agnestirrito

"Whatever you think you can do, or believe you can do, begin it, because action has magic, grace, and power in it." Goethe


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Friday’s Five: 11/20/2020

~~A geranium that gave me vibrant orangey blooms through spring and summer and continues to thrive as cooler weather approaches. She was a wintered over plant, so I’ll return her soon to the garage where she can rest and renew through the colder days to come. Sometimes we just need silence and to be left alone in order to thrive.

~~A Christmas book from decades ago that a friend found last February and held onto all these months. It came to my hands this week with a beautiful letter and a message that it was intended to keep me in the holiday spirit. Ah, to know someone knows you well enough to send perfectly thought out gifts.

~~The waxing crescent moon that took my breath away this week. Believe me when I tell you it was golden. Enormous. I was so captivated I changed my route home to follow it a few more miles. Sweet diversions.

~~Those last Happy Thanksgiving wishes to college students and colleagues. This year, I’ve often thought of other holiday countdowns, one among them still more poignant and needed. This one, though, is needed on a different level. Teaching during a pandemic is exhausting. It is truly a gift to know I do not have to go anywhere for a few blessed, solitary days.

~~Twinkly lights on a snow white tree and a glittery handmade star made from cardboard by my daughter at the tip top. I smile knowing that the decorating is likely only beginning. I’ll get a second wind and create spaces for reflection and renewal this season.

What a gift to have time to do that.

Happy Thanksgiving, dear readers. I’m thankful everyday, so I don’t find it necessary to save up all my reasons for one day. Besides, it’s Christmas in my mind now…there is room to be thankful and merry…

Please be careful. Please reconsider plans to gather in large groups. Please let this be the year you recall one future day and say I’m glad I was careful so that I can see this day with loved ones now.

Peace.


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Friday’s Five: 11/13/2020

Good evening, and here’s to World Kindness Day! 🌟

I trust social media to keep me updated on all these different days, but this one I can get behind.

Kindness is an equal partner with gratefulness, so tonight I’ll list five kindnesses that were bestowed upon me in the past week:

~~hand knit socks (2pair!) arrived via the USPS along with other goodies from my sweet sister. 🧦 🧦 🧶 Y’all…nothing like wool socks made by a loved one.

The owner of a locally owned business where I buy plants these days gave me a bonus white (glorious) African violet…because I can see you love them. 🌱 🌸

My “bonus baby” Mirren wrote me a letter and in it she drew some beautiful images and wrote poetry just for me. I’ll frame it soon. (Her mom is ultra cool and sent along a special perfectly timed gift, so I know where Mirren gets her talent and generous nature). ❤️ 📬

A couple of people went out of their way to help me with some business matters this week, and made the process a lot easier. Some folks are just nice. I’m glad. They balance out the rude folks we sometimes encounter. 🌟

Men holding doors for women. There was a lot of that, for me and for others. Grateful to experience sweet efforts that show that we remember others are worthy of small gestures. 🚪

It was a busy week, but sprinkled with respites of kindness. These uplifts keep us going…and hopefully inspire us to return the favor for others.

I hope you received kindness today. And I hope you return it. In case you didn’t:

💐 for you. ❤️

PS

Please wear a mask, dear readers. It’s an easy way to show yourself some love and to help us all get to a better day where we can show love in other ways.

Xo


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Friday’s Five 10/30/2020

Blue moons…

Rare things…

Even the insomnia that sometimes leads us to 4 am windows to see such…

Awe…

Simplicity…

My heart is full of many good things tonight, but over it all, a white globe calls me to stop and look.

When I do, I am captivated by the thought of all the people who are watching with me, who have been looking upward for thousands of seasons.

May the pull of this moon bring you to your center. May it guide you, console you, remind you that you are witnessing this moment in time for a higher reason.

You are meant to be here, watching with the world in wide eyed wonder. Don’t miss the magic of the days. Or of the luminous nights.

🌝✌️🌟❤️


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Friday’s Five: 10/23/2020

You know how one thing makes you think of another? That’s where my thought train has been traveling this week…

My youngest grandchild had eye surgery a few days ago, and all went well. I sent up prayers for her, of course. Those led to prayers for her parents, prayers for her siblings and their caretakers, prayers for her pediatric surgeon, prayers of thanksgiving that we have good hospitals not too far away, that someone built those hospitals, that someone made a decision to study medicine, that someone encouraged a student in medical school, that all the stars aligned and all worked out for this precious 13 month old.

Of course I am skipping some steps, but you get the idea.

