Author Archive: Julia

You won’t be the same

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what …

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Spring always finds a way

“…spring always finds a way to turn even the coldest winter into a field of green and flowers and new life.” — Charlotte Eriksson Probably there are few spots of ground in this hemisphere that have been more neglected in the past three years than our once-lovely azalea garden in the corner of our York …

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A sunny spirit (2017)

“Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritation and resentments slip away, and a sunny spirit takes their place.” — Mark Twain Dear friends, I thank you for your patience and your kind comments– which I look forward to answering as soon as I can catch my …

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Alchemy in sorrow (2017)

“Sorrow fully accepted brings its own gifts. For there is alchemy in sorrow. It can be transmitted into wisdom, which, if it does not bring joy, can yet bring happiness.” — Pearl S. Buck Dear readers, as always when I take even a short break, I find myself far behind on urgent tasks. In addition …

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Friendship refreshes

“A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.” — Proverbs 27:9 (The Message) It’s a good thing, too, because my soul was badly in need of refreshment. My voice is still gone, the bureaucratic hassles continue, and of course all this is nothing compared to missing Jeff. Spring is lovely but without him, it’s just not the same. …

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Ways of healing

“A woman’s heart always breaks a little in the spring. But spring offers its own ways of healing. Hoe the row a little deeper. Kneel on the ground and dig the roots.” – Marjorie Holmes Even when the heartbreak is more than just a little, spring does offer a degree of healing, however inadequate it may …

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Earth’s immeasurable surprise

“Lambs that learn to walk in snow When their bleating clouds the air Meet a vast unwelcome, know Nothing but a sunless glare. Newly stumbling to and fro All they find, outside the fold, Is a wretched width of cold. As they wait beside the ewe, Her fleeces wetly caked, there lies Hidden round them, …

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Dare

“Dare to be naïve.”  — Buckminster Fuller We think of being naïve as something negative, and we generally don’t want others to see this trait in us. Aren’t the really cool people insiders, those in the know, those who are savvy and worldly-wise and experienced and cynical and acerbic? People no one would dare criticize because …

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The tiniest fragments

“Somehow, even in the worst of times, the tiniest fragments of good survive. It was the grip in which one held those fragments that counted.” ― Melina Marchetta “The NPS said that about 50 percent of the cherry blossoms survived, but now that we can see the flowers coming out it looks like that is …

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True and appropriate

“It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence, to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: ‘And this, too, shall pass away.’ How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! — …

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A happy thought

“It was a happy thought to bring  To the dark season’s frost and rime  This painted memory of spring,  This dream of summertime.” – John Greenleaf Whittier Last Thursday, the evening before Jeff’s burial ceremony at Arlington, I opened our front door to family arriving from out of town and found a package on my doorstep. It …

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Since you don’t know

“So don’t be frightened, dear friend, if a sadness confronts you larger than any you have ever known, casting its shadow over all you do. You must think that something is happening within you…Why would you want to exclude from your life any uneasiness, any pain, any depression, since you don’t know what work they …

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A genuine man

“For years to come the stories will be told Of a genuine man with a heart made of gold… A good bond is strong, like Gorilla Glue You bonded with us and we bonded to you. We love you Colonel Denton!” — lines taken from a poem given to Jeff by his graduating residents, 2015 …

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A pretty good diet

“I am living on hope and faith…a pretty good diet when the mind will receive them.” — Edwin Arlington Robinson It’s interesting that a poet of Robinson’s stature, who penned the devastatingly powerful “Richard Cory,” would describe himself as living on hope and faith. Such somber work does not seem consistent with what we think …

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To wander

“Wandering is the activity of the child, the passion of the genius; it is the discovery of the self, the discovery of the outside world, and the learning of how the self is both ‘at one with’ and ‘separate from’ the outside world. These discoveries are as fundamental to the soul as ‘learning to survive’ …

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These wishes

“I wish you, I wish you, I wish you these wishes: Cool drinks in your glasses Warm food in your dishes. People to nourish and cherish and love you. A lamp in the window to light your way home in the haze. I wish you the sweetest of nights And the finest of days.” — Judith …

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Close at hand

“Survival starts by paying attention to what is close at hand and immediate. To look out with idle hope is tantamount to dreaming one’s life away.” ― Yann Martel Last summer I bought a small hibiscus plant at a clearance price, and brought it home to our deck. It thrived and bloomed profusely, until I …

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No small gift

“Because of the dog’s joyfulness, our own is increased. It is no small gift. It is not the least reason why we should honor as well as love the dog of our own life, and the dog down the street, and all the dogs not yet born.” — Mary Oliver My life is not yet …

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A never-tiring affection

“One by one, as they march, our comrades vanish from our sight, seized by the silent orders of omnipotent Death. Very brief is the time in which we can help them, in which their happiness or misery is decided. Be it ours to shed sunshine on their path, to lighten their sorrows by the balm …

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A willingness to wander

“The thing about healing, as opposed to curing, is that it is relational. It takes time. It is inefficient, like a meandering river. Rarely does healing follow a straight or well-lit path. Rarely does it conform to our expectations or resolve in a timely manner. Walking with someone through grief…requires patience, presence, and a willingness …

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Heart melodies

Bring me all of your dreams You dreamers, Bring me all of your Heart melodies That I may wrap them In a blue cloud-cloth Away from the too-rough fingers Of the world.  — Langston Hughes One great thing about dreaming, whether asleep or awake, is how portable it is. No place is more conducive to …

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The glimmering star

“If in the dusk of the twilight, dim be the region afar, Will not the deepening darkness brighten the glimmering star? Then when the night is upon us, why should the heart sink away? When the dark midnight is over, watch for the breaking of day.” — Alice Hawthorne, aka Septimus Winner, 1868 These words …

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How else

“It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by.  How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment?  For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone…” — Vita Sackville-West I agree with Sackville-West that writing enables us to capture …

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Go after it

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” — Jack London I just love this quote. I think it applies to all sorts of inspiration, not just artistic or literary. If I have learned anything from life, one of the most indelible lessons of experience is that inactive brooding …

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The one who comes in

“A friend is the one who comes in when the whole world has gone out.” — Grace Pulpit I’ve written before about how isolating trouble can be. To put it bluntly, most people would rather not think about illness, disability or death unless they can’t avoid it. Those who are dealing with such issues, often …

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