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  • Pam

Leaves of Solace

by Pam

There is a theme that has been playing over and over throughout my life. Helpless and voiceless. I've found solace in helping two-legged and four-legged beings and feeling my heart. I wanted to share this poem I wrote with all of you.

Finding my voice

Where was my voice

And where will it be

Was it lost, is it found

Can I ever be free?

So much guilt

And so much shame

So much sorrow

To my name

I felt so small

So helpless so meek

I just couldn’t muster

The courage to speak

As I grow in my soul

I feel soft lights

My voices are whispers

Of delight

Gazing to birds wings

On their important flights.

My voice feels the winds

Of buffering trees

The beautiful songs

Giving me ease

The breezes blowing

Through my soul

Comforts of angels

Help me know

My voice utters glory

At the grace of a deer

Grazing evening shadows

So reverent, so clear

My love melts with creatures

The earth that wilts and bleeds

My soul so intertwined

As roots of ancient trees

My heart voice there to comfort

Anguished souls in need

If only for a moment

I can help to set them free

I’m starting to let go

Of what I could not say

May rains and winds of solace

Wash regrets away

Ever so slowly

A glimmer I now see

I do have the strength

To set myself free

Participants’ Reflections

  • Thank you. It has just been so life-giving to witness your soul being revealed through your voice, as you found your voice. And I, for one, have just been amazed at your connection to nature. It's a good reminder for me, because sometimes I am just oblivious to the animals around me or that trees are like a river. And you have taught me to be much more aware of that. That connection is a divine connection to nature. I thank you.

  • Thank you. For all of the many, many challenges that you have in life, your gift to me—and you gave it again this morning—was to return to the still small voice. When I step into that still small voice and you can be describing the way a leaf falls onto the ground, it helps me return to my core source and God. I thank you for that presencing today and every day as you share the essence of who you are. Thank you.

  • Thank you so much for that. I think one of the great threads throughout this group has been your sharing about the many, many challenges you face, and it just occurred to me today as Shirley has shared of her terrible challenges in years past with her daughter are sort of abstract to us because it is in the past, and you became sort of the personification of that. The issues she faced in dealing with her daughter I can see reflected in what you've done. I think I speak for everybody that our concern with you is not going to end with the end of the group. We're still going to be with you. We love you very very much. You have gifted us with the strength and endurance with your amazing voice.

  • Thank you so much. That was a really beautiful, lovely poem you wrote. It really touched my heart. I've been down that journey. I had no voice for a long, long time and went through a period in my life where I felt like I had a voice. But my meditation took me to realizing it's difficult for me getting older, because I feel like my voice is not being heard again, or not being believed, being ignored or judged as less than. Your poem really gave me some strength and some insight to be strong with my voice, no matter what my age. So thank you, thank you. It was an inspiration.

    • Pam says: That's one of the things that I lament about our culture, that we don't give reverence and respect to people as they get older.

  • That was extraordinary. And I almost missed it, I was busy, and it was as if all of those spirit guides that I can never hear except in a whisper once in a while, I think they hollered at me, it's time for meditation. I would not have missed this for the world. And I'm so grateful that I got on in time. And you have connected so deeply with your soul and your voice and have come together so beautifully. I'm looking forward to reading it again to carry it with me as we go forward. And then your poem, something was nagging me about it, and it came forth. There’s a folk song with a refrain, “I'm gonna make a great big noise with my little voice.” (this could be the song.) And I would so urge you to consider making a great big noise with your voice that we hear so clearly in this poem. Share that. I liken you to the author of Braiding Sweetgrass, who helps us realize the treasure in nature. So consider sending your writing out for publication. Thank you ever so much.

  • Thank you so much. I’m in awe of the gifts of each person in this group. I have a habit I’m trying to get out of comparing myself to other people and my gifts to other people. Like, I can't compete with that. I remember someone was talking about an artist who painted like Wyeth and the art teacher said Wyeth’s already done that, why would you do that? That's not who you are. I'm trying to learn that. I'm trying to learn to find my voice and to appreciate and love my voice. I love what someone just said. I'm going to make a great big noise with my little voice. You make a great big noise so quietly. Thank you so much.

  • I was very moved by your poem, and your journey I've witnessed listening to you. So many people have already commented on how much you educated, at least me, about an appreciation that my heart does not easily go to, and your connection with nature in such a profound way really is an amazing gift that you give. You may call it odd. I think it's cultural, something we all need nourishment with. I so appreciate that. Just the strength you have as a person to have stayed through this journey here, and taken what was there for you. I think it takes an enormous amount of strength. I think it's a lot easier to back away. I really appreciate you.

  • Thank you, that was so beautifully written and spoken. Your heart was right there. I just heard your heart. I think it's really interesting that chirping bird while you were reading was letting you know that he was listening. While we were listening to everyone speak, that bird was saying thank you, thank you, thank you. What comes to me often when you speak is how your voice is really such a clear and loud voice for all the creatures that don't have a voice. And I have always appreciated listening to you speak for that reason. You're the voice. And also what has come to me is how much you are healed through healing. And that connection always comes to me when you're speaking. Like the whole relationship between healing and being healed yourself. And I just love that and find it very, very inspiring. So thank you so much for that.

  • Thank you, I love your poem, I want to encourage you to keep on writing. I can just picture you really reading a particular squirrel that you see or whatever in nature that you see, sitting with it, and then giving it a voice like you have done. As someone said, you have given voice to so many in the animal world that don't have a voice. You told me yesterday that you saw me is steadfast. After we got off yesterday, I thought, if I've ever witnessed anybody who is steadfast, it is you. So go look at yourself in the mirror. And remember, I've heard you say many times, I don't know the word or I don't know how to say something. I really relate to that. But then you come out with the precise word that was needed, and I wonder if one of your birds or squirrels is giving you that word. I believe I'm speaking for everyone that we, this group, will be your silent family. And that we will keep you and your family in our hearts. Thank you, thank you so much for the gifts you've given to us, more than you know.

  • Two things come to mind. One of them is that as I have grown over the years, trying to resolve my relationship with my biological family, I’ve gathered people around me who became my real family, my heart family. And my biological family receded into the background because they didn't nourish and nurture me. I see this group surrounding you is growing into your heart family. The other thing I want to echo is that you have a voice. And what an incredible opportunity it is to consider opening up to a chipmunk for a day and imagining what the chipmunk would say if he or she could speak human words and then write the words down. It reminds me of work that artists create with wildflowers, meditating on them and creating them. You are capable of expressing the voiceless words of the animals, the insects, the birds. What a great way to exercise your writing in your connection to nature.

  • Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for your willingness to share your insides with the outside. Your trust in this community goes a long way. As we go forth in this day, let us hold the knowledge that each of us has grown in this community, this incubator that has nursed us and nurtured us and given us hope and given us words and given us images and ideas and courage. It is all a part of the incubation process. So let us go forth today to hold ourselves with gentleness. Each of us has a place in this world, however it is defined, and the more we embrace it, the more we can rise into who we already are. Blessings.

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