things to believe in + a holiday blog break

“My dream is of a place and a time where America will once again be seen as the last best hope of earth.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

Can’t believe Christmas is just a little over a week away and that 2017 is coming to an end.

What a year it’s been!

I think that aside from personal joys and professional accomplishments, most of us can say that in general it’s been an exhausting, tumultuous, frustrating, scary and very sad, demoralizing time for our country — and that’s probably an understatement.

During these dark days, it can be difficult to keep hope alive. Patricia Monahan’s poem, a personal credo of sorts, embraces the wild ordinariness of nature. Ancient, miraculous, and humbling, that which endures as part of the natural order is sacred and powerful. I take comfort in knowing that she believed in this world and achieved grace through the unique spiritual relationship she forged with it.

 

THINGS TO BELIEVE IN
by Patricia Monaghan

trees, in general; oaks, especially;
burr oaks that survive fire, in particular;
and the generosity of apples

seeds, all of them: carrots like dust,
winged maple, doubled beet, peach kernel;
the inevitability of change

frogsong in spring; cattle
lowing on the farm across the hill;
the melodies of sad old songs

comfort of savory soup;
sweet iced fruit; the aroma of yeast;
a friend’s voice; hard work

seasons; bedrock; lilacs;
moonshadows under the ash grove;
something breaking through

~ from Grace of Ancient Land (Voices from the American Land, 2011)

Alton Brown’s Christmas Soup

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Each of us has our own personal credo, made up of what we’ve chosen to embrace in our lives. This essentially defines who we are as human beings. Small or large, simple or profound, the things we believe in empower us, strengthen our resolve, and enable us to cope each and every day. They also bring us to a place of gratitude in times of despair.

I’d like this, my final post of 2017, to end on a positive note. Why not make our own list of “Things We Believe In”?

Please leave your thoughts in the comments and I will add them here. I’ll start with a few of my own. 🙂

 

🌲 THINGS WE BELIEVE IN 🌲

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family, friends, home & hearth
female intuition
the loyalty of dogs
the best words in the best order
the blessing of fond memories
good music
meaningful work
distant sound of a train whistle
humility
first bite of a warm chocolate chip cookie
creativity and imagination
well loved bears
art in all forms
truth
pie
you

~ jama rattigan

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I believe in children. I believe in the power of love freely given by dogs. I believe every day is a new opportunity to do better.

~ Margie Culver

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I believe in the poetry of pink sunsets and lazy rivers and fierce thunderstorms. The goodness of people, the power of forgiveness, and the way a smile is the simplest thing we can give one another. In sharing the load and celebrating each moment… and chocolate! Always always chocolate!

~ Irene Latham

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I believe in the triumph of good over evil, and the infinite power of Light. I believe we are called to love one another–an ongoing challenge that teaches us Wisdom and Grace. I believe in soft gingerbread cookies, and the multiple forms of beauty that you offer visitors to this blog. And last but not least, I believe Psalms 30:5, which says: “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”

~ Melodye Shore

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I was going to say I believe in the power of creation (any art–poetry, painting, song, etc.), which I do believe in, but, something else popped into my head just now. I believe in the aroma of bread toasting. It’s simple, but it can soothe, bring back childhood memories, and foretells a treat of toast and butter or toast and butter and honey! Can’t beat that!

~ Diane Mayr

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I believe in the power of light over darkness, in a loving God, in the joy on children’s faces, and in the aloha spirit.

~ Margo Sorenson

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laughter in adversity,
pets as family,
a cup of tea,
British tv

~ Tabatha Yeatts-Lonske

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I believe in the geraniums on my window sill leaning toward the light, though there’s snow beyond. The big black dog snoozing near my feet reminds me to take joy. I believe in the power of the young new or newish voters who can turn around our country. I believe in the power of finding the right words. I believe in the goodness of thick socks in December and a blue glass bracelet, hidden under my wrist warmers, strung by girls in Nepal seeking education. The scent of pine and cranberry bread.

~ Jeannine Atkins

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I believe in the power of perseverance, persistence, and patience in individuals. I believe in the power of words, and all forms of art making. And I believe in family, friends, and Nature-flora and fauna.

~ Michelle Kogan

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I believe in poodles (especially toy poodles)
I believe in the light at the end of the tunnel
the power of meditation
the power of one’s mind
the power of creativity
the joy of choosing the best path
but mostly I believe in love

~ BJ Lee

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I believe in the power of love to heal.

~ Carmela Martino

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In the frigate that is books, to carry us.
in the grace of starting over, chiefly, the grace we give to each other, when we can absolve, except, accept, & begin again.
In the power of a song at 2 a.m., of whistling in the dark,
In orange-and-fuchsia draped skylines,
In the ornament of a word, rightly placed, perfectly spoken, at the correct time.
In the unlooked for and the unmerited being exactly what we need; in serendipity.
In the tartsweet twang of a perfectly ripe Pink Lady
In the twist of a scarf to set off an outfit,
In bright teal tights,
In cardigans and tea.
In you.
In me.

~ Tanita S. Davis

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I do believe in the goodness of people and those who will stand up for others in need.

