This Kyrielle Sonnet was written for the Instagram group @hergrowthcollective. The topic for 12/9/21 is “Presence.” Presence is the state or fact of existing, occurring, or being present in a place or thing. It can be a person or thing that exists or is present in a place but is not seen.
For me, the reciprocal presence of loving, genuine people in my life is one of the greatest gifts. I have been so fortunate to be surrounded throughout my life with family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors who really do care. I would never be where I am today without them, and I can only hope that I have also touched them. I am extremely grateful that I have maintained rich relationships with them over the years.
These meaningful relationships go both ways. To some degree, I am present in their lives, and they are present in mine. It does not have to be a physical presence, but rather in my heart and my mind. My adult children and my grandchildren live in Florida, and I try my best to be as present in their lives as possible through texts, messages and FaceTime when I am not visiting. The greatest thrill is being able to see them in person once again. It is so healing to the heart and soul.
I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but try to choose one word to abide by or strive for during the year. In 2021, it was “calm.” Sometimes I did not do very well with that word, due to anxiety and stress. There were a lot of life changes and travel, so it was a great focus word for this past year. Perhaps “presence” will be my word for 2022, as I strive to be more present in my loved ones’ lives, savor each moment, and learn to let go of worrying about the past and future. What will your word for 2022 be?
Mood: Grateful Inspiration: “No Surprises” by Radiohead
Soft cuddles blazing fire tender kisses watching snowflakes fall by glow of Christmas tree scent of pines and cranberries taste of mulled wine upon my tongue old Christmas carols fill the night air bringing back memories from my childhood past, present and future meld in my soul each moment and adventure savored grandbabies, travel, wine and love my heart swells with gratitude for the life we have made forever as one tears sting my eyes and turn to sparks of joy
This Double Etheree format poem was written for the Instagram group @hergrowthcollective. The topic for this week is “What Brings Joy.” I believe that we can choose to experience joy every day, if we are willing to make the effort. Simply gazing at the sun beaming and reflecting off frozen pond waters is a joyous sight to behold. Even if there are clouds in the sky, the gentle pitter patter of rain on the roof brings comfort while nourishing the trees and grass outside.
Christmas and holiday seasons can bring out the best of all joys, though sometimes it can bring on sadness or melancholy. Remember this – the choice is yours. Meditate, think about all the blessings that you do have, and give thanks. Open your eyes and marvel at the simple beauty of the twinkling Christmas tree lights, or the candles on your menorah! No matter what life challenges you are facing at this time (and believe me, there can be MANY), make a commitment to yourself to seek out joy each day.
And here’s the really cool thing – YOU CAN BE THE SPARK OF JOY! Spread good cheer, give genuine thanks to the cashier at the grocery store, notice their name tag and SAY their name, wish them a happy holidays! Outside the store, put a few coins or bills in the Salvation Army kettle and give the ringer a big smile! You will feel your own heart swelling with joy…. it is contagious.
I’m not trying to be saccharine sweet, but really dig down into your heart and realize that despite all of your human wants and needs…. there is so much joy to behold in this world. Find it in your own life, and be that spark of joy. I wish you all a most beautiful and blessed holiday season!
Mood: Joyful Inspiration: Max Richter, “Dream 13 (minus even)”
In the wilderness, the word itself is beautiful music from summer cricket songs to moth’s wing flicks, cool nights bedecked with planets and radiant stars far and away from the cacophony of rumbling cars.
In the wilderness, the rolling river bends and flows, trickling down to all the places that silence goes. Rhythmic lapping, gentle beneath a splintered dock, crashing, pounding breakers on the craggy rocks.
In the wilderness, the poison ivy and honeysuckle creep where young rabbits romp and the black bears sleep. The full moon rises, proud in its golden glorious glow, waiting for insolent clouds to crown with gauzy halo.
In the wilderness, my heart is glad and fills with peace, my head cradled by the grass, soft as lamb’s fleece. From the dew-kissed wildflowers to the blue skies fair, there is beauty, heartbreaking beauty, everywhere.
This poem is posted for the Instagram group @hergrowthcollective. The topic for 11/18/2021 was “beauty.” Since I had just written a poem on the beauty of nature last week, I decided to look back into my archives for another poem written on beauty. This is a repost of a poem I wrote back in 2015 that incorporated my two favorite Edward Abbey quotes:
“Wilderness, the word itself is beautiful music.” “There is beauty, heartbreaking beauty, everywhere.”
Of course, there is a recurrent theme here for me, the beauty of nature. If you know me, that’s no surprise. Indeed, but there is beauty everywhere IF we choose to take the time to experience it. I believe that beauty invokes more than just sight – rather, it invokes all of the senses. Therefore, experiencing the beauty of something can be felt on an emotional level if you will allow it. It is both external and internal, but you must open your heart and soul to feel it.