Then, the thank you prayers that followed…and how easily those came to my lips in the space I stood. Not in a church, but on a path where this child and I have spent time and hopefully will again soon. Prayers lifted in conversation and the inner wisdom of knowing they were heard.

For every big thing we are grateful for, there are always connectors.

Think of one thing you are grateful for tonight. List four or five things that had to happen to make it so. Plenty of reasons for gratitude and wonder and awe if we take a moment to see.

The gift of sight…inner and outer and all the shades in between. 🌟


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Friday’s Five: 10/16/2020

Poetry in a grandchild’s handwriting.

Really, that may count as all 5 tonight.

Her desire…

…to record meaning independently

…to insist I decipher her meaning

…to add a heart which gave me the ending

…to so easily give away the gift she created

… to know this was one of the moments that I’ll always remember

My interpretation?

I wrote

a beautiful

poem today

and ended it

with a heart

❤️


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Friday’s Five 10.09.20

A few days ago, I asked students in my College Life Skills class to write non- repeating words in their planners for the month of October. The words? Things they are grateful for—something new each day. It took a few days for them to start looking small, but today we arrived. Will you join us?

“jokes”

“rain”

“pens and pencils”

“the way my pop cooks steak”

“pepper”

I’m a proud teacher. These young men and women are trying, even though they are not convinced about the power of gratitude. We will get there. 🌟

My list tonight…my five things culled from this week’s long list:

Fridays.

Windows.

Texts from my children.

Holiday emojis.

Butter.

Think small…the moments are right in front of us. ❤️


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Friday’s Five: 09/25/2020

One of these days, I hope to look back over these posts and say Wow, we made it…even when we were in a terrible storm and could not see around the bend.

I believe we will. I repeat the word temporary frequently these days. In the meantime, during the waiting hours, I hope you are improving your corner of the world in some real way.

Maybe it’s with bright fall flowers: a seed in a cup or in the garden. I hope to spend part of the weekend repotting plants and adding some pops of color to inside and outside places.

Maybe it’s with a recipe for soup or cookies or bread. Nourish yourself and remember that cooking is a creative act. Share when you are able.

Maybe it’s with some extra rest. The weekend is upon us. It is okay to leave a few things undone while you take care of yourself.

Maybe it’s with some project you’ve been meaning to tackle. Set a timer. Work on something for ten minutes. Keep returning until you meet the goal. You’ll be glad.

Maybe it’s with a walk or run or yoga or some sport. Physical activity is a great way to use extra time.

Regardless of your choices, consider spending time in each of the four rooms writer Rumer Godden mentions in this quotation:

“There is an Indian proverb or axiom that says that everyone is a house with four rooms, a physical, a mental, an emotional and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time but, unless we go into every room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person.”

So, here we are walking as a person in covid land, but we still have choices. We have ways to spend times that will nourish us. I hope you spend some some time in each room during the coming days.

Take care. ❤️


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Friday’s 5: August 28, 2020

Five moments of gratitude from this week:

Hurricane Laura did not cause the problems that were predicted in my town. A huge sigh of relief. In the days preceding her arrival, I prepared in ways I never have before. I took stock of things, considered things, thought I might be waking to or watching century old trees bend and maybe fall. But it did not come to pass.

I learned some important truths from those preparation hours. I hope I carry them with me for a long time.

My youngest granddaughter turned one this week. It was a flash of a fast year, and she has made me look closer at everything. She continually breaks into a smile, and I know that deep within her soul must reside some hidden truth. Everyone who spends time with her comments on this special calmness she exudes. I know she will continue to teach us.

Another part time teaching job started this week, and it was a much different start than any previous year, but it was a start with face to face people and no virtual teaching (for the moment), and I am grateful for the time we have to meet and talk and learn in a real space in real time. Sure, it is stressful. Yes, there are complicated scenarios playing out daily. Still, as I entered that college classroom, I felt like I could be real and honest and that my students could, too. We are doing our best.

As much as virtual teaching worlds aren’t my fave, I certainly am grateful for what the virtual world offers me in communication time with my loved ones. Skype sessions with my daughter and my grandchildren gave me cherished times this week. Moments of connection and realization that the word temporary is one I repeat often.

Until face to face time is possible for us, this is a lifeline of love that I am continually grateful to have.

I picked some marigolds before the storm, and as I did I thought oh I’ll be sad to see these blown away. But, no blowing away occurred, so last night before bed, I placed the little juice glass bouquet on the altar in my home, and I felt a moment of mutual understanding between me and the universe. I recognized the miracle of seeds in a pack sent from a friend to my hand. Careful planting and watching with children who cannot be with me at the moment, but were part of the nurturing. A summer of good sun and good rain and growth. Buds, blooms, beauty. A picking and appreciating and then offering to the Unseen who let this storm pass us by.

