When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Someone defaced the walls and doors of the boys' school with offensive graffiti over the weekend.  As I walked around the building just before the afternoon dismissal bell yesterday and read one insulting message after another, I was sickened, and angered, and saddened.  An adult had tried to temporarily conceal the hurtful words with paper and tape until they could be erased permanently, to  shield young children's eyes from phrases they shouldn't read, but the temptation to know what was hidden was too much for some curious young minds and they had torn the paper down while they were outside playing at recess.  The school bell rang and dozens of children poured out of the graffitied door where I was standing; they gathered in clusters to read, and point, and giggle nervously, and cover their shocked expressions with their hands.  Some of the children, like Will, ran to their waiting moms to tell them about the bad words and to wonder why someone would do such a mean thing.  I wanted to somehow make those words disappear, to protect all of those children from knowing too soon about the ugliness that lurks in our world sometimes, and yet I felt completely helpless to do anything at all.

Life seems more fragile in these gray, cold days of November.  The skies are so often full of gloomy clouds that won't lift, and the empty tree branches look lonely against the sky's smoky silhouette.  Darkness comes early, and people huddle inwards to brace their bodies against the chill that's always in the air.  Children's lighthearted play is shadowed by unkind words, relationships that once seemed solid crumble and leave broken hearts in their rubble, influential cities topple under the weight and force of a monstrous fall storm.  It is so easy to feel sad and powerless as we watch all of this unfold around us, and easy to retreat further into ourselves to try and avoid the unhappiness of it all.

There is potential, though, in the turning inward that an unfriendly November urges us to do.  If we take time to be still, to allow ourselves to listen to and see and feel the unique essence that lies deep within each of our hearts, we will find there a light that shines brightly and has the ability to bring great warmth and hope and happiness.  We can encourage that light within by not being afraid to be ourselves, by recognizing and understanding and accepting the intricate beings that we are, by believing that we are meant to always keep growing in positive ways. Our light shines with more beauty and force when we are not swayed by people or events whose negativity tries to smother our flame, when we continue to be guided by our hearts, which somehow know the way to the goodness we want to see in our world.

When we find our own inner light and allow it to shine forth brightly, we can help to illuminate the world for others.  Our warmth will help us teach our children to spread messages of love rather than hatred; it will let us reach out to those who are hurting and need support to mend their broken hearts; it will help us to rebuild a destroyed city so that it once again stands strong against the backdrop of a menacing November sky.  With our light, each and all of us are powerful.

Photo credit:  the guardian u.k.



  1. Lovely words to think about. Visiting from MamaKat.

  2. what a beautiful post. Sometimes the worst brings out the best in us. kelley—the road goes ever ever on

  3. So true, Kelley. Thank you for your compliment -- I'm glad my words had meaning for you.

    Banker Chick, thank you -- nice of you to visit!

  4. what an inspirational post! We can all learn something from the cold, dark days that come upon us and we all have the ability to shine in spite of it, as you stated so well.

  5. Thank you, Carol. I'm glad you stopped by!