How Traveling is A Lot Like Love, Part 2

When you begin a journey

to a brand new place,

you may tremble with

excitement and

a little fear.

Everything is new.

Nothing is taken for granted.

It is so easy to be enchanted

with the differences,

the unfamiliar beauty is


Things that you thought would be

easy take longer

and other things surprise you

along the way.

You will be happiest

if when you encounter obstacles

to your plans

if you stay pliable

and open to plan B, C or D.

Like falling in love,

the best journey will inevitably

require your willingness to risk.

You will need to walk a line

that veers from trust

to caution

and keep your heart


because there is simply so much

to love.

©️Laurie Lynn Newman


After Rain

December grows thin

and after weeks

of unseasonable, upbeat,


and dry air that makes

fingers rough and

lips scaly,

rain returned,

frozen fog

shrouded us,

and we dreamt through

the longest night of the year.

Whose hand reached for yours

in the silence of your dream?

What scent tickled

your imagination?

Did you soar to a new place,

or did you rest

the bosom of familiarity?

Was there space

in your dreaming

for the grace of mystery?

For the unspooling of

each silken day,

the invitation to offer:

your unguarded self,

your undivided attention ,

your undaunted imagination,

your passionate love

for life,

in this glorious



Up Close

When we are healthy

and traveling a familiar path

and accustomed pace

it is likely that we don’t

witness, don’t see

wonder peeking out

from almost

any place.

We won’t hear the breeze

singing through the trees.

We may miss the pungent pine-scent,

the waft-freshing of the trees.

Why must we hurry?

What makes us scatter

our attention to screens

and miss what


Here is one thing,

just one thing, today:

Treat your senses to a

three-minute feast.

Stop, and notice

the most minute

and the least.

Breathe and taste.

Savor and smell.

Touch and see.

It is a blessing

to be.


She handed me

my coffee with a smile

that warmed me

from my toes.

This came shortly

after I left my gym

where I noticed

that women and men mostly

avoided eye contact

so that the smiles I offered

simply melted

back into my

heart, open

like unfolding pink


When you wake into

a day with bad news blaring,

remember that kindness

kindles goodwill and

smiles can heal.

We have the power

to do this


Honest Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day and today

I give thanks for my nation,

for the freedoms and wealth

that my loved ones and I


And yet, as soon as those

abundant blessings

come to mind,

I become aware of the privilege

that I was born to:

healthy birth in a time

of prosperity,

a white, Protestant Christian

in a majority setting,

blessed with two loving parents

who worked hard,

encouraged and

augmented my education.

Those blessings cleared a path

for much of what I have


I am thankful.

I do not want my thanks

to come at the expense of

those younger than me,

or those in more vulnerable

places and

situations, those

who will inherit

a planet off-kilter and dangerous.

My gratitude should not bear

in it any indifference

to any who by birth

have inherited extra

hurdles to clear.

How may my thanksgiving

carry in it

humility and love?

“Life is short,

and we have but little time

to gladden the hearts

of those who travel the way

with us. ”

Could our honest thanksgiving

bring understanding, compassion

and healing to our nation

our world

our families?

Could we try?


When did time

accelerate and

launch me

and my peers

into gray middle-age?

We are more colorful than ever

with humor, insight

and sometimes small

glimmers of wisdom.

“You are old, Mom”

my teenage son intones

with depressingly little irony.

Disinterest in pop culture

seems to age us

but still curiosity

drives us to keep learning.

My energy vibrates

stronger than when

I was young

with the job of tending



our eyebrows and hair

have faded


skin no longer holds that

smooth elastic beauty

of youth.

Gray holds in it


grounded home and


Wendell Berry: The Impeded Stream

There are, it seems, two muses: the Muse of Inspiration, who gives us inarticulate visions and desires, and the Muse of Realization, who returns again and again to say “It is yet more difficult than you thought.” This is the muse of form. It may be then that form serves us best when it works as an obstruction, to baffle us and deflect our intended course. It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work and when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.

Wendell Berry