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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
The pleasures of childhood will always return in our memories. Simple things like picking berries in the wild and favorite paths we often followed. But things change over time: a special berry bush, over-picked and left neglected, will suffer, perhaps even wither and die. However, even resurrected memories can lead us back to a place of our youth and recover what is almost lost. Sarah Jane Conklin’s poetic memoir, A Path to Somewhere, takes readers, young and old, on a journey that includes berry picking and the special bush that has the best berries for a late summer jaunt. Writing exquisitely in rhyming verse, the poet lures the reader gently along paths that lead us down her memory trail to special berry-picking spots. Told in the third person, the narrator is a young boy on his life’s journey from childhood to manhood.
The entire poetic journey is a metaphor of life with all its twists and turns: “The widening path developed ruts,/ Each time that he passed through.” And: “The berry bush now overlooked,/ Its leaves were often bruised./ Its tender roots at times exposed,/ Downtrodden and abused./ He soon forgot about the bush,/ Forgotten how to taste./ He lost his way, and how to play,/ His crown had been misplaced.” Some pretty powerful messages for readers of all ages. We all need time to reflect on nature’s gifts, on the gift of life, as we live and learn to accept it with gratitude. Beautifully presented.