Small Seeds of Hope: A Lighthearted Story...in Fifteen (Short) Stanzas
Anti-Anxiety Tool of the Week
Wow! Look at something in the natural world, or a loved one, or anything you like, really. Even your own finger. Open your eyes wide and say the word "wow"—drawing it out in a relaxed kind of way. Notice the amazingness of what you are looking at.
Say it again, remembering to widen your eyes. Let your mind wander and wonder around all the wonderful details of what you are seeing. Say it out loud or whisper it. Notice how you feel--you might be smiling.
Julie Henderson, Zapchen queen, says she realized that "wow" would be a great exercise when she saw a little boy responding this way to a big, beautiful dog. She also encourages what she calls "a lifetime of wow."
This tool is from the first Toolkit in case you want to look at it. And here's a link to the Index of all toolkits.
A Lighthearted Story...in Fifteen (Short) Stanzas
And now for something completely different...
Here's a children's story I wrote, in verse, about a young girl and her great-grandmother. Just for fun. We could all certainly use a little lightheartedness these days!
In the Garden Tonight
Ivy is lonely, in bed for the night.
Since Gammy is resting, she must be polite—
and quiet—though both might prefer to unite,
and dance in the garden in...ohhhh...sweet moonlight.
But up in the sky with the clouds, at great height,
the Moon’s playing games, hiding silver and light.
While down in the garden the flowers sit tight.
“No Moon? Then no dancing!” they say. “So good-night!”
“Come on,” teases Wind, brushing petals curled tight.
“It’s no time for grumps—we want dancing, not spite.
I’ll whoosh away clouds, then our Moon can shine bright,
and jazz with us all in the garden tonight.”
“Oh Moooon!” breathes the Wind. “Come on down. Share your light.
The flowers are crabby, the party is quite
unable to start when you’re up at that height.
We need you to help us illumine this night.”
Look! Someone is swaying there,
just out of sight.
It could be a flower. It could be a sprite.
“I’m Poppy!” “I’m Lily!” “I’m Rose!” they recite.
“Our Moon has come back so we’re dancing tonight!”
Then Lily looks up at a window shut tight.
An eager face peers down at her with delight.
“Open!” says Lily, and Ivy takes flight.
She’s thrilled that she gets to go dancing tonight.
Young Ivy whirls faster in Moon’s glowing light.
She’s dancing with flowers: pink, yellow, and white.
Sweet Rose spins her ‘round, the Wind hugs her tight.
But someone is missing—it isn’t quite right.
Then Ivy looks up at a window shut tight.
“There’s Gammy!’ she sings. “She can dance like a kite.”
“Open!” says Poppy, and Gammy takes flight.
On wings of the Wind she’ll go dancing tonight.
“Oh Ivy!” “Oh Gammy!” Their smiles are so bright.
Now eagerly twirling—it’s well past midnight.
They’re swooping and swirling with Wind and Moonlight.
“Great party!” says Moon. “We’re all dancing tonight.”
Now dancing more softly in dawn’s early light,
both Ivy and Gammy are sleepy—yes, quite.
They’re yawning—ooh-ahhhh!—not surprising they might.
Their dance in the garden outlasted the night!
Soon Mama and Papa awake with a fright.
“What was that noise?” Even though it was slight.
“Where’s Ivy?” “Where’s Gammy?” “You think they’re alright?”
“They’re gone from their beds! We’re afraid that they might—”
“Here they are! Fast asleep in the pale morning light,
all sprinkled with petals—pink, yellow and white.
But how did they get here? Our doors were locked tight.
Plus, someone was picking our flowers last night!”
Both Ivy and Gammy sit up with delight.
They giggle and tickle, start laughing outright.
“Oh Mama and Papa, let go of your fright!
We danced with the Moon, Wind and flowers all night!”
“With Moon making music and giving us light.
And Wind waltzing madly—it was such a sight.
Then Gammy came leaping; she soars like a kite.
We loved all that dancing—we’re very alright.”
The Moon’s playing games, chasing silver and light.
The Wind’s tossing kisses to left and to right.
Soon Poppy and Lily and Rose will take flight.
You think they might dance in your garden tonight?
Until next time,
Girl with hot air balloons - Kenny Krosky, unSplash
Red leaves - unknown
Empty bed - J. Shim, unSplash
Moon & clouds - Siim Lukka, unSplash
Garden path, lily of the valley, girl sleeping - Annie Spratt, unSplash
Dancing girl - unknown
Grandmother - Nick Karvounis, unSplash