First Born

It’s amazing how difficult it is to be firstborn

The second does not understand

They see privilege



Yet being firstborn comes with so much responsibility

It’s built-in

It’s part of the job

It looks like bossiness

But it’s protection

It looks like don’t wanna play

But it’s growing up

It looks like never share

But it’s longing for something

Anything that is exclusively yours

Firstborn means

Being in your own world sometimes

It means different teachers

Different friends

Different likes and dislikes

Different experiences

Different memories

It means moving at a different pace

Moving ahead

And eventually

It means leaving and not coming back

It’s not insensitive

It’s not uncaring

It’s just firstborn

A Picture’s Worth

It has been said, “A picture is worth a thousand words” and yet I have always taken dozens of pictures to tell just one story. A birthday perhaps. A trip to the beach. Not to mention, Christmas. Christmas is in a photographic league of its own.

But these days, photographers edit their pictorial words even before they snap the shot; composing from contorted angles to capture only part of a subject or half a smile. The art has become much more concise. Fewer and fewer pixels are needed. Even so, I find the old adage still true.

A few Minutes by a Creek

I love to spend a few minutes by a creek-

The peaceful sound of water rushing over stones and fallen trees

Autumnal colors: amber, brown and mossy green

A smooth, cold boulder seat

Stepping stones anchored to the creek bed

Jagged sticks and floating leaves cluster together

Capturing wild waters and taming them before my very eyes

Would-be waterfalls and an icy breeze

Spindly twigs and smoky clouds overlap the brilliant blue above me

Scented evergreens stand with bare maples

Remnant leaves waft by and then rest beside me

Too many to count

Ferns and slate protrude from the banks

Unmistakable and incomparable

I love to spend a few hours by a creek

What Will You Bring?

Ah, to inspire…

Like the expanse of the ocean-

Waves crescendoing against a pink-blue sky

Or 70 and ten musicians devoted to the score

An atrium of sound flooding the soul

Or a climber who reached the peak

Against all odds

To inspire would be great

But then what?

Will the spark perpetuate greatness?

Or will it die like an ember upon the hearth?

I think I will bring joy instead

Available in a moment

Seen on the face

And felt in the belly

The giver and receiver, both lighter

Floating gently upward

Like two balloons released into the sky…

The Year of Vision

20/20, these numbers are synonymous with the word vision. Yet the year 2020 seemed to lack vision completely. It was easily the most confusing, fear-filled, hopeless year of my life, I imagine yours too.

In 2020, I watched helplessly as my son and his classmates had senior year snatched from their hands in broad daylight. Instantly they became virtual students forced to spend their long-awaited senior year at home, cloaked in hoodies and pajama pants, chained to a laptop all day.

Instead of counting down their final days of high school with pep rallies and prom, they counted the days of lockdown, restarting the clock again and again with each announcement from the powers that be.

The year of vision was clouded by hopelessness. Uncertainty and tragedy was the daily forecast. Isolation and loneliness bred fear, anxiety, and depression- so many demons.

But God was merciful and man’s disaster did not end the human race. (There were days I wondered if it would.) We will always mourn those who were lost. Their deaths were uncalled for. Their isolation, cruel. Their final farewells, forbidden. I honor them now.

Two years later, those of us who made it through, now stand on the main street of society. We have wiped the ash from our eyes, gathered our scattered hopes and resolutely placed them in our backpacks, reluctantly adjusting to the new skyline.

At times, we comply and mask our faces but we will no longer mask our need for true connection. We won’t take anything or anyone for granted. It took some time, but I think 2020 truly was the year of vision.