Sweet Serenity

A new day opens like a blue-front door and a deep-blue sea of escape beckons.
Whispering through the sharp grass;
brushing past the blasted sand;
this light hour lifts you out of your dark slumber
and carries you in its tender arms, until one day, you
Fly High.

Blue Door - Blue Sea (c) Sherri Matthews

Blue Door – Blue Sea
Crete (c) Sherri Matthews

There, my sweet girl, there you taste the salt-pressed air when you breathe in.
While the warm rush of a foreign sea-breeze embraces you
and sends your slept-on, matted hair into a
whipped-up frenzy of stinging rebuke against your pale face,
You Smile.

Crete July 2008 205

Crete (c) Sherri Matthews

It is there, in the cast of your cool, tired eyes as they glide from side to side that you remember a time, at day’s end, as the mountains turned red
and the water shone like glass: when you last dreamed and hoped for
Sweet Serenity.

Moclos Cove, Crete (c) Sherri Matthews

Mochlos Cove, Crete
(c) Sherri Matthews

Then, before your night descends once more to grip your heart with anxiety
think of this: locked within broken promises, as the last sigh of a golden sunset
sweeps across the skies, if only you would lift your eyes, sweet girl, there you would
Catch The Light.

Somerset Sunset (c) Sherri Matthews

Somerset Sunset
(c) Sherri Matthews

Before the darkest hour, when it is blackest before dawn and the birds don’t sing,
Know that dawn will arrive on pale wings, the hope of a new day and unbroken dreams.
It is in that hour that your broken heart heals and I wipe away your tears, when
Sweet Robin Sings.

Somerset Sunrise, April 2014 (1)

Somerset Sunrise (c) Sherri Matthews

For my daughter.

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri has published a collection of non-fiction articles in magazines, anthologies and online at her blog, diverse guest features and a memoir column at Carrot Ranch, an international online literary community. A keen walker and photographer from the UK, Sherri raised her family in California for twenty years. She has worked in the legal and medical fields and is now carer and advocate to her youngest on the autistic spectrum. Today Sherri lives in England's West Country not far from the sea, hard at work on final edits of her debut memoir.
This entry was posted in Asperger's Syndrome, Poems, Weekly Photo Challenge and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

124 Responses to Sweet Serenity

  1. Allison says:

    Gorgeous, my sweet friend! 💜 xoxo

    Like

  2. Crete is where we now live! Lovely pictures.

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    • Sherri says:

      How beautiful, I adore Crete and hope to visit again very soon, we’ve been twice. Thank you 🙂

      Like

      • Let me know when and if it’s our neck of the woods (Chania prefecture), I’ll arrange a performance where you can read these beautiful words and give a slide show!!

        Like

      • Sherri says:

        Well that would be truly amazing!!!! Funnily enough, I was just talking to hubby about our next trip out there and said I would like to explore the Chania area. We have always gone down to the south-east, south of Agios St Nicklaus, down by Makrialos. Love it there, but it would be lovely to visit your neck of the woods. I am just a little envious of you living there 😉

        Like

      • That would be amazing. There’s lots to explore and one or two really good beaches and the Old Town of Chania is exquisite – lots of little cobbled streets. We can tell you where to eat i.e. not the places on the front at the Venetian harbour!

        Like

      • Apart from Knossos etc as a teen on a school cruise, Makrialos was the only place I knew until Mr FND suggested Chania for a holiday in ’08, from which everything led.

        Like

      • Sherri says:

        What a small world! Apologies for only just replying, but I had laptop sagas last week, frustrating to say the least! But how wonderful, the first time we went to Makrialos was 08 and again 10. I wonder if we bumped into you and Mr FND, we were there for 2 weeks in July both times!! And yes, to know where to go in Chania would be wonderful! Thank you so much, will definitely be in touch with you about this!!!

        Like

  3. Your words. Music to my ears. 🙂

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  4. Beautiful words for your beautiful daughter, Sherri. The photo of the blue door is spectacular! xoxo

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  5. Oh, this is so moving and heart wrenching, Sherri. The Blue Door pic is just stunning. Hugs to you and your sweet daughter. xx

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      It is good to be able to let the words flow at such times, hoping that they leave something cohesive. Thank you so much for your well-needed hugs dear Sylvia…hugging back… xx

