A few weeks ago, I was digging through my dog Lulu’s basket of stuff and I found a plastic grocery bag with that familiar clink and clank of things I had collected from the beach.    #JournalWriting    #Memories
My very messy desk.

When I opened up the bag I found this:

polar bear rock

I’m certain I picked it up because it reminds me of a stylized Inuit polar bear that I saw time and time again when I lived in the Northwest Territories of Canada.

Because I didn’t want my hubby to “tidy” and lose this piece again for more years, I actually moved it to my collections area in my office.

When I got this office all to myself after a reasonably friendly ousting of said hubby, I have been slowly making this room a representation of me.

I put my polar bear in its place on my bookshelf and saw how many memories were tied together in each of the things that I had placed there.

Everything is a memory when you reach a certain age, Mostly these days, I only keep the fond ones. But I see that a lot of these mementos I keep on my little two-shelf altar (which I now realize sits right beside where my journal writing dream chaise resides — that can’t be a coincidence) are born of the pain I’ve let go.

My top shelf

On the top shelf is my beloved Kitsilano Beach in Vancouver where I lived for many years after escaping my suburban upbringing. I was within blocks of the beach in all but a few places I lived in Vancouver. That little watercolour is bookended by a watercolour I got in Taos, New Mexico, where I went to properly grieve my mother’s death and answered the call to make my living from writing. The chili peppers were a gift from my step-daughter when we spent Christmas in Mexico. She remembered how much I loved everything about New Mexico.

My bottom shelf that reminds me of how I got here.

The bottom shelf is my now life mostly. And when I put the polar bear there it all came clear to me. It started out with the Taos Pueblo in New Mexico and ends with my now life in New Brunswick.

I went to New Mexico to grieve my mother, but also to say goodbye to Vancouver because I never went back to live.

The polar bear, which reminds me of Yellowknife, also remembers the red rock of New Mexico and Arizona, but was found on a beach in my now home, New Brunswick.

The clamshell and rocks are from a friend and are there to remind me that my heart has deep wisdom and that I am beautiful.

The oak seed is the angel’s wing that reminds me of my mother, the whole reason my life began — twice — once with my birth, and then with her death.

The bookmarks are to remind me that life can be light — and to get back to reading for pleasure.

The red earth in the jar is from Sedona and is there to remind me what good medicine it was to be there three times (and that I must return).

And finally, the ampersand is there to remind me there is more to come.

Just how did I get so introspective that day, I wondered? But then I rememoried I've been writing the content for my new website that is devoted solely to helping people to write from their hearts.

It's another new beginning in my life.


I would not be who I am today if all of the things in my life hadn’t happened. So many things had to fall into place to bring me to the east coast of Canada. Yellowknife is where I met my husband, who is from here. And the first time I came to Moncton in 2001, it felt like home. Not Vancouver home, but my suburban home of Surrey, BC. The place I couldn’t wait to escape.

So if you ask me whether gentle enquiry into one’s life is important, all I can say is “HELLS YEAH!”


life is a collection of photographs and memories and we are the container that holds them.

kathy mercure

kathy mercure is a writer and a storyteller, who helps seekers to tell their stories. She is also known as a storyhealer and a storylistener, whose life’s work is to gently draw stories from her students and help them unblock their writing, find their voice, and heal their lives. Her passion is to support women and men in realizing their true identity as a valued human being, claiming their passions, and speaking their truth as they become their most authentic selves.