Posted by: JulieAloha | April 12, 2017

365 Gratitude Project – Day 102: Adversity

April 12, 2017

I’m grateful for the strength of will, of fortitude, of grace that it takes to get through daily adversity – not mine alone of course, I couldn’t do it alone. I prayed many times today for help, strength and support – just clenched my jaw and closed my eyes and sent a quick and urgent GodMail message for help. And was answered, as always. Sometimes yes, sometimes no, most often “please hold until you see what I’ve planned for you.” It was a stressful day with many obstacles designed to block my path and hinder my way, but I got through it.


I took this pic on my walk yesterday, life and beauty making space for itself in a hard place


For Every Hill I’ve Had to Climb

by L. E. Thayer

For every hill I’ve had to climb,
For every stone that bruised my feet,
For all the blood and sweat and grime,
For blinding storms and burning heat
My heart sings but a grateful song—
These were the things that made me strong!

For all the heartaches and the tears,
For all the anguish and the pain,
For gloomy days and fruitless years,
And for the hopes that lived in vain,
I do give thanks, for now I know
These were the things that helped me grow!

‘Tis not the softer things of life
Which stimulate man’s will to strive;
But bleak adversity and strife
Do most to keep man’s will alive.
O’er rose-strewn paths the weaklings creep,
But brave hearts dare to climb the steep.

Posted by: JulieAloha | April 11, 2017

365 Gratitude Project – Day 101: Resolution Continued 

April 11, 2017

One of my resolutions this year was to find some small way to help at least one person each month who needs assistance. Today I met Jesse. I saw him while I was walking at lunchtime, he was bundled in blankets lying down against a building, and before him was a cardboard sign that read, “anything helps.”


So I stopped and extended my hand and said, “Hi, I’m Julie. Are you okay?” He looked up and saw my hand, looked at me and slowly reached out to shake my hand and quietly told me his name. I bent to hear him better and asked him again if he were okay. He dropped his eyes and said he didn’t know, but he was hungry. I asked him what he needed. He said he’d take anything; I asked him to stay there until I returned, went into a store and got him a sandwich, two bottles of water, some beef jerky, an apple and some granola bars. He teared up, thanking me again and again, I had tears streaming down my face. I recommended a few places locally where he might be able to get help and shook his hand again before heading back to work.

I may never see him again, but I will never forget him either.

Homeless man

by CA Guilfoyle Jul 2012

I tried to quickly pass
in order to avoid the wreckage
You were shipwrecked outside a grocery store
washed up, delivered by a sudden squall

You sat atop a dirty crumpled duffle
I met your sullen, soulful eyes
they spoke harsh truths, not denied
I gave you groceries, you reached for my hand,
thinking me your mother, your sister, a friend

Leaving I turned to see your face
my heart dropped anchor,
sunk by such weight

Posted by: JulieAloha | April 8, 2017

365 Gratitude Project – Day 98: From Darkness…into Light

April 8, 2017

I’ve realized that many of my recent posts are related in theme – I’ve a need lately to see the new life of Spring around me; it’s been a hard, dark winter for me this year and I crave renewal. I’m grateful for the sun to reappear and cast a stronger presence each day, for its light and warmth and life-giving property and so for the rebirth of life around us at this time of year.

Tomorrow is Palm Sunday and I’m grateful for another Son to rise again next week; I’ve felt this Lenten season to be my own Easter, my time of reflection, repentance and quiet communication with my Savior. My heart is not yet healed, nor will it be for some time, and I have been tested lately as the name of the one I loved keeps coming up in casual conversation within my presence at work; I don’t think they mean to be cruel, but it is painful to hear his new girlfriend speak about their life together when I can no longer be a part of his life and find his absence so achingly hollow. I work 7 days a week, but this year I felt called to take next Easter Sunday off. I want, I need to attend services with my mom this year. I need to take communion and humble myself in His House and pray for my forgiveness and sing Alleluia with a chorus of other souls awaiting His Light.

from Psalm 51:
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.


Posted by: JulieAloha | April 7, 2017

365 Gratitude Project – Day 97: White Flowers

April 7, 2017

Before the rain fell, before the wind blew, I walked in white flowers throughout the Zoo grounds this morning. There is life springing forth from the earth, from the trees, tiny green shoots racing to spread leaves to the sunlight, to grow and blossom and I played silent witness to the white and was grateful.

The Little White Flower

by Muna Lee

I can forget so much at will:
That first walk in the snow,
The violet bed on the wet spring hill,
The song we both loved so;

Even the rapture of love’s magic hour,
Even the anguish of love’s disdain,
—But never, but never, the little white flower
We found one day in the rain.

Posted by: JulieAloha | April 6, 2017

365 Gratitude Project – Day 96: Marlene

April 6, 2017

I’m grateful to call this sweet, funny, loving woman, Marlene, my friend. This was her last day of work at the Zoo; she has earned her well deserved retirement and we celebrated her all day. We began with a group picture at our All Staff pancake breakfast, then cupcakes, flowers and balloons in our office. After our morning meeting Marlene was presented with a gift card and a 10 year Zoo Membership! Before ending her day she spent some time on a special behind the scenes visit with our Red Panda, Stellar, whom Marlene reported to be soft and cuddly (I am SO jealous!). Then we all met at Park Pub to celebrate this lovely woman over food and drink with friends old and new. I will miss her smile, her laugh, her dependable hugs and supportive words – especially her morning, “Hey gorgeous, how you doin’?” I ❤ you, Marlene!


by Jenny Joseph

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practise a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

Posted by: JulieAloha | April 5, 2017

365 Gratitude Project – Day 95: Rain Check

April 5, 2017

These last few days I was grateful that the meetings and activities which had been scheduled did not come to pass. I was prepared to push through if need be, to put duty before self, but I have a cold and was more than grateful to be able to stay home in bed and nurse myself with Benadryl, sleep, soup and tea. There is a relief to be able to let go of responsibilities and allow yourself the time and space to rest and heal.