      Like

  6. Such love in your words, Sherri. I reckon your daughter is blessed to have a mother like you, so caring and compassionate. I sense your deep pain on her behalf. No wonder you have such an affinity with your robin; the way its breast swells as it sings with all its heart, and how it’s amongst the first to be heard at dawn, welcoming in the light.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…you are so kind dear Sarah, thank you so much and yes, as I wrote that last line I thought, yes, Sweet Robin is the first to be heard at dawn (and he has been a constant visitor this winter, much to our delight, even to my daughter’s who has called me over to the kitchen window more than once to say, “Mum, look, there’s your robin!”). The way you describe how much he means to me, to us, is simply beautiful… ❤ xx

      Liked by 1 person

  7. No words Sherri – just sending you both deep compassion, much love and an easing ….. ❤ ❤ ❤

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  8. This is awesome. AWE.s.o.m.e. I knew it was for your sweet girl. ❤ ❤ ❤

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  9. Heyjude says:

    See. Queen of poetry. ❤

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  10. jennypellett says:

    Lovely! Some great metaphors in there Sherri.

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  11. Simply beautiful! And I agree with Heyjude….queen of Poetry indeed!! xo ❤

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh….you know, thank you dearest friend…it is good to be able to let the words flow at times such as these, not sure it’s very ‘queenly’ though 😉 Bless you from my heart ❤ ❤ ❤ xoxo

      Like

  12. Lovely words and lovely pictures Sherri!

    Like

  13. Sherri I see you and your world in every word, so beautifully written and expressed. I hope the light finds your daughter and she is able to smile and meet the world with happiness in her heart soon. Thinking of you. I know how it can be, but a little hope and patience will and is getting you through. Not to mention truckloads of love and understanding.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      How good it is to let the words flow at times such as these, just letting it out even if barely scratching the surface…and your post gave me cause to believe that one day, my daughter will face the world with her beautiful smile. Thank you so much for your lovely message, dear Kath… ❤

      Like

  14. Beautiful words and beautiful pictures. It doesn’t get any better than that!

    Like

  15. Denise says:

    Pictures and words are so evocative. I can really imagine being there.

    Like

  16. Pat says:

    This is beautiful and tender, Sherri. I especially loved how you blended in the photos. 🙂

    Like

  17. TanGental says:

    ‘A new day opens like a blue-front door and a deep-blue sea of escape beckons’ What a fab first line. Leaving aside the emotion and love with which this is penned (but only for a moment) there is so much brilliant imagery here – a deep blue sea of escape; that rumbles with both possibilities and horror. Of course all this proves, yet again, is you are a charlatan. Of course you are a brilliant writer – this coy ‘oh no, not really’ just doesn’t wash any more. LOVE this; do more. Your public demands it! Blugs from sarf London.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      ‘Ere, wos all ‘is ‘nen…? Ha…! ‘kay, okay, I’m listening. I’ll do what needs to be done, get the job done and all that. Ha…what a truly beautiful thing it is to let emotion flow through the written word, never minding how it will read at the end (well, within reason, you understand). When we reveal our true hearts, shouting through our words, ‘This is the real me’…well, to read your response shows me that actually, I can convey something of the tangled forest of expression exploding in my head, before it is extinguished (sometimes!). Ahh..well, I know you know what I mean, dear Blugs…and you know I say in all seriousness…’Fanks luv…yor a poppet…

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Mabel Kwong says:

    Beautiful, beautiful touching words, Sherri. You took us through a cycle of a day, what a range of emotions we can experience in one day. I love the last sunrise shot. The clouds look menacing the warm hues feel so comforting… I hope your daughter reads this. It really is very touching and I don’t know what else to say 🙂 ❤

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      You have touched me deeply with your beautiful message as always dear Mabel…and all I can say is thank you from the bottom of my heart, always, for reading and for understanding. I will show it to my daughter at some point. I do share my poems with her from time to time (although this is the first one I’ve written for a while). She says they remind her of song lyrics!! Bless you… 🙂 ❤

      Like

      • Mabel Kwong says:

        I am sure your daughter will like it, and that the moment she reads it will probably inspire you to write more. Admire you for writing poetry, I find that genre of writing very challenging. Thank you for responding ever so graciously, Sherri. I am always very touched at how you respond to each of us with a lot of heart 🙂 ❤

        Like

      • Sherri says:

        As I am touched by your comforting and encouraging words too Mabel 🙂 I never think of myself as a poet, just someone who puts down certain thoughts when needing to find a specific way to express them. I know I am a long way off from the truly amazing poets out there, but if the words, as they are construed, can bring some kind of message to someone reading, a sharing of my heart, then I am honoured. Have a beautiful day my friend, and thank you again ❤

        Like

  19. Oh, Sherri, you’ve outdone yourself. The blend of words and pictures, the capture of magic and realism, the beauty of sky and sea…powerful and beautiful.

