THE INDEX

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Barb Drummond

canada

I see her. The old woman. She is sitting on a park bench. The same park bench every day surrounded by birds and squirrels. Each time I come to the park she is here.
The old woman is known to all who come to enjoy the park. Every day without fail. Sitting in heavy rain, falling snow, scorching heat, and wild winds. Why? What compels her to be here ...every.single.day?!
If I were to hazard a guess… my guess would be… this is her place, her spot, her everything. Perhaps she has no friends, no family…and these are her loved ones now. They have become her purpose, her passion, her life.
I have often asked myself, is she here by choice or as a consequence of life decisions? Either way, she looks calm, content, happy, and possibly even free.

READ MORE

I see her. The old woman. She is sitting on a park bench. The same park bench every day surrounded by birds and squirrels. Each time I come to the park she is here.
The old woman is known to all who come to enjoy the park. Every day without fail. Sitting in heavy rain, falling snow, scorching heat, and wild winds. Why? What compels her to be here ...every.single.day?!
If I were to hazard a guess… my guess would be… this is her place, her spot, her everything. Perhaps she has no friends, no family…and these are her loved ones now. They have become her purpose, her passion, her life.
I have often asked myself, is she here by choice or as a consequence of life decisions? Either way, she looks calm, content, happy, and possibly even free.

READ MORE

I see her. The old woman. She is sitting on a park bench. The same park bench every day surrounded by birds and squirrels. Each time I come to the park she is here.
The old woman is known to all who come to enjoy the park. Every day without fail. Sitting in heavy rain, falling snow, scorching heat, and wild winds. Why? What compels her to be here ...every.single.day?!
If I were to hazard a guess… my guess would be… this is her place, her spot, her everything. Perhaps she has no friends, no family…and these are her loved ones now. They have become her purpose, her passion, her life.
I have often asked myself, is she here by choice or as a consequence of life decisions? Either way, she looks calm, content, happy, and possibly even free.

READ MORE

The old woman has become entangled in my daily park routine. On the days I do not come to the park, I know that she is here feeding the birds, her birds, from what appears to be an ancient, wrinkled, brown paper bag.
I have never spoken nor interrupted her. She looks approachable enough, yet something always stops me. I am an outsider. If I were to intrude into her circle, I fear I would scatter her flocked and furry friends. I refuse to cut in on the lively dance I see before me.

Some days I dread entering the park for fear of seeing an empty bench and the old woman no longer there.

But for today, she is, and my heart is happy. 

previous

Cindy Meier

USA

Oh my goodness, what a majestic and noisy creature! Your sleek, blue-black, shiny feathers remind me of a photo I once saw of Elvis Presley’s slicked back hair. I see by your shifty eyes and quick movements you are an adventurer, explorer and seeker of treasures.

Surely if you could talk, you would brag like a sailor boasting about the treasures you have stowed away in some secret hideaway in the forest. Of course, in your bird brain they are worth more than a chest of gold.

Shoooo….fly away and when you return, perch for awhile and share with me stories of your travels and why you were gone so long. 

I see her. The old woman. She is sitting on a park bench. The same park bench every day surrounded by birds and squirrels. Each time I come to the park she is here.
The old woman is known to all who come to enjoy the park. Every day without fail. Sitting in heavy rain, falling snow, scorching heat, and wild winds. Why? What compels her to be here ...every.single.day?!
If I were to hazard a guess… my guess would be… this is her place, her spot, her everything. Perhaps she has no friends, no family…and these are her loved ones now. They have become her purpose, her passion, her life.
I have often asked myself, is she here by choice or as a consequence of life decisions? Either way, she looks calm, content, happy, and possibly even free.

READ MORE

I see her. The old woman. She is sitting on a park bench. The same park bench every day surrounded by birds and squirrels. Each time I come to the park she is here.
The old woman is known to all who come to enjoy the park. Every day without fail. Sitting in heavy rain, falling snow, scorching heat, and wild winds. Why? What compels her to be here ...every.single.day?!
If I were to hazard a guess… my guess would be… this is her place, her spot, her everything. Perhaps she has no friends, no family…and these are her loved ones now. They have become her purpose, her passion, her life.
I have often asked myself, is she here by choice or as a consequence of life decisions? Either way, she looks calm, content, happy, and possibly even free.

