Ever had an older friend who dazzled you with her independence and unique style?
Claire White was that person for me in my teenage years.
Widowed young, children now grown, she lived alone, grew flowers and herbs, read tea leaves and tarot cards, and was unlike any other woman I had ever met. She had an ear for the divine and an eye for magic.
Miss Claire became my mentor. She both supported and challenged me, an extremely rebellious girl living in a town that was the staid and stultifying British heart of Jamaica. Her house and gardens were my second home, especially when I had tested the system and its traditions one time too many.
Years later, I wrote about her in my first book, A Good Home.
I helped her to complete her own book and publish it. And later still, I visited her as she struggled with dementia. Despite her memory loss, the love and respect between us were as strong as ever. As were her elegant manners mixed with that sense of mischief that was the quintessential Miss Claire.
I never was able to visit her again before she died, but her spirit is part of mine.
Thanks for loving me, Miss Claire. And for challenging me each time I needed it.
This post is dedicated to caring mentors, and to Andrea Stephenson at Harvesting Hecate, who also has an ear for the divine and an eye for magic.
37 thoughts on “Miss Claire”
Your life was enhanced by this special lady which is witnessed by your precious memories.
We need those people in our lives. Hope you have found one or have become one.
I, too, have older friends, and how I have grieved when they died. But, as I once heard, to be mourned is to be loved.
I wish I had such a mentor when I was growing up, I’m sure I would have been a better person…
You had to mentor yourself then. Which brings a particular strength too!
I think it makes you very stubborn, which can be a problem!
Reblogged this on Anita Dawes & Jaye Marie ~ Authors.
These wonderful souls are the very best gifts that life has to offer us, if only we take the time to stop– and open our arms (hearts).
Beautifully said, Lesley! True words from someone who has mentored my writing so well. Bless you.
I met Lila in my late 60s her late 80s I learned a lot from Lila just watching the way she lived her life. I miss her.
I hear you. I miss Miss Claire too.
A beautiful tribute to Miss Claire, Cynthia. One is truly blessed when one of these special people becomes part of our lives in some way, and will be missed when they pass on. The gift of their time and energy is priceless, and lives on in one’s own thoughts and actions.
I hope all is well with Andrea.
Thanks, my favourite singer-guitarist! As far as I know, Andrea is taking a bit of a leave. I miss her writing. You and she are nature-writers exrtraordinaire.
Thank you! You are very kind. 🙂
I miss Andrea, too!
Nice tribute Cynthia. You’re fortunate to have had a loving mentor like Claire. Andrea is great too!
What a lovely photo of you both, Cynthia!
This is a lovely memorial to your friend.
Beautiful tribute, Cynthia! You were both very lucky in your relationship, I’m sure.
A lovely photograph. I had two such older friends, also unofficial mentors, who have died in recent years. I know what you mean by the spirit.
We are probably bits and pieces of our family and others. I hope that in my life I will give a bit to someone.
Me too. Well said!
Oh, I love that bits and pieces comment. I have been reading Big Magic and believe inspiration travels through many routes and people. Love your post…think Miss Claire was an inspiration for you?
Absolutely. I will find out about that book too! Thank you.
Good, it’s Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat Pray Love. Really interesting concept. I will love to hear what you think!!
What a beautiful, loving tribute to a cherished friend.
Aww, this is such a beautiful tribute to your Miss Claire! Mentors, especially at a young age, play such an important role. They help shape and stir a young life in the right direction. This is really beautiful, and a lovely photo too.
Thanks, Khaya. She certainly did that and I am grateful.
A fine tribute to both ladies!
Sometimes the right person comes along and we grab on like a shipwrecked sailor and years later you realize it really was a lifeline. This was a nice memory to hear about. It’s good to be remembered.
Thanks, Lisa. Well said.
Cynthia, a heartfelt portrayal of a very special lady … her strength, warmth and unique manner shines through here. What an amazing lady to be around as young, leading you to yourself! ❤️ I’m touched with your dedication… and see your wonderful words about Andrea. I’ve known her for a long while here on WP and it’s true about her! She took a blogging break beginning of the year and I hope all is well with her. Wishing you a lovely Sunday … the peace and beauty of your post will stay with me … Miss Claire inspiring me! Xx
Oh what a special friendship you must have both had! How lovely ..
One of the blessings of my life, Julie. I hope you are doing well. Are you heading into autumn now? We are heading into spring and I saw snowdrops in a garden in the city yesterday.
You are fortunate to have had her and have shared such a beautiful relationship. I have had older friends and somehow enjoy their company more than those my age.
Same here. Thanks for visiting.