    Like

  20. elisa ruland says:

    How pretty! I love the view to the sea from the open door, and the beauty of your words.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you very much Elisa! I remember taking that photo through the open blue door…and looking at it again makes me want to go right back to that very place. It is breathtakingly beautiful in Crete.

      Like

  21. Beautifully written! Photography brings so much emotion into it.

    Like

  22. lrod1726 says:

    Very sweet and beautiful words 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Yolanda M. says:

    so beautiful Sherri ❤ your love for your daughter shines through. Lovely pics.

    Like

  24. This is so beautifully written Sherri 💞

    Like

  25. restlessjo says:

    Sherri, I love when you wear your heart on your sleeve. So beautiful! 🙂 Hugs to you and your girl, or maybe I should just blow a kiss 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      You know, dear Jo, you know…at such times, the words have to flow and what a beautiful thing it is to feel safe enough to be able to share my heart here with such amazing friends 🙂 Hugs and kisses will do just fine…thank you so much… 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  26. bulldog says:

    Brilliance … pure brilliance…

    Like

  27. jenniferkmarsh says:

    So beautiful, dear Sherri P. Bless you both. x

    Like

  28. Amy says:

    Simply beautiful, Sherri! Eloquent words.

    Like

  29. Mahesh Nair says:

    It’s brilliant how you covered the entire day, from dawn to dusk, so beautifully. You get both the flow and the wording right, for instance, “…as the last sigh of a golden sunset sweeps across the skies, if only you would lift your eyes, sweet girl, there you would Catch The Light.”

    Though “skies” and “Light” don’t rhyme, when we pronounce the alphabet “i” rhymes them perfectly. So you have rhyme in the august company of flow and wording. Writing isn’t easy at all, and the more you work on it as a writer the easy it becomes for the reader. Your efforts, my friend, are worth it 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      I am deeply touched by your most encouraging ‘critique’ my friend, and I would thank you so very much for it, knowing that you enjoyed the flow and the wording, even though when I write poems like these they are more a reflection of my state of mind at the time, truly makes my heart sing 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  30. A beautiful tender post. The poem was serene as were the scenes you portrayed. Lovely.

    Like

  31. Luanne says:

    Sherri, so very beautiful and then to learn it’s for your daughter it casts a glow back over the whole poem and the lovely photos!

    Like

  32. lbeth1950 says:

    Such lovely thoughts and pics. It’s good you and your daughter have a wonderful place to be together.

    Like

  33. From the blue ocean below to the calm skyline above, everything brings forth serenity. The first picture already had me running towards the beach, feeling the sand beneath my feet, smelling the clean ocean breeze, the wind taking away all forms of worries, bringing about peace, happiness and contentment. Beautiful my friend Sherri. Thank you for taking us to your world of wonderful images and words. Soothing, nurturing, comforting. God bless you and your family. Have a great weekend.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh I know my friend, I know, wouldn’t it be great to be running through that open blue-front door right now, out to the sea, to freedom from worry and cares…thank you so much for your always beautiful message, I am so touched by your words and if this post can bring some measure of nurture and comfort and serenity, then I am very happy 🙂 You have a wonderful weekend too, God bless you and your family and keep running towards that beach 🙂

      Like

  34. Oh Sherri, this is a lovely story told in poetry with photos to match the journey we take with you! It’s a wonderful complete package – and I’m so impressed you even took the photos yourself! xx

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Christy! So sorry for the late reply, was away due to new laptop transition and all that fun stuff that takes an age to sort, but back now! Oh I am honoured indeed by your wonderfully encouraging comment, thank you so, so much, you’ve made my Monday 🙂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Crete looks so peaceful! Or perhaps that is because the ocean photos were coupled with your lovely lullaby.

