In May, ten writing women gathered at the home of Maryanne in Atlantic Beach for an afternoon retreat called, Opening to Grace.  In silence, we explored the garden in pairs – a very intimate and enchanting experience.  When the bell rang, we wrote separately in the quiet.  Later we took words from this writing to create free verse poems around the circle adding to the delight and surprise.

To create the circle free verse poems, each person wrote a first line/phrase on a piece of paper then passed the page to the next person in the circle, who added a line from their writing, attempting to go with the flow.  The top line was folded over before being passed to the next person who added next line.  We continued, folding over the top line as the free verse was passed around the circle.  At last,  the poem was unfolded and its surprise revealed.

Interconnectedness and connection of nature

Enchantment is the key

Through windows of time

The bells ring

Time, girls, it’s time.  If not now, when?

The leafy swaying canopy gestures protectively

Come out and play it sings – it’ll be grand fun

Laughing and playing, loving the cool breeze

The authenticity of joy is beauty

As beauty abounds all around

God I am grateful

Comes to the seeker

Fallen pots, lost friends

Fractured friendships and where’s the aloe plant?

Opening to grace

Hydrangeas wearing green tutus perform pirouettes

Completion spawns a new beginning

As change is as natural as the seasons

Buddha watches over me and all he loves

Every sense is pleasured

Transports one to the French countryside

Helpful words hide

Peeking from behind the fern

Solid and stable

The garden path connects me to mother earth

Soft velvet petals dance to the music of spring

Dueling wind chimes join the bird symphony

A melody that is bright and beautiful

As the rhythm of falling water

From the fountain brings peace to my being

Feel the joy and excitement

Wiser eyes anew

The beast made it contribution

Completion is only the ending of a cycle and

Spawns a new beginning

This place of blossom and bud

Like my life, full of magic and possibility

The magnitude of many years of growth

Still fragile and temporary

As the feeling mingle with nature

I witness the fresh wet earth that had recently been nourished by rain

In this magical garden

Child like qualities

Appear at the right moment.

Presence . . . I almost missed it!

The speckled leaf on the ground

Is just waiting to tell its secrets

A joyous laughter festival

Awakens the sleepy part of our being

Reaching towards the crescendo of the moment

I am honored to be a visitor on the walk in Eden today.

We giggled

Whimsical thoughts scurry about

The tiny leaves

And baby rosebuds bursting to open their throats and sing

Songs of the fairies

Elves playing a harp

Marching towards the fairy mailbox

I am protected in the arms of Mother Nature.

All in nature for beholding eyes

A lone bud shows its strength

Flexible, adaptable, flowing with grace

Connected to everything

My heart sings in the magic place my life

Opening to stillness

The sound of all wisdom

Is the wonder of nature

The circle of life – here and now

I love gardenias

Moments can linger on

To the fertilization of this land

To some, it’s just dog poop!

The great mystery beyond

Stretches languidly before me offers an embrace

Walking in a triennium

Dancing with glorious abandon as our rhythm chimes with nature

The fairies are just hiding

But their energy is apparent

For love brings sunshine, laughter, hope and harmony

Through the abundance of nature, magnificence beyond my imagination

My soul is filled to overflowing

Time goes fast on a motorcycle

Yet sweetness fills the air

Inhale – inspiration – inspired

Authors: Barbara, Beth, Carolyn, Chris,

Donna, Kathleen, Libby, Maryanne, Sharon, and Sharon.


The next afternoon retreat is scheduled for Sunday, July 19, 4:00 – 7:30.