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Archive for February 4th, 2021

Spiritual Journey First Thursday is being gathered today by Fran Haley.

Take Heart is Fran’s choice for our Spiritual Thursday posts. In my Mississippi childhood, Dear Heart was a common feminine expression, similar to cher in the Cajun culture I now live in. Dear heart is an expression of endearment that could have a connotation of condescension.

But Take Heart is not at all condescending. In a sense, its meaning is quite the opposite. To Take Heart is a way to overcome the troubles of the world.


“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” — John 16:33

Take Heart means to live a life that understands there is trouble, there is hardship, there is pain, but there is a greater spirit that overcomes and offers hope. As I read Out of the Dust with a student this week, he identified the theme, “There is always hope.” A pandemic is a kind of Dust Bowl for our time. We have little control over who the virus will target next. Our handkerchiefs are our masks. We stay distanced to avoid the dust. Yet, there is hope. There is always hope.

I started thinking about ways I overcome and find peace in my own life and wrote a “Things to do” poem.

Things to Do to Take Heart

Notice the singing of morning birds.
Begin each day in prayerful meditation.
Read poetry. Write poetry.
Write a letter to a girl in prison.
Fold an origami heart.
Sing a lullaby to a new baby.
Take a child to the park. Swing with him on your lap.
Kiss the screen on Facetime.
Laugh with your partner.
Go to sleep to the owl’s call.

Margaret Simon, 2021
My students and I are making origami heart messages for V-Day.

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I have followed Kate Messner for years and have many of her wonderful books for middle grade readers. Kate is a real person, as well as an author-hero, who lives on Lake Champlain. Too cold for my southern blood, but she posted photos on her Instagram recently of ice flowers. Kate wrote a blog post about this phenomenon on her website here.

Natural beauty that comes with scientific facts fascinates and inspires me. I tend to dive into googling and wonder. Here is an interesting article from American Scientist. There seems to be controversy or conversation, rather, about what to call this amazing phenomenon. Frost flowers, frost weed, or frost plant, these winter blooms are sure to inspire some small poems.

Lake Champlain Sunrise, Photo by Kate Messner
Ice flowers by Kate Messner

(I tried a zeno poem today with the syllable pattern of 8,4,2,1,4,2,1,4,2,1 with all one syllables rhyming.)

Displayed on a black lake blanket
diamond blossoms
gemstones
nice
beauty hidden
stinging
ice
golden morning
winter
spice

Margaret Simon, draft

Leave a small poem in the comments. Be sure to connect with other writers by leaving comments on their poems.

Kate celebrated World Read Aloud Day today with a video of amazing authors reading from their books. Click here to find the video on her website.

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