I have ben fortunate…privileged…given advantages…others may never see…which means rising up each day has always been easy for me. 


For most of my life I have known that people are exploited…oppressed but have chosen not to see …and when I’ve risen in the morning…I have risen mostly for me.


But my eyes are open now and I’m appalled at what I see…so no longer in the morning shall I ruse up just for me.


I’m not sure, yet, exactly what that entails but I vow as each new day begins I shall rise up for anyone no matter who they are…or the color of your skin.


I shall rise up for anyone deemed imperfect…who may seem a little odd…for anyone who doesn’t look like me…or prays to a different God.


I shall rise up for those who do not think like me…who are not of my same mind…as long as they are accepting and gentle…as long as they are kind.


I shall rise up for the Earth and for her animals…every creature large and small…I shall rise up and try to make this world more compassionate…and a safer place for all.


Since rising up has been easy for me…I shall rise for people of any color, gender, shape or size…anyone who has been oppressed…and encourage them to rise.


Because when I rise up for injustice…and you rise up…and you and you and you…eventually…it is inevitable…the whole world rises too.


So to those, like me, who have had it easy..it’s time we open our eyes….

and look at the heights we will be able to reach…when together…we all rise

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I finished high school and graduated college…I read books both large and small…but I am not an expert on anything at all.


Not being an expert on parenting although three children I helped raise means all throughout their childhood I was constantly amazed.


Not knowing what to do as a parent…never knowing exactly what it takes…means every day is an adventure and we’re free to learn from our mistakes.


I am not an expert botanist…when it comes to botany…I haven’t got a clue…in a world that’s filled with flowers and trees…I can only name a few.


But not understanding everything about them…or how they came to be…means I am free to enjoy their wonder…the pure beauty that I see.


I am not an expert astronomer although among the stars I’ve dwelt…I can point out a few planets…and find Orion’s belt.


But not knowing everything about how the universe works means I’m constantly surprised…and why when I look up on a cloudless night I still get stardust in my eyes.


I think you get the picture…I am not an expert on anything…of this there is no doubt…

But I, for one, am glad there isn’t anything I know everything about.


Because that means my life is filled with surprises every night and more surprises every day…and speaking as a non-expert…

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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This morning on my walk at the beginning of another day…I felt blessed when the Earth, as she sometimes does, invited the child in me out to play.


There was a cool wind blowing as I stepped outside…a cool wind that never quit…and sometimes the shadows of the trees…would gently touch my shoulder as if to say, “Tag…you’re it!”


And I thought how lucky in nature’s game of tag the trees have chosen me…so, of course, it was my duty to play along and tag another tree.


The moon…not to be outdone…of course she has to be unique…enticed me, using the wind and the clouds, into a game of hide and seek.


But, since she had the wind and the clouds to help her hide…and my hiding skills were weaker…we decided for this game she would always be the hider…and I would be the seeker.


So along I walked playing with the trees and the moon in the early morning dawn…until I noticed up ahead, under a streetlight…a hopscotch court was drawn.


I was taken aback when I saw it…so immediately I stopped…and with the moon and the trees encouraging me…what else could I do…I hopped.


With the hopscotch court behind me…and knowing my walk would be over soon…I went back to playing tag with the trees and seeking the hidden moon.


I ended up thanking the moon and the trees…the wind and the clouds…for such a fun way to start my day…with the hope that, come tomorrow, they again ask me to play.

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We have no control over many things that across this planet have unfurled…but we can control the way we think and act in our little corner of the world.


Here we have some command over the world we’re trying to create…for instance our corner of the world is so small…we have no room for hate.


In our little corner we want every person to know…from wherever they travel…near or far…they will be always be welcomed and accepted here for exactly who they are.


In our little corner of the world love is simple…love is kind…

In fact with kindness and simplicity is how our little corner is designed.


Reading is simple in our little corner…here we read each other’s eyes…it’s where we find our truth…it’s where our happiness lies.


Math is simple in our little corner…our feelings we do not hide…all our sadness is divided…all our joys are multiplied.


I guess what we’re trying to say…what we think it’s our destiny to do…

when you enter our little corner of the world…

is, simply, to put a little love on you.


So no matter what has happened in your past…

no matter how your life has previously unfurled…

we hope you will find peace and love and comfort 

in our little corner of the world.


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If you were told this was going to be your last day that tomorrow you’ll be leaving everything behind…I wonder, after hearing that, what thoughts pop into your mind?


Is there one person…maybe more…someone you have known…to whom you might want to write a letter or talk to on the phone


Is there a person whom you’ve been missing…who you want once more to see?

Do you want to say ‘I love you’ one final time to your friends and family?


Would you watch the sunrise one more time…or count the stars up in the sky”

Is there a place you’d like to visit once more before you die?


If this is your final day on Earth…the final moment your destiny will allow…then it stands to reason, if you think about it, your most important time…is now.


Since you can’t be sure if todays the day your life will slip into the past…it’s probably a good idea to live every day as if it is your last.


Which means each moment is an opportunity to be generous and kind…to do the things that only a moment ago…popped into your mind.


