Future Desires

Images which bring joy

Images which send a thrill

Exploding from toes

To fingertips

When allowed full focus

Images calling our hearts

Pulling, reaching into the inner most recesses

Crevices buried under

Grief, disappointment, fear, heart ache and so much more

Reaching and finding a spark


Patiently waiting

For oxygen to be breathed in

For spark to become flame

As passion ignites


How to begin

To even explore

To untether our minds

And dare to reach

Beyond our safe grasp

To dare to reach


We may not succeed

The first time,

Or the second

Or even the third.

Acknowledging our dreams

Takes courage

Exposes vulnerability

While welcoming possibility

Dreams can fester and die

Never brought to light

But always present

Even as a microscopic glimmer

A firefly in a sky decorated with

Galaxies and constellations

Find the courage

To welcome your dreams

Find the vision

To search your soul

Find the moment

In the quiet of your tender heart

To seek for that which is hidden

Pushed down

In the busyness of life

The restraints of reality

Find the firefly

Welcome it, nurture it

And step toward the dream

To my dear husband,

I stand in awe

Of your courage

I salute your tenacity

And I rejoice and celebrate

The reaching of your Dream!

Soar on, Pilot Tom!

Finding Life’s Balance

Struggling to maintain composure
Despite a morning of frustration
Feeling outdated
By today’s communication tools
By customer service disappointments
By System Error
After System Error
By lack of human interaction
Lack of human compassion

I go to the lake
I gaze at the water still rippling
As it has all my life
Still reflecting the bluest sky, the green leafed trees
Gentle breeze continuing to touch
Its cooling, soothing fingers
Caressing my furrowed brow,
Relaxing my scowling countenance,
Lessening the angst of disappointment,
The knife of discouragement
And the noose of fear
Fear that our world is crashing headlong
Into a place of disregard
For all that was once sacred
For each other 
And the world we inhabit

The German shepherd barks out the car window
As the vehicle pulls into the parking lot and pauses beside me
My heart races forward
Into future fear
Backward glancing at previous pain
The dog leaps out of the car
And runs to greet me in my chair
A greeting of joy not malice
He collects rocks from the peaceful lake bottom
Bringing each one to my chair
Rocks of beauty and strength
Shining with mica chips
Decorated with black veins of unknown mineral
Precious gifts nevertheless

And therein lies the balance
The joy and the fear
The delight and the disappointment
The fullness of life

The breeze continues to caress
Rippling the water’s surface
Shimmering the maple leaves as they dance in place
Bending the far reaching branches
As they so kindly shade me from the heat of mid-day


Breathing in the fresh flowing air
Now bending my page
And blowing my hair
Inhaling the scents of water, earth
Cooling my angst
Unfurling my anger


Stepping back from the edge
The world as I knew it is not over
Customer Service glitches
Merely a distraction
A measure of frustration
Blended into a bowl of precious life
 A mere measure
In my overflowing
Sweet, savory, spicy life!

Truth Told in Kindness

Communication is complicated
When we are one to two years
We learn to talk
But communicate . . . 
We come out howling oftentimes
We gurgle with pleasure at mere weeks of age
We smile and bond with others
We grasp fingers with our tiny hands
And we howl
Not always communicating with clarity
But getting messages across
Loud and clear

Then we master the art of language
And communication changes
It is not always as truthful
As the pre-verbal vocalizations
Especially as we age

 My friend spoke today
Of communication
Her words struck me as so wise
She spoke specifically
Of how, when people send messages
Which they think the other may resist, 
be hurt or angered by
 They often try to soften the blow by being subtle.
She spoke of the importance of being kind
And that is not done by being subtle.

Subtleties can cloud our message
Leave room for misunderstanding
And confusion

Subtle can be cowardly
Sidestepping truth
In favor of attempting to “spare feelings”

Subtle is most often not kind
It likely is not communicating the full truth
It relays the message that the recipient is not intelligent, strong or wise
And he or she “Cannot handle the truth!”

Truth is a precious gem
In our world of superficialities,
Mis-truths and deception
Truth can be the beginning of growth, healing and intimacy
Truth is gift
When delivered with kindness
Truth makes clear a path
For future journeys
To places of wholeness and liberation

People have said
“It is better to be kind than right.”
It is also better to be truthful
With kindness
Than to skirt around the truth
With subtleties
Protecting ourselves from confrontation or emotional responses
Protecting ourselves
But leaving others in the dark
Confused and alone

Truth told with kindness is the way
Said my friend
For subtle does not show
Respect, honesty or trust
Nor does it shed light 
In the shadows of life.

