Friday, July 30, 2010

Poem: A Big Red Balloon

A Big Red Balloon

The strangest thing happened last Friday at noon;
It began with a boy and his big red balloon.

I watched as he walked down the street with great care,
Protecting his prize from the sun’s red hot glare.

Just as the bells of the church started pealing,
He floated straight up past the puffy cloud ceiling.

I heard that he landed far, far away,
In a town that serves cookies and milk every day.

I’m thinking of buying a big red balloon,
And might take a walk next Friday at noon.

(This post is currently in the display case at the park)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Poem: Sometimes People Suffer

Sometimes People Suffer

Sometimes people suffer

No one knows why;
we humans like to explain things,
we like to know the answers,
we like to solve problems,

sometimes people suffer

There is no easy solution,
no quick relief,
no magic pill,
and no merciful release
from the pain.

Sometimes people suffer

The suffering may come from an injury,
an illness,
a disease,
or a mental health concern,
but the suffering is real and may take time
for healing to occur.
sometimes people suffer

We can offer support, sympathy, kind word, prayers;
we can send cards, make meals, visit,
phone, e-mail, text, spend a day cleaning their house,
buying their groceries, combing their hair, feeding their cat,
changing their sheets and being a friend


sometimes people suffer.

May God bless all those who suffer and may he hold them gently
 in the palm of his hand, offering light and comfort during the dark nights and confident support to allay the fears of the day.
May the suffering be short and the light and comfort long.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Poem: A Walk in the Park

A Walk in the Park

The truth about a path
is that it goes somewhere -
but you can traverse the path
in endless ways,
at any time of the day,
alone or with friends,
with a dog by your side,
or a child’s hand nestled in yours.

You can walk in the moonlight,
the sunlight,
or the early dawn of day,
you can bike, trike,
rollerblade, skateboard,
run, walk, stroll, amble,
shuffle, skip or maybe even hop
from start to finish.

You are free on a path
to think, to muse, to ponder
to consider what is possible
what is powerful, what is pure,
what is good in this world
we all call home.

We are blessed by this path in this park -
may your walk bring you
a brief respite from your busy day,
and may you find renewed energy
for continuing the good work
you do in the world.

The path can take you to that place.

Footnote:  This poem was written to be placed in a display case 
which will be adjacent to a new path in the park behind our house

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Poem: A Wise Man Once Said


A wise man once said that his wisdom
came from being not doing;
his participation in life
did not include a surge for success,
rather a seeking of truth.

He observed, partook, listened,
gave generously of his time,
but his actions,
as a wise being,
were purposeful,
essential to the well-being
of another human,
essential to the planet,
essential to himself.

Thus his wisdom grew,
and he became known as a wise man -
people came to him to learn the truth,
to become mindful,
to meditate, 
to be like him, 
but he knew they would never be wise
until they could forsake the endless doing
And embrace the essence of being.

Friday, July 16, 2010

It Was All So Simple Then

It Was All So Simple Then
The tenderness in this photo never fails to move me.  There is a beautiful simplicity to the way children show affection, isn't there?  Two young boys with their older cousin, snuggled up for an afternoon of cartoon watching.  Their relaxed bodies say I completely trust you and find great comfort in being close to you.  You are my friend, you are my cousin, we have played together, laughed together, shared our days in the hot summer sun and now we are here in this space feeling safe, secure and untouched by the world outside.  Does it really get any better than that in life?  
A few years back, one of my sisters and I went to Grand Rapids, MI to visit a great aunt.  We stayed in a really old, ornate bed and breakfast.  There was no one else staying there and the owner had a very spooky vibe.  The bathroom was way down the hall and I, of course, had to get up in the middle of the night, much to my dismay.  My sister and I shared a bed that night and laughed ourselves silly with spooky comments.  It was an hilarious night.  My sister and I were safe together and secure that we could handle whatever came our way.  In the silence of that old house, we were alone, but we were together.  We had complete comfort and trust in being close.  It was a rare adult opportunity to capture the kind of image seen above.  
It gets harder as adults to relax completely and trust in the moment that all will be well - letting the body go and simply being alive and at ease is all that is required.
I wish you a peaceful evening.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words

 Kelsey Avenue - Glider on Side Porch -1987

A picture is worth a thousand words, but we rarely put a thousand words to a picture…..but we could.  I am in the midst of putting together photo albums for my boys.  The photos date back 28 years.  I look at certain photos and can feel the moment.  I know what was going on with the people in the photo and with the world surrounding the people in the photo.  There are back stories, hidden stories and untold stories.  There are once upon a time stories and stories full of lore, humor and silliness.  There are photos of smiling children who five seconds before the camera blinked were crying.  