READ MORE

The old woman has become entangled in my daily park routine. On the days I do not come to the park, I know that she is here feeding the birds, her birds, from what appears to be an ancient, wrinkled, brown paper bag.
I have never spoken nor interrupted her. She looks approachable enough, yet something always stops me. I am an outsider. If I were to intrude into her circle, I fear I would scatter her flocked and furry friends. I refuse to cut in on the lively dance I see before me.

Some days I dread entering the park for fear of seeing an empty bench and the old woman no longer there.

But for today, she is, and my heart is happy. 

previous

I see her. The old woman. She is sitting on a park bench. The same park bench every day surrounded by birds and squirrels. Each time I come to the park she is here.
The old woman is known to all who come to enjoy the park. Every day without fail. Sitting in heavy rain, falling snow, scorching heat, and wild winds. Why? What compels her to be here ...every.single.day?!
If I were to hazard a guess… my guess would be… this is her place, her spot, her everything. Perhaps she has no friends, no family…and these are her loved ones now. They have become her purpose, her passion, her life.
I have often asked myself, is she here by choice or as a consequence of life decisions? Either way, she looks calm, content, happy, and possibly even free.

READ MORE

I see her. The old woman. She is sitting on a park bench. The same park bench every day surrounded by birds and squirrels. Each time I come to the park she is here.
The old woman is known to all who come to enjoy the park. Every day without fail. Sitting in heavy rain, falling snow, scorching heat, and wild winds. Why? What compels her to be here ...every.single.day?!
If I were to hazard a guess… my guess would be… this is her place, her spot, her everything. Perhaps she has no friends, no family…and these are her loved ones now. They have become her purpose, her passion, her life.
I have often asked myself, is she here by choice or as a consequence of life decisions? Either way, she looks calm, content, happy, and possibly even free.

READ MORE

The old woman has become entangled in my daily park routine. On the days I do not come to the park, I know that she is here feeding the birds, her birds, from what appears to be an ancient, wrinkled, brown paper bag.
I have never spoken nor interrupted her. She looks approachable enough, yet something always stops me. I am an outsider. If I were to intrude into her circle, I fear I would scatter her flocked and furry friends. I refuse to cut in on the lively dance I see before me.

Some days I dread entering the park for fear of seeing an empty bench and the old woman no longer there.

But for today, she is, and my heart is happy. 

previous

Bonnie Conwell

USA

I like to write with pencil. Just like pens there are different pencils for different jobs. Wood cased (the kind that require a sharpener), Midori, Mitsubushi. As well as my trusty Pentel Twist Erase lll. (Current favorite lead is a smooth, dark 2B made by Fabre Castell.)

Pencils don’t “hitch” like a pen will. My hand doesn’t get fatigued and my arm doesn’t ache when using a pencil for a long period of time. It’s not about the ability to erase (which I don’t do anyway), but the feel of a smooth writing pencil on paper.

 I feel like I could write forever. 

The old woman has become entangled in my daily park routine. On the days I do not come to the park, I know that she is here feeding the birds, her birds, from what appears to be an ancient, wrinkled, brown paper bag.
I have never spoken nor interrupted her. She looks approachable enough, yet something always stops me. I am an outsider. If I were to intrude into her circle, I fear I would scatter her flocked and furry friends. I refuse to cut in on the lively dance I see before me.

Some days I dread entering the park for fear of seeing an empty bench and the old woman no longer there.

But for today, she is, and my heart is happy. 

previous

Jim Pescott

CANADA

I love that trees are so quiet and yet they do so much. Simply enjoy a walk in the woods to witness this. There are far too many trees around us to count yet they each join as we wander through their space. Every tree accepts you as you are.

We all could do well to emulate this about trees. We could just be there for other people without doing things to make them do something else in their lives. This is what trees do when we enter their world. They just let us be who we are as they give us oxygen. It is all so silent.

Trees also ask for nothing in return. They harbour us and help us breathe while requiring nothing from us ever. I love this about trees and realize I can be much the same.

Painting by Jim Pescott

The old woman has become entangled in my daily park routine. On the days I do not come to the park, I know that she is here feeding the birds, her birds, from what appears to be an ancient, wrinkled, brown paper bag.
I have never spoken nor interrupted her. She looks approachable enough, yet something always stops me. I am an outsider. If I were to intrude into her circle, I fear I would scatter her flocked and furry friends. I refuse to cut in on the lively dance I see before me.