That way…even if you don’t die tomorrow…when you finally leave this place 

you will leave with no regrets…and a smile on your face.


And just as important to your heart…your soul…your mind…

will be the smiles on the faces…of those you leave behind.


Please excuse me now…I have to go…you see I intended this poem to be for you…

but I just realized there are a number people I’d like to call 

and a number of things I’d like to do.


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We never know in this life what in the next moment fate will bring…I suppose that’s why we spend so much time relishing in all the little things.


Like spending a day with our children…their children…our grandchildren too…

Like that smile of contentment on our faces…when the day is through.


Like driving in our car with the windows down on a cold Floridian night…

oohing and awing while taking pictures of our neighbors Christmas lights.


Like taking the time to write a letter…sending a friend our warm regards.

Like having a picnic at the picnic table on the patio in our back yard.


Like a walk under a starlit sky or a stroll along the shore…

Like dancing through our lives…with people we adore.


Like seeing a young girl sleeping on her kitchen floor…with her new puppy by her head…Because her parents told her that puppy’s too young to sleep with her in bed.


Like helping a young boy find a book in the bookstore…and having to smile and pause as he pays you with his own money then says, “Thank you Santa Claus.”


I imagine we all have them…little moments we compile…

Little things that give us pause…little things that make us smile.


It’s funny how, at the time they’re happening, they seem insignificant and small…but the more we live…the more we realize…they’re not so little after  all.


So here’s a toast to a life filled with little things…where each one is a shining star…and to realizing when it comes to the little things…

how big they truly are.



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Life is ephemeral…it goes by quickly…at times this could be cause for resentment…which is why, I imagine, we tend to cherish our moments of contentment.


These are easy to spot in a person…you’ll find them usually sitting quietly…in one place…watching what is going on…with a smile on their face.


They’re using this moment of reflection with friends and family near…to capture a moment of contentment…before that moment disappears.


It could be sitting in their favorite chair…with their family all around them…you’ll see them close their eyes for a moment…as the joy of laughter surrounds them.


It might be walking in the woods in the morning as the sun’s about to spread her light…or hand in hand on a deserted beach in the middle of the night.


It’s a feeling they get in the bottom of their heart…one they hope will never stop…like when their sons or daughter call them Dad…or a grandchild yells…PopPop.


You’ll see them looking around at any moment…feeling blessed they’ve gotten so old… they’re able to remember earlier moments of contentment…as new ones, before them, unfold.


How blessed are we as humans…to have these moments…sitting in one place….watching what is going on around us…with a smile on our face.


Blessed to enjoy the moment with friends and family near…and blessed to capture that moment in our memory…before that moment disappears…


Blessed long ago in our life to have made this simple discovery…

That the more moments of contentment we have captured…

the more contented we will be.




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I was born with poor eyesight so for me it has been fated…with my naked eye I will never see the world the way it was created.


Everything I see without my glasses is fuzzy and obscure…but sometimes I like to walk without them…and experience the blur.


I imagine there are some people who think this is absurd…but here is why I like to walk around in a world where everything is blurred:


With my glasses on when I see the clouds…I know their shapes…as much as my knowledge has allowed…with my glasses off when I look up…all I see are clouds


With my glasses on…the differences in every tree I see…with my glasses off…when I look…all I see is tree.


With my glasses on in a field of flowers I see how each flower varies from stem to stem…with my glasses off I can only see how beautifully the colors blend.


With my glasses on when I look at people…so many differences in them I see…with my glasses off all I see is how everyone looks like me.


I use to think with my poor eyesight…

I was star-crossed…



Now I wonder if I wasn’t given a gift..

to see the world as it was meant to be created.



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One of his fondest memories of his dad as he was growing up was how at every meal he’d drink from the same cup.


It was little, red and made of metal…the only one of its kind in the house he ever saw…which, over the years, he noticed developed a chip…on its brim…a little flaw.


One day he asked his dad, “Why not get a new cup…Why use that old one with a chip around the brim?”  His dad set the cup down…then smiled as he looked up at him.


“I know this may sound strange…but this cup is a comfort to me…the more I’ve used it over the years the more it seems part of my family.”


“I drank from this cup when I was finding the courage to ask your mom to marry me…and I was blessed…to drink wine from this cup with her…the moment she said yes.”


“I drank from this cup when we found out your mom was pregnant with you…and again in the early morn…the day I witnessed a miracle…the day when you were born.”


“This cup has seen me through good times and bad.” He said as with two hands he picked it up…”and somewhere along the way it became more than just a cup.”


With its chips and flaws you wonder why I keep drinking from it…because it’s easy for me to see…how this old cup with its chips and flaws…is a little bit like me.”


“This might not make much sense to you now…how one old chipped cup can give me such a thrill…but one day when you’re older I imagine that it will.”


And one day, long after his dad passed…his son, now growing up, asked him why he always drank from that old, red metal cup.


He smiled and with two hands he lovingly picked it up…

“Let me tell you a story, son…

the story of this cup.”



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