    Like

  36. reocochran says:

    The whole poem you wrote was so wonderful, Sherri. I enjoyed how you expressed the details of a ‘day in the life’ of your daughter, through your views and visions, you captured her growth from a child to adult. I loved the beauty in Crete, especially the cove and the sunset. When you read this, did she smile? I will hope for unbroken dreams and a better day for your daughter, along with you, her dependable, loving mother. You amaze me.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      You are so kind Robin, thank you so much for sending such beautiful sentiments to us both. Crete is a beautiful place and I often find myself using photos I’ve taken from our visits there for inspiration. There is something so tranquil and serene about the place, especially of an evening, sitting in a Taverna by a cove, sipping at a glass of wine and eating the Cretan food, watching the sun go down. My daughter did enjoy her visit there, very much, except for the extreme heat in the day – we went in July when it was over 100 degrees, which was a mistake for her as she doesn’t do well in the heat. But she loved the evening. And yes, she did smile 🙂 You bless me greatly ❤

      Like

  37. Beautiful! I love seeing how your “inspiration” grew into such a beautiful tribute, words and pics! Well done Sherri! 🙂

    Like

  38. yprior1 says:

    I purposely did not read any of the other comments so I could just leave my own take here…
    and Sherri, this was beautiful. It was like velvet or maroon.
    sometimes we use color adjectives to describe things – times to say something is velvet means rich – and maroon – makes it a step above red (also rich)
    and I like how you reference blue (and then red) in this tribute piece –
    and here is my other take on it – after a third read I am still chewing on it – the tension you layered in is wonderful – (deep, a bit sad, but then filled with hope)
    and that is separate from the images – which were integrated so well – especially the first one (open door) but I found that on the 2nd two reads I ignored each image as I went down to take in this writing. ❤ ❤

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      ‘Velvet or maroon’ Oh Y, you are a true artist aren’t you? I adore how you bring colour adjectives into this post with your wonderful insight. I feel rich just for reading your comment, it is so beautiful 🙂 ❤ I need to re-read your comment and digest it…you have given me so much here. Goodness…I'll be back mon amie ❤ ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • yprior1 says:

        oh take your time mon ami and I have been thinking about you this weekend for some reason – need to get on over to the summerhouse and see what is new – we have some snow coming and I am actually looking forward to it – we have not had much so far and well, put on the kettle I say!@ ha!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sherri says:

          Oh you are such a lovely woman…knowing you were thinking about me like that. You must have picked up on my stress vibes, ha! Wrap up well mon amie, a lot of snow coming your way I hear. Definitely put that kettle on and keep cosy and safe…and I’ll be back… ❤

          Liked by 1 person

          • yprior1 says:

            well the blizzard has not hit our town – we only have a two hour delay and some cold temps (and a little bit of snow – so I am going to walk and take some pics tho) but I feel bad for the northeast – they are getting slammed with the blizzard of 2015 – whew –
            okay, sending warm thoughts your way
            and some tea
            ☕
            but also some protein cos that does help any stress – ha!
            so here is a burger:
            🍔
            and some chicken:
            🍗

            Liked by 1 person

            • Sherri says:

              Just what I need…thanks Y! And glad to know you are not hit hard with the snow but yes, not good for those in the northeast. I’m battling on with techy issues (no emails for starters) and so behind with blogging and writing….but hope to make some headway today. Have a lovely Wednesday mon amie ❤

              Liked by 1 person

              • yprior1 says:

                well I know you know this – but take your timmmmme getting caught up. Breathe – keep it a joy – and draw boundaries to keep yourself fresh.

                and let’s both remember that 🙂 – – and let’s both remember to stretch – right!
                and by the way, I have been doing “okay” with my stretching goal – about 10 minutes each day (I have one of those large pink balls and I start out with that – and hey it is something). so for the rest of the month I will keep doing ten minutes daily and make a new plan for Feb (which by the way – can u believe it is already almost month #2??)

                Like

      • Sherri says:

        Oh I need to take a page out of our book…and really start to get back to the joy. I lost that these past few days with all the stress of trying to get my ‘stuff’ to work. I’ve let everything bring me down and I need to get right back up.
        You’re doing great with your stretching…and I can’t believe it is almost February already, no. I am keeping up with my walking so am pleased with that, but need to do better with my stretches…right there with ya 🙂
        I have come back to your first comment and on this poem. I keep thinking about the way you describe the velvet and the maroon against the blue and red in the post. The thing is, I never edit my poems, I just write them as they come at the time. And yes, time and time again, now that you mention it, I find that my longing and ‘escape’ is found by the sea, hope and light in the skies. Velvet is heavy and rich, like a cloak wrapped around your shoulders and so perhaps there is comfort and warmth here even though I was struggling with my worries over my daughter and so looking out at the cool refreshment offered by the sea, but also by the richness of the sunset, in the burnished oranges, likened to the deep maroon, which again, is such a rich colour. Wanting, perhaps, to feel the richness of a deep hope and faith that all will be well…I have never analysed any of my poems, so this feels quite strange to be writing about this one in such a way, but you have encouraged me to do so with your ‘critique’ for want of a better word. I am just so glad to be able to share this all with you mon amie…gives me great hope and comfort 🙂 ❤

