Thursday, March 22, 2018

Remembering My Childhood Pets

Today I've been reflecting upon the childhood pets who have touched my life and have passed on into Paradise.

Sugar was my best friend. She loved lounging in my room with me while we listened to Classical music (both Western and Eastern). She had such a special affinity for Indian sitar music and would roll around on her back, milk white belly up, on the bed. When I would go downstairs for breakfast, she would wait in the hallway above the stairs and we'd return to my room together. She was fascinated with yoga as well and would sometimes stretch delightedly on the mat. She had such an expressive voice and meowed in various ways depending on her mood. Before she died and we were saying goodbye, my mom held her, and she placed a paw over my heart. That gesture brought me a distinctly content feeling even through the sadness of our farewell. I knew her memory would linger on within until we met again. I imagine she's in heaven now, perhaps licking some absolutely delicious apple sauce, which she delighted in on earth.

Everyone loved Spice! He was more dog than cat and would greet the family at the door. He was such a sociable boy and loved the other cats so much that when his adopted brothers, Sunshine and Midnight, were settling into their new home, they thought he was their mother and wanted to nurse from him. He was passionate about bagels with cream cheese and sitting on the lap of anyone who was studying or doing homework.

Meet Sunshine, the boy with cow-marked fur, mitten-like paws, and lover of mischief. He had a charming sense of humor, a mix of both affection and trouble. I imagine he's rolling around in heaven, eternally happy with his brothers and sister.

Midnight was a shy teddy bear who warmed up to his family, was enthralled with straws, and welcomed belly rubs. He was Sunshine's actual brother, sweet and timid.

Brandon's fur was like a soft, fluffy cloud. His personality was a unique combination of Midnight and Spice's, cheerful and gentle. He had a bounce in his step and a tiny wagging tail that was so adorable.

Remembering these wonderful pets has enriched this ordinary day.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Moonflower: My Book of Poems is Now Available!

My book of poems, Moonflower is officially published!

Click here to purchase the book on Amazon.

Moonflower is a selection of poems written throughout different periods of my life that presents the good and beautiful in a variety of life's experiences. It is filled with vivid scenes from the natural world as well as epiphanies that arose during introspective reflection. In Moonflower, you'll find meditations on faith along with romantic love, and playful appreciation of the creative process.

Some of the poems you'll read are fictional and are not about real people or places such as "A Daughter Says," and others are more autobiographical. You'll find plenty of free verse along with some rhyme and even a villanelle entitled "Wedding Night".

You can treat yourself to a copy here or share it with a friend!

From the back cover:

MOONFLOWER is a collection of poems that celebrates the beauty in everyday life and the wisdom found in dark and light moments. Just as the lovely moonflower blossoms open in the evening, these poems present lessons unearthed during trying times as well as gratitude in simple pleasures.

And here is a poem from the book:


I sneeze and
turn the doorknob.
Sunlight spills inside.
She stands four feet tall
with freckled cheeks
and a dandelion in her hands.
Peeling off yellow petals,
she lifts her head,
whispers to the sky
and exhales.
A gentle wind
embraces feathery threads
and flies them toward the sun.
She drops the thick green stem
and reminds me to get well soon.
Color splashes onto pale
stiff corners of my mouth,
and I smile.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

New Year Intention

As the holiday bustle comes to a close, often there is a sense of spaciousness in the untouched new year, a spaciousness that can be relieving but sometimes can feel a little empty, a bit melancholic as well. In the middle of all the melting slushy snow and mud along with the shivery cold wind, it can be challenging to have energy and vigor and a smile upon your face, and that is okay.

I'd like to step into the new year with inspiration and fearlessness to make this year matter to me and others, a meaningful year, a year in which I can commit to my responsibilities but also enjoy puttering around and dabbling in soul-stirring activities. I don't wish to dwell on my mistakes each day, such as being self-focused, although doing so comes naturally to me. I would love to stand up again each time I fall with the spirit of a wobbly child setting a wooden block upon another with shaky hands and a curious sight.

