Nine Years? No, not really . . .

So, it has been nine years since I posted my first post on WordPress. At that time, I was completing requirements for my diploma in the journalism program at our local college. In the beginning I wrote posts for our school newspapers, The Troubadour. Following graduation, I let it lapse as I continued my studies to complete a Bachelor of Arts. It continued to sit in moth balls until 2016 when I needed an outlet for the stress after our city was evacuated due to wildfires. Writing has often been a source of stress relief for me and the past four years have been no different. I have kept it up since then. Along the way I got to know some wonderful people, fellow writers, poets, artists of every kind and entered into a community of kind and supportive people. I am so glad to have the opportunity to trade life experiences, thoughts, and support with a truly wonderful group of people. I thank you all for taking me along on your journeys, and for joining me on mine. I am looking forward to many more years together. Happy Anniversary to us!!!!

Let’s celebrate! It’s World Environment Day!

So, it’s World Environment Day! Let’s celebrate the planet and its awesomeness! I truly do love nature. As I write I am remembering visiting my husband’s aunt and uncle. While we were there we somehow ended up at their neighbor’s place across the street. My children were very little then and one of them had picked up a caterpillar and brought it to me. I bent down and what followed was a conversation with my little ones about caterpillars. I have no idea what that conversation entailed but I do remember the neighbor remarking, “Oh, we have an environmentalist in our midst”. I remember being somewhat surprised by the comment. I honestly thought at the time that most people shared my views. Sadly, I came to understand that no, that was not the case.

We are living with climate change and all the backlash that has entailed with so-called natural disasters causing untold destruction and upheaval. It does not have to be this way. Human beings can make better choices. Politicians can be moved to enact better environmental protection laws. I have seen politicians back down when faced with public outrage over a variety of social issues. We need to make our voices heard.

What social issue is more important than the environment on which all life depends? Let us all make better decisions, please. We can do our small parts at home by reducing waste, by becoming more informed, by respecting our local green spaces and wildlife, and in a myriad of other ways. I will not belabor the point, better writers than I have articulated it well, time and time again.

Let’s celebrate this world.  Take a deep breath and thank the trees for providing us oxygen. Listen to the birdsong and be grateful for their music. Dip a toe in a river, pond, lake, or ocean and be cleansed, or better yet drink a tall glass of cool water and be quenched.  Gaze at the beauty surrounding us all and let it feed your soul. Take your shoes of and walk on the cool grass on a hot summer’s day. Life is good, but it could be so much better. Let’s take good care of this little blue marble we call home.

The not so strange Easter: A children’s story

The little ones went off to bed

Feeling sorrowful in their little heads

For too long now no play with friends, oh to run so free

“And now at Easter,” they thought to themselves, “No bunny for me”.

They prayed and they hoped in what their parents told them

“Easter Bunny’s not isolated. He’ll be here, you’ll see,” they said.

But worried and fretting they climbed into bed

Long after the sun had finally set

And while they were sleeping the white moon arose

And shone its soft light on all down below

The moon well knew the secrets of Easter

And spoke to the fairies, “Go wake the great bunny”

In the morning each parent sighed with relief

As children of all ages awoke from their slumber

And padded from bedrooms left all in a jumble

For Easter had come leaving proof unmistaken

The bright colored eggs were not hidden this year

But left with abandon on dresser and chair

“Here’s one on the stair,” a little one chortled

As they raced without care

The small padding feet ran all through the house

And giggles and shouts were all that was heard

For Easter Bunny was not isolated,

He had freedom to roam

He found each child’s home

The moon watched him work and thought to himself,

“How absurd to think Easter Bunny could ever do less

Than fill every basket and do his very best,

To bring joy and cheer to each little heart,

To be sure the magical creatures will each do their part

To overcome this challenging test.”

And so this strange Easter

Was not strange after all

For joy entered in every heart, every hall

So dear children remember,

Yes, you must stay in your house

But Easter has come and with it a blessing

Not covered in chocolate

Not covered in sugar

For the sweetness of Easter cannot be contained

Rebirth and renewal are this season’s gifts

So be good little children

And know that it’s true

The magic of living

Is here within you

What if? A Utopian dream.

But what if? What if this enforced isolation, this horrible pandemic causes us all to  see with new eyes? What if the steady growth of consumerism stops? What if it causes us to re-examine our values? What if we begin to see all human life, no matter the nation, as sacred, as holy, as needing to be deeply respected and revered. And not just human life but all life from the most microscopic insect or bug to the largest mammals on the planet? What if we begin to make decisions that honor life in general – every plant, every tree? What if we stop seeing the world as a resource to be plundered, but rather, a resource to be respected and cared for? What if utopia is being birthed? What if greed falls on its knees to need? What if we recognize there is indeed no “other”, that we are one race, one people? What if love is reborn in every heart and mind? What if? Oh what a world it could be.

