Since the beginning of you and I, we have bought thirty-three calendars. I know you like your coffee beige and that cereal is your feast on weekday mornings, but on weekends, you’ll skillfully whip up an omelet. I’ve never mastered the egg flip. I know which of your shirts have hung around for the long haul and if you could backpack every day, you would. If you had a choice: flip flops or hiking boots, the boots would win by a broad margin. I know our children have the best dad. You think you’re lucky finding me, but I am the lucky one… to wake up each morning with your pillow beside mine, to witness the sun’s first peek through the window, to vie for blankets on a January night. We are ears and rocks for each other, having mastered the flavors and textures, while learning each other’s landscape. But the depth of our devotion has not reached its full potential. There is more closeness to discover in spaces yet to be revealed. I feel like a grand prize winner in this thing called life where do-overs aren’t magically offered. You and I became an Us, and as more lines come into light, as more grays persist, even if feet shuffle and bones ache, there will be more calendars to hang.
This poem is one of four that I contributed to the anthology, Poetry Treasures 2: Relationships. A beautiful collection of poetry where twelve poets reveal their most personal moments, compiled by Kaye Lynne Booth and Robbie Cheadle.
Day 5: Victoria Zigler at Zigler’s News will host contributing author M.J. Mallon and share a review by Victoria Zigler.
Day 6: The publisher, Kaye Lynne Booth, will be in the interview spotlight with James J. Cudney over at This Is My Truth Now.
Day 7: Robbie Cheadle at Robbie’s Inspiration will share a guest post from contributing author Colleen M. Chesebro.
Day 8: Kaye Lynne Booth at Writing to be Readwill wrap things up with a guest post from contributing author Leon Stevens.
If you follow the tour and leave a comment at each stop, you will be entered in a random drawing for a chance to win a free digital copy of **Poetry Treasures 2: Relationships**
Today I am thrilled to feature my guest, Miriam Hurdle, a lovely poet and blogger and a contributor in this anthology. And now, I invite Miriam to talk about her poetry…
Hi Lauren, thank you for hosting me today. I’m excited about the new release of Poetry Treasures 2: Relationships. It’s my privilege to be a contributing author.
There are six of my poems in this anthology collection:
Baby’s First Steps
I Walked Barefoot
April 28 is Pay It Forward Day. I want to discuss the poem related to doing a simple act of kindness to pay it forward.
Life has ups and downs Friends will stay around While outlook bright on good days Who knows what’s ahead? When you’re half dead Promising scenes fade away
The kindness of heart Brought you a fresh start Real friends hard to be found Only wisdom knows What tomorrow holds What goes around comes around
One’s fate made a turn Stumbled, fell, and churned Drowning into ocean’s deep You’re right around Sensed cries without sounds Graciously kindness repeats
I wrote this poem with two incidents in mind.
During the recession in 2008, a friend and his subordinates lost their jobs because of the company’s downsizing. Ted was a kind person who was friendly and gentle with the guys he supervised. He kept in touch with those guys during this hard time. It was difficult to find a job during the recession. When one job was open, there would be hundreds of applicants. Ted was unemployed for many months. One day, he received a call from his former subordinate about a job opening and asked him to apply. He did and got the job. His subordinate became his boss.
Ted and I were in the same choir. He was excited to share the news with the choir members. I couldn’t help but think that Ted’s kindness toward the people working under him paid off. He received kindness in return.
We don’t always return the favor to the same person who was kind to us. But we can Pay It Forward.
On April 28, 2007, Blake Beattie started Pay It Forward Day. After beginning in Australia, the holiday now spreads love and kindness in over 85 countries. It’s a celebration of a small act of kindness that makes a big impact on the world.
In 2008, I was diagnosed with stage II melanoma cancer that progressed to stage IV. I was a recipient of ongoing love and kindness from people near and far during the entire year of treatment. I can’t return kindness to all these people. What I can do is continuously Pay It Forward to show kindness to myself and the surrounding people, no matter how small the kind act is.
Why is kindness important?
Most research on the science behind kindness has centered on oxytocin. Dr. Waguih William IsHak, a professor of psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai, said that a simple act of kindness can reward our bodies and minds with feel-good chemical substances. Sometimes called “the love hormone,” oxytocin plays a role in forming social bonds and trusting other people. It’s the hormone mothers produce when they breastfeed, cementing their bond with their babies. Acts of kindness can release hormones that contribute to your mood and overall wellbeing. However, the effect isn’t lasting. Therefore, acts of kindness have to be repeated.
I’m grateful for the kindness I received, and I want to keep my overall wellbeing. With these in mind, I practice Pay It Forward and repeat kindness.
Miriam Hurdle is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). She published four children’s books at twenty-six years old. Her poetry collection received the Solo “Medalist Winner” for the New Apple Summer eBook Award and achieved bestseller status on Amazon.
Miriam writes poetry, short stories, memoir, and children’s books. She earned a Doctor of Education from the University of La Verne in California. After two years of rehabilitation counseling, fifteen years of public-school teaching and ten years in school district administration, she retired and enjoys life with her husband in southern California, and the visits to her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughters in Oregon. When not writing, she engages in blogging, gardening, photography, and traveling.