Saturday, December 31, 2011

December 31, 2011

A coming to a close
a turning of the page
the past will always
inside of me
and yet
it doesn't have to
have a 
on me

life dances
a constant interaction
of the mystery 
of what is seen
with the 
mystery of 
what is unseen
a tapestry of moments

Let me be gentle
with the pages
already turned
Let me be open
to a new chapter of possibilities
Let me know the adventure
of a story 
not yet complete

Saturday, December 24, 2011

I Bind My Life to Love......

one of my favourite prayers!
I  bind my life to Love
Merry Christmas everyone.

I bind my mind to Love
I bind my heart to Love
I bind my feet to the path that Love has for me        
I bind my life to Love

I bind my mind to Love
I bind my heart to Love
I open my hands to receive Love’s gifts
I bind my life to Love 

I bind my mind to Love
I bind my heart to Love
I open my life to let Love flow through
I bind my life to Love

Love speaks and says to me
Arise, and Come with me
Winter is over and gone
And the time for singing has come
Yes the time for singing has come

copyright 2009 Cathy AJ Hardy

Friday, December 23, 2011

ebb and flow and the deepening of roots

as I stand on the shore of change
I feel the ebb and flow
of the tides
the energy of
the ocean
moving towards me
washing over me
and then
I feel the sand sinking
my feet
the sucking of life
pulling away from me
as the water retreats
and I am left
on the shore
in pools of grief
letting go of what was familiar to me
and present to my unknown future
and I am reminded
of a time past
when I saw myself as a tree
and the beautiful gardener came
to me
with tender eyes
but an axe
in his hand
and he chopped
all my branches off
til I was only a stump
I was a stump for a long time
what was important on the outside
needed to be pruned
and little did I know
that roots needed time
to grow
deep down into the earth
so that my tree
could come
back to life.
And I was very surprised
one day
when I realized
I was growing again
new life
coming back
new branches being formed
and the tree was more solid than it had ever been
and the roots have continued to grow
and there has been
ebb and flow to my tree
times of growth,
times of deepening
times of fruit bearing
and times of letting the leaves fall

And now I must trust
these deep roots
that they are even deeper
than the ebb and flow
of the ocean waters
of life
that come close to me now

My humanity
longs for certainty
for predictability
for normalcy

My prayer for this season
is that my heart can stay open
to trusting
to loving
to resting
to being
in the midst of the ebb and flow
of my heart

and that I may embrace the moments that are full and wash over me with abundance
and that I may let the tears flow when the tides of emptiness and longing pull the waters
back again into the wide ocean

knowing that my roots are tapped into
streams of living water
and I will live.

Monday, December 19, 2011

let it be

let it be
words of Mary
saying yes to the
unexpected realities
of her life
saying yes
to knowing
she might be 
an outcast
even stoned
her yes
was not 
or weak
it was a powerful
what had been her dreams
for her life?
what had been her aspirations?

but in that unexpected hour
in the moment
of her life being changed
in direction

she said
let it be
let it be

letting go of what was
and allowing
a new reality 
let it be

living in the present moment
and shifting
let it be

letting go of of fear
and saying
yes to trust
let it be

allowing hope for a new
seeds of dreams
let it be

and as the Beatles sang it....
And when the night is cloudy 
there is still a light that shines on me
Shine until tomorrow, 

let it be
I wake up to the sound of music, 

Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, 

let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
There will be an answer, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

Sunday, December 18, 2011

tidings of comfort and joy


Two powerful words that form the basis of the chorus of a well-known Christmas carol.
This season, I have created new words for this old carol.......

here they are:

(sing to 'God rest ye merry gentlemen')

From all four corners of the earth
From land and sea and sky
From deepest depths of ocean
From mountain peaks on high  
A song of hope
A song of love
A song of peace is born
O Tidings of comfort and joy
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy  

For those whose song has ended
For those whose hearts have died
For those whose dreams are broken
For those who weep and sigh
A promise of
Redemption comes
A story of new life
O Tidings of comfort and joy
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

Don’t let your hearts be troubled
And do not be afraid
Love overcomes all darkness
Love overcomes all shame
Let’s sing a song of freedom
Let’s sing a song of praise
O Tidings of comfort and joy
Comfort and joy
O Tidings of comfort and joy

