April 21 2020 Hopecut stemsforsythiapetals drop, leaves unfurl,roots growthirstily for moisturein vasepeople’sexpectationswhen kept indoors for daysgrowing towards each other’s needswith love.All long to feel the sun’s warmth again.We are told that the virus victims are decreasing and the number of new cases is on the downturn. But how can we believe what we hear in the news and what is not reported.People are drawing their own conclusions and are determining that they will not become sick or worse they think that it won’t affect them and their loved ones.We see demonstrations , long lines at food banks and families with little money to buy necessity’s . We can bring some hope to people in our network. One kind act at a time. Like a pebble dropped into water, concurrent circles are formed and move out from the pebbles entrance. Now what if there are 10, 20, or even 50 pebbles of kindness tossed into the mix. They interact and cause long range reactions. I am advocating being positive while remaining safe while in public. We can cling to the Hope that the corona virus is on the decline and We can return to close social interactions in the future. Hold on a little longer.

April 16 Sick(no) and Tired (yes)

April 16 Sick,(no) and Tired(yes)
The shutdown and sheltering is growing tedious to many people. They have a point. They want to get to their planting for the coming year. They live in an area that the corona virus has had little impact.
What they don’t want to admit that a plateau of new case is not the end of the threat. Opening of normal commerce and social interactions could bring a new wave of the disease.
We are all tired but we share this feeling with our friends and family.
We should think of the grocery workers, janitors and check out clerks. The food service and package delivery service for continuing to bring us ordered items.
Finally the trash and postal workers for weekly pick up and daily delivery. The truckers that work to bring needed supplies to the stores and all of the hospital workers. We can tolerate the sheltering in place for a little longer to keep these people safe. If you encounter any of them Thank them for continuing to come to work each day.
As for the businesses that are eager to open, I hope that they would be thinking of how they will keep their employees and consumers safe as they slowly reopen. We all can hold on for a little longer.
Hold On

as you cook your meal,
think of those who have run out of food.
Give a donation to a food bank.
When you are reading a book,
think of those who have lost their shelters.
Give to the Red Cross.
When you wonder what to do next,
think of the need for blood.
Call for a donation appointment.
Call, write or message to encourage others.
Thank all the people that make it possible to
stay well and safe.

April 14 Is this Freedom?

This is Freedom?
This week,I opened all the windows to air out the house. Afterwards. I wondered if this was smart idea.
these days we question many activities we took for granted.
we voluntarily limit our personal freedoms for the sake of others. We, as a nation , are putting life above liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
May the actions and choices we perform now be judged by history as the best for all the people.
Remembering the unemployed, homeless and children not being fed, may we give to food baskets and food vans to feed the hungry.
May we send messages of encouragement to health care workers and first responders that continue to put themselves in harms way.
Finally, that we all follow the actions that our governors have requested to keep the transmission of the Corona virus to a minimum. It will take all of us to allow freedom to ring again.

Freedom Rings

From the start of this great land,
Religion and races slowly united.
Each person wished to pursue their own happiness.
Emphasizing personal freedom.
Down the pages of history,
Opposing first tyranny, then each other.
Many mistakes were made.
Rising from division to unite,
Individuals formed a new country.
Never did the world see its like.Great in its diversity,
still striving to have
Freedom ring!

April 9,2020 Lost and Found

Lost and Found
I hear many people lament on what they have lost in this time of seclusion. Loss of personal freedom, physical closeness with friends and love ones and economic decline.
I find that there are gains to be grateful for. Time to pray, meditate and reach out to others in new and creative ways.
The internet has been a gift to send messages to friends across the globe.
IPhones have allowed phone calls to reach family members with little or no cost.
Conference calling have brought groups and worship communities together.
Don’t forget the US Postal service to send mail. The workers have continued to deliver the mail to all of us 6 days a week.
Finally I support the local food banks and contribute to the first responders as they continue the fight with this virus.

Lost and Found
A little girl has loss her school
but her Daddy is playing with her.
A toddler can’t see her day care friends
but her Mother is reading to her more.
A teenager can’t play sports, but
they have found that they can help seniors with groceries and dog walking.
Families have loss the ability to go out to dimmer, but
they have found time to make their favorite meals at home.
Neighbors that had passing recognition , now
look to each other for support.
Communities once distance, now
support the lonely and weaker members.
May we remember the lessons
Long after the virus is defeated.
Blessings to all of you.

April 6 2020 Nature is Free People are Not

My husband and I have been riding our tandem bike during the bast 4 weeks. We have passed many bikers, walkers and strollers enjoying nature. The idea of social distancing varies with each group. Many families are together and are close. When passing groups , it is commen to give a verbal greeting and stop to exchange news.
We are entering a critical time in the next two weeks. We are being asked to wear masks while out in the public. This will keep all of us from spreading the virus. Remember, 25% of the population are a symptomatic but can be carriers.
While enjoying Nature, be s smart and protect yourself and your community.The Spring flowers will smell just as sweet with your nose and mouth covered.Here is a
link to make your own masks.

http://www.fabricpatch.net/face-masks-for-covid-19-relief.htm

Nature Loosened

A hawk soars high on air currents.
Liberated from earthly bounds,
he pursues his quarry with unfettered flight.

Newly hatched minnows race to follow the cold stream’s current.
They swim quickly towards open water.

Deer emerge into the warm sun from the cool woods.
They nibble new grass and play follow the leader across the meadow.
scampering across melting snow.

Trees and shrubs burst with buds from the Spring rain and sun.
Unfurling their tender growth.

Nature alive, glowing , freely given,
But man cannot see the free flight of the hawk.
Only the narrow path in front of himself.

