This is not an anniversary poem…no…for that would be much too soon…the anniversary of our wedding…we won’t celebrate til June.


But it does have wedding connotations…a kind of anniversary thread…because yesterday we took a walk in the park near the chapel where we were wed.


We stopped in front of the chapel…after our walk was through…to remember and relive that moment 33 1/2 years ago…when we said ‘I do’.


We stood on the doorstep remembering our first steps taken together as husband and wife…and thinking how every day…through all these years…we’ve been blessed with a wonderful life.


As we gazed upon our chapel…we noticed in these 33 1/2 years she’s a little more weathered than she use to be…and it brought a smile to our faces when we realized…so are we.


And those smiles were soon accompanied by a scattering of tears…when we realized how…just like this chapel…we’re still together…still standing after all these years.


So…perhaps this is an anniversary poem after all…

though not on our exact wedding date…

Perhaps every day we are alive…

every day we are together…

is another anniversary…

another reason to celebrate.


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I am not a doctor! Let me make that clear right from the start…but you don’t have to be a doctor to understand the importance of the heart.


I know, as far as vital organs go, the heart is beyond compare…which makes me think that something this crucial to our existence…was created to be shared.


To me the miracle of our heart…what truly makes it great…is its ability…no matter how many times we give it away…to revitalize…to rejuvenate.


Again I am no doctor and I have no proof of what I’m about to declare…but, from my experience, one’s heart grows bigger and stronger the more that heart is shared.


And even bigger, stronger and more powerful…(this is another lesson I have learned) when a heart that has been given away…gets one back in return.


In giving our heart away to others…there is a shared awareness…understood…and oftentimes unspoken…that shared hearts will gather round…whenever one of them is broken.


So, a bit of advice on the heart…from a non-doctor…if I may…

If you want to keep your heart beating strong 

if you want to keep it healthy…

try giving it away.


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Standing behind the counter in our bookstore and peering through its window that looks out on the street give me a unique perspective on humanity…both from the people whom I talk with…and those I never meet:


I watched a car pull into the parking space directly in front of our store…then watched a middle-aged woman jump out the driver’s side, run around and open the passenger side door.


I watched her struggling to help a much older woman get up and out of her seat…and with the older lady leaning heavily on the younger one…I watched them slowly cross the street.


After lunch I saw them slowly shuffle back…I watched the daughter secure her mother in her seat…smile…gently shut the door…then run around to her side, enter, and make sure her mom was safe and comfortable once more.


As I watched this all unfold in front of me I thought of the life, together, they’ve traversed and my mind wandered back to a time when their roles had been reversed.


When the older woman, then a young mother, carried her daughter across the street…then opened her car door and made sure she was safe and comfortable within her seat.


And as I watched them drive away I thought about humanity…and how it’s one of our designers greatest creations…for what is humanity if not love…that’s been passed down…from generation to generation.


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He used to love walks with his mom…and his favorite walks…by far…were their evening walks along the beach paired with her lessons under the stars…


Her first lesson was to wave at all the stars as they walked along the sea.

She’d say…”I like to think…all my ancestors are waving back at me.”


Her second lesson was if he needed to make a wish…and wanted that wish to travel far…to make that wish upon the wind…and send it to a star.


She’d say, “Keep your eyes upon that star…watch it glow…if you’re lucky you’ll see it twinkle too…then you’ll know your wish has landed…and there’s a chance it will come true.


Her third lesson was whenever he was sad….not to be afraid to cry…to believe in a high-power…to believe there’s magic in the sky.


She’d say…”I’m not sure how this works and it is difficult to comprehend…but, after you begin to cry…your tears and stardust blend…


“Only for a moment, however,…a moment of transcending…as the beach is forever changed…by your tears and star’s dust blending…


“For it’s one of natures wonders…one of her secrets we may never understand…how our blended tears help create the oceans…while blended stardust forms the sand.



He continues to take long walks today…his favorites are still those he takes along the beach…as he remembers walking with his mom…and the lessons she would teach…


Now he walks alone,…but to her first lesson he thinks back…

and when he waves at the stars in the heavens…

he imagines it’s his mom who’s waving back.



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When I was young I thought the road to love…to kindness…to acceptance and to equality would be an easy road to follow as long as everyone had the same thoughts and feelings as me.


We’d all be kind, loving and generous…all people would be free…if everyone in the world had the same thoughts and feelings as me.


There would be no animosity…no hate…no wars…no prejudice…no bigotry…if everyone in the world had the same thoughts and feelings as me.


Alas! That is not the way it is…not the way I’d hoped it would be…because everyone in the world does not have the same thoughts and feelings as me.


