My childhood had some imprint from the Second World War even though it was never spoken about. And as I write this, I have the profound sense of how that was a door, we, as a family never collectively opened.

My Mom was an evacuee between the ages of seven to fourteen. Her time away from London and her parents in the safe countryside, included events which were not safe. This story was shared one day while we were both wrapped in scarves in the white of winter on the path along the edge of the Glenmore Reservoir. I didn’t have the courage to ask more. My Dad was a paratrooper and there was also something dark and hovering about his experience.

My Second World War was brought to me by the Diaries of Anne Frank . I discovered them as a voracious reader in elementary school. I had dreams of the SS storming my home and trying to escape. I performed a monologue from the Diary as a speech student for recitals and exams. I can still say, with the cadence of a 12 year-old, the poignant lines ” I will always believe that basically people are good at heart.”

On September 3, the Globe and Mail featured in its Moment in Time piece, the departure of Anne Frank to Auschwitz. Marsha Lederman shares a quote from Anne, “Just imagine how interesting it would be if I were to publish a novel about the Secret Annex.” She was on the last transport out of Westerbork to Auschwitz, and then to Bergen-Belson, dying in February 1945. I am not sure what exactly that means but there is a sense of almost, maybe, she might have made it.

Anne was also my first introduction to women writing and how you never know what impact your words might have – all though the dramatic imaginings of the teenage mind were pretty fierce.

So the journalling started and in the course of these blogs, I will share more about my experience of the connections between contemplation, the creative process and falling in love with creation. And probably some things about being a women and struggling to hold with respect and value the ways and the words with which I know the world.

Suffice to say, I was totally thrilled when a friend sent me this image with a note that reading the story about my Dad motivated her to buy two journals, one for her mom and one for her!

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1 comment

  1. Michelle Strutzenberger

    This is lovely, Sarah. I have nothing to add, but your words are having an impact.