poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘retirement


with 3 comments

Here we are in chill January. Days of snow and freezing rain, bitter cold and flooding and loss. Days when we don’t get enough sun to fill our requirement for Vitamin D.  Days when summer seems so far away.



As a retired person, my days are neither hectic nor sorrowful. My hours are filled with writing, painting, drawing, time on social media and an occasional meeting. I can go outside any time I want to get my dose of sunshine (if available). My stresses are few.


Once life was not so easy.  I worked long days and often came home tired and in a bad mood. But my husband and son made my days wonderful. I found this poem in my files, a testament to the way our families can inject hope into a slogging day! I wrote the poem in 2010, a couple of years before I retired.



Renewal is possible


I am entirely new today

some aspect of morning

has cast just-born skin

on me

the song sung by the kettle

the taste of the tea

the forecast of snow

the way you said goodbye

more like the promise of hello


most days lately

have tears at all the edges

too much to do

too little time

late nights

mugs of coffee, half-gulped

clocks and messages despised


through the day

I have waited for

old disappointments

to discover my face

but my noon coffee

has a hint of chocolate

and all my emails

are smile-embedded

and one of them from you



my husband getting pussy willows for me …


Copyright Jane Tims 2018

Written by jane tims

January 20, 2018 at 7:00 am

settling into unfamiliar

with 6 comments

After three decades of work, I am retiring within the year.  Another milestone.  A new ‘way’ to settle into.

I remember when I made the transition into full-time employment.  It was a huge change for me.

Previously, I had been a student, living at home.  Suddenly, I was away from familiar places, in a new province, on my own.

Fortunately, I had solid back-up… my Mom and Dad were supportive and helped me whenever they could.  I loved my apartment, my new friends, my responsibilities.  Everything was new.  I learned as I went, meeting each new experience as if it was a page being turned in a book.

This transition, my retirement, will be so different.  I should be ahead of the change.  I am settled.  I know my home.  I have my husband to steady me and my son to give me advice!  I have a plan.

But the transition is still scary.  For three decades, my work has structured my life, providing deadlines and places to be, people to see.  I’ll have to establish a new daily routine.  I’ll have to set goals and celebrate milestones.  I’ll have to work a little harder to maintain my social contacts.

It will be like my first walks in the grey woods.  In those days, I didn’t know the paths very well and worried about getting lost (even though I could hear the cars on the main road!).  Sounds were strange, even frightening.  I worried about wild animals.

But gradually I learned the ways of the grey woods.  Every time I walked the paths, they became more familiar, and also more worn and easier to follow.  I learned the sounds to expect and the animals and birds I would encounter.  I learned the pitfalls.  I learned to expect a gem on every walk… a fairy ring of mushrooms, a Pileated Woodpecker hammering at a tree trunk, a chorus of frogs from the ephemeral pools…


walk in the grey forest


I walk on unknown land

land I have not seen

but dreamed, the wary dream of intruder

where silence is fragile

snapped in two

by leaf fall


I step carefully

my disturbance less

than the exhalation of wind

or the mutter of moths

between moribund trees


this is ancient land

mossy logs, weary paths

where others may have walked

slanted cathedral light

lichened stones


the unknown watches me

crouched in a hollow

flattened to the bole of the oak

betrayed by a ripple on the vernal pool

by the rattle of beech leaf or birch bark paper

it will surely shake free of its leaf garment

rise from the forest floor

to chastise me

desecrator of place


even a careful step

is hard on hollow land


it will take time

to learn to walk here

to discover game trails in the half-light

to understand words unspoken

to know the dying trees

not as omen

but as part

of the forest


© Jane Tims 1998

Written by jane tims

September 29, 2011 at 8:55 am

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