Friday, August 26, 2022

Featuring "On a Gold-Blooming Day"

In all things of nature, there is something of the marvelous. ~ Aristotle

I fall in love with fall all over again each year. It's a golden feast of brilliance and rich colors. Mother Nature lays down the red carpet to celebrate the season's natural delights. In anticipation of fall, my friend, poet Buffy Silverman captures the vibrance of the season through the combination of photos and words in her new publication.

Published by Lerner Books

“With hashtags like #NaturePhotography, #Fall, and #NatureWalk, Twitter will light up on September 6, 2022, when Buffy Silverman's book, On a Gold-Blooming Day - Finding Fall Treasures, is published. This stunning book combines poetry and photography to create a visual feast for young readers, parents, and teachers. 

As a poet and photographer, Buffy's keen eyes spot nature scenes that want to become a poetic expression. Verbs combine with nouns for the creation of new words, rhymes flow, like rattle and skedattle, and photos share the limelight with nature herself. 

In addition to  the richness of the photo-poem book, Buffy adds back matter that enhances the reading experience for young children who are growing their vocabulary. Nonfiction descriptions of rhymed words and scenes provide content for young researchers to expand their knowledge. A glossary and further reading resources are also a bonus feature for explorers, writers, and readers. 
There is an artistic quality to the book that should not be overlooked. The visual choices of what to include are inspiring. Color photographs enhance each page. 

I recommend post-reading activities, like collage-making, narrative writing, researching  fall around the world, or creating photo books of class or individual walks, as creative endeavors. Introducing the next season through Buffy's previous book, On a Snow-Melting Day, provides students with a journey through winter as opposed to fall. 

Considering that nature photography is the art of capturing earth's beauty, Buffy excels as a writer of children's nonfiction books on seasonal beauty with this publication. In a conversation with Buffy I offered several inspirational quotes to ponder. She chose Ralph Waldo Emerson's: "Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience."

This quote resonates with me most.  It's easier for me to be patient with a camera in hand, watching bees buzzing in goldenrod or waiting for a crab spider to emerge from its hiding place, looking more closely as I click away. I think the appeal of photography for me is that it reminds me to slow down and observe closely.-Buffy Silverman

Buffy also mentioned that was thrilled Millbrook included a few of her photos in On a Gold-Blooming Day.

It just so happens that September 6, 2022 is not only the publication of On a Gold-Blooming Day but also National Read a Book Day. Perhaps, you will  read this book to a child or another book in anticipation of fall.


Today is Poetry Friday and children's author and poet Tanita S. Davis is hosting the event. Join me at her blog to celebrate poetry goodness this week.

She and the Poetry Sisters wrote a Bop poem for this month's challenge. Not sure what that is? Find out at Tanita's blog. Her poem is very interesting in content and context. Perhaps, I will try out this format when I have more time.

Friday, August 19, 2022

Blissful Beach Vacation

There’s nothing like a relaxing beach vacation to nurture my summer soul. The lull of the sea, the beauty of clouds billowing in the sky, and the warm sand bring me back to my happy place. Let me take you along on a visual journey to Cape May, America's oldest seaside resort

Imagine the wind blowing in your hair as the ferry cruises across the Delaware Bay. Riders find railings to watch the seagulls circulate overhead as the seafoam surfaces below. After landing, people travel into the historic town by the sea, filled with vibrant Painted Ladies, and Victorian houses, proudly displaying their architectural beauty with gingerbread trim and multiple colors that mostly date back to the late 18oos. A quick sightseeing tour can take you to the beach where magnificent mansions face the ocean.  

During our summer holiday, we listen to the sound of lapping waves rushing toward the shoreline, the giggling sounds of children, including my little grandgirls, chasing approaching waves in the sand. We watch swooping seagulls circle in toward the beach. My granddaughter shares her excitement as she spots a dolphin's fin pop up in the distance. I notice hot air balloons floating across the sky with their rider. Life is tranquil at the beach bringing a feeling of serenity. There is a sweet mix of beaching, boating, eating gourmet dinners and delicious breakfast foods, and pleasurable leisure time. The sunsets are magnificent and the ice cream stores are delicious. Cape May is the place where every member of the family can enjoy life. I certainly did as I spent time soaking in the sights and relaxing. 

