My Lot is Cast

Those of you have read some of my earlier blogs will know that I have two very dear sisters.  One lives in London, UK and one in Los Angeles, California.  We keep in touch by phone and of course, emails.  Emails are always addressed to both sisters on the other side of the world.

Phone calls are rather more rare but it is great to hear their voices.  Recently after several many futile phone attempts I connected with my American sister.

We of course, discussed many things but we always without fail, discuss books we have read and those we hope to read.  Because at that time, I had just finished reading Stephen King’s 11/22/63 I was full of this book.  Others have written great reviews of it so I wont do so here.  Maybe an idea for another blog?

My sister is a prolific reader and she shared several of her favourite authors and  books she had read with me.

She is apparently very fond of Nicola Upson’s series about detective Jacqueline Tey.  She quoted one of her favourite poem’s which came from the book “To Love and Be Wise.

“My lot is cast in inland places,
Far from sounding beach
and crying gull,
And I
who knew the sea’s voice from my babyhood
Must listen to a river purling
Through green fields
And small birds gossiping
Among the leaves”.

I don’t live in inland places – the ocean is about 10 minutes drive away, but I miss the sights and sounds of the ocean that I used to see from all the windows of my home.  It seemed that we were surrounded by the sea and it’s activities. For 15 years we lived in that house.  The children spent their teenage years there and we became almost immune to the fantastic views from most windows.  We could see not only the ocean with all its comings and goings (cruise ships, ferries, barges and tugs for the port)  but the planes landing at the airport, and the trains bringing people and goods into our capital city. So maybe this post should be headed “Trains and Boats and Planes”.

And as in this poem, now I don’t hear the crying gull when I awaken in the morning but I do hear the small birds gossiping among the leaves.  I love the thought of the birds gossiping.

I hear the sounds of busy families getting ready for their day – households waking up, newspapers being brought in, children going to school and parents to work.  The road outside my house is alive with activity for a short time each morning and then, as if a switch has been pulled, the peace descends and only those of us who are no longer living the busy years are left behind.

We have time for another leisurely cup of coffee; time to exchange pleasantries with our neighbours as we retrieve the newspaper from the drive; time to read the newspaper, complete the crossword and as I am getting older, I peruse the death notices just in case there is somebody I know mentioned there.

And so –

My lot is cast
In different places
Not beside the river or the ocean
But in the city with its life and vitality.
Not in the distant years of my youth
Nor the busy years of family life
But the peaceful years of time for me
To enjoy friends and family.
Time to investigate new things
New activities and new friends
Time to be me.

,old lady smoking cigar

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30 responses to “My Lot is Cast

  1. Wow.. The ending was beautiful. Great post!

  2. When I first read the e-mail leading to your post I read “My cat is lost”, I clicked it and was very surprised and glad to see a happy post about sisters instead. 🙂
    Thanks.

  3. So, so far away. I never understood why family members and brothers and sisters would move so far away from each other wherein a phone call or a letter or an email are the only forms of touching. I never understood that. Of course I see it differently . I never had a brother or a sister.

    • As a typical wife when my husband was transferred to NZ so many years ago, I naturally followed. I certainly would not have chosen to be so far away from family. But over time, sa new place becomes home and we make friends and perhaps family wherever we are.
      I am sorry that you didn’t have any siblings. Have you adopted any over the years?

  4. I remember laughing at my ma because she read the obituaries everyday. Now I do. I think it’s an “old” thing.

  5. I understand this post so well.. i have lived away from family for the past 25 yrs and now I am leaving the state that has been my home for 16 yrs for a new adventure (last stomping ground for sure) in New Orleans.. You are blessed to have sisters…Touching post:-)
    Lynne

  6. Ah Judith, I love this one about our lives beyond the busy years, the sounds we hear now, the books we have time to read, and the quiet hours to pursue new friends and our own dreams. You have said it well because your words make me appreciate the freedoms I enjoy now that “my lot is cast.” Thank you!

  7. Christine in Los Angeles

    Lovely post, Judith. Just to clear-up a point, the novelist Josaephine Tey was a detective only in Nicola Upson’s books. In real life, she is acknowledged as one of England’s greatest novelists. And, if she’d read your poem before ‘To Love and be Wise’ went to the printer, I think she would’ve found a way to include it in her book.
    Lovee you much.
    God bless, from your Big Sister

    • Hello sister. I am sorry that I didn’t make that distinction clear in the post.
      I have taken To Love and Be Wise from the library and it will be the next book I read.
      Thank you for the comment about the poem. I am playing with writing poems at the moment and it helps to know that you think this one is good.
      Love you too Big Sister. 🙂

  8. Loved this post, Judith. I grew up two blocks from the beach, and when we moved to Texas, I missed the ocean so much. Now I’m back near the ocean. But a lot can be said for the sounds of the river and birdsong and the quiet of the desert. Your ending poem was just perfect! I will read this post again.

    • Hi Susan. I have never lived in the desert but imagine that it is very quiet. I love where I am living although sometimes miss the sounds and views of the sea.
      Glad you liked my poem. As you know I am very new to writing poetry and this free verse is the way for me. 🙂

  9. Reblogged this on I choose how I will spend the rest of my life and commented:

    This is what I was thinking about a year ago. Really? 365 days ago. I do hope that each of those days have been spent productively although to me productive may be just walking or reading or catching up with friends, These are “the peaceful years of time for me” and I am enjoying them.

  10. I do love you my Lovely Sister, and I also love Christine. It is hard being so far away from both of you. You both left me your little Sister. I am trying to slow down and enjoy a little “Me” time but at the same time. To sit in each day and just watch television would kill me. So I could maybe read all day that would be good. I will do things and keep active why I can and thank God even as I get older( and I am an old person now) that I shall be active and keep doing things. I do hope the picture reminds you of Christine not me. I do not own any pink trousers XXX

  11. Have you tried Skyping. It’s both brilliant and free. I use it to stay in touch with my girls and friends, and it makes all the difference

    • Hi Peter – I have been trying to get my sister to use Skype and shall keep on until they agree. 🙂

      • If they can turn on a computer they can Skype. Do they have younger closer family near them. It’s often just a case of confidence and the unknown. If they do it in the company of their daughter or a friend, the results will both amaze and free them. If you can talk to the daughter first, or whoever, it is more likely to happen. Your sisters will resist it forever, if left unguided.

      • I won’t go on about it, but you will have more success if you go through their children. They have no fear of Skype, and jolly their parents along. It’s free and painless

  12. Sisters are even more special as we get older. I am fortunate to have my two sisters within a couple of hours drive. I have lived on the coast for so many years that I cannot imagine being away from it.

  13. Pingback: What a Difference a Day Makes | I choose how I will spend the rest of my life

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