Candles and kisses and loop 54

I pass “go” again this week as I circle around the sun,
turning a big hopeful  grinning 54.
Celebrating with 54 fresh  reasons to be deep down,  ridiculously glad
for my time here on this planet.
Blowing 54 kisses of thanks for……
*unreasonably long gratitude list to follow*

~  pinpoints of light that say “this is the way,”
~that my life is my own – that I have a say,
~ for unbounded hope and fluffy meringues,
~that I can do satisfied and content
while I grow, stretch, and change.

~For rivers and bridges and shelter and wings,
~for when the lonely find family and outsiders welcomed “in”
~ when someones give a damn enough to fight for what they love,
~ and all my times of weakness when I’m held and lifted up,

~ for fresh picked apples and Asian pears,
~ and springs that won’t run dry,
~the gift of a friendly listen,
~ my choices….that I get to drive

~ for friends who’d rather laugh than judge,
~ and mercy when I don’t get it right,
~ that I’m made out of God and dirt
~ and free to dance in the light,

~ for the freedom,  too,  to love everyone,
~ for how simple it is to be kind,
~ for how brave it is to show mercy,
~  how I don’t have to choose left or right,

~rosemary,  cilantro,  and medical massage,
~ old photos and their storytelling way,
~ for garlands and stables and Mussel Shoals,
~ and those “stop thinking; start breathing” days,

white balance

~For when snow falls on those who are dreaming of it,
~ and early mornings leaning into God,
~ that we don’t have to be more to be thoroughly loved,
~ and rumblings of truth in our hearts,

~that we’re worthy,  valued,  and built for love,
~for fishy waters,  high clouds and vivid skies,
~ for fountains and mountains and daughters and sons,
~ a warm coat,  a cool hat and shoes that keep my feet dry.

~ for ears to hear the roar and beating heart to feel the pain,
~for the power to be gentle
~ and the room we’re free to make,
~for “I’m sorry” and “me,  too,”
~ “I need some help,”   “I understand,”
~ for throttle down and rest about it,
~ that mistakes are part of the plan.

January.  A double-shot of beginning for me:)
Thanks for letting me share my days with you.
That you come around and read what I sometimes write down
is honor and gift.
Love….just so much.  And thanks:)

(this sweet beauty was sent to me a few years back by Elaine Kean,  a then-blogger and always friend)

“And in the morning, when I rise,  you bring a tear of joy to my eyes.
And tell me every thing is gonna be alright.”

– Kenny Loggins




  1. Julia on January 10, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY Jennifer. I love your 54 reasons to be ridiculously glad to be 54. I hope that you have a great year of sweet accomplishments that gladdens your heart.

    • jennifer on January 10, 2016 at 9:26 pm

      Thanks, friend:)
      The biggest accomplishment on my heart is to give more love. Just to love.
      To love and be loved. That’s the whole of it, for me.
      Keeps it pretty simple:)
      Thanks for being such a friend,

  2. Elephant's Child on January 10, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    I very, very sweet birthday to you. Love your reasons for gratitude and glee. And hope they multiply.

    • jennifer on January 10, 2016 at 9:26 pm

      Thanks for the sweetness, Sue:)
      Gratitude and glee:)
      Big hugs,

  3. gotham girl on January 10, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    Gosh…just when I don’t think you can get any better…you surpass the last one! Just beautiful! Happy Birthday too!

    • jennifer on January 11, 2016 at 7:48 am

      Thanks for your sunny encouragement….feels like a warm hand on my back
      on a cold day:) I appreciate:)
      Hugs, Robin,

  4. Naomi on January 11, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    Jennifer, wishing you the best of birthdays and years ahead. xoxo

    • jennifer on January 12, 2016 at 6:37 am

      Hey Naomi:)
      Thanks for dropping by and wishing me well:)
      Big hope for the sweetest year ever for you also!
      Love and thanks,

  5. jeanie on January 11, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    I am grateful that you share your days with us because in part, doing so enriches mine so much. Your words, paintings, photos all blend together in a glorious world that isn’t afraid to go dark or be bright — you are YOU and you make us better at being US.

    Happy Birthday, my friend. I hope your new year — and all those to come — bring great joy!

    • jennifer on January 12, 2016 at 6:36 am

      It’s awesome how we get to do this together, isn’t it, Jeanie!
      I mean, really. I couldn’t have dreamed it 30 years ago.
      Grateful and glad:)

  6. Barbara on January 11, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    So much love and light in your words, Jennifer. Thanks for all of your inspiration. I’m wishing you a blessed 54 and 2016!!