He walks, swatting newly hatched gnats but fails to see the insects are food for the minnows.

As he escapes from the warming sun to the woods, He tramples on delicate wild flowers.

Nature is freely giving but man cannot grasp the gift!

April 2, 2020 How does my Muse Grow?

How does my Muse grow?
   In answer to the question,“ Where do poems come from,” this is my answer.
   My muse is a garden plot. Before planting the creative seeds that may bloom into poems, I must prepare the soil with reading and meditation on ideas that cross mind mind. I mix the fertilizer of experience and wait for the seeds of inspiration to appear in my head.
   I carefully plant each seedling and watch for signs of growth. Some seedlings take off and have to be pruned or transferred to another part of the garden. Some seedlings need careful watering and care to bloom.
   Often  volunteer poems spring up on their own. I watch them to discern if they may be a wild rose or a weed. Finally I thin the plants that are out of place in the whole scheme. My creative work is in the planting and caring for the poems. The end product is the garden where each poem lends to the beauty of the completed  work.
   Eventually, I must say goodbye to this year’s garden and I must begin the cycle again.

How does My. Garden Grow? I gather the sees
gifts divine ,
I plant them in Muse hillside.
I start with order, but I am surprised.What poems and which wither and die.I keep them watered, pruned and thinned.
Until poetic blooms unfolds again.each poem gives to the garden a soul.
I am the creator and the hoe.
both are needed to make the whole.

March 31 X marks the spotThis week, while I was shopping, I ran into some more changes in my local market. I was greeted at the door with an offering of an alcohol wipe to use to wipe the shopping cart. As I traveled down each isle, I was told there were signs limiting many items. Paper products, liquid soap, soups and canned meat were limited to two to four items per customer. There was no fresh meat displayed but fresh fish was available. Most of the customers were located in the dairy and fresh vegetable areas. There were few choices of bread products.Of course, Since I am blind, I had to be told about the changes.There were small X’s on the floor to mark a safe distance while waiting in lines. The store that I had shopped in for years was a mine field of new hazards and rules.As I stood on my designated X, I realized I was at a crossroad in my response to this life change. I could go along with each change without complaint or do a positive act to make my small part of the world better.I decided to smile and nod or greet people when I am outside. and for my writing, I will celebrate National Poetry Month in April by writing poems that inspire , entertain and bring a smile to readers.Each of us are at that crossroad. What direction will you take ?

March 26 Shelter In Place

Shelter in place

Regulations tighten to trips to the pharmacy, grocery store and medical care. Walks and bike riding are permitted if social distance is kept.

My husband and I went out for a tandem ride yesterday. The park was full of families biking, walking and roller blading. Most waved or smiled at our greeting. But there were some that didn’t respond or smile.

How much effort does it take to smile or nod as a response to another? As a blind person, I would prefer a verbal response, but my husband will describe the reactions.

I am planting a virtual garden of good thoughts and wishes for all I encounter today. I will encourage the smallest buds to swell and bloom. Knowing that patience is a necessary tool in the growing process, I will nurture each plantings. Weeding out negative feelings, I fertilize with encouragement . Water with human kindness and await the results.

Start your garden now. The seeds are in your hands. With a little toil and care, you will be blessed with your handiwork and make this time easier for others.

Shelter in place

We are to shelter in place.

What if that place is under an overpass ?

Or a homeless shelter?

What if your shelter has no electricity or running water?

What if you live alone and can’t get to a store?

While we bemoan the shortages ,

others lack necessities ?

Look outside of yourself,

to make your corner of the world better for all.

March 24th Distant Socializing

Distant Socializing
On Saturday, I was listening to people from New York and San Francisco about how they were coping with sheltering in place. I heard a father use a term that resonated with me. “Distant Socializing “ or to be precise, Reaching out by the virtual methods of communication that we have . Go through your contacts and send a message to check on people that you haven’t seen or heard from for some time.
Emailing longer notes to family members that you have not seen since the holidays… ten years ago. Write a catch up note on your family and ask about their’s. You may be surprised what you may find out.
For neighbors that are living alone, a phone call to check and give them an excuse to chat . They won’t feel isolated , and neither will you.
Finally, use the postal service to write a letter or two to those friends and family members that don’t use internet. We could all use the practice with letter writing.
Finally give yourself a break from the news and the number count. At least for some time each day . Do an activity that you have put off and work on it a little every day.
Meditation , prayer or being still and practicing deep breathing will help to calm and vanish the chaos of this life change.

Distant Socializing

I start my day, wondering what to do?
I have cleaned the house and it is only noon.
I open my address book to letter K and continue .
I call, message or write to all the K’s
I may or may not hear from these people.
But I an practicing distant socializing.
I feel better after this is done.
Now time to enjoy a Girl Scout Cookie!

March 19th 2020 Alphabet Soup

alphabet Soup

In these changing times I look for comfort food from my childhood. Alphabet soup was a favorite with my family. Mother used the soup as a spelling challenge. We were to fish macaroni letters on our spoon to spell our name or another word to express how we were feeling. We could all take time to look in our comfort soup bowl and see what we find there. Maybe the word share is there to recall and connect with others in your community that may need a listening ear. You may find the word care and you can check on neighbors that live alone and may need a item from, the store or a pet walked. Finally as you sip the last of the broth may you find the letters love , just for you.

Alphabet Soup
an acrostic Poem

All people need comfort.
Living in these changing times,
People long for the normal.
Health is an illusion.
Agreeing to keep social distance.
But wishing for a connection
Each person longs for a touch
Tabled all social events.

Simple connections mean so much.
Our opportunities daily given,
Understanding, caring and sharing.
Psyche fed by connections to others.

By Carol Farnsworth