Old Friends

There is a certain comfort
Found in the company
Of those who knew
The younger you.
The laughter shared
Comes from a deep well 
Of memories shared.
The admiration felt and received
Coming from a time of
Potential and promise
With resultant questions,
“Have I disappointed?”
“Have I met expectations?”
Coming only from within
Arising from personal doubts
Not from old friends.

The smiles come easily
There is no vanity
With True Old Friends
No need to lose weight 
Or style your hair
You can even dive underwater
For a missing imaginary ring
And not fret over fixing your hair!

Old friends
Known for over 50 years
Like putting on a favorite flannel shirt
The Black and Red Checkered one
From Vermont Flannel
A feeling of being wrapped in love
Embraced by acceptance 
And enriched in ways
That evolve and grow over time
The gift so deep, so true. 

Old friends
Shared history
I am so grateful for these women
And our time together
Begun 50 + years ago lives on!



Old friends
Can disagree
Remember differently
And understand
That who we are now
Has been crafted in part
By early joys,
Successes and mishaps

Old Friends
The flannel of life!
I am forever grateful!

The Divine

To discover the divine
Seek within the mundane
 Pay attention 
To the opening of your soul
Recall moments of wonder, joy, delight, awe

Individually tumble through the sky
Hitting the water with a splash
And a circle
Moving out
Bumping against others
Individuality released
Joining into the lake 
More drops fall from heaven
As creation continues

The fluffy blonde lab arrives
Undeterred by the rain
He prances into the lake
Grinning from ear to ear
Creating a bigger circle
Disturbing the pattern
As he sends out smoother waves
In his delicious dip in the welcoming lake

The parched earth
Absorbs each drop
Destined for nearby tree roots,
Nurturing ground cover,
Filling wells as
Rain drums peacefully down
On thirsty earth

It is Creation
It is good
A gift from the divine
Embodying the divine
Feel the gratitude within

For when our hearts open in gratitude
Truly open
We are united with the divine
Our wells are filled
with love
And we can choose 
To send ripples out to our thirsty world.

Independence Day!

Celebrate independence, freedom
Feels a bit contrived this year
So much threatens our nation
Infighting, violence, politics, greed, disease
Nevertheless, we have survived worse
For deep within our nation
Are planted 
Seeds of democracy
The aspirations of freedom, equality, life, liberty
And the pursuit of happiness
Remain woven into the fabric of our union

Our voices must still ring out
Our hearts have much to be thankful for
Much to rejoice
As we awaken to each new day
In this, which is still, 
The land of the free 
And home of the brave

Neighbor cares for neighbor
People reach out helping hands
Across the street,
Across political, race, and gender lines
Across the pond
Across the world
Our voices must ring out in gratitude for all 
That is good
For all which we are thankful
As we awaken each day
Free to try again
To make our world
Just a little bit kinder
A little bit greener
 And a great deal more loving!


Unreal images of reality
The reflection of the sun
Shimmering on the glass surface
Of the early morning lake
Is exquisite
The silver sparkles spread across the water
Flickering as tiny ripples emerge
The reflection of the sun is beautiful
But it shares no warmth

The pine tree stands sentry at water’s edge
Protecting the land from erosion
Giving home to birds, bugs, squirrels, spiders and more
Dripping sap and needles indiscriminately
Shedding pollen across the lake surface
And all passersby
The pine tree solid and true 
Engages fully in lake life
The gorgeous, the plain and the ugly

The water reflects the image of stalwart pine
At certain times of day
In just the right light
The beauty is mirrored by still water
It is an illusion 
Enjoyed, but not to be relied upon
The ripples come, the storm clouds hover
Night descends
The mirrored image disappears
But the pine remains
In all its battered beauty.

In early years
Image is what I learned
Look “perfect” and you won’t get in trouble
Hide the flaws, be the un-scarred image
Walk the line of perfect
Earn heaven and avoid hell
Punch your card

White first communion dress
White wedding dress
Perfect grades
Perfect attendance
Obeying all the rules
The religion of obedience without question

Life was but a reflection until the clouds thickened
And ripples appeared 
Reality insisted on being acknowledged
As I reached deep within to truth
I was cut by shards of the glass mirror
And risked drowning in the still waters
For reflections have no depth.

My image pontificated
On the evil of abortion
Until a person dear to my heart
Shared with me her abortion story.
She had suffered alone
Not daring to call out to me
My image of perfection
Spoke judgment and intolerance.

Briefly, I glimpsed my false image
I saw how love suffered in the presence of righteousness
I saw the pain and suffering caused
By narrowed vision

My image
As good Catholic
Married forever
Was a thin film as well
As the surface ripples became white caps
I learned to release the lie of the façade
I learned to listen to the Spirit
And choose life for my children and myself
My image, my false self was crumbling
As my true self
And its shadow fought to survive authentically. 

