Ten thousand reasons

There is apple pie in the sunshine, with apples grown on our own tree

And there is the radiant face of a child buried in corn.

There are hedgehogs made from old books

And regular old books, some of them handmade

And I know the world is good

And good for me.

There are tiny metal street signs posted on ancient doorways

And coffee shops down an alley.

Old bricks

New blooms

And copycat children, playing at being

As grown up as each other.

There are joys like pretty dresses and poetry recitals,

A brand-new junior firefighter

And our first college tour.

There is my cat, who brings us provender in the form of half mice on the doormat, so thoughtful,

And in between pretends to be dead

A lot.

Maybe that is how he lures the mice!

There is pain and repentance and a side of fear, but also new recipes

And old

And pavlova made with a friend

And nieces and nephews gathered around hot chocolate

Which turns out to be not that good, and too hot.

There are colors

And fields, and golden days

And sand between the toes

And a Scrabble partner who beat me hollow, the stinker.

There are anguished nights but also peaceful mornings

And golden-haired children and open skies

And I know I am alive and living and going on living

And it’s going to be alright.

Where are you taking your joy these days?

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2 years ago

God has given you a beautiful gift of “word pictures! “

Kendra Sensenig
2 years ago

I love all your words and your pictures, and even more the heart and reality that lie behind them. I feel the tremulous uncertainty of choosing to keep walking in the face of pain and difficulty juxtaposed against the beauty of innocence and camaraderie and mellow days and fun and the wildness of childhood. Thank you for sharing these snapshots of your seen and unseen.

2 years ago

Thank you for the challenge of seeing the beautiful yet being honest about the pain that exists.

2 years ago
Reply to  Em


2 years ago

Recently we were having a ladies discussion on joy in the midst of pain. My mom’s friend (who lost her husband many years ago) said she read this book that helped her so much during that time (sorry I can’t remember the title) and it was saying how pain and joy can exist in oneself simultaneously and we can learn to be okay with that tension.
Beautiful pictures and words Shari.

2 years ago
Reply to  Bethany

If you think of it, let me know. ???? Sounds like a good’un.

2 years ago

The hedgehogs are adorable! Is there a link you could share? I’d like to make them with a group of our school girls.

2 years ago
Reply to  Jeni

Aren’t they though?! They were for sale in a bookstore. This link gives the basic method I think, although the ones in my picture took it a step further with the shaggy fur because of all those scissors cuts into the pages. You could adapt? Or do the simpler version.

2 years ago

Thanks Shari! These words and pictures brought hope in a hard season. I’m finding joy these days in cooking yummy and nutritious food. Music that says more than words can. And in the discovery that contentment is more about choosing than about circumstances. I’m learning to choose better than I used to.

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