        Like

  39. Marie Keates says:

    Just beautiful 😄

    Like

  40. Tom Merriman says:

    Oh, very nice, Sherri!
    I thought at first ‘here we go again’ – you mention flying high at the beginning (I’m currently posting about flying – we must share the same thread of thought in the quantum universe or something) and then you took me off along a completely different, and wonderful path.
    Very pleasant, and wonderful photos once more!
    Have a great day, Sherri!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Well, we simply must stop meeting like this Tom, haha!! Yet another coincidence!!! I will be over to read your post asap..catching up after a lost week due to laptop sagas last week, and so it goes… o_O
      Ahh..well, I thank you so much, thrilled you enjoyed them and I hope you have a great week Tom 🙂

      Like

  41. Sherri, this is beautiful. There are so many lines that I want to pull out and say, I loved that one – ‘deep blue sea of escape’ ‘whispering through the sharp grass’ ‘salt-pressed air’ ‘locked within broken promises’. I could go on, but I’ll just say I found this poem moving and evocative and it didn’t surprise me to see the dedication to your daughter at the end 🙂

    Like

  42. simplyilka says:

    Absolutely beautiful !!!

    The combination of the touching dedication to your precious daughter, the beautiful words and the stunning photos is just outstanding 🙂

    Like

  43. Love this, Sherri. This —> “before your night descends once more to grip your heart with anxiety…as the last sigh of a golden sunset sweeps across the skies, if only you would lift your eyes, sweet girl, there you would Catch The Light.” Yes. ❤

    Like

  44. Ste J says:

    Wonderful, I read it twice which is once more than any other book I ever read excepting the Famous Five series and Each Peach Pear Plum. Your words really are wonderful, you show what is possible for a creative mind and as a source of inspiration your up there with the best.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh Ste, your comment had me burst out loud with laughter and you know, that is just what I love about you! I happen to adore the Famous Five, so I am truly honoured when I read this, honestly I am 🙂 But I am not familiar with Each Peach Pear Plum so now I am intrigued. But in all seriousness, when I read your second sentence, I am deeply humbled because in all honestly, I just write out what is there at the time and let it sit. So when you and others say you enjoyed the words so much I can’t tell you how much that means to me… thank you so much…

      Like

      • Ste J says:

        Each Peach Pear Plum was the first book I ever read at primary school, before I got started on those Biff, Chip and Kipper books, it’s a nice, short rhyming story where you have to hunt for the named character on each page. It’s full of nostalgia and it only takes a minute to read as well. Keep writing as you do and you will keep us all happy, you write really good!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sherri says:

          Ahh…thanks for that! Biff, Chip and Kipper are more familiar. There are some great children’s books out there, I used to love reading them. Enid Blyton did it for me…and I’m glad you think I write good, makes me happy that 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  45. Beautiful beyond words …..

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Rajagopal says:

    Little late in catching up with these stunning visuals, sherri….words and pics vying with each other to create one of life’s rich tapestries… Best wishes… Raj.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Seyi sandra says:

    Now if I were your daughter, I would be blushing with pleasure and gushing with delight! You have an easy way with words Sherri, ”Know that dawn will arrive on pale wings, the hope of a new day and unbroken dreams. It is in that hour that your broken heart heals and I wipe away your tears, when Sweet Robin Sings.” Just pristine. I love it, and I think you should write more poems like this!
    Fantastic. I read it twice!! 🙂
    Much love and blessings to you dear friend! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Well, I am blessed beyond measure at your beautiful words dear Seyi, thank you so very much! I haven’t written a poem since last summer and felt moved to write this last week (before technology problems kicked in…) so I am encouraged beyond measure to know that you would like me to write more. To know that you enjoyed it so much makes my heart sing my dear friend, and I would send you much love and blessings too…your visits bring me such joy. Have a beautiful Wednesday Seyi 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  48. Steven says:

    There really are no words! Oh, but I’m still going to leave some. Sherri, this is such a moving and dear poem. And such fantastic shots – I have missed your photographs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh….you’ve really made my day JG, thank you so much 🙂 With all this technology stuff pulling me away from everything else at the moment, it is so lovely to read your words which bring me back to this – our heartfelt expression and the beauty of the world around us. And the comfort of wonderful friends… bless you…

      Like

  49. Imelda says:

    Beautiful photos and inspiring and tender words, Sherri. 🙂 They are beautiful.

    Like

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