I see beauty in my grandchildren’s eyes, I hear beauty in the chords of a piano concerto, I taste beauty in a freshly cut orange, I smell beauty in the Blue Spruce pine needles, I feel beauty in the warm ocean breeze upon my skin. Mere memories of these beautiful things, or experiencing it in the now will transport you to a place of zen and calm the unrest in your mind. It can be a meditative and transcendent experience.
Take a few minutes at the beginning of each day to reflect upon the beauty in your life. Close your eyes, still your mind and focus on your breathing. Then think of the beauty you have experienced, breathe and be grateful.
Mood: Introspective Inspiration: “Tomorrow’s Song” – Ólafur Arnalds Ólafur Arnalds
This Kyrielle Sonnet was written for the Instagram Group @hergrowthcollective. The topic for 11/11/2021 was “Appreciation.” Appreciation is such a broad term, and there are so many blessings and things that we should appreciate in our lives. I narrowed the focus of my poem to appreciating the beauty of nature all around us in this world.
We get so busy with day to day life and tasks that we often don’t take the time to just look out our window or move away from our computer screens. There is a world of beauty to behold each day, whether it be in our family members, friends, music, food, or nature. Take the time to slow down, breathe deep, open your eyes, observe and appreciate.
Today, I see beauty in the colorful autumn leaves, squirrels burying nuts in the yard, cats gazing out the window, crystal blue skies dotted with puffy clouds. And that makes me grateful and calm. Tell me, what do you see? What things you appreciate in your life?
Mood: Wonderful Inspiration: “We Played Some Open Chords” by A Winged Victory for the Sullen
Fear pulls me downward sinister thoughts creeping in corners of my dark mind gripping tight, talons sharp as I bleed from the inside out and rail to the heavens in rage from the depths of an anguished soul.
Passion pushes me onward parting a veil of diaphanous desire satin hush, silken touch the scent and taste of love as the glorious sun glows in effervescent rainbows shining the light on my path.
Hope coaxes me upward picking up the broken pieces scattered amongst wayward leaves a cool breeze permeates my skin its soft kiss upon my cheek determination coursing through my veins as I break through the force field again.
Momentum carries me forward out of a forlorn past through hot burning coals blistered feet, hot searing pain leading to a tropical oasis where I can frolic in the green cool raindrops upon my tongue.
This post was written for the Instagram group Her Growth Collective @hergrowthcollective. The topic for the week for 11/11/2021 is “Momentum.”
Momentum is defined as the strength or force that something has when it is moving. It is also the strength or force that allows something to continue or to grow stronger or faster as time passes. I believe that the momentum in our lives can be generated both internally and externally. Sometimes we have the energy, desire and impetus to make positive changes in our lives. Other times, we simply roll with the waves and are forced to change, lest we sink and drown.
For me, many things have affected my life’s momentum. Fear, passion and hope are recurring themes that have carried me through and allowed me to change the direction of my life. Reflecting on this topic helped me to write my poem “Momentum” on the plane ride back home from my son’s wedding. Life is good, keep the momentum going!
Mood: Reflective Inspiration: “Push the Sky Away” by Nick Cave
A Quatern poem written for the group Her Growth Collective, which can be found on Instagram @hergrowthcollective. The topic for 10/28/2021 is “Pretending.”
Sometimes I have to close my eyes and focus in order to pretend. Other times, I just have to let my mind wander. And that is exactly what I did while writing this poem. It’s funny how I always end up looking at the sky, seems to be a recurring theme in my life. I remember that I always wanted to be a bird as a child. In this case, I got steered towards the moon and stars.
Whether you want to pretend or not, the message is we all need to enjoy and embrace life, because it is just way too short. So dance with the fireflies and ride those shooting stars…. starting today!
We are living in dark times. Sometimes watching the news can just be too overwhelming. Take a break and do something for yourself. Watch a sunset, feed the birds, take a hike in nature…. heal your soul! xoxo Colleen
This poem was written for the Instagram group @hergrowthcollective. The topic last week was “Overwhelmed.” I am a week behind because of our trip to Florida.
I’m writing for the first time for Her Growth Collective, a group of women encouraging others to walk the path of self-development together. You can find them on Instagram, @hergrowthcollective.
I have a different take on productivity lately. Sometimes productivity is a double-edged sword. I have been a motivated and productive person for my entire life, but in the past years my plate has been piled on to the point of burnout. Consistent productivity is met with yet even more work, because you have proven time and again that you can handle virtually every task. Unrealistic expectations ensue, and you are left frantically juggling an unmanageable workload despite voicing your concerns. Eventually one of the balls may drop, resulting in negativity, criticism and being/feeling devalued.
When one is penalized for their productivity in this manner, it cuts you to the core and forces you to re-evaluate your situation and make changes. At times, productivity is overrated.