Saturday, December 8, 2012

Thoughts On a Winter Evening

When someone is behaving
in a way that unsettles
your spirit,
Be the Observer
of this human
and Imperfect Pageant.

They're likely doing the best they can.

For the things that rankle,
that perturb the soul,
the words that scald,
the salt poured into the wound:
become like a shrub, a bush,
green leaves 
held hopefully up
towards the sky,
which rains down
on all,
the way a barrage of words
comes at us
every day
from all directions.

Take only what you need.
Ignore the rest.

Let all you don't want to keep-
the wish-it-was, 
the if-only-it-could-be,
the might-have been's -
roll off the way
winter rain runs down salal,
trickling down the stem, 
along the branches,
off the rounded leaves
and away.

Be as the  gentle junco,
rain deflecting off  
its feathered little wings,
or the hummingbird,
who copes with rain 
by adjusting its body posture 
and working harder.*

For the water of your tears
nourishes the roots
that hold you steady.
Look into your dog's eyes,
your child's, your grandchild's,
babies at the mall,
and remember
how whole you felt,
how deep the magic
of Christmas,
when you were 
a child.

Grow accustomed to Wonder.
Magic is meant to be
our lasting state.

info from
image from


  1. Oh how I needed this poem this week this imperfect pageant of chaos!

  2. Ever the observer, always the light. Peace to you wise one.

  3. So beautifully expressed, Sherry! We must definitely be accustomed to wonder....

  4. Beautiful. Yes, even I needed to read exactly this tonight.
    Absolutely lovely Sherry.

  5. Amen!
    Warm Aloha from Waikiki
    Comfort Spiral

    ~ > < } } ( ° >

    > < 3 3 3 ( ' >

  6. O Sherry, you are in a state of Grace; I hear God speaking through you and You shape your words to pull me so gently into your wisdom. (But I don't think you would have spoken of shrubs or bushes even 4 years ago!)

  7. Sometimes I am that bush, and then some times I find my self adjusting to the head wind and the rain. Reading this provided me a moment where I felt like I was walking bare foot in a pathway of pebbles where the distraction from the jagged stones is in the correct focus yet knowing and feeling these stones under my naked feet as a reminder of the constant stimulus of life. You are next to me singing these words of wisdom. You are my sage of seeing, feeling witnessing life's diurnal journey.

    Gracias mi amiga

  8. This is so inspiring, Sherry. Thank you.

  9. This is so beautiful Sherry. You have such a wise and generous spirit. Reading this was like saying a prayer. Thank you.

  10. Thank you to all you beautiful people, for reading my words. Makes my day!

  11. Sherry, this is just what I needed to hear--and it is stunningly beautiful--especially the ending--peace to you this holiday season

  12. Hey Sherry,

    This sounds like sound advice for many folks in times of stress.

    Let me share some questions and thoughts:

    In your first stanza you say, "Be the Observer of this and Imperfect Pageant."

    Is the imperfect pageant the supposedly unsettling thing the other person is doing, or the persons response to that activity -- their unsettledness?

    I am not sure that "ignoring" is great advice because it is a judgement that seems to say: "They are wrong, they disturb me. But I want to stay peaceful so I will ignore them -- well, unless there is one nice thing there."

    For some, this may be better than getting angry, but ideally they could still hear and not ignore but let it sit, without judgement, acknowledging what you can and letting the difference sit. But getting clear on the differences can often be more useful than ignoring them just because they irritate you.


    I just discovered that a "Salal" is an evergreen from your area in the Pacific NW.

  13. So inspirational, calming . Beautiful poem.

  14. I love this Sherry ~ In my heart, I believe in the magic of Christmas ~

  15. Sherry,

    The first stanza is so apropos for me today.

    This poem is terrific. Well done!

  16. Oh wow Sherry. I got goosebumps reading this. There is so much excellent advice in your write and I adore the photo--really made me smile.

  17. I wish I could remember this when I'm feeling not so charitable towards certain individuals, great write.

  18. Thanks, kids, am so happy you like it. And Sabio? Yes, you are EXACTLY RIGHT. You expanded my thinking with your very intelligent comment. Letting stuff roll off without judgment is of course the way to go....thank you so much for that. That is active, as opposed to passive, awareness, which is just so much better.

  19. What a thoughtful and calming write! I loved the thread throughout of giving others who may be aggravating us the benefit of the doubt. "they are likely doing the best they can." I love the last lines too. Wonder with a capital W Perfect!

  20. if we all could practice a gentle answer to anger... lovely thoughts

  21. "doing the best they can" sometimes doesn't look very good to the casual observer, but to the one who has eyes to see beyond the obvious, there is something special going on when one does the best she can, even if it is clumsy or...cruel. Who can understand everything that goes on in this world?

  22. I know I needed to read this poem but it's so hard right now to accept that others hurting me can just be accepted. I'll keep coming back to your poem and let it slowly heall me xxx

  23. Very beautiful writing, Sherry....somehow heals many private feelings! Loved this...

  24. Beautiful piece. Love the ending.

  25. wonderful wisdom Sherry.the last stanza was the best.if only we could follow this...

  26. This piece speaks volumes about the journey each of us is on and about the learning for which each is responsible. And I agree that being the observer, noting and appreciating without reaction, is the goal.

  27. It was a pleasure to expand my vocabulary as a result of reading this.

    The opening was great, others mentioned the "pageant" line and it definitely stood out for me, too.


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