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By Cheryl Morai-Young

July 24th almost passed from morning to evening without me remembering. Without me remembering that it was our son's Name Day. When I texted him “Happy Name Day” at 6:35, he responded, “I didn't even realize!” And that made me happy. Happy that the big day in 2015 in front of the judge with our pro bono lawyer had faded to just a normal day in his life, our lives. Happy that changing his name had been a way for him to begin his new life, happy that he was living his best life being comfortable in his body, accepted and loved. In 2011, a book about a fish had saved his life when he was in high school: Parrotfish by Ellen Wittlinger in the Teen section of our local public library. Parrotfish are gender fluid and can change genders throughout their lives. He said that book helped him name his identity. And we were there every step of the way to love and support him and educate ourselves and others. Twelve years has passed since his coming out, and eight since his legal new Name Day. And now it's just a normal day almost forgotten by a busy young man living his life. And that makes me the happiest of all.

By Anna

August has been one of the drier Summer months. The creek beds aren't as full and there is more dust kicked up by the gravel. Nevertheless, at least the air isn't full of wildfire particulates. This is the time of year to remember to be thankful for the Sun, in all of its comings and goings and mainly in just sticking around for as long as it does. As someone who lives alone, it is the Sun that wakes me and tells me to get out of bed. It is the Sun that gives light and warmth on the walks to and from work. The Sun keeps me company while eating lunch or reading a book on the porch. Long days bring me joy.

What do you love about your life right now? Where do you find joy and happiness?

By Anna

The Peace You Seek is Over Yonder Hill

Moss is the first to sigh, a verdant green to catch the eye. Birds trill; dead grass rustles - and then all at once it bustles: with the quiet hum of bees, with the first small leaves on the trees.

Dead. Emaciated. For deer, Spring is long awaited. Spread seeds or put out feed, but rain is all She needs for speed in sprouting from the ground sustenance adequate, abound.

Spring’s flower pilot: Dandelion and violet. Garlic mustard grows tall, then there’s hardly ivies at all. When burdock leaves widen, that's when mayapples ride in.

Longing to join the fray? Singing keeps coyotes at bay. “Leave no trace” is some oath. Clear trash – before the undergrowth – Use dead wood by the path lest erosion be the aftermath.

When feeling abrasive, pull out those who are most invasive. Be not a bystander, When taking time to meander. “A steward!” Calls the land And who can answer that demand?

The best family is -wort as their root’s uses can assert. After Spring equinox, Honeysuckles, hawthorns, and phlox, if you happen to see, try making them in to a tea.

Thistle in the prairie often grows by some dewberry. Parsnip, carrots, hemlock: Deadly lookalikes make most balk. White snakeroot kills cows, so be careful which groves they browse.

Heat forms foliage thinned, but shade blocks the sun and the wind. Like a seed, unravel To grow, to laugh, and to travel. Hydrate and sleep enough; Only in youth are you so tough.

Shrill songs of the birds a longing to live, without words, has one stumbling on and on, as quickly as a fawn, knowing the night will come and to Autumn all will succumb.

By Audrey Liebschutz


I started noticing color today — A restored Chevy Nova, painted a bright, sparkly blue I wore a red shirt to the grocery store And caught my reflection in the glass as I entered.

How accustomed to the dullness I'd become So many months of brownness, dullness Cloudy skies, rain, cold, snow, creating a pall to the senses.

The quickening of the earth, just starting to show Awakens the anticipation – daffodils pushing up through The softened soil reminding me of plump robins.

The cool breeze carrying the scent of thaw Caresses my face and newly bared arms. I close my eyes and breathe it in. New life infuses me.

By Jesseca Bear

Cultivating curiosity in 3 haikus:

Planting seeds is like losing all sense of control deep under the earth.

I have no green thumb. Planting curiosity requires patience.

Patiently waiting to grow curiosity. Wait! There’s something green.

By Charles


They say, “Good things come to those who wait.”

They say, “Patience is a virtue.”

They say, “Haste makes waste,” and tell you to “Stop and smell the roses.”

Breathe in. Let the world fill you with life and possibility. The possibility of a new start. The chance to begin again. The opportunity to embrace the opportunity.

Breathe out. Exhale doubt. Exhale recrimination. Exhale self-pity at a life wasted. Life is not waste. Life is a chance, and today you can grasp it.

Or tomorrow.

Or the next day.

Or the next.

Because that’s the thing I find with life. Opportunity comes and goes, and we make choices, and we have choices made for us. Waves of life; sometimes cresting at a height so awesome and terrifying that you want to run, sometimes out so far you strain to hear their lapping on smooth sand and wonder if they will ever return.

And they will.

Plant your garden.

Live your life.

Embrace your bliss.

Love those around you.


By JoCoWrites

Springtime. A time of new growth, new beginnings. What seeds would you like to plant now and watch grow? Would you plant awareness, learning to bake, patience? What have you been wanting to start – writing a book, taking walks, getting more sleep? What is it you’d like to cultivate this year?

By Katt Cooper

If it isn't one thing.

My dad broke a rib leaning over the center console of his car last year. He healed and life went on.

Then the hospital called. Labs showed kidney failure. Dad scoffed. No symptoms, feeling fine, the nurses must be wrong.

Something was wrong.

No one could say for sure, but it was the type of something no medical professional says “let's check back in six months and see where you're at” type of wrong. A test here, a test there. Specialist A through N tossed their hands up in defeat. Specialist O, from Oncology, was the only one to raise their hand with an answer after dad had to be taken to the ER.

Multiple myeloma. Cancer of the plasma cells in bone marrow. Makes your bones brittle and weak. The broken rib made more sense.

It's hard to see your parent in a hospital bed when just that last week you were sharing the news of your big promotion and laughing over his superior pickleball skills vs my sisters mediocre ones.

The panic was sickening and hard to communicate to my boyfriend who waited patiently as I shared the diagnosis back at our apartment through tears he rarely sees. I asked questions of my best friend who works in the medical field. She gave reassuring answers about the treatability and recovery rate. Mom went to support groups and found the answers to her questions. The panic resided the more we learned about the process.

Panic and information collection in December. Chemo in January. Check ups through February. Transplant in March.

He's cancer free now and ready for lake season with the neighbors, but now he has to worry about sun burns on his bald head. Don't worry, I got him the perfect hat.

By Cheryl Morai-Young

Get Over not being able to see your father one last time before he took his last breath January 10, 2023. Get Over not being able to see your sister one last time before she took her last breath August 14, 2020. Get Over not being able to see your stepdaughter one last time before she took her last breath April 25, 2019.

Get Over they can't visit you or see you on Zoom or talk with you over landline or cell Get Over they live in a different universe than you with no forwarding address that you can find Get Over they rarely come to you in dreams and if they do you can't hold on as they fade back into memory

Get Over you still wish Get Over you still want Get Over you

Never and maybe and okay, done. Thank you for listening. Goodbye.