On our way To a coffee shop Little girl Laughing Running Down the sidewalk Her little dog Running alongside Dad and brother Close behind Their destination An interactive Statue standing On the corner An airplane With a propellor Inviting them to spin Pick us up, Daddy! Each had their turn That was so much fun! They kept walking I noticed dad’s shirt It was torn and tattered They were smiling I wonder what will be Their next destination
Driving past A group of people Who have no home- Only make-shift Shelters made From cardboard And blankets All their belongings Carefully placed In large trash bags Or worn out Duffle bags A few smiled Most looked tired A kind of tired I do not know One crawled Helplessly Along the sidewalk- What are their stories? I can only guess And guessing Is not sufficient- Who will share their narratives?
I wrote these two poems during our summer trip to Colorado. Our overnight stop was in a typical city, like many other cities in this country. Good restaurants and coffee shops, local charm. Also, like in other cities, many individuals are homeless.
I do not pretend to understand or have answers, but I could not look away. Nor keep from sharing.
I love Colorado! Our family has taken many vacations to this beautiful state. We are currently here with our adult children. We have been relaxing and enjoying the cooler temps and beautiful surroundings.
Today was a family hike. And it affected me in a way I had not expected.
I knew this hike would be challenging. 6.2 miles with an elevation gain of 941.6 ft., beginning at an elevation of 8,913 ft. But the thought of family time witnessing mountain scenery, wildflowers, and a waterfall was motivating. The views did not disappoint! But that was not what consumed my thoughts as we trekked up and back down this mountain trail.
No doubt, my hiking pace would be the slowest of the group. All the kids are in their twenties. And Gart is in a little better shape, stronger. This truth was quickly realized as we headed down, or should I say, up the trail.
I am at a disadvantage, I thought.
I was bringing up the rear. Keeping my own pace. Telling myself that was ok. But also falling behind. And we were just getting started. And then this thought popped into my head.
Is this how some students feel at school? Ones facing a disadvantage? Whether in ability, family support, or resources. How do they feel when they sense they are falling behind? Are they, like I was, afraid of not reaching their goal?
My family slowed down and waited for me to catch up. After a short break, I was placed in the middle of the pack. No one seemed to mind the slower pace. They encouraged me.
You can do this, mom! Remember, take smaller steps. Breathe and relax your shoulders.
And even though still afraid, I kept going. Even picked up my pace just a little. At our next stop, Gart suggested I take the lead. They would follow me. Of course, he remained close behind. Constantly saying I was doing great. Reminding me that I am strong.
I still had doubts, but my determination was growing. I wanted to reach the top of the trail and gaze at that majestic waterfall with my family.
We told the kids to go on ahead. They needed to move a little faster. We would see them at the top! It felt good to let them go ahead of us. Gave me even more reason to keep going. Even though my body hurt. It was hard to catch my breath. And it would take every drop of energy and willpower I could muster.
Gart and I continued together. I asked him to take a picture of an unusual flower for me. We walked over log bridges across the flowing creek several times. The water flowed underneath from the waterfall that would soon be in sight.
I was going to make it! I struggled not to cry. Needed to keep breathing. As we rounded the last corner, I saw our daughter, Rachel. Smiling, hands up in the air. You made it! A big hug and tears came. I felt so proud.
Our son, Robert, and his wife, Erin, had hiked above the falls. They waved and smiled. Ryan, our youngest, was sitting nearby on a rock and soon walked over. You made it!
The waterfall was mesmerizing. A roaring cascade of water flowed over the edge to the stream below. I sat and had a snack and some water. We took pictures. And then the inevitable. We had to go back down.
Yes, most of it was downhill, but my body was exhausted. Some spots required careful steps. But thanks to the continuing encouragement of my husband and some light, cooling rain showers, I made it back to the car.
I can’t believe I did it! Pretty sure I said that at least ten times.
In all my relief at completing this six-mile hike, I couldn’t shake those earlier thoughts about students who are at a disadvantage.
What if they had someone to pull them from behind to the middle of the pack? What if their confidence grew enough to take the lead? What if they fluctuated back and forth, working hard, supported, and encouraged until reaching their goal?
I guess today’s hike made me focus on the beauty of humanity over nature. Realizing the ability each of us has to make a difference in the lives of others. Grateful that today, I was on the receiving end. ❤️
There are times we all need to hear-You can do it! Don’t give up! You will not be disappointed when you look back at the journey and see how far you’ve traveled.
Not sure which Took my breath Away first… Beauty Or elevation A 360 degree Perspective No formations Blocking my view I could see Where I was going And where I’d been All of it Storms ahead Storms behind Cool breezes And sunlight In between Clarity of lessons Learned quickly As well as those Requiring repetition Each one Revealing purpose In passing landscapes No wish To speed ahead No wish To slow down Only the desire to be Only the desire to live
I love spending time in Colorado. One specific area holds many memories. Family vacations with parents, kids, grandparents, grandchildren, and great-grandparents. Honeymoons and holidays, hiking, and fishing. Feeding the chipmunks. And, of course, beautiful scenery.
