Watershed moments #haibun #dVerse

By now, I should be an old hand at new beginnings. I’ve learned to recognise those ‘watershed moments’ before they arrive. First time was losing my mum as a child; no way I could have seen that coming; no way that anything would ever be the same again, afterwards.

Then it was moving away from my one-horse town to the big cities: Manchester, Newcastle, London. I always felt the magnetic pull back towards my old home until my son was born: next chapter. I embraced London as our home, and became like a child again: riding on double-decker buses just for fun, visiting museums, making an adventure out of every day.

Moving abroad was the next chapter: London-Barcelona. Losing my voice. I had very few Spanish words, so I spent every spare minute trying to acquire a functional vocabulary. All the while I was falling in love with this city of dreams and its surroundings. Then came my second baby: next chapter. Adjusting to life as a mother-of-two. Moving again to Malaga province, another new world. And just as I began adjusting once again, another change of country, new horizons opening:

birth of a new life
marks an event horizon
watershed as tears

Written for dVerse Poets’ Pub, where Lillian is hosting and has given us the following prompt:

Please write about some new beginning you’ve experienced in your lifetime. It could be a new job; your wedding; birth of a child or grandchild; a move; rejuvenatement (never say retirement); planting a new garden or the first blooms in your garden; tasting a new food; experiencing a new culture. Anything along the lines of a new beginning that you’ve experienced.

I am not a haiku expert, so I’m not sure if I have included a correct kigo or seasonal reference – but I hope that ‘birth’ might be acceptable as a reference to spring, itself a metaphor for a new beginning in our lives.

69 thoughts on “Watershed moments #haibun #dVerse

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  1. Your post tells beautifully about how each life is really a series of new beginnings. I especially like your statement that you lost your voice when you went to Spain. That is the feeling when one is thrust in the midst of a new language. I remember when my daughter was an exchange student for her junior year of high school. She’d gotten all As in German, having studied it in school since 7th grade…and she was always an assertive and outgoing young woman. But, when she got to Germany and was thrust into the daily use of German….to survive and live in Germany with a family….she called us after two weeks in tears saying exactly what you said. She felt like she lost her voice…and she said she felt so dumb. But all that changed as she adjusted. Immersion will help you adjust to a language quickly.
    A well written haibun. Traditional haikus are trickier than a standard one…and I’m no expert. The birth and spring works for me.

    1. Thank you, Lillian – it was quite a shock to the system: I didn’t even know which boxes were washing powder in the supermarket! But it soon got easier. I think my Spanish is now better than my Slovenian, but the shock of moving here was not the same as I had enough vocabulary to communicate!

  2. This is a beautiful and intriguing haibun, Ingrid. So many changes throughout the journey of your life, each a new experience it brings especially in traveling and re-discovering a joy in having fun (double decker buses look amazing, I always wanted to ride on one!). So many emotions in this piece, it’s also evocative to me. Wonderful work and I hope you have a great start of the New Year. <3 <3

  3. What major changes in t he chapters of your life! Your recount was absolutely entertaining. May your 2021 bring blessings!

    1. Thank you, Merril: sometimes the major changes take place within us, or sometimes the environment around us changes, but neither one is more significant than the other.

  4. You’ve seen a lot of the world, Ingrid, and you roll with the changes like a pro. How are you liking your new country? If your photo here is any indication it looks heavenly!

    1. It is so beautiful, though I miss the Spanish sun! Slovenia is a country where the natural environment is protected and valued, so this is very nice to experience.

  5. Don’t you miss England sometimes? As an actor. I moved from WA state to LA, CA. I was homesick for ten years; there’s something, like Bjorn said, about your roots that pulls at you.

    1. It’s funny you should ask that, Glenn – but not really, no! When I first left, of course I did. But I’m very unhappy about the way things are over there at the moment. I’ve no plans to go back and live there any time soon.

  6. I’m pretty sure I don’t have nearly enough adaptability to have sustained the changes you relate here.
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful work.

  7. I can relate to so much of this from my moving around as an armywife. However, I never did have to move to a new country, so it was probably easier in many ways. I enjoyed reading more about your life and those watershed moments!

    1. I imagine in a country as large as the US, it could sometimes feel like moving to a different country, but without the language barrier!

      1. Yes, it was different in Arizona, because so secluded in the mountains but luckily I found friends there. I enjoyed seeing new places but I think it’s the lack of control I had over it all that annoyed me. Luckily, don’t move around anymore. Just want a vacation more now though, haha!

      1. I made dear friends from there when I lived and worked in London so going to visit them when they returned home was sooo different from my previous visit as a tourist. It’s a beautiful city and the people so friendly altho in those days few spoke english.

      2. Whereabouts did you live if you don’t mind me asking? I agree, the tourist experience is totally different from the ‘real London.’

      3. In London, firstly at Maida Vale when it housed a lot of your elite politicians mistresses, worked in st Johns Wood then, walked past Lords to get to work. But changed jobs and moved to Brent Cross, further to travel but that was better housemates!

      4. We lived in Finsbury Park at first then moved out to Epsom which was a separate town on the outskirts, but I used to travel in to London a lot just to explore!

      5. my second job was in Fetters Lane just off Fleet st so I was bang in the middle of it all! Used to love going to ballet and theatre, so cheap and such a broad choice.

      6. You know many have said I should write a book but I get lost for a topic but you’ve just reminded me, I believe I could write a bestseller about those days in MV!

      7. Hey? Ingrid/Kate this mini-thread is becoming like a travelogue. We used to live in Hertford. No way would I drive into London. Train worked perfect for lots of exploring in a fascinating city.

        Sorry Ingrid…I’m easily sidetracked….

      8. The only time I had to drive into London was when we had to sell the combivan. Park it on the street with all the other Aussies wanting to do same. One redeeming feature was that it was on a Sunday morning….

      9. lol I didn’t know any personally but you rented a room with zero control over who rented the other bedrooms with shared/common lounge bathroom and kitchen … what an eye-opener!

  8. You have had a lot of new beginnings. It must have been very hard to lose your mother as a young age. Are you fluent in Spanish now? Great haibun and haiku!

      1. One of the most important phrases in the Spanish language are ‘pues, nada’ (‘well, nothing’ – shrug it off and move on)

  9. I found moving about Europe and new beginnings so much easier when I was younger. Even living in London was easier, but now I’ve been in Norfolk for so long, I couldn’t live in a city ever again! The funny thing is, when I returned to London after eight years in Cologne and two in Ireland, that was when I felt I’d lost my voice. Ellen was only two, so it was different for her, and she grew up in London, and returned when she left school. I love that you are having adventures with your children – and in such beautiful places.

  10. I didn’t know you lived in Epsom! My early years were spent in Mitcham and a short while in Tadworth! My brother-in-law lives in Epsom.

  11. Each journey, move, and new life, like an opening and closing of doors. You describe the melancholy and the excitement beautifully, Ingrid.

  12. Loved your reference to losing your voice in Spain. Ernest Hemmingway wrote: ” Spanish is a swell language real easy to learn ” I have visited Spain on many occasions over a number of years and all I learned was how to order a beer, say thank you and ask for the bill at the end. Well done for regaining your voice!

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