A song of hope igniting
A song of love is born
A song of peace fills all the earth
this glorious Christmas morn
A song of hope
A song of love
A song of peace is born
O tidings of comfort and joy
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

To the melody of ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ .
Lyric changes by Cathy AJ Hardy 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

the diminished chord and the journey of perfection

Today I was talking to my mom about her quilts.
And how they add to my home - filling two walls in particular with their art.
My mom said - but they are not perfect.
Ahh mom....
it is like the beautiful diminished chord I said.
A few years ago I had a wonderful music theory/history teacher.
When he spoke of the composers he spoke as if he knew them personally - he knew their music so well.  He shared with me his love of musical scores, love of musical patterns and many historical pieces of information I knew little about.
One day he shared with me about the diminished chord.
The diminished chord was one of my technical requirements with the Royal Conservatory of Canada, but I had never really understood its' roots.
If you take a major scale and build a chord on every single note of the scale, there is something called a perfect 5th that occurs on every single note - except one.  The 7th note of the scale.  Instead of a perfect 5th, you have what is called a flat 5th.
This was greatly disturbing in the past - because it didn't create a perfect pattern.  It became known as the devil's chord and was forbidden to be used in different time periods.
This devil's chord then became one of the hallmarks of the 'sound of jazz' - the flat 5th....and perhaps why jazz was called 'the devil's music'...
There is a certain amount of dissonance in this sound - one that creates a desires for resolution.
But I love the sound of this chord, this sound - and I use it in some of my compositions....
Whenever I am tempted to desire life to be 'perfect', I am reminded of  the diminished chord....
that instead of 'the devil's chord', it is really a chord of beauty -
the diminished chords of our lives
bring tension
bring dissonance
remind us that life is not about
being 'perfect'
but about
so much more.
If I am able to embrace
life and all it's imperfections -
maybe I will learn some grace in living
and perhaps maybe
I'll be able to receive the love of others in a deeper way
knowing that they are also
embracing me
and all of my imperfections
the diminished chord
in me.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

more about beauty

  • There is a lot of beauty in the poem below written by Chelsea Reimer at the recent Silent Retreat I was leading  in November.  As she read her poetry out loud to us on the last day of the retreat, I was struck by her words and images.   Our culture runs away from sadness, from death, from waiting, from emptiness.  and in these words, she is inviting us to see the beauty in these very things.  And to perhaps not only 'see' the beauty but to rest in it.  To rest in our sadness, to rest in our waiting.  To embrace the dark shadowed parts of our lives as much as the light filled pockets.  And in doing so, we embrace the full picture of being human.                                                                                                  
    A Beauty.

    There is a beauty in sadness,
    A soft exhaling breath
    of something felt so deeply
    and as quietly as death.

    There is a beauty in waiting
    for joy to wander back,
    and watching as the day grows dim
    from yellow tones to black.

    There is a beauty in feeling
    what all creation knows,
    in letting life have ups and downs
    and walking through its woes.

    There is a beauty in knowing
    that night is just a hue,
    and that in depths of sadness
    my heart can rest in you.

    by Chelsea Reimer
    November, 2011

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

christmas season - hanging on and letting go

christmas season
marked by memories of years past
what we hope for
what we long for
what pains us
what yields joy
a time to hang on
a time to let go

hanging on
to treasured simple moments of the past
letting go
of disappointments
hanging on
to choosing love
letting go
of being bitter
hanging on
to continue to dream
letting go of the 'way it should be'
hanging on
to possibilities
letting go
of futile thinking
hanging on
to a spirit of generosity
letting go of isolation
hanging on
to child-like faith
letting go
of cynicism
hanging on
to beauty
letting go
of barrenness
hanging on
to faith, hope and love
letting go
of anything less

Sunday, December 04, 2011

story 2 from the song journey

another story from the song journey.....

