The Story of Spring


Blessed Sun awakened, stretched,

and flew high into the sky.

Looking down on Mother Earth,

He smiled, spreading His golden

sunshine across Her mountains

with a brilliant golden hue.


Mother Earth smiled, reveling

in the spring-like warmth

that penetrated to the depths

of Her glorious soul.


To show Her gladness, She

ordered a rainbow of tulips

to burst through Her crust,

to open their buds in a

burst of color.


Blessed Sun bowed in thanks,

appreciation for the gift,

then slept behind a blanket

of darkening clouds.


Snow fell, a late-arrival,

covering Mother Earth’s gifts.


She called to Blessed Sun,

her friend, saying, “Arise!”

And He did, looking once

again at His lover.


All was well in the world.

Balance restored.


Mother Earth returned to work

creating new life,

while Blessed Sun came each

day to keep her company.


The cycle is unbroken.

All things Must End

Dreamers navigate their way

through shadows deep and dark

searching for the light of morning,

marching across endless dry deserts


or searching towering mountain peaks

crowned by heavenly angels

whose glittery gossamer wings

flutter fleetingly in a gentle breeze


brushing the sleeper’s cheek

as lightly as mother once did,

helping to climb the ladder

of delicious dreams toward


a blushing sky, streaked

orange, pink, and baby blue

as the sun, ever so slowly,

rises to greet the morning


shirking off terrifying nightmares

of hideous monsters and demons

or relishing romantic love stories

sung by twinkling firelight


in a lover’s embrace,

broken most unwillingly only

to greet the dawn of day,

without thinking, without choosing,


unable to stop the inevitable

awakening as all must for

dreamers’ dreams must end.

Blood Red Days

Children aren’t supposed to get sick.  Romanticized images of childhood days picture little darlings running, jumping, climbing, laughing, living life as freely as a butterfly flitting from flower to flower.  Even in prayer, when most solemn, those cherubic faces glow with rosebud color.  So it should be, forever and ever.

Unfortunately strange bugs invade, causing any possible varieties of illness.  Most we understand.  Tonsillitis, ear infections, colds, cuts, bruises, and even the occasional broken bone fall into that realm.  Kids are susceptible to germs, primarily because they play with “germy” things, and so we expect them to fall ill. But we pray that those times are few and far between.

When your four-year-old child’s urine turns the color of burgundy wine, however, the only normal reaction is fear.  So it was for my husband and I when it happened to our six year old daughter.

When it first occurred, we tried not to panic so as to not alarm our daughter. What we did do was make phone calls and tons of doctors’ visits.   We began with the pediatrician who treated the early occurrences as bladder infections, with rounds of antibiotics as a hopeful cure. When that didn’t do the trick, we were referred to a family urologist who was used to treating senior citizens who would willingly allow tubes and prodding. Not our daughter. She fought him with the strength of an army, clenching shut her legs and refusing to budge. I didn’t blame her. I thought the doctor a little too interested in seeing what was between my child’s legs

Our next doctor was a pediatric urologist/oncologist.  Imagine the fears those words triggered. Oncology. Cancer. Curable or not? We didn’t know or understand what the doctor was going to do. How he was going to make the determination, but we made the appointment and went to see him.

Months had passed by now, and the color of her urine had deepened from a subtle pink to a deep, dark red. It was frightening, to not only us, but to our daughter. Even a small child understands that urine was not supposed to be that color.

For my daughter’s sake, we put on happy faces. We attempted to disguise our deep-seated fears.  When she was out of visual range, we gathered close together and allowed ourselves to cry.  Of course, we prayed.

There were days when her urine was a healthy golden color and we tried to convince ourselves that she was cured. We wept with joy and gave thanks to the Lord.  But the space between those times slowly expanded, until it was pretty much guaranteed that we would see red, and only red.

Antibiotics proved ineffective, and so the pediatric urologist ordered x-rays to search for the still unknown cause.

