Dear Friend, The other day Boo and I were discussing a little rift she's been having with a classmate. Boo gets her feelings hurt very easily and I w


Dear Friend,

The other day Boo and I were discussing a little rift she's been having with a classmate. Boo gets her feelings hurt very easily and I was at a loss at what advice to give her. To lighten the subject, I asked Boo what her favorite thing was about living in Bryson City. She sat quietly for a moment and then said: you know, I think I'm supposed to be on a mission. I asked her: what kind of mission? like a secret mission? And she replied: to figure out how to be her friend, to find what it is that is bothering her all the time and talk to her about it. That answer took my breath away. Instead of my recommendation to just avoid her classmate, she was choosing the harder path.

My mind starts to run in all different directions with missions that I might be missing right in front of my own eyes. Remember that grade school song: Can't go over it, can't go around it, gotta go through it. I'm trying to figure out those areas of my life where I need to show more acceptance and just go straight through.

I'm doing a photo-a-day challenge this month with my church and I love the challenges it poses each day of thinking outside my comfortable cocoon. Acceptance was yesterday's word. I chose this poem by Ellen Bass:

"To love life, to love it even when you have no stomach for it and everything you’ve held dear crumbles like burnt paper in your hands, your throat filled with the silt of it. When grief sits with you, its tropical heat thickening the air, heavy as water more fit for gills than lungs; when grief weights you like your own flesh only more of it, an obesity of grief, you think, How can a body withstand this? Then you hold life like a face between your palms, a plain face, no charming smile, no violet eyes, and you say, yes, I will take you I will love you, again."

This is how we take the harder path. Holding life like a face between your palms and saying "I love you".



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"Yes, I am thankful for my family, friends, health and home today. But my gratitude goes much deeper than that. I am thankful for all things. Thursdays. Mondays. The ups and the downs. The entire journey and where it has taken me, and the not-yet-knowing where I will go from here. And that we are all connected. As Anatole France said: The truth is that life is delicious, horrible, charming, sweet, bitter, and that is everything. " more...

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A Maze Me by Naomi Shihab Nye

A Maze Me by Naomi Shihab Nye

A collection of seventy-two poems written especially for girls ages twelve and up by the much-honored and beloved poet Naomi Shihab Nye.

"We forget about the spaciousness above the clouds but it’s up there. The sun’s up there too. When words we hear don’t fit the day, when we worry what we did or didn’t do, what if we closed our eyes, say any word we love that makes us feel calm, slip it into the atmosphere and rise? Creamy miles of quiet. Giant swoop of blue."

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