Whenever I see a baby passing by me on the street

I smile…

you see I’m captivated by their baby hands and baby feet.


It reminds me of the miracle of birth


how swiftly our time goes

when I see their little fingers…

and count their little toes.


I remember when my children and grandchildren were babies…

Was it really that long ago

when I held their baby hands in mine

and tickled their baby toes?


And again I think how time moves ever onward

does not stop

will not repeat

and how we must cherish every moment 

of baby hands and baby feet.


Knowing babies grow up…

that it’s all part of the plan

I look into the parents' eyes and whisper…


“Enjoy this while you can”.

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From the time of our first breath…from the moment our life starts

we begin creating, until we die, an unfinished work of art.


Some days we are an artist…we wake up and set our sights

on painting with broad brush strokes in colors bold and bright…


Some days we are a sculptor… hoping at the end of that day

after chiseling, carving and smoothing…we are happy with our clay.


Some days we are a composer…searching for the notes that will add harmony

to the notes already written in our life-long symphony.  


Sometimes we are a a writer…seeking the right words…perhaps an allegory

that when mixed with previous words add beauty to our story….


Sometimes we control the brush, the clay the pen…other times we’re waiting

for friends and family to add their colors…to the artwork we’re creating.


And when we stop to look…when each day comes to an end

we notice subtle differences as all our different styles blend.


I wonder sometimes if that’s not why we sleep…if that isn’t the reason why?

so at the end or every day whatever medium we were workin in

has the night in which to dry.


So when we wake up the next morning…no matter where or when

we are refreshed…and we are ready…to begin creating again


Ready to add paints or clay or words or notes…looking for emotion, soul…and heart

to an ever-changing…never-ending…unfinished work of art…


And if we’re blessed the final result each day…has captured our hopes our joy our fears


as slowly, imperceptibly we become more beautiful each year.

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When I was just a boy…so innocent and free

a movie star…

or a great athlete…

or a famous singer…

is who I wanted to be.


Then I grew up…

and I found love…

or, I wonder, did love find me?

I married and we settled down to raise a family.


And I’ve been in some great home movies which we still love to see

all captured for eternity…now on DVD.


And I’ve played many sports with my children and grandchildren.

They must have known I had a knack

because whenever we played football…they made me quarterback.


And when I sing with my family…around the table or in the car

I don’t have to be on center stage…to feel like a star.


Yes, when I was just a boy

a movie star…

or a great athlete…

or a famous singer 

is who I wanted to be…

Little did I know 

when I grew up


that I would be all three.

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They walk a different path each morning

as a new day’s begins to glow..

They fill a picnic basket and they drive

It doesn’t matter where they go.


They gather with their friends and family 

to spend a moment or two.

sometime they sit

sometimes they eat

It doesn’t matter what they do.


They love to play any kind of games

their children and grandchildren might choose

It doesn’t matter if they win

It doesn’t matter if they lose.


If you ask them why it doesn’t matter 

they have a simple reason why.

If you ask them why it doesn’t matter

they have but one reply…


You see…they know that life is short…and precious

and every moment they’re awake

it’s not the size of the memory that’s important


it’s how many they can make.

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When a heart is broken…

at first it seems unbearable, 

the world looks bleak 

and grim

but sometimes it must break completely

to empty all of her…

or all of him.


For once a heart has been depleted…

and we think there’s nothing more…

that’s when we can piece it back together

even stronger than before..


Knowing what gives our heart it’s courage

it’s tenacity

its glue

are not only those who build it up


but those who break it too.

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On a recent walk along the beach…where the ocean meets the land

what captured my attention were all the footprints in the sand.


We watched sandpipers darting to and fro 

tiptoeing between the water and the land

pursuing their next meal…leaving tiny footprints in the sand.


We saw people walking, families playing, children making castles with their hands.

while others laughed, or ran, or skipped…leaving footprints in the sand.


It wasn’t just how many there were…spreading out across the land

It was also the diversity…of those footprints in the sand.


I kept wondering…were they young or old…

gay or straight

black or white…

was it a woman or a man

who walked this beach before us and left these footprints in the sand?


As you walk along the beach you feel a harmony 

with the sky…the sea…the land…

and that day I felt that same harmony with those footprints in the sand.


And I had to smile as we walked…thinking…wouldn’t it be grand…

if the only way to judge a person…was by their footprints in the sand?


Would there be prejudice and bigotry?

Would people be ridiculed…or banned

If the only way to judge them was from their footprints in the sand?


And I wondered if we should all be more like sandpipers

who, as they scamper, dash and stand,

tread softly 

and live in harmony…

while making footprints in the sand.


Who understand the key to life

is to live nobly

and dignified

and grand…

before our time is up 

and the tide washes away


our footprints in the sand.

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For many years she walked

hands close by her side

wishing she was more like the birds

wishing upon the wind she could glide


For many years she walked

never venturing too high

until the day she spread her wings

and realized…


she could fly.

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There is a bird outside my window who somehow has the knack

of singing me awake each morning when the sky is painted black


While all her friends are sleeping ...heads nestled neath their wings

she rises early in her tree…and all she does...is sing.


She sings a beautiful melody...before the sun’s first glow.

And I wonder:

Does she know morning approaches?  

It’s dark...how can she know?


Still she fills the night with music…with dignity…and grace

and though I’ve never seen her...I imagine a smile on her face.


It’s such a lovely song she sings during the night to day interlude

and I admire her confidence, 

her determination…

her faith…

her fortitude.


And when I’m feeling apprehensive…

when it’s confidence I lack

I remember the bird who sings to me in the morning…


when the sky is painted black.

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It didn’t take him long while growing up to realize he was poor…

when he compared himself to other children 

and saw they had so much more


They lived in bigger houses in a better part of town.

They wore the newest clothes and rode in cars that didn’t break down


When he asked his dad about it…his dad said,

“Yes, son, times are tough but when I stop and think about it,

I think we have enough.”


“It’s true when you compare our life to others

there are some things that we lack

but we have enough money to pay our rent

and put clothes upon our backs.”


“We have enough food to eat

enough eggs and milk and bread.

We have comfortable beds to sleep on

and a roof above our heads.”


“And most importantly we have each other

You have me…and I have you.

If we lost everything else tomorrow…

that’s enough to see us through.


When he looked at his Dad’s smile

he felt warm inside…content

and when he looked around at all he had 

he saw what his dad meant…


It’s amazing how life works sometimes…

How, when we need it…what providence does

for on the same day he thought that he was poor


he discovered how rich he was.

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