Off we went to Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley, California, one of the finest hospitals in the Bay Area.  Our daughter, now five, was placed on a cold, metal table.  She was given huge quantities of liquid to drink.  The x-ray machine was lowered until it hovered above my little girl’s lower abdomen.  She was told to urinate, right there on the table, in front of five total strangers.  She couldn’t do it and I didn’t blame her.

The next step involved the insertion of a tube which would allow the urine to flow.  Pictures were taken and analyzed.  We went home and waited, impatiently, to hear the results.  When they came, we were terrified and confused. Because of the way her bladder was constructed, it was unable to fully close.  Surgery was recommended and schedule

Within days we drove to Children’s Hospital in Oakland, just as the sun was beginning to peak over the hills.  It was a peaceful scene which helped to ease somewhat our nervousness. It was short-lived, for immediately after completing the required paperwork, she was whisked away by an efficient, yet friendly nurse.

My husband paced the floor of the waiting room, talking to himself.  I prayed, placing my daughter’s life in God’s capable hands.

This operation was a success. Her bladder now would close and allow her to control the flow of urine. However, during the surgery, the doctor discovered that her ureters did not enter the bladder at the correct angle.  Not only that, but the flaps that prevented urine from moving into the kidneys were missing.  Another operation was planned.

Despite the negative news, my husband and I eagerly took our little girl home, hoping that at least there might be some reprieve from the tinged urine.  It was not to be.

Within hours, her urine turned from a healthy golden hue to a blood red, bone-chilling liquid.  Several phone calls later, another trip to the doctor’s was scheduled.  She was again put on a regimen of antibiotics, hoping to stem off any invasion of germs that might interfere with the next operation.

Good Friday found us, once again, in the waiting room of Children’s Hospital.   My husband paced the floor while I pretended to read.  Both of us turned our hearts over to the Lord, again begging Him to watch over our only daughter.

In the midst of one of many recitations of the Our Father, I felt a gentle touch on my right cheek.  Instantly a calm washed over me, settling in my heart.  I nodded, and whispered, “Thanks.”  My eyes filled with tears of joy, and a smile burst through.  I knew, then and there, that everything would be fine.

When the doctor came to us dressed in his surgical greens, he was smiling. While he was inside our daughter’s bladder, he discovered a blood vessel that was weeping, something it was not supposed to do. He cauterized it, forever stopping the flow of blood into her bladder.

Because of the severity of the operation, she had to spend a week in the hospital.  It was scary for us. Imagine how frightening it was for her, spending nights without her parents nearby. The good news was that every day she got stronger.  Every day her urine became clearer.  Every day I gave thanks to the Lord for giving my daughter another day of life.

Those were trying times, for sure.  I had no choice but to rely on my faith, as even the most highly trained, respected pediatric urologist had had no idea what was wrong.  To this day, I firmly believe that the Lord stood by, watching, whispering advice in the doctor’s ear.  How else did he find the exposed vessel, the incorrectly seated ureters, the missing flaps, and the enlarged end of the bladder?

While the likelihood of her bleeding to death had been slim, she could easily have died of kidney failure.  If we had known about this earlier, we could have acted sooner.  For some reason, the Lord kept her alive long enough for medical science to rise to the occasion.

Faith kept me sane.  Faith allowed me to put aside my fears.  Faith was my best friend and constant companion. Thankfully that operation solved the problem and our daughter grew up to be a wonderful woman.

The Call of Books

I love books. I love the weight of them in your hands. The way they balance so nicely, with little effort, falling only if you let it happen. And I don’t. I worship books for they take me into worlds where I will never go, into situations that I’ll never experience, into characters’ minds that, with luck, I’ll fall in love with.

I love the way a new book smells. Crisp and fresh as a spring breeze just after a storm. The pages turn with effort and often times stick together, making me work for every word. The binding, not yet creased, so that it almost squeaks when opened for the first time. The difficulty reading the syllables inside the crease…making me appreciate even more the effort the author put into the work.