Behind the facades of perfection
Hide imperfect people
Some insisting on inserting their beliefs upon our world
Without regard for lives
Yes, without regard for lives
Without compassion or mercy
Without love for broken and battered humans

Sitting at bedsides of dying people
People who are living from their truest selves
As they are experiencing their bodies failing, dying
Theirs is not a false image
From these wise people I have learned
Love is all that matters
Truth is all that survives
Judge not.
Judge not.


On sunny days
Shadows become apparent for all to see
Walking along
Standing at water’s edge
Darkness passes over me
Momentarily removed from the light,
I look up
A butterfly!
Something else, larger this time
Soars overhead
Casting its shadow across my path
Grateful for the “heads up”
I look skyward
An eagle
A heron
A loon
A merganser
A mallard
Shadows announcing 
Nature’s inhabitants
Shadows giving pause
And cause to look up
Shadows obscuring light
Shadows present with us always
Especially known on sunny days

Cast by the green leaved canopy of the maple
Cooling, giving place for rest

Present on sunny days and moon filled nights
Shadows of ourselves
Holding truth and pain
Maybe secrets unknown to even self
Shadow self
Containing mysteries 
Keys to knowledge
Of fully human self
Shadow self
Our darker side
Shake hands with shadow
Embrace, welcome
Our shadows
Intimate parts of who we are
Always present whether seen or not.

Maybe, if we truly see them
It will give us pause
It will give us cause
To look Up
And understand.


A topic laden with emotion
Soggy with defeat
Or pregnant with possibility

Cease the frenetic pace of life
Curl up on the couch
Lay back in an easy chair
Sip a cup of hot tea
Take a refreshing swig of a cold beer
Read a novel
Take a walk
Retire – Begin leisure time
More moments to call your own
Snuggle with a loved one

However, there can be grief held within the word
Retire--Worn out
Used up 
Put to pasture
Devoid of worth and meaning
Once Contributing so much 
Impacting lives
Earning the esteem of others
Gone ended

Old treads worn thin 
Rolling over that rubber
Day after week
After month
After year
After decade, decade, decade, decade and more

My tread wore thin
I gave all of me
And it was good
I loved my work
I loved it

But now
I can re-tire
Not sit on a shelf
Merely retire my career
Lay down my vocation

No more knuckle clenching drives
Down Route 89 on ice covered roads
No more conflict
No more
Struggling to preserve the “old ways”
Ways of compassion, human kindness, healing
And placing
People before profit.

Time to re-tire
New treads to ride
Windows wide open
Fresh air replacing stagnant
Breathing freely again!!

Time to write that book
To pull it out of the hidden recesses of my brain
The secret chambers of my heart
Where it has waited
Not so patiently
Time to reach people in a different way
Still healing  
Still teaching
Still comforting

Time to nurture life
Grow my Garden of Delight
Nurture the Pollinator Garden
Cook home grown meals
Can summer’s offering to nurture winter days

Time to be present
With my wonderful husband
Our lives joined later in life
We aim to maximize these remaining years

Time to enjoy the grand kids
They are truly
A Joy I do not want to miss out on

Time to relish the children and their spouses
They are not children
But incredible adults
Contributing much to this world

Time to be at the ready
For family, friends, community
Time to relish our magnificent world
This most generous, precious gift
Given by a loving Creator

Time to photograph the beauty
To protect our lakes
To fill my soul with 
The treasures which abound on this most awesome planet 
we get to call home

New priorities
New life
New freedoms, opportunities
The tree of my life
Has been pruned
I marvel in expectation 
As, with gratitude and appreciation,
I watch for spurts of new growth!

Dancing with Joy!

Soul stirring
Heart overflowing

Joy surging from every pore
Swinging arms in gleeful awe
Smile broadcast from cheek to cheek
Head thrown back
with outrageous joy.

The black lab
emerged, obediently, from the car
Every movement controlled
looking to his human for release
she nodded ascent
and his joy erupted!
His tail wagged in eager anticipation
His nose pointed skyward
Sniffing the fresh lake water, the damp earth
then he erupted into dance
circling, leaping and circling some more
He danced with Joy
As he moved toward the water.

My son and I are not dancers
But we danced!
The music as our backdrop
Humble and kind
And visit your grandfather, 
Give a hand up
and always remember to be humble and kind.
I said, "Yes!" to the spin
He declined
But we danced
The poignancy of the moment overwhelmed me with Joy
He had just married
 a most wonderful woman
who truly loves him and he her
Joy and love filled my eyes
as the song ended
the new chapter begins
and to that beginning. . . 
I dance with joy
My son has not merely survived, 
He has thrived
I rejoice in the person he has become
I rejoice in his bride
and I dance circles of joy
in celebration of their 
Forever Union!
See the resemblance??