Thirteen years ago, when I was 31 years old, I hit the depths of despair.  I guess everyone has their own story – what really constitutes loss for them.  My loss may not seem like much to you, but it is based on what I valued, what I treasured, what I had placed my hopes and dreams on.  And it got taken away.  However, unbeknownst to me at the time,  the loss held it’s own magical treasure which I have slowly unpacked year by year.
I had grown up with understanding that my life’s value revolved around the men in my life, my father and future husband.  I learned intrinsically to know their needs and desires and that service to them was where my identity was held.  My husband never desired this kind of value system, but I wasn’t even consciously aware that I held it and operated out of it.  It created all kinds of chaos for our marriage.
Instead of an equal partnership, I sought to make my husband more than he was and I subtly placed all kinds of pressures on him.  Not that he had not inspired me to do so as well!  When I first met him, he was a young man full of adventure before him, dreams yet to be realized and excitement for the future. I was excited to partner with him.
Life doesn’t always unfold as you believe it will when you are twenty.   One day my husband came to tell me he didn’t know if we could remain married.  Our joint faith of Christianity had become something he could no longer identify with and he needed room to change.  He didn’t know if he could remain with me, someone who still identified as a Christian, and he didn’t know if I would want to remain with him as one who could not.
In some ways, we were both in shock at this time.
Our wedding vows had been, ‘here we are Lord, send us’……putting our faith and the desire for service at the very epicenter of our relationship.  If the epicenter was no longer there – did we have anything left?
So began a desperate journey to find out.
What I had valued……was disappearing before me.
A time for weeping had begun.
I went for counseling.
It was expensive.  I had no money.
But I was desperate.  I needed help.
So, I kept going.
One day, my counselor asked me a question.  And it will ever be a moment that will remain with me.  It is a moment that time stood still and made my soul pause and also awaken.
In her beautiful southern drawl, if only you could hear me say this in person to give you the full effect…..she said, ‘now Cathy, what do you want?’
It was not a question I was expecting.  My thoughts were towards my marriage, my union, my utopia that was crashing.
And she brought me back to me.
What do I want?
What did you ask?
Not sure I know the answer to this question.
In fact, I am completely stumped by the question.  I have absolutely no idea what Cathy wants.  In fact, who the hell is Cathy?
I felt like a deer facing head-lights.
I had nothing to say and I couldn’t even think straight.

It may seem like a selfish question to ask, ‘what do you want?’.  However, I have come to believe that our most innate longings, our deepest human desires are connected with our purpose, our deepest meaning.  I do not believe it is ‘selfish’ to live into our calling, our purpose, our reason to live.  In fact, I believe it is where we tap into some incredible joy …for ourselves and for community.

So that day, 13 years ago, after the appointment I left…..and began the process of wandering and wondering.  What do I want?  I felt like I was thrown out of an airplane and landed in a foreign land and there was no path.  I just felt lost.

For two weeks I experienced a ‘not-knowing’.  A confusion – but an honest search accompanied this confusion.  Can I know?  Is it possible to know?  Where did Cathy go?  Who is this person?

And then it happened.  The moment.  I was walking along a street.  I mean these moments don’t happen during lightening storms or exotic times in the desert.  They are part of the very ordinary moments of my life.  But then these ordinary moments become the extraordinary, the supernatural, transformational, life-changing moments.
I was standing on the corner of North Decatur Road and Clairmont and pushing the button for the cross-walk.  And this ‘thing’ rose up from a place inside of me that was unfamiliar to me then. 
Sometimes I like to think of it as the kiss of the prince – it is what awakened me from my soul slumber.

‘I want to sing’.
This is what came bubbling  up like a small soap bubble that is utterly fragile from this unknown place.  I want to sing?
For those of you that know me now, you might think this is obvious, of course, Cathy sings.  But oh no, you did not know me then.
I was a wife. I was a mother. I was a piano teacher.  I did not sing.  That was the fluff of the hidden dreams of a 7 year old…the secret passions of a 16 year old…..the given-up longings of a young woman who already felt past her prime of her twenties.
Singing? Really?
As my mother would say, it sure wasn’t very ‘practical’.
Someone asks, what do you want?  And you say you want to sing?
It just sounds silly.
Or it did to me.
But there is something about being at that bottom place. When the realities of life are difficult and in some ways you feel you have already lost what is most precious to you. And there comes this awareness, what do I have to lose?  I’ve already lost.
I’m already on ground zero.
So, let me become awake to this longing…..let me pay attention.  Let me notice this fragile bubble of life that welled up from what I believe was a fragile soul.  A soul that had gone to sleep because there was no room for her to live.  A soul that had sacrificed itself for others to thrive but had lost knowing of it’s own value and worth.  A soul that was hidden in darkness. voiceless, formless and without color.