I love owning books. I cannot go down the aisles of Target without stopping in the book section. I gently pick up a book, examine the cover image, imagine the story, turn it over and read the back. I open to the first page and read a paragraph. I can tell by that little encounter whether or not I’ll like the book. Whether it will speak to me, enticing me to delve in as if for a swim. I always buy at least one book, then take it home and add it to my pile.

We do not have a bookstore here, where I live, so when I am able to go into one, my eyes light up and adrenaline flows. It’s the same rush someone gets before climbing El Capitan in Yosemite or skydiving out of a plane. My eyes dart here and there, latching onto titles that are intriguing and covers that beckon. It doesn’t take me long to pick up a book and cradle it to my chest. To carry it with me through the store like a mother carrying her brand new baby.

I go from one section to the next, skipping some, stopping at others, always searching for the prize. I know that I could walk out with ten books, twenty books, maybe even fifty if I didn’t exercise self-control.

My love of books did not begin as a child, for we had no books at home and did not go to the library. My parents did not read to me and there were no relatives living nearby who took on that role. When I began school, I was introduced to reading. It did not come easily to me. Vowels made no sense and consonants jumbled together in so many different combinations that I could not formulate them into words. My teachers must have grown tired of saying the same things over and over to me, of sounding out the same words time after time.

It was not until fourth grade that it suddenly made sense. Thankfully I had a kind teacher who let me borrow books and bring them home to read over and over again. I don’t recall how many books I borrowed, but it must have been quite a few, for by the end of that year I was an excited and fluent reader. And then we moved into the country.

In order to get to school, my mother learned to drive. This turned out to be a blessing, for she sometimes took us into town to the library, where we could research topics for school as well as check out books. I began with nonfiction, reading everything I could about Native American people. From there I branched into stories about horses, reading entire collections by select authors. Back to nonfiction and biographies, where I learned about men and women who overcame odds to accomplish wonderful things.

One summer a most wonderful thing happened that forever changed my life. A bookmobile came into our neighborhood and parked a few houses down the street. At first I was only allowed to check out four books, which I easily read in the week. Soon the librarian allowed me five, and then six books as I always returned them in the same condition they had been when I checked them out.

I was hooked. Each book carried me away from my home life and into magical worlds. Worlds of real people doing marvelous things as well as fairies and monsters who battled for the salvation of humanity. I read with the abandon of an escape artist, giving my whole self to the story, enchanted until the very end. And then immediately picking up the next book and beginning a new adventure.

I don’t know what I would have done in life if it weren’t for the gift of reading that my teachers gave me. My mom had an eighth grade education and while my dad graduated from high school, he never went beyond that level. In my family, girls married at fourteen, dropping out of school to tend babies and home. And that was their life. Which would also have been mine, but through reading I discovered possibilities and opportunities that went far beyond marriage, motherhood and home.

Because of books my life is richer than it would be without them. I always have something waiting in the wings to enchant me. Something to carry me away. Something in which to immerse myself from the first page to the last.

I cannot imagine a world without books.

The Laugh


The laugh is a miracle waiting to happen

A gurgling stream bouncing over life’s boulders

Riotous, rollicking wit on which to lighten

Burdensome weights from heavily bent shoulders


Fluffy clouds frolic freely through each person’s mind

That soon bubble out in side-splitting guffaws

A feeling so wondrous, magical in its kind

Unique in its effect; mood altering awes


Liberally dished out in portions humongous

No meager spoonfuls for humanity’s sake

Spread across boundaries, in actions so wondrous

That ribs crackle, tears flow, and sides quickly ache


The sun’s golden rays blossom majestically

Illuminating rainbows in bright hues

Emotions explode into sounds musically

Harmonious tunes blend in colorful hues


Burdensome miseries removed from memory

Riotous, rollicking times for the taking

Gurgling rivers of life’s hilarious story

The laugh, a miraculous joyous speaking