After eleven hours straight inside one building, essentially in two rooms and the hallway and stairwell between them, I am in need of some nature therapy. Luckily, New York has my back with the beautiful Central Park.  My mile plus walk across the Park rejuvenates me on my way home, ready to stitch or sketch as the spirit moves me. 

And then the train ride home said, “Don’t forget about me.” And the sun was beginning to set over the water. It’s hard taking pictures on a moving train,  but trust me,  in person it was lovely.  


PAD 24: As Seasons Roll

From winter to spring, the seasons roll

Every year it has been so,

Every year it will be.

When snow tarries into March or April,

Still we know that spring is coming soon,

The snow won’t last, the days do lengthen,

Bright, breezy days will follow.

We do not question it even though

We cannot see the grass or feel the warmth,

We have faith that Nature will not let us down.

So when we fear and feel afraid of death’s dark door

And what is to come, have faith that

God will not abandon us, and just as surely

As spring follows winter, so too does

Light follow darkness.



(PAD prompt April 24, 2017: Write a faith poem.)

Nature’s Bounty

This morning I sat on my brother-in-law’s deck looking out on the koi pond, the green backyard bedecked with trees, and the bordering nature preserve. What beauty. What peace. I was not able to get to Mass this morning, but sitting there in the sunshine with a light breeze blowing and reading the day’s prayers and looking out on this serene scene filled me with peace. I cannot create a perfect moment, a beautiful summer day, a forest of trees, a song of birds, but I can be inspired by them. I hope you can be too. Let God, a Higher Power, the Spirit, whatever you call Him (Her), inspire you to create beauty.

The mourning dove coos his doleful song while

Pecking the seeds that have fallen beneath the feeder.

The woodpecker helps himself to a snack

Before flying to the tree for a bug or two.

Then, the yellow finch swoops in, flapping

His black and yellow wings, taking a nibble

Before fluttering away when

The bully jay arrives in his brilliant blue

To take possession of the feeder and

The seeds underneath.

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PAD 22: Nature

Happy Earth Day! In honor of such, our prompt today is nature. I had a few things going for me as I ruminated on this prompt today. For one, we took the ninth grade students to the Bronx Zoo in celebration of Earth Day. And, it was a beautiful day! And finally, I have been teaching William Cullen Bryant’s “To a Waterfowl” this week. As these three things combined with the Earth Day prompt, I came up with my own message from nature. Enjoy.

Giraffe Lessons

With a long neck extended gracefully,

The giraffe nibbles daintily on the leaves.

Another ambles over to a nearby tree

To chew and ruminate.

Nearby the ostrich jolts its way

Around the savanna,

Unperturbed and unmolested

By its towering neighbor.

The mothers form calving pools

To provide day care for their young.

The males come to play.

Even their form of battle seems benign,

As males engage in necking to claim power.

Few are hurt; fewer die,

And the boys are friends again

When the battle is over.


What is it about the giraffe that seems

Majestic, regal, stately?

Is it his height alone, his quiet manner,

His seemingly calm lifestyle?


Perhaps there is a lesson to learn

From our elongated friends.

Can we stretch ourselves to our

Full height; hold

Our heads high? Let us protect our children,

Leave our neighbors uninjured, and

Ruminate before we act.



Winter in NYC

Winter in NYC…Monday we were dismissed early from school. The light was perfect when I got home, so I grabbed my camera and headed out to a little nature preserve near the house.

Let me back up. For the past few weeks I’ve been working every day–Saturdays and Sundays included–grading, prepping, creating exams as midterms approached. Monday morning I entered the last of the grades into the electronic gradebook as the snow fell on the city. Then, after I taught my fourth of five classes for the day, the call came in. It was time to go home. I was exhausted and ready to take a nap. But the light…the light was perfect.

And the snow. The heavy, packing snow hangs so beautifully on the trees. It’s terrible for the trees, I know. If the temperatures drop too precipitously, the trees can be damaged, sometimes beyond repair. But in those moments when the snow is falling and the light is right, the effect can be breathtaking. So off I went.

And I was not disappointed. My exhaustion was lifted by the beauty of nature. All we create can pale in comparison to nature’s simple adornments, but create we do in our attempts to emulate them. That’s what’s so enlivening about creativity. It connects us to our souls, to our humanity. And sometimes, my creativity simply records nature’s beauty because nothing can outdo Mother Nature herself.

I hope you enjoy a few photos of NYC (yes, this is the city, though not Manhattan) in winter.TreesNo SkatingThe Road Less Traveled ByToadstools