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 11/6/2020

Hello, dear readers. The calendar flipped to November since the last time I wrote. It is one of my favorite months of the year. It’s a respite time, a time to catch our breath before the flurry of the holidays. A show of color on the trees. A time for reflection. The earth getting ready for a wintery sleep.

We are now in time change land, and usually the return to Standard Time makes me feel re-set, but like many things this year, something still feels off. Maybe that’s why at 8pm I was ready for bed and slept hard for several hours. Yes, I realize it’s not really Friday, but it’s still dark outside and most of the world around my tiny universe is still in dreamland, so I’ll push this post through “as if” it isn’t actually Saturday. ☺️

Saturdays. They make my top five this week.

Generally, I get to Skype with my daughter and talk with my sister on Saturdays, so it’s an easy pick. Their presence in my world, even from far far away, always blesses me.

Journals.

I have filled several this year, and I am centered by the process and discipline of writing every day. After this post, the next thing on my list is writing my pages with cup of coffee in hand. Likely several cups. Ha. A lot gets settled and sorted through that writing time, and I am grateful.

Small talk.

I mean the words from my grandchildren. 🥰 I’ll see them today, and they will fill me up with their commentary on the world. Their turns of phrases. Their I love you moments and their running dialogue with each other and their toys and the world. I’ll listen and engage and be reminded of what it means to be aware of the power in the moments.

Democracy.

It’s a big one on my list this week, this year, this lifetime. Regardless of whether folks agree or disagree with my choice of candidates or political party preference, as an American I enjoy freedom to vote — and a system is in place that makes sure my vote and every vote is counted.

I am grateful for those who are on the front lines working to defend that process. I am grateful for the people, like me, who stood in long lines to early vote. I had special conversations with strangers in those lines. It was obvious we were not all voting the same way, but we treated each other the way I envision America at her best. So I know it is possible. I won’t be discouraged when I have seen civility and decency with my own eyes.

I am grateful for the people who voted by mail. For the ones who walked a long way to mail a ballot. For others who drove folks to and from polling places or post offices. For new voters who figured it out and decided they would keep learning to be better voters every future time. For the ballot. I am grateful for choice.

Several of my students registered to vote (and showed up to vote) this season. I bow to them here. Sometimes when we think our voice doesn’t matter, we discover that there is power in the process.

Tomorrow.

I’m grateful for the thought of it. I am always aware I may not see it, but I look forward to the sun waking me up each day, the slant of light that appears through the bedroom window. Slow wakings without alarms. Possibilities. The season that brings us Thanksgiving, the preparations (in progress of course) for Christmas.

After all, we build better tomorrows by what we do today. So, what will you do today? This week? This season? Will you build a bridge toward understanding and love? Smile beneath the mask I hope you are wearing in public? Look for the light in every human being? Make a move to improve one little thing? I hope so.

Have a good week. Improve your corner of the world. Know you are part of its power. 🌟


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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 10/02/2020

October—she is already showing out with vivid colors…every morning and evening I look for the newest color, the latest transformation

Crisp mornings and the cup of coffee I hold with both hands, its heat warming me before even taking the first sip

Full moon moments and that eternal trying to get the perfect camera shot…but knowing the looking and noticing count for as much as the elusive photo

Poetry…words read and shared and written in solitary moments and lately with a new group of students…sonnets were the form this week…sestinas next.

Weekends…to reconnect with the slow rituals and silences that the soul needs. Homemade pizza/flannel pjs/a glass of wine in late evening. Small goodnesses.

A few bonus pics tonight…from the past week.

Look and watch and marvel at what is present with us.

Have a safe and joy filled week. 😷😎❤️


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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.