back to now

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Back to Now


like a heartbeat

the opportunity


to bring

our attention


to now.

I’ve had a little burst of creativity lately, stimulated by quiet morning reflection time. This poem and several other short ones moved right through me. That’s how it seems to go. Periods where nothing comes, and periods where I’m like an open channel where words come flooding through. The opening typically arrives after reading something inspiring and sitting in stillness. One of the books that inspires me is Mark Nepo’s The Book of Awakening, a New York Times Bestseller.

You’ll find more image quotes at Where Possibility Awaits. I post a new one each Monday morning.


* I took this photo of the sky from the deck in our backyard in Iowa.


The Simple Everyday

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The Simple Everyday

I Wake
And I See,
Hear, Feel,
Listen, Speak.

I Look
for Peace,
Wonder, Joy.

I Create
Sparks, Pauses.

I Find
And Meaning
in The Simple

This poem is like a little prayer of intention for me. It helps me open to possibility as each new day unfolds.

* I took this photo in Porto, Portugal.

Flowering to Magnificence

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Flowering to Magnificence

The seed,
seeking nourishment,
finds richness surrounding it and
takes inspiration from the light above.

The seedling,
breaking free,
stretches toward the sky and
shouts its greatness to the world.

The stem,
taking shape,
expands into the openness and
develops powerfully each day.

The blossom,
flowering to magnificence,
touches the world with its vibrancy and
shapes the beauty that is life.

May you see that you are a beautiful blossoming flower. May we see each other as beautiful blossoming flowers.

* I took this photo in the garden at Knappogue Castle in the parish of Quin, County Clare,  Ireland.

Open to the Light


Open to the Light

Open to the light
so hungry
to wash over you
and fill the dark spaces.

Listen to the inner voice.
Let its wisdom
penetrate your being.

See the truth
buried under the rubble
of hollow stories
built on the foundation
of fear.

Blossom in gentle acceptance
of who you are
so worthy
of the warmth and love
that waits for you.

Awaken and move
toward the vibrantly alive
life that is yours.

As I read this poem today, it is like a motherly hug, reminding me that I matter and that life expects me to by joyful.

* I took this photo of a peony in my backyard in Iowa.

Where the Clouds End


Where the Clouds End

It starts like the rustling of paper.
As the wind breezes through the leaves,
dust swirls into a gauzy haze.
The skies darken with foreboding.
Gray blackness looms like a blanket.
Ripe round droplets tap, tap, tap.
And crescendo into a deluge.

The storm exhausts herself.
And the rains back away.
Their cleansing work complete.
Silence follows the clamor.

At the line where the clouds end,
the filmy ceiling dissolves into the heavens.
Nourishing waters soak deep into the earth.
Calming light returns anew.
Trees stand steady and tall.
Grasses dance with grace.
Flowers rise to the joyful sun.
Peace lies softly in the air.

This poem was inspired by my hopes for a breast cancer survivor friend of mine. She was in the storm and I so wanted for her to reach a point of calm and peace. The poem came to me one day as I drove through a storm, thinking about her, and saw upon arrival at my destination the line where the clouds ended and the sun shone.

* I took this photo of the day lilies in my backyard in Iowa. I love how they lean toward the light.

The Vortex

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The Vortex

A powerful force
pulls you in.
in an endless tunnel.
No bottom
to stand on.
No end
for rest.
Only flecks
of light
catch your eye
as you spin
and around.
Your arms reach
for certainty.
Your hands
to something.
Unsure what.
out of control.
So fast
there’s an illusion
of smoothness.
Jagged edges
cut you
as you fall
further in.
You rip
into pieces
Part of you
you hear stories.
They are lies.
You try
to cover your ears.
Despite your repetitive
calming mantra,
the hurricane
Your fear
falls like punches
against steel.
You can’t break free.

Thankfully, I don’t get sucked into the vortex very often. But, I do. And, when I’m in it, try as I may, I go days unable to get out…rumination, sleepless nights, low self-esteem. The light that I know lives within me has trouble shining through the spinning. What gives me hope is that I know I’ve made it out before. And that whatever sucked me in will lose its grip on me and fade from my memory. The darkness passes. That’s the hope that sits like a seed inside of me when the vortex takes me away.

* I took this photo on Cap Corse, Corsica


the struggle


There are times when life seems really hard. This poem is about that.

The Struggle

feeling the walls
surrounded in darkness
in the cocoon
no light
only tiny fragments
of hope linger
in the air
like smoke
from a fire smoldering
into the unknown
tension thick
like mud
what’s in here
even more uncertain
what’s out there
fear filling the air
wanting desperately out
struggling against the edges
the barriers
holding things in
spinning circles
dizziness pushing ‘round
falling to get up
only to sit still
in the gray silence


Most of the time, when I sit down to write,  I feel something that I don’t quite understand or something that feel I should pay attention to. When the feeling is heavy or dark or uncomfortable, often the process of writing will create a shift – and the shift actually happens in the writing. That didn’t happen with this poem. I ended in the same gray place I started – however, I know that the catharsis of writing it was part of finding my way to something lighter.


* I took this photo on a rainy day in County Clare Ireland.

Filling Petals with Sunshine


I wrote this poem several years ago for a breast cancer survivor friend battling cancer. She needed help and was having trouble asking for it.

I picked it for this week’s post because I needed its reminder.

Filling Petals with Sunshine

Each person you touch
in whatever way
is blessed.
You grace others’ lives
in ways that may be

Like God’s little secret,
the meaning in our lives
is sometimes hidden
below the surface –
or maybe high above
and out of reach,
for now.

Each time you ask for help,
each time you let someone give,
each time you open yourself,
you exercise your power
to create meaning.

Each time you lean into
your vulnerability,
your purpose unfolds,
like a rosebud
hungry to fill its petals
with sunshine.

* I took this photo on the beach in San Agustinillo, in the garden outside of El Pescador.




Show up
Just as I am
Nothing to hide
Open and vulnerable
Yet confident and strong
Who I am

As I step into the new year, I want more than ever to truly honor who I am, to be in integrity with what I value, and to find that sweet spot that lies somewhere between  openness and vulnerability and confidence and strength – that place where so much possibility opens. There are moments in any given day that I doubt myself, thinking my voice doesn’t matter or I don’t have what it takes or I need to follow someone else’s lead. Fortunately, there are also moments where I am deeply connected with who I am and what I want, moments when I am inspired and alive and able to act from a place of deep knowing that I have all that I need. This poem was an invitation to myself – years ago – to keep choosing that place of connection.

* I took this photo in San Agustinillo, Mexico in December 2017 of this lizard I named Madonna, because it kept striking poses. This one was on the palm tree on the patio overlooking the ocean where my  husband Jim and I were reading.

Red Barn In Snow


Red Barn in Snow

The red barn

standing amid fields of snow

offers hope


Seems appropriate to post this today, given the deep freeze here in Iowa. This poem came to me a few years back when I was returning from a date with my friend from high school, Peg. We had met at the I-80 Truck Stop – a location part way between our homes in Illinois and Iowa. It was a cold and gray day in February, and I was feeling challenged by dynamics at work. I remember seeing a red barn and how it lifted my spirits, and how then I began to notice the fields covered in snow stretching out endlessly, and how I began to feel lighter. A renewed sense of possibility overcame me.

May something as simple as a red barn inspire new possibility for you today.

* I took this photo from I-80 in Iowa on New Year’s Day 2018.