    • jennifer on January 12, 2016 at 6:34 am

      So much love and light back to you, Barbara:)
      I love how we get to inspire each other
      along the way. Big hugs and thanks,

  7. Leslie on January 12, 2016 at 10:35 am

    Glad that you are here on this earth to witness and share your own unique beauty with us. Wishing you a year full of joy abounding, and many more!

    • jennifer on January 12, 2016 at 3:33 pm

      I’m glad I’m here, too! Really, really glad:)
      Sometimes I’ve despaired it. When I’m not seeing clear.
      But altogether good it is to be here:)
      (help, I’m speaking in rhyme:/ Have to be careful or i’ll get stuck that way;))
      love and thanks,

  8. Kathy on January 12, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    Happy birthday my January friend! I love how full of gratitude you really are, and I love knowing that you, Andi, and me share Capricorn happy birthdays. Hugs, kath

    • jennifer on January 14, 2016 at 9:09 pm

      Birthday hugs right back to you, Kath.
      Hope this month is one long celebration of life
      in an extraordinarily abundant way:)
      love and birthday bliss to you,

  9. Louise Gallagher on January 12, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    I like to think my two day late birthday wishes have had time to simmer and soften and gel into something miraculous and spectacular — just like you!

    Happy Birthday Jennifer! so grateful for your presence, your poetry, your poetic verse, your poetic eyes that see beauty in all things and share all things so beautifully.

    • jennifer on January 14, 2016 at 9:08 pm

      Simmered and softened before my birthday so that they’re ripe when I open them:)
      Thank you:)
      I’m grateful for your kindness and creative way. You and your art make me richer.

  10. Pearl on January 14, 2016 at 10:37 am

    Happy BD! To a year of curiosities and beauties.

    • jennifer on January 14, 2016 at 9:07 pm

      What a beautiful wish…..curiosity and beauty.
      Two of my favorite things:)
      So much thanks,

  11. Susan on January 15, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    No wonder I’ve always felt such a sincere closeness with your heart and soul … we share so much, including this double shot of beginning in this sweet, cold month of January. I wish for you many, many more years of love and bliss and time to keep writing your whole heart out on pages full of beauty. Thank you for it all, especially your friendship … xo

    • jennifer on January 22, 2016 at 3:53 pm

      CHeers to our double shot of beginning (clink)!
      Many magical moments to you, friend.
      We’re just getting to the good stuff:)

  12. Kathy on January 15, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    Such big hearted delicious gratitude. I love your sweet words and never ending zest for a beautiful life. Cheers to many more!
    Love + Light, Kathy

    • jennifer on January 22, 2016 at 3:51 pm

      Thanks for celebrating life with me, Kathy Anne.
      It’s big and delicious and I love sharing it with you:)

  13. Kimber on January 15, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    So much love to you on your birthday, friend. You are a beauty and a rare gift to us all. Love you!

    • jennifer on January 22, 2016 at 3:50 pm

      Your words almost always bring tears to my eyes.
      Pretty amazing:) Thank you big, friend:)

  14. Wanda on January 15, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    Wishing you joy and love in abundance on your special day Jennifer!

    • jennifer on January 22, 2016 at 3:49 pm

      Joy and love in abundance:)
      Awesome wish. Thanks, Wanda.

  15. Donna on January 16, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    A double-shot of beginning indeed….what a joy these words…tripping over my brain and off my tongue like a song….wishing you the best birthday yet!

    • jennifer on January 22, 2016 at 3:49 pm

      Love you:) Like a song:)
      Thanks for celebrating with me. I love our lives, don’t you!

  16. Kathryn on January 19, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    What an amazing birthday poem…really…I loved it…it was very inspiring!! Happy, happy birthday…wishing all the best in life!!

    • jennifer on January 22, 2016 at 3:48 pm

      So glad you came by to celebrate with me, Kathryn;
      I love the way we get to travel together:)
      Thank you!

  17. dulcy on January 19, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    Hello Friend! Gorgeous photos and inspiring words.

    • jennifer on January 22, 2016 at 3:46 pm

      so good to hear from you and your beautiful, inspired life:)
      Oh how I love the way you do.
      Much thanks,

  18. suz on January 21, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    Oh my you’re a beautiful 54 ….. Love your words

    • jennifer on January 22, 2016 at 3:45 pm

      So much thanks, Suz!
      Grateful you dropped by:)

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