the new year’s cycle continues

by: Adamy Diaz

Another year begins and old resolutions become new resolutions again.  Every year at this time, we find ourselves at a crossroads.  We evaluate our decisions made and the future ahead.  We establish new goals and look forward to the changes that will take place over the course of the next year.  We ponder, we reflect, we ponder some more.  We come to the realization that acting on our goals is the best way to accomplish what we want for the year.

This year, my list is short:

Live everyday as if was the last, stop complaining and start loving and living, be grateful and be at peace!

I expect this simple motto to take me thru the rest of this and every future year.  At this point in my life, that’s the only thing I can wish for, it is the only thing I can do.  I’d been tired, and complaining drags me down even more. Gratefulness calms down the anxiety of life.

At the beginning of every year I promise to be a better self, physically, mentally and emotionally.  This year I choose to be grateful. I’ll speak less and listen more.  I promise to keep calm, breath deep, and to think more and react less.

The best way to accomplish this year’s resolutions is to take one day at a time.  To live for today, because tomorrow may never get here. Choosing to write a better story every day, keeping in mind that, although tomorrow may never come, there is always the hope that it will and I can start with a clean slate every morning.

This year I choose to be happy, I choose to be grateful, I chose to be at peace.

homage to the goddess

homage to the goddess
homage to the goddess



by judy cassidy

For thirty years, this exotic immigrant from the tropics has been part of our family. She’s irresistibly sexy, sassy, her feathered, outstretched arms poised in dance. Her head gracefully tilts to accommodate her regal eight-foot height to an intrusive ceiling. She coos evergreen to her tree children, who gather close to her spindly trunk, growing under her protective canopy.

We attend her. In warmer seasons we move her to the deck where she sunbathes and is replenished by storms and gentle rains. We bring her inside in frosty weather.

Our children have known only She for holy days. As the winter solstice nears, when all else is dark and barren, she announces the coming year in splendid regalia, festooned in a holiday robe generations in the making. Her lighted undergarments gleam red, yellow, green, and blue. Following tradition, ornaments adorn her: framed photos of the young ones, sparkling pipe cleaner dream catchers and spirals from the granddaughters, sprightly Santas of red pipe cleaner Grandma Mommie Lemm conceived during the Depression; yarn and popsicle stick weavings by one of our boys, a bell ringer by the other; our daughter’s fluffy cotton snowman. Friends contributed crocheted Morton House wreathes and snowflakes, a British gentleman with a light bulb head and proper collar; a simple star of dry reeds.

Too heavy for her delicate limbs, some ripened fruits settle easily around the goddess, surrounding her on the coffee table, windowsills, banister, lamps, rims of hanging pots: Mom’s home-made golden globe studded with sparkling beads and sequins, Bruce and Maggie’s Mexican nativity; Aunt Francis’s music box topped with a choir of cherubs; fragrant candles with gaily flickering flames.

Wind chimes carol outside the east window. Cedars scent the path. Blue spruce, now sixty feet tall, stretch skyward, were once lugged into the house for the winter solstice in pots bigger than they were. Now they wear cranberry and popcorn garlands for the birds.

We are replenished by what we offer.

in the beginning

By: Josette Williams Davison

 Once upon a time there came to the earth a very great man. And the great man possessed all the words that ever were, or ever would be. But the great man was lonely surrounded by all his wonderful words, and he wished to share them with others. So he built a great city on a hill and in the midst of the city, he created a beautiful building of glass and silver and gold to house his words. And the words were enclosed in a single book. His spirit aglow with his plan, the great man opened and placed his book on a table for all to see and to read. And he invited everyone passing by his huge display window to pause and read the words.

But the people, in weather foul or fair, rushed by the window without stopping, heedless to what they were missing. Disappointed, the great man called upon his angels and asked them to bring more books, and to turn the pages endlessly. “Add to that,” he said, “thousands of words floating in the air so that those who wish to may capture the words and fashion them into books of their own.” Soon, fascinated by the word floating in the air and fluttering pages, the people began to stop and read, and to stuff their pockets with words from the air.

Some of the words covered dancing sheets of music, and could barely stay on the pages they were so full of life and longing. Flying overhead were more words bound in richly engraved covers and written by great philosophers such as Aristotle and Kierkegaard. Still more were written by poets like Emily Dickenson, or playwrights named Shakespeare and Arthur Miller, and authors like Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte and Mark Twain.

One day, an old woman, bent and faltering, clothed in rags, her hair gray and uncombed, paused to read, and was wrapped in a golden cloak of words set to music. And she became, once again, just who she was and had been—beautiful and fragile, and a singer of songs. The familiar words of her old ballads filled her with light, and sent her twirling about in front of the window in ecstasy. Children and adults, seeing her transformation, rushed to the window to see what they might be missing.

Presently, a richly dressed man shoved through the curious children and adults, blustering: “Out of my way. I was here first! Do you know who I am? I am a very important person, and you, .you are of little consequence.” Peering closely at the largest book in the window, the man read these words: ‘Take heed, for I look on the heart, not on the person.’ Stomping away, the man tripped over his pearl handled cane and cursed the sidewalk. Then, those who had been pushed aside, allowing the startled children to go first, stepped forward to read the words meant just for them. And some went away troubled, while others were strengthened and uplifted.

But the possessor of all the words found his deepest pleasure in the delight of children who came to read the words made just for storybooks and painted with bright pictures. And their laughter rang in the great man’s ears like tiny silver bells.

Still, there remained one dark figure, who passed by the window every day, his head bowed, his eyes fixed on the ground.

And though the great man knew the man walking in darkness was free to choose, sad at heart, he begged of his angels, “What can I do?

“Try again,” sang all the angels in chorus, and so he did, again and again forever.

what is Christmas?

Christmas for me has always been a time of magic.

It’s a time when peace is on the lips of all – even when it’s in the actions of just a few.

The season is a period of joy and quiet, or even exuberant, happiness as the timeless tale of the nativity is told again or viewed through the eyes of children..

Did you see that sheep lose it’s place. It happens all the time in pageants. And towels only look like headdresses at Christmastide.

It’s Christmas trees, the tannebaum of Germanic lore, and bright lights glimmering and silver bells ringing.

Christmas is the manger with a donkey and a camel as well as Santa Claus kneeling in front of it.

The holiday is also a holy day.

It’s a time of reflection (all of us should do as Mary did and ponder many things in our hearts).

It’s a time of giving, the one time of year that people try to think of others more than themselves.

It’s family, those that gather round the fire or the Bible and those in far-off places who gather with us in our memories and imaginations. It may also be crying babies and squabbling adults. But it doesn’t really matter. We’re all in it together.

Children all pray for snow, a glistening whiteness covering all the dreary darkness of the world.

What I like most about Christmas is that it’s a time of new beginnings: We have another chance to be the best we can be.

Let’s try it out this year.

psalm of pain and hope

Oh Lord, why has thou forsaken me?

Oh my God, please hear my cry of pain and rescue me.

The talons of the wild beasts tear at my body as the pain grows

And never ceases.

I have not defiled your name or your temples.

I have done good in thy sight.

But you have left me. You do not hear my cries.

Is my pain a punishment for my deeds or my thoughts?

What do I do to reach you?

As I huddle under a blanket, nursing my pain, I hear the song of birds

And see the colors of the trees. I seek cool water to quench my thirst ere I faint.

Oh Lord, I feel thy spirit enfolding me as with a warm blanket.

God, thou has not forsaken me. Thou hast given me strength to endure until I come into your kingdom.

– Jenny Munro

Note: My mother is fighting severe and continuous pain as she ages. This is dedicated to her.