But that day, the soul awakened and sent a message up to my consciousness.  I will always be thankful that I had the courage at that point to listen to this fragile message. 
And that moment began the journey of my voice.  It became not only the voice to sing, but to express the cry, the beauty, the song of the soul.  It became the journey to sing to souls all around me and invite them to wake up also.  That moment began the journey beyond my personal crisis, and to rediscover why I am here on this planet.
And one of the reasons I am here is to sing.
And growing me in me now – 13 years later, is the longing to help others listen to the fragile voice within themselves.
Friend, what do you want?

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Love Shines CD for Christmas

you can find the Love Shines CD here 
lower prices for Christmas for multiple sales
Here are some comments from people who have 
experienced the music on this album:

“Cathy Hardy’s ‘Love Shines’ CD filled with the presence of love entered my world at just the right time. Track 4 ‘Breathing Together’ almost took my breath away . . . well more accurately it brought tears of deep connection; the first time a song has done that in a long time! The whole CD is exceptionally beautiful”    Brian Doerksen

‘Cathy is deeply in tune with her humanity and present reality and her music comes from deep within.  Her voice is powerful and her songs are varied from soulful to fun.  Her message is real, human and for everyone.  Her lyrics call me to dance, to cry, to embrace and let go.  Cathy is a force to be reckoned with – I love her CD – it calls me to live freely and fully.’  Evy Klassen 

Hi Cathy.... The more I listen to your music the more it moves me. It is so relevant and so now. I just can not say enough about it. I can feel the Spirit rooted into every word, every phrase, every note. I feel so blessed to have seen you live and can\'t wait to do so again and this time take more friends!!! Thank you thank you thank you...your gift is assisting me to continue this walk towards Love and Light....

 "Fantastic! A great place for  concert, very intimate (Chilliwack Love shines concert Oct 2011). Really enjoyed myself and your music Cathy. In fact, I uploaded "Love Shines" from iTunes during the performance. I just love this CD. Listen to it all the time. 
Best of luck at the Gospel Music Awards!"

You move mountains with your gift of music!

By the way, your music has blessed me immensely, especially your last CD.  It came at a time in my life where it fell on me like a light mist, washing away doubt and disillusionment. 

Thank you for your hard work and gift.   

Thank you for your music.  My friend listened to "The Winter is Over" at just the right time and it gave her hope.  It was at the end of something she was struggling with.  And she knew after listening to that song, that her struggle was finished.

I'm soaking your new CD into the pores of my being. Cathy, it is amazing!
You are so vibrant and so alive throughout the songs........words, music.
Life, freedom and hope emanate from it.  It feeds my soul and.........
I love it

I've been listening to your new CD and am enjoying it. I find your voice to be so mature and expressive, and the musicianship and technical aspects of the CD excellent.

First i just wanted to say I attended your concert tonight and it was truly one of the very best concerts I have EVER been to. Your music speaks to my heart and is so healing 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


tell them that life is beautiful

there is so much around us that is a mystery.  This week as I took time in quiet with my daughter....we just sat and 'breathed together' and enjoyed being together.  Then she said -  'air is strange.  You can't see it but you need it to live.  This whole room is filled with air, but we can't see it or touch it.'  a moment of beauty.

i had a dream last January.  I dreamt of many that I have known and not known - but people that had died and were no longer here on this earth.  And they filled my dream.  And in the dream they spoke to me a message.  They said, Cathy, tell them that life is beautiful.

I have held this message all year in my heart.  I have held this message as I have walked through some of the most painful moments of my life.  and as this year comes to a close, I finally feel ready to share this with others - this dream.....the message - that life is truly beautiful.

In the midst of all my dark moments, I have seen shafts of unbelievable shining light.  I have tasted wonder, I have drunk of deep friendship, I have touched mystery, I have heard laughter.
and this morning, once again, I am reminded that life is a gift.

We are breathing
We are here
right now.
We are given life
at this moment
Do we have eyes to see today
the gifts before us?
In spite of tragedy
and suffering...
can we notice the gifts of beauty?

There is so much we will never fully understand, but if we can rest in the tension of not-knowing and embrace the wonder of beauty that is all around us, we will taste joy.

In the weeks ahead as we are all surrounded by consumerism, demands, and the fast-paced surge of 'more things', my hope is that we will take moments to pause.