Entrusted, Enabled

“God sent each person into the world with a special message to deliver, a special song to sing, and a special act of love to bestow. No one else can speak my message or sing my song, or offer my love…..these are entrusted to me” – Author unknown

Cedar Waxwings taken June 2019 Photo by Carol Hopkins

What song is resonating with you today? Is it a hopeful tune? Is it a mournful ballad? I have been vacillating between hope and despair. I am doing my best to trust in a higher power that we will be okay. It’s hard though, very challenging. I wonder sometimes if this is some kind of supreme test. I am sure that past people in history who lived through the Black Plague or the Spanish Flu and the like must also have felt hopeless at times. Yet the human race survived and we will survive this as well. We are such fragile life forms – all of life is fragile. Yet, it is also resilient and courageous. I am praying for all the world’s peoples today and giving thanks for the silver linings such as the severely reduced amount of chemicals being released into the air, allowing the earth to breathe more deeply, to heal.

May we all be healed of toxic anxiety and fear that serves no one well. Be safe my friends, and stay as healthy as humanly possible.

“Trust yourself. You’ve survived a lot, and you’ll survive whatever is coming.”

The above quote is from Robert Tew and although I prefer to trust in the Creator I believe we also need to trust in ourselves, or rather, trust that we do receive all we need through the Divine One when we are open and allowing the Creator to work in us and through us.

As I have written before, I work at the local library. The library is housed in a huge recreation and sports complex which is closed until further notice. Which means the library is also closed. I will miss the daily interaction with our patrons and with my wonderful coworkers. Initially I was worried and wondered how I would be able to pay the rent, bills, etc. but this morning I read a lovely email from our director assuring staff that we will continue to be paid for our shifts for the next two weeks at least. That’s a big relief. Governments have also assured us that they will be putting programs in place to help people through this financial challenge. We are so very blessed. Yet, I cannot help but wonder about the people in developing nations where health care systems are not as advanced as ours; where daily needs were a huge challenge long before this pandemic erupted. These thoughts are somber indeed. I cannot afford to emotionally stay with these thoughts for long. There is just so much going on and it is so anxiety-provoking. I may be misquoting here, but I think the Buddhist teaching is “Do not attach to suffering”. So, I will do my best to not worry and to trust that the Creator knows the suffering of all people, everywhere, and knows our every fear and anxiety.

Anxiety has become a way of life for many years. I have often written about my husband’s fragile health and the challenges before us now with Covid 19 have brought these worries to the fore once again. And yet, I have learned that the Creator is always at my side. I have been brought through so many storms; so many highly stressful situations and circumstances. And always, always, we receive all we need. Always I am reminded of the holiness and sacredness of humanity – the reflection of the Divine in each human being. The Creator has brought people into my life who have supported me in every way imaginable. So why should I worry about Covid 19? God really is in control and well used to our human frailty and constant doubts and fears. I think in these uncertain times it is more important than ever to remember the words of Christ: “Do not be afraid”.

Fear and stress release toxins into the body and can make us quite sick. Now more than ever we need to take care of our physical, mental, and emotional health and, perhaps, most importantly, our spiritual health. I have been told in the past that I am a very strong person. No, I am not. Any strength you may perceive is the Creator sustaining me and guiding me. May we all be strengthened. May we all receive the gifts of faith, hope, and wisdom. Be gentle with yourselves, my friends and stay healthy and stay safe.

To sing again

Despair has come

Ushering in darkness and pain

And hope has gone the way of the dinosaurs,

Lifeless and seemingly extinct

Now, when all seems lost

And no hero appears

On golden steed

Come, Divine One,

Holy and sacred one,

Breathe new life into your people

Grant us strength to rise again

Help us, now

Help us remember

That all is not lost

No matter how grim the days

Come, Divine One

Holy One

Sacred One

Guide us through this darkness

Help us see

Remove our blindness

And selfish greed

Let joy bubble up through the storm

That swirls like a tornado around us

Still the storm, Divine One

This, my plea

There is goodness still,

Deep, deep inside

Every single human heart and mind

Take away our fear and anxiety,

Our need to control, that which cannot be controlled

And, if it is your will,

Banish now, the microscopic things,

The unknown and hard things,

Until with mighty breath

And a single, united mind,

With strong voice

We sing again

A song of joy and renewal

A life briefly lived

A life, so briefly lived

I never felt the flutter

Of tiny wings in flight

Just the deep and aching pain

Of empty arms and heart

I didn’t get to know you well

Though you lived beneath my heart

Never got to say hello

Nor bid you a goodbye

Never held your tiny body

Never kissed your downy head

Your time on earth was brief indeed

It was a fragile hour

They said you were not strong enough

They said there’d be another

As if your life mattered not at all,

Your essence an illusion

Child of mine, it’s been decades since

And still I often ponder

Why a life as brief as yours

Carved deep furrows in my being

This gift you left of insight sweet:

That though one may be weak and small

Their very vulnerability hides

A secret glowing soul

That we would all be well advised

To emulate and style

For it is in such needs so deep

We learn humility

So, thank you for your gifts, sweet babe

Your spirit creates such wonder

That I, in turn, feel small indeed

Like a peep to roaring thunder

Child of mind, so brief in time

I cherish and remember you