Reflections about the Power of Presence

There was really nothing remarkable about her appearance
small and thin – if truth be told, a bit ordinary and mousey
perhaps a blessing in disguise – it made her invisible
Her voice was soft and melodic – with a hypnotic quality
that created space where those who were too loud, quieted, 
and leaned forward to listen intently when she spoke
She didn’t think this had anything to do with her in particular

Her laughter, though infrequent, created sparkling crystal light
thawing and healing wounded hearts or invoking fear
among those who were filled with darkness
Her gaze was focused and intense – a reader of souls
People who were relegated to marginal status
were often drawn to her light like moths to a flame
sensing a compassionate presence others could not see

She sometimes felt the power within and hid from it
knowing that power brought overwhelming temptations
aware that an ill-spoken word hurled with anger or rage
could leave legacies of lasting harm
and would certainly cut her most deeply

Life taught her to hone her voice, gaze, and presence
though she somehow intrinsically knew only to use them responsibly
on behalf of others in times of great need or danger
and spirits watched over her helping her learn
to only use her gifts in ways that would not draw attention
from the watchers who wanted to stifle compassion, wisdom, joy
and the loving spirit of ordinary people
in order to keep them afraid, confused, angry, and divided
and unable to express the transformative beauty they carried within

Imagine life in COVID for such a one
with months spent largely in isolation
unable to use abilities that were gifts
intended to help others on the margins
to be seen and heard, to have their voices matter
in decisions that affect their lives and all our relations
The regenerating effects of energy shared between humans
through the magic of presence, smiles, and touch now taboo
forcing reliance on distancing technologies and online platforms
as the primary means for communicating through virtual words

Yet nature provides a way for her to stay connected to the world
with the gentle winter kisses of snowflakes – each unique
and each a miracle of seemingly impossible beauty
reminding her to be grateful because she can still share
from her heart even with distancing technologies
even in the midst of suffering, loss, and darkness

She hears a message for herself
and feels compelled to pass it on to others

“Be kind and gentle with yourself and others
each unique and each a miracle of seemingly impossible beauty
rekindle the light within and envision the best you can imagine
for the new year just beginning – let it be a time of healing
and a time of freedom from bondage to fear, suffering, and separation”

37 thoughts on “Reflections about the Power of Presence

    1. It is always a gift to hear from you, Diane. I think of you often and hope all is well given all the challenges California has faced this past year and continues to face.

      Thank you for sharing your thought-provoking comments and blessings.

      Your insight about the margins made me realize something I hadn’t thought of before – there could be circle of hands joined in solidarity around the margins uniting people despite their differences because of their shared concerns and visions for the future. I wouldn’t want to be in the middle of that!

      Thank you for shifting the frame yet again, as you have done over the years to help me see things in new ways through your advocacy, teaching, writing, and comments. I did rewrite the play “You wouldn’t want to hear my story” based on your astute comments and specific editorial suggestions. Unfortunately, I finished the rewrite just before COVID hit. There is a chance that the college where I teach will use it for a special topics course sometime in the future. Only time will tell.

      Again, thank you. Sending my gratitude and blessings to you, too, dear friend. 💜


      1. I have also learned so much over the years from you.
        The circle of hands! Please count me in – once we are allowed again to touch. I hope at that time your play will have a live audience at your college and elsewhere.

        Here in CA, I’m able to work from home and family members are OK, but I know many people with COVID, some hospitalized. People have been cooperative about masks and distancing in my immediate neighborhood, but a lot of angry disruption elsewhere and a couple of days ago a mob of anti-maskers came swarming through here. Too bad our circle of hands can’t encircle and isolate a large segment of the nation.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. A thought-provoking narrative, Carol. Thank you. Blessings of Peace and contentment wished for you throughout the coming year. Love from Izzy 💙💜

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Dear Joan, hearing from you is such a wonderful gift! Thank you so much for your kind words and blessings,. Sending love and blessings to you, too, dear friend. 💜


    1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments, Carrie. I am deeply grateful for your kindness and send my best wishes to you. Here’s hoping your wish (and mine) for peace and greater compassionate awareness come to fruition in the new year. 💜

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind and lovely comments and blessings, Cindy. Sending gratitude and blessings to you for your kindness. And thank you for bringing beauty and awe into so many lives by sharing so many of the world’s wonders on your exquisite blog. 💜


    1. Hearing from you is such a gift, Georgina. Thank you so much for your kind and lovely comments, and for the important work you have continued to do to protect the world’s forests and the sanctuary they provide for a wondrous variety of life that you describe with such eloquence. Sending my best wishes to you and your family. 💜

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Bob, it’s good to hear from you! Thank you for your thoughtful wishes and for the lovely photos and reflections you share. Sending my best wishes to you and your lovely family. 💜


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