To begin again…


Sometimes, to begin again feels like a long hike in the summer sun up a steep slope. Sometimes, to begin again is like swimming in honey.  Today, I received an invitation from Ruth Ayres to begin again, and I accept it as a gift.

Now, I don’t know Ruth personally, but I subscribe to her website and have read her blogs for years.  I never had children, so I loved reading Ruth’s family stories.  They gave me a glimpse of the joys and pain of being a mom.  Ruth’s children have had dark beginnings, and they struggle. I loved hearing about their triumphs and was saddened when they struggled. Struggling is something I know a lot about.  

When I read one of Ruth’s recent blogs and her decision to start writing again, I knew I had to leave her a comment to tell her how much her writing meant to me.  I never expected a response, but I should have, because Ruth is all about connection.

Ruth sent me an invitation to begin to write again.  And it is that nudge I so desperately needed.  Thank you, Ruth. And so on my sixty-fourth birthday I begin again…

What should I write about?  What should I write about?  And then suddenly I know. A poem comes into my head. I wrote it several years ago as part a coming-of-age novel in verse I have yet to finish about a twelve-year-old girl who is struggling.

A Gift

When we are alone,

Aunt Connie hands me a present

Wrapped in brilliant blue.

I rip it open to reveal

A brand-new journal.

It’s suede, the color of new earth,

It smells of earth too, comforting,

Tied together with strong leather strings

And small brass beads.

I look up at my aunt to thank her,

She puts one arm around my shoulder,

Holds me close and whispers,

“Just keep writing – 

Just keep writing,” she says.

But she does not say it 

Like my teachers would,

Not just keep writing because I have to,

It’s an assignment– I will be graded.

Punctuation counts, spelling counts,

Not jut keep writing – like it’s good for me,

Like it’s medicine or spinach – 

But just keep writing because it’s part of me,

Like breathing in air and exhaling,

Because it keeps me alive,

Because it connects me to the world,

Because it keeps me sane

It is my life – I need to live it,

My feelings count, memories count.

8 thoughts on “To begin again…

  1. This is beautiful. I’m teary-eyed, which isn’t something I expected. I want to read more of this story in verse, and I want to smit still and let the serendipity of this post soothe my soul. It is beautiful. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well hello Word Dancer! I like the image those words form in my mind. Then you followed with some of my passions: literature, the Arts and education. Right then I pretty much decided I am a fan. But then these beautiful words greeted me:
    “Sometimes, to begin again feels like a long hike in the summer sun up a steep slope. Sometimes, to begin again is like swimming in honey.”
    On this site I think you will find kindred writers, many of us starting to blog again.
    It is easier to find your writing if you leave your URL in the comment. It’s easy, copy the address bar and then paste in the comment section.
    Until next, happy writing.


  3. WOW. This is beautiful Jojo. As I read it, I wept. Thank you for sharing yourself — your struggles, your kindness, the beauty and blessings of your aunt, your experience of the journal, and the hope and wonder found in writing, and beginning again. It is an encouragement to me to always be willing to take a breath and begin again! Many blessings to you!


  4. I am so happy Ruth invited you to write again. Your poem. Wow. When I got to the line “But just keep writing because it’s part of me,” I knew. I knew I would love your writing. Can’t wait to read what you have to say next week!


  5. Ruth has a way of reaching out and keeping us connected. What a beautiful gift to you on your birthday!! Enjoy writing again! ~michelle


  6. Ruth finds people with heart. I’m glad she invited you to share. I love that poem and the image I get when I read “just write” and you did. 🙂


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