Why do we rarely take pictures of people crying?  It’s just as much a part of life as the laughter.  Then we could say, Aunt Susie is crying because her dog got hit by a car that day, or Uncle John is crying because the Yankees lost the pennant, or Cousin Fred is crying because his fiancĂ© returned her engagement ring, or Cousin Susie is crying because she knows she’ll never find a way out of the small town she lives in.  Now those are pictures worth a thousand words. 

I love pictures and I love the pictures of my boys and my husband.  We have lived a busy, full, loving life together with more to come.  Someday I may tell a few of the stories in long form, but for now each photo gets a brief caption depicting the moment.  A thousand words will have to come later. 

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Patience - A Quiet Little Word

I’ve been thinking a lot about patience lately and find it to be a very small word for the great resource it demands of us.  A word like courage has substance and can be said with vigor.  The word resilience summons up thoughts of steel and armor holding back the forces of evil.  The word fortitude has the word fort at its root and thus conjures up visions of strength against outside forces.  There are many powerful words that we use to derive strength in times of need:  resolve, determination, spunk, focus, purpose.  But patience is the trait required most frequently to get us through hard times.  Patience is what we need in the midst of a dark trough or an endless night.  Patience is what we need in great quantity as we wait for change to occur.  Patience is essential, unavoidable and maddening.  So, all I’m asking is that the word carry a little more clout: Patience Patience

Patience – I need you, I require you by my side, I find your presence essential to my well-being.  I will stick with you if you will stick with me. 

Patience is a virtue so I’m told.  This quiet little word will bring me untold benefits, but I must wait, bide my time, and ultimately embrace this quiet little word that promises good things will surely come
in due time.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Poem: A Cat Named Turtle

A cat with a turtle (not ours)
This poem was written in honor of our cat who happens to be named Turtle.  She may not behave quite this way, but there are a few suspicious behavior traits that we're keeping an eye on. :-)
A Cat Named Turtle

I have a cat named Turtle,
A funny name, it’s true,
She likes to do the strangest things,
I’ll share them now with you.

She likes to lounge near ponds and lakes,
Sometimes she’ll sit for hours,
She moves quite slowly through the blades,
And nestles ‘neath the flowers.

She eats some bugs and blades of grass,
Then curls up for a nap,
All hunched up like a tortoise shell,
She looks a bit like….

Well you know what I am thinking
But I’m sure she is a cat.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Poem: She Will Wait no More in Silence

She Will Wait no More in Silence
How are we to know when someone is in need?
There are the obvious signs like poverty, ill health, homelessness -
but what of the hidden needs, the unspoken aches
of the human spirit?
How are we to know, what are we to do, how can we respond
to a person who won't reach out, won't share her pain?
Waiting in darkness, praying for help, crying in private, 
she won't find solace, won't get the necessary help
to move out of the cycle of sorrow.
All she has to do is reach with both hands and an open heart 
toward those who hold her dear -
they must be watchful and respond;
together they will forge a path toward health.
The request will not be denied but will be embraced.
She will be wrapped in the arms of her Creator and the people
who cherish her life.
She will wait no more in silence.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Trust is the Oil

"It's easier to act your way into 
a new way of feeling 
than feeling your way into a new way of acting."
Someone shared this quote with me recently and I found it very helpful.  For me, it says that if you are not feeling quite yourself and are retreating from the things you love doing, that it might be time to face your fears and go into a situation that is difficult and just act as if everything is fine.  Before long, it will be.

"Anxiety in human life is what 
squeaking and grinding 
are in machinery that is not oiled.  
In life, trust is the oil."
Henry Ward Beecher
We've all heard of the squeaking wheel.  But isn't the squeaking wheel the one that always gets the oil?  If that were true, then anxiety would be treated very promptly.  In the quote, the anxiety is not getting the oil it needs.  Trusting and reaching for the help one needs will ultimately bring about the oil necessary to work through the problems.