The giftie…

There is a ‘wishing squirrel’ tied around my wrist. Its cord matches my dressing gown. The red squirrel. ‘Tufty’ to most of my generation in this country… has been under threat from the invasion of its grey cousins for years and where once they were a common sight, they are now a rarity across most of the land. I have caught glimpses on my travels, but no photographs… no snapshot to hold and remember.

Memories, though, I do have… of watching them as a child with my grandfather, deep in the Fall Woods, dodging the small missiles they threw at me every morning as I walked through the trees on my way to school, excitement as a red flash ran across a road near Glen Lyon… And, while photographs and keepsakes may perish or be lost, memories persist, even when our minds may no longer be able to access them.

I would like to think that the earth holds memory in trust for us too, ready to share them with some new heart that is open and listening. Maybe they return as the touch of inspiration, a feeling of love or knowledge all unreasonable for the time and place, that comes in and whispers to our inner ear, leaving us with unexpected gifts. I do not believe that any experience is ever wasted… unless we choose to ignore what it offers.

Two days ago, I ‘met’ with two dear friends. It was not the way we had planned, but it is the way it now has to be. The memories we made will, perhaps, not be with me for long… the uncertainty of exactly when the Reaper has scheduled me for collection is not easy but he can take his time as far as I am concerned… but the strange thing is how wide the ripples of memory will and have spread.

Total strangers responding to a quiet call for help made up parcels that transported three women across a continent in isolation to a meeting on a beautiful island, filled with its art, its tastes, scents and colours. All that was missing was the ability to hug each other. We shared beauty, laughter and the inevitable tears … and we made memories.

Perhaps memories are personal, maybe they do not have to persist in order to change the world… even our own… but while they do, they are precious. As I approach the end of my own life all too rapidly, I am conscious of how rich the vein of memory is… and how many of its threads are common to us all. Mary Smith, with whom I have walked the past few months of this journey through cancer, will be teaching an online writing class on this subject soon… Mining Memories.  For writers, there can be no better source inspiration. For those of us with time to look back and read what we have written in the books of our lives, there is no better way of checking that we filled every page with something worth living.

So many of the small moments that we have taken for granted assume their true proportions when we look back… Things like smiling across a room at a stranger, cooking with a child, breathing in the first summer sun or the last of the winter snow… Most of the time such moments pass insignificantly by, almost unnoticed… but they should be savoured. They are not the mundane bits and pieces that always drop to the bottom of the bag, but the raw gems from which strings of jewelled memories can be made… and perhaps, if the earth holds our memories in trust, it is their sparkle that we see when the frost or the first dews of spring catch the light.

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
This entry was posted in Life, Love, Memories and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

115 Responses to The giftie…

  1. Pingback: The giftie… — Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo |

  2. I love reading your appreciation of every day moments. There is much to be grateful for. As I sat on swing outside today I was gloriously happy for the few hours of rain in our area. We are facing a long drought again and the memories of watching the drops filled my heart.
    It is wonderful that you were able to share lovely moments with dear friends. Sending virtual hugs.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. willowdot21 says:

    Magic moments.💜

    Liked by 1 person

  4. willowdot21 says:

    Reblogged this on willowdot21 and commented:
    Magic moments are precious.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Your post is a breath of fresh air, Sue… reminding me of the importance to turn away from the everyday worries and problems that seem determined to rob us of our senses. To concentrate on what really matters to us, all those things we miss so much…

    Liked by 2 people

  6. KL Caley says:

    Beautiful words Sue.
    It is something I am becoming more and more conscious of now. When I finish work, I try to switch off and forget about it, even more so when I have a bad day. I have a little boy now and I want to enjoy and savour every moment I get to spend with him, the last thing he needs is a grumpy mummy worrying about work. So, I try to switch it off and focus on him, be in the moment.
    Take Care.
    Much Love.
    KL ❤


  7. Sadje says:

    Memories and time spent with friends are precious indeed. It’s marvelous that you got to meet your friends virtually and shared beautiful memories! Time for each of us is limited and we all should be mindful of what we do and how we spend it. Lots of hugs my friend.


  8. restlessjo says:

    My memories are never as clear as I would like them to be, and that worries me sometimes. The gentle fade. But the prospect of spinning them into gold dust, as you do, is a wonderful one. This is beautiful, Sue 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. A reminder for us to live each day to the full, Sue. All life on earth is uncertain as to its duration and quality.


  10. It’s wonderful you’re making as many more memories like this with those you’re going to be leaving behind. I know they’ll treasure them when your time comes to go on to whatever comes next. It’s interesting some of the memories you focus on when someone has gone, and how those memories show up unexpectedly to make you smile. I’m finding that with memories of my Nan, and – though I miss her terribly, and it hurts still that she’s gone – it helps. I’m glad you’re being given some time to make a few more memories with those you care about (even if current circumstances mean you can’t do things exactly how you wish you could) and certain those memories will bring those people comfort later. I’m only sorry you can’t give them the hugs you wish you could.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Reblogged this on pensitivity101 and commented:
    I remember red squirrels, and those I have actually seen are so small compared to their grey counterparts. I believe Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour is still a haven for the red squirrel. We have only seen two or three grey squirrels since our move here in 2017, so as it was when I was a child, to see one is a novelty. Happy days Sue.


