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As I near my seventh decade I am struck by how much new learning there is to be revealed to me. While my near memory is thwarted, my memories are pretty much intact. And what is interesting to me is that I am learning new things about myself and others through those memories. Nothing in my life turned out the way I thought it would and I remain amazed how my childhood served as a garden for the woman I am today.

I was raised in a small farming village in northern Maine. I had one brother and a slew of aunts, uncles and other relatives as well as my maternal grandparents who lived only a block away, just past the Catholic church. From my mother I learned about the joy of music and an appreciation for the golden rule; her delicate grace, humor and beauty are still close to my heart. From my father I learned all about fauna and flora. He instilled in me a deep love and respect for animals and showed me the peace to be found in nature and all its quiet places full of intense beauty. My father was a true Yankee, if there is such a thing, introverted and harboring a dry wit. He was a hard-working man who loved his family very much in a quiet, strong way.

I went to an outstanding college and earned a graduate degree. I gave birth to three amazing children and then pursued a sometime rewarding career. I worked and played hard and loved passionately. I married twice, the latter man being the love of my life - my rock and shining star. Our souls are connected and we trust and respect one another as only soul mates can. After becoming disabled I began working as a writer and artist. I like to put all that in a nutshell only I and a few others can permeate.

As I pause to look at the sunset of my life I understand that it has been all about love. Itís an amazingly simple yet profound insight and it gives me clarity, inner peace and great joy.