Gart and I are traveling to this spot with our three grown kids and daughter-in-law. What a treat! This sentimental mom can’t help looking back and looking forward. But mostly, I’m just enjoying all of us being together.
Each careful step Across the floor Cushioned by Layers of history What was once alive Now protects as it Deteriorates Feeding the earth Lying underneath How many have Come and gone Taken these same steps Across lines of Time and space- Did they notice The Luna moth Drying her wings In frilly foliage Of gentle ferns Or the bright orange Mushrooms Peeking out from Underneath The fern leaves Were their steps cushioned as well? Steps that allowed Time for pause Time for soaking up All the forest Has to say About the past The present And the future
Feelings Often show Right On Our Faces Before We even Understand them Ourselves There they sit Right On Our Faces For all the world To see For all the world To interpret And though Interpretations Are likely Incomplete Perhaps The attempt To understand Will prove A first step To understanding
I caught a glimpse of myself in an airport restroom mirror. The person staring back at me did not look happy. Add another inconvenience. Nothing major. Just a broken latch on the restroom door. That’s all.
What is wrong with me? I don’t like the look on my face.
An investigation provided the following information:
My 4:00 A. M. alarm was rude. I need my sleep.
No time for tea before my first flight. Tea wakes me up.
Travel is exhausting. But the adventures are worth the stress. I think…
Now put a smile back on that face and get on the next flight home!
We drove under a canopy of trees. So thick in stretches, we wouldn’t have been able to see the sun even if it had been shining. Winding switchbacks took us to the top of Mt. Mansfield. We marveled at the beautiful views.
Some of us closed our eyes and held on tight at certain turns. Well…one of us did, anyway. But that was not the thing that caused me to gasp. Instantly feeling like a little kid. Any guesses?
Boulders with great veins of quartz running through. Some were standing solitary. Others were stacked, forming small caves. Even others with trees growing against their faces. Those might have been my favorite.
Standing in the shadows of these giants, the kid in me wanted to fill my pockets with pebbles. No, I did not. Managed to rustle up some restraint.
Instead, I stood in awe of these majestic formations. Felt the embrace of their cool breeze. Accepted their invitation to climb, stand, and sit. And finally, to walk away feeling confident, steady, and grateful.
Walking through an airport can be a tad overwhelming. Where is my next gate? The restroom? Starbucks? Ok, so maybe not Starbucks. But the level of activity and the sheer number of other people…can feel a bit frantic.
Today while walking through Chicago O’Hare airport, I heard the sweetest phrase.
Hold hands and follow me.
When I glanced across the walkway, I saw a mom standing with a baby on her hip and two other littles standing close by. The words I heard were her message to the kids. They listened, grabbed each other’s hands, and followed her.
What a precious picture. Yes, mom looked travel-worn. Her responsibilities were many. I don’t know where they were headed, but they were going together.
This scene caused me to question. Is that how God talks to me? Does he say, Look! Here are your family and friends. Just grab a hand and follow me.
Or perhaps, if unable to reach out, pick me up. Carries me like the baby on the mom’s hip. Leaving the hand-holding and following part to family and friends. Either way, I am never alone.
Side note: I really was traveling today. 😊 Spending a few days in beautiful Vermont. More to come…
From a distance The distance Between them Seemed Unremarkable A series of Ups and downs Over rolling hills Around sharp curves Always maintaining The appearance Of connection Perhaps it was The alternating Each taking a turn In the lead Until rest Was required And a graceful Exchange Occurred One-hand Reaching forward The other back No need for even a glance- I suppose distance was Never really a factor As their hearts Always seemed To precede Their hands
What if I created A map Dotted with Colorful pins And string Wrapped Around Each pin Connecting The dots one To another And each color Holding an Individual Meaning Blue? Content Orange? Unsure Green? Happy Gray? Sad Except that Those pins Would not Mark places I’ve traveled Though many Were beautiful Memorable No, this map Would be An outline Of my heart Veins Arteris Valves Dotted by The breath Of hearts Intersecting Each change Of direction
Surrounded By more shades Of green than My mind could Possibly imagine Attempts to match Each shade with A colorful Adjective Fall short Given up trying Instead, noticing The curious way The greens Compliment And contrast One another Their beauty Shining against The backdrop Of a blue sky Dotted with Fluffy, white clouds- Driving down The highway Wrapped In the soft Blanket Of Spring
Gart and I drove to Little Rock yesterday. We are spending the weekend with my mom and dad. Such a beautiful drive this time of year. So many trees budding and wildflowers blooming along the highway.
I had the opportunity to play piano at their church this morning. Not just a solo but also a special duet with my cousin’s grandson. What a treat!
That soft blanket of spring expanded to include family and music. Long hugs, I miss you’s, and sweet melodies. ❤️