To pause - so that
we can see
we can hear
we can touch
we can taste
and we can know

that life is beautiful.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

poem for Advent

I wrote this poem during Advent 2007
I found it again this week and decided to share it at a retreat I was leading.
I was surprised when I found out that someone remembered it from a blog I had shared a couple of years ago and was surprised again as it helped someone to express in poetry their own state of heart.

So, I decided it was worth sharing again in 2011 on this first day of Advent:

it has been hard to say
         'i did what i could' ....when that means
               that i have to admit
                    that i can't hold everything 
                                  all the time

to allow 
 to fall and crash and break
to allow
   to get lost and not found
to allow misperceptions to be - without freaking
to allow
my carefully laid plans to
    fall apart
to allow
the feeling of emptiness 
    to come close to me
       when i feel that things are slipping through my fingers

to allow my heart to say
       to You
in the midst of these moments
    and not lose heart
to be willing to be turned upside down
and shaken
of my firm grip 
so i can rest
in my poverty
and humanity
    and celebrate the mystery
the paradox
   the miracle
of Emmanuel - 
    God with us

Cathy AJ Hardy 2007

Monday, November 21, 2011

a story from the song journey

Thirteen years ago I was part of a community choir in Atlanta, Georgia.  It was the beginning of my journey back to reclaiming my voice.  After a profound experience on the corner of North Decatur Road and Clairmont, (another story I will tell soon)  where that longing to sing bubbled up from my hidden soul, I wondered how I could begin the process of singing.  As I pondered this dilemna, I remember sitting at a playground watching my daughter Brianna play with a group of 4 year olds and I became involved in a conversation with another woman there watching her grand-daughter.  This woman told me about a community choir that she was involved in.  I wondered if this was the place to start and I asked her for the information of who/when/where.
I found out that to be part of this choir you had to audition.  It seems that this is always part of the process in saying ‘yes’.  You become aware that you have a longing, a desire, a dream.  And you start to believe that maybe you can go in the direction of that dream, and then you are given your first task.  Oh – I thought this might come more easily.  You mean, I might have to work toward this dream?  You mean, I might have to take risks? 
The dream can end right there.  There is a choice I had to make in that moment, do I make myself vulnerable and audition and sound like crap?  Or do I just tuck that stupid idea of a dream back into the abyss and push it down so like a bobbing apple it will keep popping up the rest of my life only to remind me of what I didn’t try?
So, I auditioned.
To me, I sounded horrible.  My voice was frail and weak.  It sounded like thin paper.  Lots of cracks.  Lots of whispery sounds where there was no ‘tone’.  But I did it anyways.
And by some bizarre chance, I got in.
Tuesday nights became my night to go to choir.  Many Tuesday nights I was tired and didn’t want to go.  But, it was the ‘next step’….the given task in front of me at that present moment. So I went.  I learned to sing Faure’s Requiem, Mozart, Bach, Mendelsohn and many other classical choral works.  I learned the beauty of music and that I could be a part of it.  I also learned to run to the bathroom as fast as I could.  Somehow the music evoked a lot of pain in me.  It was so beautiful, the music that is.  The music touched my pain and I would become short of breath and would struggle to stand straight.  So, in those moments I would run.  Run to a bathroom stall and sob.  Then I’d wash my face and go back.  No one said anything.  There was just a quiet understanding and feeling of love in the room.  I will always be grateful to those people for the gift of quiet presence they gave me in those raw moments.
So, needless to say, I didn’t feel very ‘together’ during those times.  I was incredibly vulnerable and a bit of a mess.  I felt insecure with my voice, insecure with new friendships, insecure with learning musical scores that were beyond me, and insecure with my pain.
And then this happened.
We were a ‘white’ choir.  Mostly.  There was one black guy.  A gay, black guy!  You’ve got to understand. In Atlanta the percentage of the population is more than 50% the black community.  However many parts of the city are very segregated and I found myself in a largely Caucasian crowd.  But in our choir there was this one black, gay guy.  A very good looking, funny, energetic and engaging human being.
Normally the men and women sat in separate sections – bass/tenor/alto and soprano.  But one night, our conductor mixed us all up and I ended up sitting by this beautiful man.  I do not remember his name, but I remember his presence.
We had never spoken to each other before that and we didn’t really speak to each other again after that night, so it still remains somewhat of a mystery why he then did what he did.
As we were all taking our seats and when he found out he was sitting next to me, he stood up and faced the whole group, about 60 people.  And he loudly proclaimed, ‘I am sitting by the most beautiful woman here.’  Needless to say, I was very stunned, embarrassed and shocked.  What?  Hello?  Excuse me?  The woman who is a complete mess?
And then half-way through the rehearsal, he not only did it again, he did it two more times.  Three times in all he stood up and proclaimed that he was so happy to sit by the most beautiful woman that night.
As I drove home that evening and the van came to a stop at a red light, I began to shake.  My body shook and shook and shook.  And I had one of the most transformational moments of my life to that point.  I heard a whisper…the beginning of many whispers that would transform my whole life.  The whisper said  …   that was me....  That’s how I feel about you.  I wanted you to know.  And I wanted to tell you 3 times.
You are precious
You are valuable
You are so valuable that I would proclaim you to strangers
I would stand up for you
I would defend you
I treasure you.