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA FAA Photography

painted ladies proud as peacocks
line up in fashionable style
waiting for ogling eyes to call
©CV, 2022, Cape May, NJ

Today is Poetry Friday and Dave is hosting for the very first time with an etheree poem. He adds an interesting statement at the end of his blog. "To me, poetry has been my way of finding castles among the ordinary things and even making ordinary things stick out like castles." I am now joining him and other poets at Dave's blog here

Friday, August 12, 2022

Grateful for a Poetic Gift

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words." ~Robert Frost

The mail comes daily via our conscientious postal worker, despite the scorching heat and torrential downpours. Usually. there are only bills and flyers but this week, I received a very special mailing from Margaret Simon who wrote a blog about the summer poem swap I sent her. You can access that here.

As a poet, Margarets understand the importance of notebooks. She graced me with a small, hard-bound one that includes five miniature photos she chose from my blog and added a small poem for each photo. 

Magaret states that poetry connects us. This is true but there are other connections between us: photography and grandmotherhood.

Image Poem #1 created by Margaret
Nature nurtures my soul. Margaret understands.

Image Poem #2 created by Margaret
Life often surprises the grandgirls who enjoy being sisters.

Image Poem #4 created by Margaret
Moments with my granddaughters do take my breath away.
How well Margaret knows me!

I added my thoughts on the quote on the front of the small notebook, "Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale". The journey may be full of hopscotching hope and bruises during a fall, but looking back on it makes me feel the magical moments all over again.

I wait for life
to define itself
this August. It is
always full of surprises. The
sun and rain dart among the clouds most
days with wonderful,
unexpected moments, like a fairy
fluttering in a whimsical tale.
©CV, 2022

Many thanks to Tabatha Yeatts for organizing the Summer Poem Swap 2022. This in itself is a gracious gift.

As I said before, Margaret Simon inspires me to be creative, as do the poets of the Poetry Friday community of writers. Please join me at Margaret's blog, Reflections on the Teche, for more poetic goodness to fill your weekend.


Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Bringing Back Memories Through Songs

As we drove down the highway on a very warm August evening, I flipped radio channels to listen to a variety of songs from different decades. 
I paused to reflect on summer days:
These Are Special Times.
August days slip away
Sealed with a Kiss.
Dances with the Wind
on the roaring ocean.
A Summer Breeze
floats on by. 
I'm At One with You
In My Summer Place
Singing A Summer Song.
Chase the Sun!
It's Funny How Life Slips Away.
©CVarsalona, 2022

Later in the evening, after errands were finished, I pieced together song titles we listened to for a quick write on summer. Memories of past summers floated like waves across the sea
as I penned this poem.

Slice of Life Tuesday is celebrated at Two Writing Teachers,
a meeting place for a world of reflective writers 

Friday, August 5, 2022

Summer Bliss

poetry prompt + writing + inspiration = summer bliss

I must admit that summer has touched my soul in a positive way. Even the sweltering heat and torrential rains are prompts to write. Inspiration flows in quiet corners of my garden where the herbs and perennials share the bed. My gardens flourish in the heat this year and the constant series of rain replenishes their thirst. All equates to summer bliss. So just what is the prompt I am using to open my mind to positivity?

Yesterday as host of Spiritual Journey Thursday, I offered a theme to reflect upon: Nurturing Your Summer Soul. The eight SJT writers were from the Poetry Friday and Two Writing Teachers communities. The responses to my prompt were unique but the commonality was that they were rich with personal thoughts, word choice, and inspiration. Please take a look at the writings linked to my host blog. Click here. I appreciate the awesome photographs, inspired poetry, and narratives written by:

1.Linda M. at A Word Edgewise5.Karen Eastlund9.Ramona
2.Margaret Simon6.arjeha- Bob Hamera
3.Ruth7.Denise Krebs
4.Susan Kohler8.Fran Haley

If you move over to the Poetryliscious padlet you will see the graphics, photos, and poems attributed to the work created by the above writers. Click here to access the Poetryliscious padlet.

There is a restorative aspect to summer, even in the teeming rain. Last summer, I lost many beautiful plants and herbs either to Virginia soil (Did you know that Virginia soil is full of clay?), heat, or the deer and the rabbits. This summer, with constant care no matter what the weather conditions were, the gardens reaped the rewards of full blossoms and beautiful green leaves. They nurtured my summer soul. The statement, "We might think we are nurturing our garden, but of course, it's our garden that is really nurturing us."

Our trip to the Virginia countryside provided my soul with more nurturing and poetry writing on the effects of the aftermath of a storm. You can read my gogyoshi poem, Nature's Shimmer Touches Life, here. Below is another gogyoshi poem about a beautiful butterfly plant found at a nursery in Orange, Virginia.

