The Years Between” (available at Ivy’s Book Shop on Oak Bay Avenue). She and I share our love for writing and reading memoir. Writing memoir is a gift to one’s family and to historians, as well as allowing ourselves space to make sense of who we were and who we’ve become. And mostly it gives us the opportunity to go home again. It was a memorable time.
Liz Maxwell Forbes.
Island Crone Blog
Crone: a derogatory term for an old woman, a hag? Or the word for a woman of an older age who is revered for her wisdom, compassion and healing laughter? And a woman who embraces the ancient crone archetype with her age accumulated knowledge, her insights and intuitions, a woman who has found her power. An Island Crone.
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