  12. Every day is a gift Sue, and as you say, we miss so many simple, yet beautiful moments.
    Another lovely post. I have fond memories of Brownsea Island, and apart from the red squirrels, there were plenty of gnats too!!
    Hugs by proxy for you all ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  13. V.M.Sang says:

    Beautiful, Sue. Memories should be treasured. Even painful ones, so we can learn. I am guilty of pushing those to the back of my mind, I’m afraid.
    But those jewels should be brought out and polished until they gleam.


  14. barbtaub says:

    Seen through our memories, all the hugs are virtual. Our ‘meeting’ this week was a virtual hug, one I’ll relive in my memories. Thank you Sue.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Words I will hold dear, Sue, and will try to keep in mind.

    The mundane, unimportant ‘worries’., can devour the day far too easily. You have such a glorious and generous soul. Today I will face what I have been avoiding with one relationship, and I thank you for your help ( as you have often done in the past – and no doubt will do in the future, through these words).

    Two phrases printed out and now on on the wall of my study…

    “I would like to think that the earth holds memory in trust for us too, ready to share them with some new heart that is open and listening…”

    “I do not believe that any experience is ever wasted… unless we choose to ignore what it offers.”.

    So, to be a little mundane… big cheers to you, my lovely online friend – and much love. Sending a little part of the peace I now hold in my heart. x

    Liked by 1 person

  16. beth says:

    each moment is so very precious and we often fail to see that

    Liked by 1 person

  17. floridaborne says:

    I was happily amazed that Mary’s oncologist knew about the Zoom meeting, too. We’re thankful you were able to arrange a Zoom meeting and make lasting memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Pingback: It takes an island… #Arran #Scotland #friendship | Barb Taub

  19. quiall says:

    Memories are the sincerest form of immortality.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. You’re going to be scattering a lot of sparkle, Sue. Every time I see a Tufty from now on, I’ll think of you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  21. A beautiful thought: ” to think that the earth holds memory in trust for us too, ready to share them with some new heart that is open and listening”

    Liked by 1 person

  22. trentpmcd says:

    In many ways our lives are shaped and defined by our memories, even those forgotten ones. And a huge part of living is creating those new memories. I am glad you are still making such memories – I read Barb’s account of the meeting (and the video is still playing on my computer!) What a wonderful community she has up there! And it sounds like a wonderful meeting you had, a wellspring of new memories.


  23. Mary Smith says:

    It was such a special get together with you and Barb. I remember Rufty, of course, He taught us road sense, didn’t he?
    Red squirrels live in the woods at Cairn Holy, by the way.


    • Sue Vincent says:

      That’s the one. Odd the things that come back…
      Now, for some reason, it doesn’t surprise me that the red squirrels are still at the old sites. I have seen them near Castlerigg too in Cumbria…

      Liked by 1 person

  24. gmvasey says:

    Plenty of red ‘uns hereabouts…. but alone at night under curfew, ‘memories’ is the place I often go ….


  25. Jim Borden says:

    what a beautiful tribute to one’s memories; this post reminds me of the wonderful song “Memory” by Barbara Streisand…


  26. indishe says:

    Beautiful words that touch the 💓

    Liked by 1 person

  27. indishe says:

    Beautiful words that touch the heart


  28. fransiweinstein says:

    Lovely post, Sue. We are so blessed to have memories, even the not so pleasant ones contribute to the story of our lives. It’s interesting, but for months now, my cousins and I have spent hours and hours sharing our memories of growing up, into our early adulthood and some much more recent. It has brought us even closer and I cherish the time we spend “together” and all those times we spent, the laughter, the meals, the outings, the parties and weddings, small family gatherings and large ones — all of it. I love getting to live it all over again. ❤️


    • Sue Vincent says:

      That is the best bit, getting to share them. At the moment I am preparing books for reissue… books that document the magical journeys Stuart and I have taken… Reliving them as I edit is wonderful 🙂


  29. I live in “gray squirrel country” but am rooting for the red ones over there. 🙂 We like the ones inhabiting our yard except for the times when they tried getting a little too familiar and chewing on the insulation around our door frame….


  30. A beautiful post about mindfulness and the gifts of memory, Sue. I’m glad you got to spend some time sharing wonderful memories with friends. Especially when every moment matters so deeply, I hope you enjoy them. Sending hugs.


  31. Wendy Janes says:

    Such a wonderful post, Sue. Your wise and beautiful words have such a resonance with me today. “So many of the small moments that we have taken for granted assume their true proportions when we look back…raw gems from which strings of jewelled memories can be made…” Thank you.


  32. Eliza Waters says:

    Thanks again for sharing your wisdom with us, Sue, a reminder that it is those small moments that in the end are the most dear. May I never forget that.
    So glad you got to visit with Barb and Mary, sounds like it was very special time.
    Sending you a huge hug across the miles. ❤


  33. M. L. Kappa says:

    That’s so beautiful, Sue. Hugs from me too.


  34. olganm says:

    Thanks for sharing it, Sue. People can be so generous and welcoming… ♥


  35. I love watching our fox squirrels! They are so smart. We feed them. They run and chase and have tiffs with blue jays and crows. It is enjoyable and memory making. Thank you for reminding us to cherish memories!


  36. Jennie says:

    Beautiful, Sue!


  37. Pingback: You sure you want to be a writer? Now? #humor #covid #writing | Barb Taub

  38. Pingback: It takes an island… #Arran #Scotland #friendship – France & Vincent

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