We have a chance each morning…before we walk out of our door

to be a better person…than we were the day before…


Right away we notice…when our feet first hit the floor

that we’re a little different than we were the day before.


Certainly we’re a little older…but there’s also something more…

more than just our age that makes us different than before.


Love and loss…victory and defeat…we never know what’s in store

Whatever happens…good or bad makes us a little different than before.


Each day brings with it new adventures…each moment we’re awake

and we hope we learn as much from our successes as we do from our mistakes.


But on we go…we forge ahead…out into the world we soar…

hoping today we are a little better than we were the day before.


Perhaps a little kinder, more compassionate, more accepting…and what’s more…

perhaps a little wiser than we were the day before.


If not…there is one consolation…tomorrow…when our feet first hit the floor


We’ll be given another chance to be a little better than we were the day before.

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If we knew today was our last day…

If we knew tomorrow was the end of our bloom

what would we do

how would we act

what would we say…

and to whom?


Would we sprinkle words of love a little freer

before we pass this way

Would we hold those we love a little tighter 

than we held them yesterday?


Would we stop and smell the roses

as we head out your front door…

Would we notice a little more beauty today 

than we did the day before?


Would we smile and laugh a little more

Would we sit and watch a river flow

Would we notice the birds and the clouds a little more 

than we did a day ago.


And so I wonder…


if there are things we would make it a point to do

before we pass away

So many things we want to say or do


why wait til our last day?

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It’s passed down from generation to generation

and though it might seem simple to you and me

their is a knowledge

a method

a spiritualness

an artistry to climbing a tree.


When you find a tree you’d like to climb…you must pause…

as part of the tradition

pause to give thanks for this tree and to quietly ask permission.


For though you are happy to have found a tree that, for climbing, now befits you

you must wait for an answer from the tree…

it is the tree who must permit you.


If there is a nest in the top or it’s branches are to weak 

the tree will tell you now is bad timing

and ask you to come back when the nest is unoccupied

or its branches are more suitable for climbing.


But when you find a tree that is willing

when a tree lets you know it is time

you ascend to the top without effort

as the branches seem to assist in your climb.


And it’s just as important when you’ve finished

when the tree gently sets you back down

to again thank the tree for it’s generosity

the minute your feet hit the ground.


Yes, it seems when it comes to climbing a tree

what’s important is the spiritualness you exude…

It has less to do with your ability to climb

and more with your kindness and your gratitude…


It’s been passed down from generation to generation

and in each generation there comes a time…

when they realize the same magic that works for climbing a tree…


works for whatever in life they might climb.

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I’ve often heard him playing his violin…his music has a way

of finding its way into my heart…be it night or be it day.


He plays outside while looking up…always in the same place

underneath the power lines with a smile on his face.


He has no music in front of him…it seems to flow from somewhere within

but there he sits day in…night out…this old man and his violin…


I asked him once how he does it…how does he find a way

to play a different song each evening…a new song every day.


He pointed up to the power lines…then played some of the most beautiful music I’d ever heard…

“It’s really very simple.” he said…”Each day I play the birds.”


The power lines are my musical staff…when the birds land there each day

I don’t have to think about it…all I have to do is play.


“But what about at night?” I asked…”You play different music…

different tunes with different bars.”

The old man smiled

“When the birds go to sleep in the evening,” he said…


“that is when I play the stars.”

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As they walked together, missing her, the daughter asked the dad

“How can the sunrise be so beautiful when I’m feeling so sad?”


How can I find beauty anywhere…in the trees, the birds…the butterflies

when everything is blurry…when tears fill up my eyes?”


“when my world has lost its color…when everything is grey…

when nothing that I see or hear makes my sadness go away?


“This sadness we are feeling,” Dad said…

there is no remedy…

no cure

but the trees, the birds, the butterflies and the sunrise

make it easier to endure.”


We cannot stop sadness from reaching into our lives…

but eventually we learn

If we have love, sunrises and butterflies

our happiness returns.


Her dad is no longer with her

and when she feels sad she smiles as she closes her eyes …

and she thinks of walking with him in the morning…

of sunrises 


and butterflies.


We’ve come to know her on our walks…she seldom wears a frown.

She’s up early, just like us, and drives her golf cart around town.


Everyone knows Freddy…she wouldn’t have it any other way

Saying hi to her is a tradition…a wonderful way to begin our day…


Sometime we stop and chat…she loves to talk…she isn’t shy

Oftentimes we just wave to her as she goes zooming by.


She is an emissary…an ambassador…one of our city’s oldest living members

She loves to tell her stories…and share all that she remembers.


Today we waved as usual until she beeped and pulled alongside

then asked if we were busy or would we like to take a ride.


We happily jumped into her cart…for this adventure…we were ready

I climbed into the back…while Deborah sat up front…right next to Freddy.


She said she was excited to show us something…She knew we’d be excited too…

She drove us to her house where the entire lawn was decorated…

It was her birthday….92


We wished her a happy birthday…actually we kind of had to yell

(Perhaps that’s why she talks so much…cause she doesn’t hear so well.)


We continued on our walk as Freddy drove off fast..forthwith

looking for another person or persons to share her birthday with.


As we watched her drive away I wondered if every town has a Freddy 

I imagine that they do…

someone whose been around forever…someone who’s 92…


And if you do…take the time to get to know her…

talk and wave…if she asks you…sit behind

for you never know where she will take you


or what treasures you might find…

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He writes of love…

of friends…

of family…

and he is the first one to concede…

not because they are all he has


but because they are all he needs.

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They were on the edge of hopelessness…their dream…not going as they planned

until they happened on a little purple flower growing in the sand…


And they began to hope again…believing their dream…within their reach


when they saw a little purple flower growing on the beach.

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I wonder what our world would be like if everyone was blind.

I wonder how our world would look…and feel in our minds.


It’s true we could not see the sunrise paint it’s colors across the sky.

We could not see our children’s smiles without the use of eyes.


But wouldn’t it be harder to be prejudiced if our sight was kept within…

If we couldn’t see the differences in the color of our skin?


It’s true we could not see rainbows, or the colors of the rose

or the change of leaves in Autumn…or the pure white winter snows.


But wouldn’t it be harder to go to war…wouldn’t all fighting have to wait

If we could not see the people…the ones we’re supposed to hate?


It’s true we could not see the oceans glimmer, or the gentle summer breeze.

We could not see it move the clouds…or ruffle through the trees.


But there would be no need for guns…to settle our disputes

If we couldn’t see the person over there whom we’re supposed to shoot.


Of course we live in a world where most of us can see…

where prejudice and war and guns…make up our history…


But sometimes I'm inclined to wonder 

if our world wouldn’t be a little more kind

If each and every one of us…


were just a little bit blind.

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