Some days I dread entering the park for fear of seeing an empty bench and the old woman no longer there.

But for today, she is, and my heart is happy. 

previous

Alyssa Hallstead

USA

I gain solace from nature. Every day begins with meditation on the porch. Birds flutter about, deer graze in the lower pasture, alpacas wander in the upper pastures, Cairn Terrier, Kayley, sits at my side. The changing of the leaves, the wind through the fields, a great Blue Heron just landed.
 I am whole again.

The old woman has become entangled in my daily park routine. On the days I do not come to the park, I know that she is here feeding the birds, her birds, from what appears to be an ancient, wrinkled, brown paper bag.
I have never spoken nor interrupted her. She looks approachable enough, yet something always stops me. I am an outsider. If I were to intrude into her circle, I fear I would scatter her flocked and furry friends. I refuse to cut in on the lively dance I see before me.

Some days I dread entering the park for fear of seeing an empty bench and the old woman no longer there.

But for today, she is, and my heart is happy. 

previous

Stacy Thornbrugh

usa

Dear Forest,
I saw you greet the morning sun as she wrapped you in her warm embrace.
I heard your whispers with the breeze. Secrets held in confidence.
I watched you dance with the wind to music never composed.
I inhaled your essence soft and ever changing.
I admired your reflection echo within tranquil waters.
I felt the silence of darkness kissing you goodnight.
I dreamt in your stillness beneath the watchful stars.
Enchanting was the coat of white you wore when winter came to call.
Your gifts, like my gratitude, are infinite.



Erica Thomas

usa

A bright red overcoat with a ruffled petticoat for the stem obviously means this toadstool is a powerful woman with ladylike class. She confidently stands out among the stretching green grass and scattered brown leaves.

She is delicate in her detailed and dainty stock that so strongly supports a balloon of protection for all who gather beneath. She guards from the sun and shields against the rain, but be mindful! She could topple over at a moment's notice from the slightest bump.

She is vibrant enough to stand out in a crowd while seemingly insignificant to the unappreciative eye. She is a toadstool; the essence of every lady.
lady.



Sandy Pirdy, USA

USA

Muffins are the substance of life.
Round and wrapped fresh out of the oven, hot, moist, burn your tongue kind of sweetness, full of chocolate chips melted into a moist cake like surrounding, and a crusty top I eat first. Shards of sugar adorn the top giving an extra boost of sweetness. The homemade fragrance coming out of a hot oven is intoxicating. Peeling off the wrapper comes easy and in seconds the first muffin is gone. I show no favoritism - as a drive-thru muffin gives me great delight!   Muffin obsession in motion.

Eira Braun-Labossiere

CANADA

"The thing about creativity is that people are going to laugh at it.  Get over it."
                                                                                                    -Twyla Tharp


I love this quote because I believe everyone is creative and has a deep need to be so. Yet many of us won't express ourselves through the arts because we are afraid people will mock or belittle our efforts.

My hope is that we come to the realization that perceived perfection in art, in creativity, matters not a whit. If you are creating for yourself, what society may think of your work is of no concern.



Patricia Coulter

CANADA

Fall is full of opportunity. We have sunny afternoons and cool mornings and evenings, making it the best of both worlds. No longer will we have that hot sun, making our skin sting like a dodgeball hit. Everything starts to set a pause button. The garden slows down, the lawns are sitting dormant and the trees whirling and swirling into their time for glory. There are cool mornings that hint at winter but we are so glad to be done with the heat of summer, we welcome them.

Fall is full of possibilities. We make plans to begin anew. Just like the children heading back to class, we set some goals for ourselves. Now we are not distracted with holidays, visiting, we can focus our time and plan head. Crisp new notebooks, sharpened pencils, bells ringing —all waiting to be put to use.

Fall is full of promise. As a farm kid in Saskatchewan, harvest was THE event of the year. Is there anything better than riding in the truck on a warm afternoon, eating a juicy peach, and waiting for the signal from the combine to pick up the next load? Toasted tomato sandwiches, pears that ripened in the middle of the night, juicy peaches from that faraway land of BC. It is all a promise of good things to come.



















Valerie Weihman-Rock

usa

All Alice admired and anticipated; an armadillo ambling along.



Anita Burke

usa

Anita assiduously abides. Absolutely an aspirational assignment! And an aggravating adjustment.



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