An Empty Field

by Raymond A. Foss

Brown-yellow long grasses
rising again,
after the weight of the snow
gone away for another year
an empty fallow field
ringed by young white pine
standing still behind the fence by the road
a square of open space
between the houses
before the woods beyond

Posted by: JulieAloha | April 4, 2017

365 Gratitude Project – Day 94: Birds

April 4, 2017

I’m grateful for birds, for their beauty and song, for their plumage bright and camouflaged, for their feathers soft and strong. Remnants of the dinosaurs still with us today. Raptors, songbirds, game birds, nesters and burrowers, wild and free or domestic, they intrigue me. True, not all birds are lovely to look at or hear, some are more talon and screech than soft fluffy down. Not all birds even fly, but this is the skill I envy most. I’ve always wanted to fly, to feel the lift and rise into the air, to soar upon unseen updrafts, gliding effortlessly, to bank and drift and revel in the cold heights above warm thermals. I dream of flying, not feathered but wholly as myself, tensing my frame and willing myself to rise up and take to the heavens. It takes effort, concentration, focus and belief, but no pixie dust – in my dreams.

In honor of her birthday this day 1928

Caged Bird

by Maya Angelou

A free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wing
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky. 

But a bird that stalks 
down his narrow cage 
can seldom see through 
his bars of rage 
his wings are clipped and   
his feet are tied 
so he opens his throat to sing. 

The caged bird sings   
with a fearful trill   
of things unknown   
but longed for still   
and his tune is heard   
on the distant hill   
for the caged bird   
sings of freedom. 

The free bird thinks of another breeze 
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees 
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn 
and he names the sky his own 

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams   
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream   
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied   
so he opens his throat to sing. 

The caged bird sings   
with a fearful trill   
of things unknown   
but longed for still   
and his tune is heard   
on the distant hill   
for the caged bird   
sings of freedom.

Posted by: JulieAloha | April 3, 2017

365 Gratitude Project – Day 93: Wood

April 3, 2017

I love the smell of lumber, the lemony scent of pines after rain, the sawdusty-burny smell of freshly cut boards and the aromatic fragrance of my grandmother’s antique cedar chest. I revel in the satiny feel of sanded, polished wood with the beautiful patterns of the grain brought out with oil and effort. Wood is one of the few things I know of which has a life of its own even after its life has been given.


by John Bannister Tabb

This is the way that the sap-river ran
From the root to the top of the tree—
Silent and dark,
Under the bark,
Working a wonderful plan
That the leaves never know,
And the branches that grow
On the brink of the tide never see.

Posted by: JulieAloha | April 2, 2017

365 Gratitude Project – Day 92: Ocean

April 2, 2017

I’m grateful for the ocean, for the great blue deeps and the patterns of light through water, for the life within this hardly explored frontier, and for the trace left behind of wave upon sand. I’m an Aquarius for certain, loving water, moving through it, the feel of it, soft but resistant, buoyant, caressing, enfolding. I love how light plays upon its surface, reflection and shadow, and how it changes the many colors of the ocean from life-blooming green to aqua shallows over white sand, the cool clear cobalt of hidden cenotes and the midnight velvet of the deepest seas.  


The Ocean

by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Ocean has its silent caves,
Deep, quiet, and alone;
Though there be fury on the waves,
Beneath them there is none.

The awful spirits of the deep
Hold their communion there;
And there are those for whom we weep,
The young, the bright, the fair.

Calmly the wearied seamen rest
Beneath their own blue sea.
The ocean solitudes are blest,
For there is purity.

The earth has guilt, the earth has care,
Unquiet are its graves;
But peaceful sleep is ever there,
Beneath the dark blue waves.

Posted by: JulieAloha | April 1, 2017

365 Gratitude Project – Day 91: Poetry Month

April 1, 2017

April is National Poetry Month, begun by the Academy of American Poets in 1996. In celebration I’m going to try to support my entries this month with this art form of the written word put to page and screen.

The Enkindled Spring
D. H. Lawrence

This spring as it comes bursts up in bonfires green,
Wild puffing of emerald trees, and flame-filled bushes,
Thorn-blossom lifting in wreaths of smoke between
Where the wood fumes up and the watery, flickering rushes.

I am amazed at this spring, this conflagration 
Of green fires lit on the soil of the earth, this blaze
Of growing, and sparks that puff in wild gyration,
Faces of people streaming across my gaze.

And I, what fountain of fire am I among
This leaping combustion of spring? My spirit is tossed
About like a shadow buffeted in the throng
Of flames, a shadow that’s gone astray, and is lost.

This is also my niece’s birthday; Happy Day, Robin!

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »