‘More than Coffee’ by Lauren Scott is a beautiful and reflective celebration of life; a book of poems and prose that flows with ease between memories of the author’s life, of the six decades of a loving marriage of her parents and of her family, to present day hiking trails, between the wonder of nature and the seasons to the amusing encounter with spiders!
The pieces are imbued with warmth, love, light humour and sadness; overall togetherness. Life in all its facets is explored and ensures that the reader reflects on their own lives and those closest to them, reminding us of the treasures within even the most insignificant of items or events.
A late-comer to hiking and camping, Lauren captures the magic and enriching moments of being in the wonder of solitude in nature.
‘It’s about those quiet, nostalgic moments sitting on a smooth slab of granite, captivated by the sights and sounds of wilderness surroundings.’
The book begins with her first ever hike in her fifties and in ‘Silver Heirlooms’ she describes setting out her mother’s silverware which brings moving reflections on how this previously normal household cutlery is now filled with nostalgic significance and poignancy as her grief over the loss of her parents eases to help her move forward.
The power of nature is captured throughout and it is a privilege to join her on the trail, pausing to appreciate that ‘listening to the whispers/among the trees/our time here/is a gift.’ Just as Lauren Scott feels that the ‘tranquility embraces’ so the reader is enveloped in a heartwarming embrace.
The book fulfils the promise of being a ‘snapshot of memories’ and one of my favourites could easily be turned into a novel, I feel. ‘Ninety-seven candles’ is a beautifully penned piece about her father-in-law Wil and his extraordinary life. During his nigh hundred years of life, Wil has twice been joyously married yet endured two heartbreaking losses. However, his positive attitude and gentle humour still shine through.
A humour shared by her father, who when asked the secret to reaching his nineties, declared with aplomb, ‘the olive in the martini’.
Through her gifted writing, Lauren captures the fun first meeting with her husband; who knew selling a fridge could be so life-changing! On their first date, it was ‘as though we’ve danced together a million times before’. Lauren has a gift for seeing beyond the ordinary and in ‘Cake’ she weaves in descriptions of her bridal shower, her parents and children – the universal force of love and life is re-affirmed.
Since singing is part of Lauren’s being it is perhaps not surprising that the powerful and intense poem ‘Belonging’ is a love song to her husband and soulmate, Matt.
‘Do you trust me? Will you
take my hand and let me
lead the way to a place
transcending the boundaries
of our reality? Let us get
lost in the tranquility –
dancing to the majesty of
the surroundings, feeling the
rhythm vibrate through our
bones. For as long as our
hearts desire, this is our
destination. For time is
but a memory. Its existence
leaves no trace on the path
where we tread. There is
only you, me, and the
intensity of our belonging
to each other.‘
‘The Phone Call’ especially resonated with me as a recent ‘empty-nester’; I related to the gems of long chats with children moved away, the love and pride as they make their way into the world, but the pain too. As Lauren’s son is soon to embark upon his path across the country he tries to reassure his parents and show them how this is a positive experience for them – a comment that had me laughing out loud and so typical! ‘Mom and Dad can reap the benefits of having the house to themselves.’
In ‘More than Coffee’ Lauren realises her dream to be ‘the narrator of my own stories’ and it is with gratitude, joy and chuckling that I could sit down, with a cuppa, and join in this wonderful, uplifting and absorbing collection; peace settling upon me. I only hope I will learn to collect my memories with equal clarity, wisdom and warmth, to reach a deeper understanding of life and its joys and tragedies. ‘More than Coffee’ is a true tonic for the soul and I cannot recommend this book highly enough!
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Publication Date: 21st September 2021
ABOUT LAUREN SCOTT
Lauren writes poetry, memoir, and fiction short stories who lives in California with her husband of thirty-three years and their chocolate lab; they have two grown children. She has authored two collections of poetry: New Day, New Dreams (2013) and Finding a Balance (2015). Her latest book, More than Coffee: Memories in Verse and Prose was published in 2021. And in 2022, she contributed four poems to the anthology: Poetry Treasures 2: Relationships. Lauren writes about family, experiencing loss, finding joy in the smallest things, and nature from her many backpacking and camping adventures.
Parallel to her passion for writing is her love for reading. Whether it is a gripping thriller or a heartwarming romance, she enjoys exploring different worlds and meeting diverse characters, drawing similarities to reality that translate into her own writing. Her writing projects are sometimes serious – drawn from painful subjects and raw emotions – or they spotlight her silly side – pulled from humorous moments captured in photographs.
Lauren is inspired to write from her love of nature and the marvelous wild world that surrounds her: the smell of the woods, the sound of a babbling brook, and the chorus of birds singing. Recent backpacking trips with her husband along the California coast and Sierra Nevada mountains have stirred up thoughts to pen about love, lost friendship, family, and the possibility that anything can happen. Hikes along the Paper Mill Creek remind her that life is fragile. From trout hatchlings to swallowtail butterflies, Lauren marvels at how the world is interconnected and that every living thing matters. She hopes her readers will find a little nugget of delight, comfort, or understanding in her poetry and stories – some detail that resonates with them beyond her words.
Finally, Lauren Scott shares her beautiful poetry, vignettes on life, and fiction short stories on her engaging blog Baydreamer ~ a thread of words from every stitch of life ~. Enjoy meeting her there and join Lauren for a cup of virtual coffee and chat.