A Touch of Summer

butterflies sweep the sky
slip into a bush for sips of nectar
in a singular sweeping moment
our souls connect with summer
nature nourishes our souls
©CVarsalona, 2022, gogyoshi

Next Sunday, I am off to the ocean with our family. I cannot wait to "Smell the sea and feel the sky. Let your soul and spirit fly."- Van Morrison


For now, I will let my spirit fly over to the Poetry Friday Roundup at Molly Hogan's blog. Molly is sharing her response to the prompt from her Inklings writing group challenge. "Write a poem about any sport you have a connection to = one you participate(d) in or love to watch."

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Nurturing Your Summer Soul

Summer is a beautiful time to nurture our souls. Its lulling voice can be full of peaceful ripples or in-the-moment meditation so I try to take advantage of its beauty whenever I can. Of course, I need to hit the pause and reflect button to slow down the pace of life in order to make time for possibilities. 

“Repose, leisure, peace, belong among the elements of happiness. If we have not escaped from harried rush, from mad pursuit, from unrest, from the necessity of care, we are not happy.”  -excerpt from Happiness and Contemplation by Joseph Piper

For me, the beginning of the summer felt like a steeplechase race with a long to-do list. I was not nourishing my soul although I thought persistence would help me meet my expectations. Mid-July, I realized that the hustle and bustle pace needed to be reassessed. Was the constant heat making me aware of that? Rest and relaxation were needed. It was time to reflect on my one word, appreciate

I appreciate the summer months. They are God's gift to life, a time to be restored bodily and spiritually but I don't always stop to "gift" myself with the space and time to allow myself to just be. (Mylinda Baits, 7 Soul-Nurturing Strategies for Those Who Support Others}

Sunday was my 46th anniversary and it was time for my husband and me to live our best sweet-summer-life getaway and just be at peace for two days. While we did not travel to the ocean, we did retreat to the countryside where the weather was teeming rain but that did not dissuade us from relaxing. Quiet alone time, a gorgeous cottage, and great food allowed us to see nature in a different way during our short summer celebration. 

"Nature is the purest portal to inner peace."
Angie Weiland Crosby

"If the only prayer you ever say in your life is thank you. it will be enough."
Meister Eckhart

Songs nurture my summer soul. Thank You!
 Thank You! Dewdrops still my soul.
Photo by Mark Olsen on Unsplash
Nature's Shimmer Touches Life

drip-drop sounds break through silence 
dewdrops as visible as diamonds
glisten in the storm's aftermath
my soul benefits from
summer's morning shimmer
©CV, 2022, gogyoshi

A gogyoshi is a Japanese poem consisting of a title and five lines. No other rules!

Earth's beauty inspires me. Thank You!

What nurtures your summer soul? 

Link your blog post or artistic expression so the Spiritual Journey Thursday community can read your post and comment. You can add a graphic, photo, or poem to the Poetryliscious padlet hereThank you for celebrating with me this month.

~CarolAugust host of Spiritual Journey Thursday.

Thank you, Margaret Simon, for your direction in bringing this community together.



Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Reflect-Recharge-Rise (#PoetryPals Challenge)

At the end of July, the Poetry Sisters, TanitaLaura, Mary Lee, Sara, Liz, Andi, and Triciachallenged writers to create an acrostic poem taken from Maya Angelou’s poem Still I Rise. As I pondered this exercise, I went down a rabbit hole searching for the right words and format. Perhaps, after a few days, I am ready to toss out into the universe my thoughts on rising amidst a discontent world full of challenges. 

"But still, like dust, I'll rise" is the strike line I use in my offering.

Be aware of discontent.
Uttered on a restless night-
Tempting hearsay, chains of talk,
Such disruption isn't right. 
There're too many waging tongues
Inclined to talk out-of-turn,
Likely not being kind with
Little need for deep concern.
Listen to earth's stilled silence
Instead of the malcontent.
Know that each life is precious.
Each day should be well-spent.
Discover new approaches to
Undertake with gratitude.
Slow down. Be in the present.
Try out a new attitude.
Imagine all the people
Living together in peace,
Looking into a future 
Rising with hopeful belief.
Inspired by hands united
Stretching across the globe
Elevate voices ignited.

                                            ©CVarsalona, 2022

Written with gratitude to Maya Angelou and John Lennon.


As the night grows still and a hush surrounds the house, I find satisfaction that I completed another writing challenge. Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for bringing together a united group of dedicated eduwriters who meet each Tuesday to share their slices of life.