Last evening I walked the circle of sorts that I so often do. You know the one…dogs by my side… into the depth of the woods, across the gentle creek, careful not to catch on the barbed wire, meadow to my right, pond awaiting me…I wonder if it misses me when I am away as I do it…

I tucked my feet up under me to rest for a time upon the pier. I love that I can be away from sturdy ground for a while and yet so safe. The breeze was elsewhere and I was embraced instead by the stillness of dusk. The mirrored water was broken only once by the beaver swimming across to a new shore. Does he think of it that way – as a new shore. He was barely visible. Only the hint of his head could I see and the rippling V trailing behind him as he cut forth on his determined way.

His journey seemed smallish to me. From where I watched I could see the whole of it at once. He would easily manage it and something very good awaited him on the other side. To him though, it must have felt endless and without view. I know that place…unable to see, nevertheless…keeping on keeping on…

A bevy of doves kept close company, leaving no one behind. I looked that up so I would get it right for you. Doves in a group are called a bevy. I didn’t know. Come along now. Their ebony silhouettes searched for a nightly sanctuary as they cooed gracefully to one another…

Watching them brought to mind a tender moment from another day…

Above me a solitary hawk landed in the topmost branches of a tree. As he left the sky, he dropped a single feather. I stood mesmerized as it drifted softly through the air and I wondered at his letting go of it. I could not find it even though I searched. It disappeared before it came to ground. The gift was not in the having of the feather. The gift was in the being there. I needn’t hold the feather to cherish the lovely memory.

Real gifts are like that. They never reside in a box. They live and breathe in your heart.

Back at the lake sunset played with the clouds until they drifted on and left clear skies in places. I knew it was time for me to go. If I didn’t leave soon, I would lose the light. The woods are darkening then and all of the sounds sound just a little menacing…what was that…probably a squirrel settling in for the night but what if it wasn’t…

Once more the well trod path delivered me to the grassy expanse that I know so well. The sun was fading faster all the time. I love that hushed moment when day is stepping aside for night in quiet anticipation.

A lone bat skittered above me hunting for his breakfast while my own day was already beyond dinner. He moved quickly and was gone almost before I even knew he was there. How much of life flutters passed as I am busy with other living.

And just then…in the tallest pines behind the gentle oak…at the edge of field and night…owls…not one, not two…but three. Three! I have never heard three owls at once. A nearby screech stopped me in my tracks. It refused to give up as it shattered the silence, imploring me to hear. Certainly a nest and a very hungry baby were up there somewhere. There was nothing to see, but the air was brimming with the soulful sounds of the three of them. Who…echoed the parents…soon young hunger was satisfied. It only took their listening to know the answer.

It was enchanting to be there…another gift. It would never need shelf space or repair or dusting. Darkness overcame the moment. My footsteps lightly on the pine straw transported me closer to the safety of home all the time. The wise feathered keepers of the night followed me in gentle protection…and I am grateful…for the real of them…for the goodness of all I cannot see…for the gift of love that surrounds us all…for the magic that is once and always…everywhere…


ellie894 November 28, 2018

Danny, dinosaurs and hiccups…

He had wide eyes under long lashes

Sitting criss cross applesauce

In a sea of faces

Intent on every word I brought to life

Danny followed me with those warm brown eyes


Against teachers and rules

As though guided by something unseen

Danny stood up from the crowd

Stepped over…and between

Fingers and toes

Around the edges of knees and elbows

To come right to my side

Everyone went quiet…

Watching what next

His tiny arms wrapped about me

His face buried against

As though…

He was trying to say…

Don’t go

Please stay

I am so small


Life is so big

All of these maybe

And something else perhaps

His gentle arms opened wide

Reaching for a safe place

for a little one to hide

Danny returned to sit with his friends

I finished the story

Together we sang

Of grumpy brown bears

And slow turtles who greet

With a cowabunga dude

As they dance down the street

Years from now

I will not recall the title of the picture book

Or even the weather of the day

But I shall remember

Little Danny

And my tear that slipped away


I read to preschoolers twice a week now. It used to be once a week but the younger class wanted in on the fun…and, now it’s twice. The children are from low income families. Some of them are under the protection of CPS and have stories that I don’t know. I only know that when we read together they remind me of many things –

The louder one sings, the better

Which number comes after “2”

Silliness is directly proportional to good health

If you hiccup around 20 children, they will hiccup back

You will have a hiccup fest

The sound a cat makes…in stereo


Batman is pretty awesome!

And Wonder Woman!!

And Dinosaurs…

Oh, and sprinkle donuts make really good mouse ears

Mostly they teach me that the loveliest gifts are simple ones and I am better for learning. It is a privilege and a joy to spend time laughing and singing with them. So, I ask you…

What made you smile today?

Would you read a bedtime story to a chicken?

However do you hug a porcupine?

Are dragons good at hide and seek?

What do you think a giraffe says?

And could he be friends with a turtle?

Have you ever looked up in a dark night sky and watched as animals roller skate across the moon…

And while you were out there did you wish upon a star?


ellie894 November 15, 2018

Dear love,

Let me hold you tenderly

And breathe you deeply in

Trace my fingers lightly

Upon your warm and dreamy skin


Let me hold you gently

And gaze into your starry eyes

Whisper all my sweetest thoughts

Into your moonlit autumn skies


Let me hold you closely

And sing my love song true

Dance slow my graceful waltz

Across your heart of Texas blue


Let me hold you softly

And when there’s only you and me

Love you so very breathless

As the wild wild wind upon the endless sea


ellie894 November 9, 2018