Friday, December 30, 2016

Pondering: This Gift

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give him: give my heart.
        ---Christina Rosetti

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Pondering: Christmas

Welcome, all wonders in one sight!
Eternity shut in a span!
    Summer in winter, day in night!
Heaven in earth, and God in man!
    Great little One! whose all-embracing birth
Lifts earth to heaven, stoops heaven to earth.
     ---Richard Crenshaw

Monday, December 19, 2016

Shining Moments

My word for this year was SHINE.

And there have been shining moments throughout the year.

I joined the teaching staff of New Day Yoga Advanced Teacher Training and I'm loving the three week-long modules that occur each year. I assist with several of the workshops and teach the chapel portion of the program. My heart glows with shiny joy when I think about it.

I received this special SHINE jar from poet friend, Irene Latham. You can read a few of my favorite shiny messages.

I hosted a Coffee with Dori gathering on my sun porch over the summer. Lots of shining moments!

I climbed a mountain in Montana and got to see where my Bicycle Soldiers began their journey. I call them mine because I've been trying to tell their story for so long, it feels like they are mine. One day it will actually be a shiny story! 

I spent an incredible few days in Western Washington meeting poet friends, some I already knew and some I didn't. Met Nikki Grimes. Met Jack Prelutsky. Met Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell. All shining moments. And reading my poem from Poetry Friday for Celebrations made me feel all shiny and joyful.

I welcomed a new grandson. Perhaps the most shining moment of all!

I'll be taking a break from blogging for the next few weeks. I'm looking forward to celebrating a couple of end-of-December birthdays for my sons-in-law, celebrating Christmas with a new grandson, and celebrating New Year's with precious friends on a trip to Santa Fe. My Pondering posts will continue, as I've pondered ahead, but nothing that requires active thought beyond celebrating these moments!

I'll be back sometime in January with my One Little Word for the year.

 Merry Christmas. May you all shine this season. 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Gifts, Swaps, and Kind Words

I was slow getting my December swap poem out. (Sorry, Brenda!) Last week was an intensive week of yoga teacher training. This week was a slow return to normal. Slow being the key word.

I came home to find three letters from Joy Acey, my December swap poetry partner. Because I was out of town, I missed the surprise impact of these notes coming consecutively, but still it was fun finding three different bits of poetry hygge in my mail. Hygge (pronounced hoo-guh) is a Danish word that doesn't have an exact English translation. Think candlelight, a fire in the hearth, good food and drinks, conversations with family and friends. The art of hygge brightened dark Scandinavian winters. It's an atmosphere that we cultivate at our yoga teacher trainings. I have been actively looking for connections between my yoga world and my poetry world, and I love seeing our poetry swap as a little hygge running from one world to the other.

Five lessons to learn from hygge:

1. Time together is time well spent.
2. The present moment matters.
3. Resting is a priority.
4. Switch off!
5. Gratefulness is important.

While Joy and I are thousands of miles apart (Georgia to Hawaii--I've been there once and it's a long, long way), it definitely felt like we shared a little hygge. Here are my three cards, words and art by Joy Acey.

The first one JOY says:
     Smoke out the chimney
     spirals in the frosty air
     starlight and snowflakes

The second Merry Christmas says on the back:

    The roosters crowing
    over Kauai island
    dripping coconuts.

The last one Myna Bird says:
    golden sun hanging
    plump on the papaya tree
    calling myna bird

and on the back:
    On the first day of Xmas
    my true love gave to me
    a myna in the papaya

Mele Kalikimaka to all!

Tabatha hosts the round up at The Opposite of Indifference.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Pondering: A Moment

Photo by Greg Peverill-Conti 

I learned in the midst of these difficult circumstances as well as in the routine of the day simply to stop, place my hand on my breast, and thankfully affirm Christ's presence within. I would then look with the eyes of my heart and see His strong presence alongside me and sense His love stayed upon me. This takes merely a moment in our busy days.

--Leanne Payne, Heaven's Calling: A Memoir of One Soul's Steep Ascent

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Pondering: Praise

The fetters of my tongue do Thou unbind,
That I may have the power to sing of thee,
And sound thy praises everlastingly.

--from Michelangelo Buonarroti, "To the Supreme Being," translated by William Wordsworth, in Poems in Two Volumes.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Pondering: A Perfect Good

A perfect good, as well as a perfect anything-else, is mythlike. The call of conscience toward perfect goodness is a mythic call lying beyond the best possible set of rules and regulations. Systematic philosophy and systemic theology are no more than statements pointers, dry bran, beside the reality toward which they point.

--Clyde Kilby