Which means we spend a lot of time angry with one another…angry about the things on which we disagree…because you can’t force me to think like you…and I can’t force you to think like me.


And how ironic that because there is so much on which we disagree…that I would end up hating you…and you end up hating me.


And though it’s true hoping everyone would share my thoughts and feelings was my original intent…sharing thoughts and feeling of hatred was not exactly what I meant.


Instead I’ve come to realize on the road to love, to kindness, to acceptance and equality…there are many paths to cross…and with so many paths…it is easy to get lost.


I’m now resigned to the fact everyone in the world will never have the same thought s and feelings as me….but I still pray that whatever path they choose will lead to love…to kindness..to acceptance and to equality.


Yes, there is now an old realist in me who knows 

everyone will never think and feel like me….


There is also a young dreamer in me who continues to hope



they will.

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As was tradition in their family the young couple dreaming of their life ahead…sought the insight of the wise one…before they were to wed.


The wise one swore them to secrecy…then said, “I give you but one task.

“Is it more important to love…or to be loved?” was question that she asked.


She told them to think about their answers…to discuss, together, their reasons why…then return in one weeks time to the place where eagles fly.


“I do not need to hear your answers,” the wise one said when they returned, “I do not need to hear your reasons why…

”No, the reason I brought you back today was so you can watch the eagles fly.”


“I want you to think about my question again as you watch these eagles in flight…ask yourself which wing is more important to them…the left one…or the right.”


Then…her mission done…the wise one…with nothing more to say…

smiled at the young couple…stood up…and silently walked away.

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While on my walk this morning…as I navigated the terrain…a raindrop fell upon my shoulder and I thought…how love is a lot like getting caught out in the rain.


You’re walking along…minding your own business…just like every other day…when you feel that first raindrop…you’re taken aback…and you try brushing it away.


Then the next raindrop hits and then another…you’re confused…you begin to fret…you were just out walking…you weren’t ready to get wet.


But as more and more raindrops keep falling you realize…you have less to lose and more to gain…so you stop fighting with your feelings and you give in to the rain.


And when you do…when you allow the rain to soak into ever crevice…every pore…you smile and you dance more than you’ve ever smiled or danced before.


And you think…it was only a short while ago…you tried to brush away that drop…but now…wherever you are walking…you don’t want the rain to stop.


And as it becomes a little easier to enjoy life’s blessings and to endure its aches and pains…you realize how lucky you were…to get caught out in the rain.

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So much technology at our fingertips allows us to communicate with each other so much faster…but not necessarily better…for lost in our alacrity is the art of the love letter.


Oh, we can end a text with emoticons for love <3 for happy :) for kiss * but we don’t have to write complete sentences anymore…which is something I dearly miss.


For it is only in a card or letter where the seeds of love are truly sown…taking the time to form the letters…writing from our heart…is an art form all its own.


When it comes to letter writing the French know this to be true…they have a special term for a love letter…it’s called the billet-doux.


Why you may ask in today’s fast paced world send something that moves with the speed of a snail?  Because nothing beats the feeling one has when they receive a love letter in the mail.


(Let me assuage any misconceptions you may be thinking of…

for any letter or card you send someone…is an act of love.)


That elation we experience opening the envelope addressed to us and taking out a personal note…knowing someone not only took the time to write it…but to think about what they wrote.


Knowing they wrote it just for us…not for the entire world to see…gives the billet-doux a feeling of friendship…of closeness…of affection…of intimacy.


Yes the world is moving by at a rapid pace but a love letter is one way to fight it..because the greatest gift in a love letter is the time we take to write it.


So here’s to writing and sending more love letters…for I imagine there are people out there who…would love to be on the receiving end of a billet-doux…from you.

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Whenever my life seems out of balance…when things are difficult for me…

I remember I am loved…and rediscover life’s symmetry.


Whenever the music of my life is out of tune…when I lose the melody…

I remember I am loved…and rediscover life’s harmony.


Whenever my world turns dark and colorless…when it’s beauty I can no longer see…

I remember I am loved…and rediscover life’s artistry.


Whenever I’m feeling lonely…when I think I’m on my own…

I remember I am loved…and rediscover I am not alone.


Whenever I see others who have so much more than me…when I think life’s unfair…

I remember I am loved…and rediscover riches beyond compare.


And whenever I’m discouraged over a dream that didn’t come true…

I remember I am loved …and rediscover…how some dreams do..


Whether it be partners, family, friends or pets…I am happy to concede

All the times in life I’ve rediscovered…

how love is all I need.


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