Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Sierra Listens Along the Path

Last week on a bright winter day, we waited patiently for a new life to arrive. Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Derek, and two and half-year-old Sierra walked in stride, noticing, wondering, and being filled with hope. A little sister was soon to come into the world.

"What sounds do you hear, Sierra? What animals will we see, today?" As we walked, we listened to the sounds of nature. 
I stepped on a wilted leaf that still had a puffy look to it even weeks after autumn passed on. "Crunch. Crunch." 
Sierra watched, listened, and copied.
"Crunch, crunch", she repeated the process until we saw another wonder of winter.

"Crack. Crack." We stepped on frozen snow.
Sticks lay on the ground. I chose a long one to break into two.
"Snap. Snap."
We continued to walk along the trail, looking and listening.
We watched the waves ripple in the brook; saw a dog enjoying his walk; listened to a bird chirping. But when we heard an interesting, new sound, we were amazed.
"Peck. Peck."
We looked all around but only heard the sound, not the singer.

It was then that Sierra called a halt to our walk. 
"Listen! Listen."

She looked up to the very tops of sky-climbing trees but the woodpecker was hiding.
Children who listen and learn, grow on the path to lifelong learning. On this winter day, Sierra stopped, looked, listened, and told her story of a walk filled with wonder. Grandma listened and wrote what transpired.
The leaves, the snow,
And the sticks,
The dog, the bird, 
And the brook!
I can hear winter's sounds
As I walk the path
As soon as I pause,
listen and look.
©CV, 2020, Virginia

The above poem is based on James Sterling Tippett's first of three stanzas' poem, Familiar Friends, from Crickety Cricket: The Best-Loved Poems of James S. Tippet by Mary Chalmers. (Thank you poet Janice Scully for introducing me to this poem at Poetry Friday last week.)

The horses, the pigs,
And the chickens,
The turkeys, the ducks
And the sheep!
I can see all my friends
From my window
As soon as I waken
from sleep.
©James Sterling Tippett

It's Slice of Life Tuesday and writers from around the world join at Two Writing Teachers' site to offer their slices. 


  1. Stand forever,
    or as close as you can come,
    and just listen:

    the world is taking a breath,
    and our hearts are beating
    to the rhythm of it all

    -- Kevin, poem as comment ... inspired by your post and the poetry here ... there's a quiet in your words that I appreciated it ... the listening ....

    1. Kevin, i can't thank you enough for joining me in extending Sierra's story. Your words have great meaning for within the quiet I find a peace in the early morning. Being far away from my two little granddaughters is difficult but the memories are soothing. "and our hearts are beating/ to the rhythm of it all" is a beautiful line. I "shall forever in the silence". Many thanks for the calming words.

    2. The world is taking a breath
      before new life is born
      offering a word of hope
      that love must go on.

      Poetry begets poetry begets poetry...

    3. Margaret, I am so lucky to have friends who are poets. Poetry does beget poetry. Your poem is a beautiful reminder that hope is in the air when newborns arrive.

  2. Thank you for sharing my joy, Lakshmi.

  3. Oh, I love how you wrote a poem to remember this moment. There's nothing like walking with a grandchild to renew hope and wonder.

    1. We Grandmas know the value of noticing, wondering, and walking with the little ones. Poetry is my way to remember and savor moments, especially now since I am a 5-6 hour ride to my little girls. Thanks for joining me here.

  4. All your parts in your poem came to life for me as I read this animated ditty of yours and your granddaughters Carol, thanks for sharing it, it's lovely and sensitive!

    1. Thanks, Michelle, for commenting. Sierra knows that I have poetry friends and that I mention her in my blogs. She is quite the little reader and storyteller.

  5. Joyful walk
    Noticing sounds of life
    While waiting for new life

    Cheers, and hearty congratulations! -- Christie

  6. Christie, you are now the 3rd friend to write a poem from a poem as a reply. Poetry begets poetry. Thanks, for your lovely haiku.