In that moment, and I know I could never explain this or defend this in any way, but I felt a physical transformation in my body – like the very chemicals that made me me – somehow shifted.  That as I received and embraced the basic truth of my intrinsic value as a human being, I was changed.  In that moment of for the first time believing in my value, I was changed.

That moment became the centre of my soul.  The truth that all other truths were built upon.  It has been the epicenter of the past 13 years.  It has been the core value from which I see now every other human being.  The wonder of a life.

The blessed irony of that moment was also from whom the message came.  Someone that perhaps represented those our culture has put as a minority, the ones on the outside of the circle.  And that was the one who spoke my greatest truth.  Somehow that has always made me laugh……and reminds me of the beautiful ways of Love.  Ways that I began to learn to recognize over the following years, and I felt like I began an adventure.  And adventure of listening.  An adventure of listening for the impossible, the wondrous, the magical, the mystery, the whisper of the One who makes my heart sing.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The gift of song-writing, a reflection

A few weeks ago, I shared some of these thoughts about song-writing in a concert and I was asked by someone to write them down....that these thoughts needed to be shared with other artists.  
So, here they are.....

The gift of song-writing, a reflection

Songwriting is often a solitary experience.  
It is something you do when no one else is around, in the quiet places of your heart.  
And one day the song is so powerful in you that you dare to share it with one other person.  
And you expose your soul.
To sing your song for one other person is to expose your heart and you don’t know what to expect.  
And so you share it, and then you want to run really fast in the opposite direction.
Will the other person run away too?  
Because it is so terrible?
Will they be indifferent?
Will they laugh?
Will they cry?
What will their response be? – that is what you are first concerned with – what is their response?
But as you grow as an artist and deepen, something happens inside you 
and you know that to NOT WRITE, 
something in you will die.
You get to a point, where to write and to compose – is to live.
It is part of choosing life, it is part of why you are here on this earth and you are compelled to write and if you don’t , a part of you will die.
And so, you choose life and it doesn’t really matter any more how people respond…
because you have lived.
And one day, you find yourself sharing these songs and you become surprised
Because people are actually resonating with your songs.  They are in the room and singing with you.  And one day they tell you that your song has become their song
And you realize that you did not just write your song, you wrote a human song
And we share  our human songs
These are our soul songs
Our human songs
And you’ve been a part of expressing our human story, which resonates with others
This is a gift to you, because it is a way you are to be alive
And it is a gift to them because you help them express their human story in soul language
This is the gift of song-writing.

Friday, November 11, 2011


what do I see?
what do I hold in my hands?
the emptiness,
the loss?
or the beauty,
the blessing?
every day is a choice
what do I see?
what do I hold in my hands?

this past weekend
the blessing
and the beauty
spilled over the edges
filled the days

what I don't deserve
came to me
gifts of time
gifts of service
gifts of energy
gifts of practical help
in so many beautiful faces
through so many beautiful hands
in the sounds of laughter

what i could not afford
came to me
what i did not invite
came to me

there are moments that are painfully empty
there are moments that are deeply lonely
there are moments when fear grips me

But what do I see?
What do I hold?

I see blessing
I hold gratitude

may the gifts I have been given
spill over into
for others

written with deep gratitude especially for Howie Thiessen, Kevin Boese, Arv Dueck, Ray Dueck, Steve Klassen, Jadon Peters, Dillon Peters, Brian Thiessen and many others