Growing

The twentieth birthday of my firstborn

prompted me to recall the many

miracles we witnessed with his

coming-into-being,

and growth:

The wonder in his bottomless, starglowing ,

newborn eyes; the feel of his sleeping,

warm, body at rest, on me;

his milky, sweet, scalp-scent;

his ba-ba-babbling, as he began speaking.

The first steps that

quickly became a run

and his monkey-confident climbing: walls,

trees, poles, anything vertical.

His probing curiosity that grew into

a keen, and shining intellect.

His launching into the adult world,

fearlessly fending, and building a

kind, thoughtful, remarkable self.

But another miracle happened, too.

Because the young woman that I was,

is growing into a deeper woman

whose heart has broken a thousand times;

seeing her loved ones suffer injuries, great

and small. And imagining greater dangers,

still loving with abandon.

It was already in my nature to feel joy

in simple things, but now I

have climbed mountains,

faltered and climbed again.

I have even found bliss in satisfied longing,

and it warmed me to my toes.

I have floated in warm sunshine,

left the comfort of the shallows

and found that Love holds us,

and not let go and I, too,

am coming-into-being.

©️Laurie Lynn Newman

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World-Class Cuddling

He seduced me with his laser-listening.

He won me with his ebullient humor

and kisses that sang to every cell in me,

“You are home!”

We would spoon sweetly as he

in newscaster voice, narrated our

winning the gold-medal

in Olympic cuddling.

Two years ago, my Love left his body.

I have been lobbing spirit-satellites

since then, seeking his presence

and the peace felt as

we laced our fingers together.

I was proud that he saved lives

and thrilled that I made his life sweeter.

Our world-class cuddling is what

I still imagine as I stretch myself across

the wide, lonely bed.

I have traveled a long road without him.

I have reassembled myself

into a new woman.

What Love could be for me, now?

What laughter? What embrace?

©️Laurie Lynn Newman

Transition

The falling maple keys,

helicopter seeds, whirl from above

and like joyful confetti

scatter around you.

You moved through loss

and though there is a hole

in your heart that will never be filled,

still you can now, in the peaceful green leaf-fall, take a deep breath.

Know that all the love

you gave and received will never waste.

Believe that. Chew on that. Take it in.

Make it part of you, forever.

The evening air breathes the scent

of soft, sweet, rain.

Rain will wash and brighten. It nourishes.

Becoming the new person,

without the old need, is unfamiliar.

You flex and stretch the new muscle

of wholeness.

You are loved.

You always were.

©️Laurie Lynn Newman

Pay Attention

Move too fast, and you miss the way

that bead of water quivers on the petal.

Stand still, and notice.

You will notice how the

fold-of-flower creates deep, pink

shadow-pockets.

The songbird’s sound startles you awake.

The distant plane feathers a white plume.

Everything wants to be loved.

You are called to that,

in this very moment.

How to begin?

Pay attention.

Protect

Life is precious.

People are not animals.

And animals deserve not to

be gunned down for no purpose.

How can anyone claim to be pro-life

in any way, when children and teachers

can be gunned down on a brilliant

spring morning anywhere in the nation?

But, Sandy Hook, Reynolds, Columbine,

Parkland, Springfield, and the heartbroken

others, it keeps on and on and on and on.

We will never be able to stop this

if we allow ourselves numbness, escape,

despair and overwhelm.

We need to feel the pain and let it move us

to real change.

Clarity, compunction, compassion,

action.

We belong to one another.

When we know that, we will protect life.

©️Laurie Lynn Newman

The Dating Game in Mid-Life

How to play the dating game in the middle of your life:

1. Realize that for many, it is indeed a game. For others, it is a life-longing, a holy grail of hope. And everything in-between.

2. Beware the photos that are too good to be true. They aren’t.

3. Accept that at some point, you may be the one to discern: it is not a romantic match.

4. And the next day, someone else discerns that about you.

5. Sometimes, you will wonder how you got to this age, and you are on a first date.

6. On the first date, you will talk about nearly-grown kids, and you will wonder about retirement.

7. Keep things in balance. Do not put dating apps on your phone.

8. Don’t give away your phone number too soon.

9. Sex is on every one’s mind. But the rules have changed considerably since you were a teenager.

10. Keep loving yourself, no matter how you feel other’s judgment.

11. Don’t be so cautious that you miss making a true friend.

12. Possessing a sense of humor is golden.

13. Remember that you are a child of God, and you are loved.

14. The more you can simply have fun, the better.

©️Laurie Lynn Newman

Darling Buds

Indeed, rough winds do shake us.

Nothing’s temperate in our time.

It’s a season of extremes:

loudest voices, biggest guns,

devastating storms, fire, flood,

politics over-the-top.

The goodness in us need be

unfurling, fast, and fully.

What soft breeze could blow to make

our better natures bloom?

Focused attention may bring

forth new courage, heart and mind.

With each breath we breathe this Spring,

may we bloom to action, kind.

©️Laurie Lynn Newman