I’m asking you to join me in prayers of gratitude this week for the smallest things. The things in front of us that we see and the things just out of our sight that maybe we are spared. Likely, this happens more often than we imagine.

I believe a sincere thank you is one of the most beautiful forms of prayer.

This week, I prayed those words a lot. I hope you did, too.


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Friday’s 5: August 21, 2020

Today I’m doing a quick flip back…a look through my journal from the past week. Let my eyes land on five random moments and let them live happily here. Memories of goodness from the previous week.

Oddly, I am writing this entry super early in the day. Not so oddly, my schedule is always a bit off in August. I started teaching part time this week. The back to work time generally spins routines around a bit.

This week, it was a literal spin with the unwelcome visitor Vertigo showing up. We all say of course by now. Another #2020 eye roll. Thankfully, I have a set of exercises for that, so it passed quickly and I made it through the day with no problems. Count every good as a win, my friends. And, when we feel good, let’s remember to be grateful, too. Noted. I am planning to do quite a few little things today…things that I couldn’t do if the room was spinning. So, I am grateful.✅

I sat outside a lot this summer, and I hope to continue that practice for as long as I can. Waiting quietly in nature solves a lot of problems and opens our eyes to new possibilities. Sometimes I write outside, or knit, or make art. Mostly, I sit and watch. Time well spent. ✅

The pumpkin seeds I planted last month have taken off, and I learned their lesson: they open their beautiful blooms early in the day. If you wait too long, they are still pretty, but different. I guess I never realized all the adjustments nature makes minute by minute. ✅

My niece left a mailbox surprise this week: zinnia seeds for a future day! So kind…and as I look out toward my happy flower patch this season, I think I will cut a bouquet to celebrate that on this Friday, there is still plenty of beauty around…both in the thoughtfulness of others and in the joy to come. ✅

Finally, I started a new part time job this week. I am a teacher in the adult education program in my town, and I help students work toward their ESL or HSE certificates. As always, meeting my students and learning about them has started this season off well. They showed up in masks, but the masks did not conceal their determination and grit. They have goals. They are ready to work. I am ready to help them. ✅

Have a terrific weekend, dear readers. Find a moment or more to get outside and find the healing in nature. Surprise someone. Pick a flower. Plant a seed. Help someone learn. Live in grateful wonder. ❤️

Xoxo


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Friday’s 5-August 14, 2020

Here we are, dear readers. We are on the threshold of fall, and even though I write these words on a hot summer evening, the weather guy promises fall like temps for next week.

Looking forward…

Oh, I am aware we are supposed to live in the moment we are in. I got the memo.

But isn’t it nice to dream? To imagine the autumn breeze ripple through the trees and make us consider a sweater on a morning or evening walk?

Let us be happy in the possibilities today…maybe even let that be a goal for the week ahead. To look forward in hope.

I like the verse from scripture that says I lift my eyes unto the hills from where my help comes. To me, that verse is hope filled. We look up and wait for the good that’s coming. It’s in the hills or around the corner or somewhere just barely out of sight.

It’s actually the 121st Psalm and I had to look it up because 1) I always forget the number and 2) obviously I’m missing a few words in my revision above.

But, here it is: will you read it aloud with me? It’s like a poem, and I believe there is power in the spoken word:

Psalm121

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.

He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.

Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.

The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.

The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.

8 The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

Beautiful words.

As a lot of us continue to or prepare to go out into this strange world, let us go armed with faith and hope. And of course, love.

This week, I had at least five unexpected good things come my way. A friend texted me to see if I had time to talk. She couldn’t have known, but at that exact moment, I was really wanting to talk with a friend. Another friend brought a beautiful bouquet of surprise sunflowers to my door on her way to work. That took some effort and was out of her way. It meant a lot. Another friend and I had our frequent art/cooking/politics/poetry talks that go on for hours. My two oldest grands sent me funny emojis at the same moment I was sending some to them. Two vendors at the farmers’ market filled my bags with way more produce than I purchased.

Little things…a common thread: people.

The power we have to bring hope to others.

I bet you had some good things happen, too.

I’d love to hear them. I hope you’ll look for five more this week. Good things are coming all of the time. Lift your eyes. Look.

Take good care, dear readers. I believe in prayer, but I also believe in masks and science. And kindness.

xoxo