I'd like to practice mindfulness as I go about my day like when making a meal plan for the week and rinsing my teapot and filling it with fresh leaves. I'd like to do simple everyday tasks with deep love. I'd like to renew my mind and awaken my heart.

We can always begin again.

What are your wishes for the new year?

Thursday, November 30, 2017

A Poetry Book on its Way

photo credit

After a period of some difficulty and hesitation, I picked up my poetry book project again, began again with a blank page, and progress has been made! The book will feature poems I've written throughout my life, ones I hope will encourage you or make you think or kindle in you an appreciation for creativity and the natural world. I will post a link to where it can be purchased when it is fresh and ready, most likely in the new year.

Whenever I'm about to share writing, I am reminded of a poem I read in a creative writing class in college which mentioned something like poets taking their poems out from under the bed and sharing their words with the world. If anyone knows the name of this poem, please do let me know!

This morning, I began thinking about how a poem is like a plum, small, delicious, and best enjoyed with patience and slowness.

Are there any projects you are working on or dreams that excite you these days?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Like a Blanket

One of my favorite things these winter months, and maybe one of yours, too, is to rest with a warm blanket. As I rest with the blanket, I like to be grateful for how comforting it feels to be beneath it and think how even more rewarding it is to rest with God.

God is always with us. His comfort and company is more meaningful than the simply physical pleasure of that warm blanket in the winter. Even though we don't always feel happy or upbeat and appreciate and understand our life, our infinitely kind Creator surrounds us, like the most amazing blanket, with His compassionate embrace.

To receive the rewards of His company, we don't have to impress him with endless pious acts or complicated skills, although we'll probably naturally reciprocate the affection we receive from Him with kind deeds for each other. And while we won't always feel comfortable or at ease, God's all encompassing embrace reminds us through hopefulness in our sorrow that the greatest rewards most often come together with great challenges, and that through these challenges, we will strengthen and grow.

Know His arms are around you and look ahead.
In time, a quiet, joyful spirit like His own, too, will spring from your heart.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Beyond Fear

Today I took a step away from fear, and into nature. I moved close, closer than before, to the flowers and trees that were here before I arrived at this house, and I tried to create art with my camera.

Letting go of fear and tuning into God, I found that the honey bees buzzing around the rhododendrons were peaceful, busy, and not interested in stinging me. I also found that being outside in nature let me step beyond the world I most often live in, the world inside my mind. It was so refreshing to appreciate the up close beauty of God's creation. This little experience reminded me of what it was like to be a child who observed ant hills with curious, loving eyes and skipped inside with pretty dandelions to set in water.


Here are the photos I took:

If there is something you feel afraid to do but know would be good for you, can you take a small step with God toward that very thing?

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Most Beautiful Thing You've Seen Today

This one began as a photograph of my backyard and evolved into a digital painting.

I am really in love with this maple tree, and I like to imagine that if it could talk it would say it loved me, too, hehe. This spring I've been noticing so much beauty around!

What is the most beautiful thing you've seen today?

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Garden Novice, A Pretty Discovery

It is my first spring in a new house, and it is so exciting to see flowers that were planted before I got here springing up beautifully. I'm not sure what these flowers are, any ideas? I've never gardened before, but it will be something to look forward to as I learn more about it in time for the next planting season.

Interior work will proceed in the meantime,
and a new header design on the blog is on its way.

Have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A Pair of Flower Poems


As I am hurried up
the Wall Street
subway stairs,

in the first flash
of sun

so much depends upon
the pink daisy

in the woman's hair
dark as my own.


After Winter

Everyday walking
becomes bouyantly
pattering footsteps.
He holds up
a surprise present:
purple bowing wild flowers,

and from within
strong growth rings,
tightly rolled
silky secret love

a faint grape wine aroma
nearer than I knew.