~ Linda Baie

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I believe in the ability of sounds to change one’s heart, arranged just so, transcribed in words or music. I believe in sunsets, sunrises, wintering seeds lying dormant in their long winter sleep. I believe in spring, coming one drip at a time, a softening in the air, a scent of trammeled mud puddles and peeping leaves. I believe in friendship, that can transcend every ache, pain, slight, barked shin, wet cheek and broken dream. I believe in a cup of tea, a warm blanket and poetry to get me through the long, darkest nights.

~ Brenda Davis Harsham

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I believe in coffee as an alarm clock
writing good words before the day steals in
jeans with stretch
a good haircut
red spectacles and green apples
the softness of my dog’s ears, eyes and sighs
the peace of my aunt and uncle’s pond
and the ghosts I visit around the old fire pit.
Prayers of old church ladies
the joy of sunshine
the forest as my true home
books and poems as gifts
homemade is best
friends are family
watching children learn is sacred
death is not the end
daydreaming has value
good will come of it all
someday
love

~ Linda Mitchell

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I believe in that blade of grass growing from between the crack of the sidewalk, I believe in that 3 a.m. train whistle reminding us that someone out there is awake with us, and I believe in all you believers.

~ Frances Kakugawa

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I believe we could practice the Christmas spirit all year long.

~ Sis Collura

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The constancy of waves lapping the shore
The beauty of snow frosting the landscape
The sight of welcome words from friends just when you need them

~ Jenn Hubbard

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I believe in the power of stopping to notice
the sights of the season
dance of snowflakes
reflection of lights in a gold ornament
Santa Claus collection

I believe in the power of stopping to notice
the smells of the season
evergreen needles
peppermint
cocoa

I believe in the power of stopping to notice
the tastes of the season
fudge
divinity
tamales

I believe in the power of stopping to notice
the feel of the season
fuzzy mittens
a crackling fire
flannel pajamas

I believe in the power of stopping to notice
the sounds of the season
caroling
family stories
the shuffle of cards

~ Penny Parker Klostermann

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Bogie movies, especially Casablanca
dogs
owls
tulips
books
coffee
poetry
chocolate
laughter

And in the end
All you need is love.

~ Barbara Etlin

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I believe in
the power of words
belly laughs
gathering for family meals
hard work, and then time off
red wine and chocolate
sun
snowflakes
friends

~ Patricia Toht

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I BELIEVE

the Universe is listening

in women

everyone is enough

in the power of creativity

that no action, however small, is wasted

we all deserve a glorious life

the right time to become your whole self is NOW

in love

that it’s okay to love your body, even if it isn’t the size or shape you might prefer

the time to live your life is NOW

the time to make a change is NOW

the time to begin something new, something better, something different is NOW

that life and love are what you make them

that women have a right to keep their own power

that women have a right to stop giving themselves away

in the power of positivity

that the glass holds exactly as much as it should

in dreams, and I believe in magic

in pursuing your dreams, goals, and aspirations

I believe in eating dessert

I still believe in happily ever after

~ Kelly Ramsdell

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I believe in miracles, the healing of places deeper than we dream of, a toddler’s trust (especially one that’s just learned to say ‘Nana’), the way ocean waves calm my soul, hot tea with milk to accompany any situation, hugs, the power of “I’m sorry,” Greek olives and figs, and home.

~ Joyce Ray

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Small kindnesses of friends and strangers

~ Leslie Kimmelman

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I believe in the power and majesty
of little things;
a grain of sand, spiderweb strand,
one solitary snowflake
alighting on my coat.
I believe in the triumph
of good over evil,
love over heartbreak,
time over wounds.
And I believe all the world
owes its existence to a God
who deemed it necessary
that the living place of humankind
should be more beautiful than ugly,
more loving that hate-filled,
and smaller
than we think it is.

© 2017, Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved

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I believe that light will shine and the darkness will not overcome it,
that love will wash away fear and hatred and apathy,
that an offer of soup and bread and conversation can bring people together,
that laughter can set things right again,
that truth will prevail over lies,
that nature will heal itself, and us, too.

~ Kay McGriff

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I believe in fairies and other secret creatures of the forest.
I believe in the power of love, like that between Colonel Brandon and Marianne Dashwood.
I believe the healing power of macaroni and cheese, hot chocolate, and warm oatmeal raisin cookies.
I believe in the joy my Kindergarten writers bring to my life every day.
I believe the world will right itself one day.

~ Christie Wyman

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I believe in the power of a smile to brighten a day, that working on something one is passionate about energizes rather than depletes, and that no condition is permanent (or as some wag has expressed it “It came to pass…”)

~ Violet Nesdoly

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I believe in:

the softness of dog ears
the stillness of snow
the steaming of cocoa
a gentle moonglow

~ Buffy Silverman

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I believe in
God
Family
Kindness
Love
Country living
The simply things in life
Peace
All creatures big and small
Being creative
Sharing our stories and gifts with others

~ Our Little Red House Blog

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I believe in smiles,
the restorative power of sleep,
keeping memories alive through stories.

I believe in tradition,
the miracle of talent,
and, of course, in chocolate.

I believe in
science and nature,
reading and writing,
art and music.

Most of all, I believe in community,
in the power of Us.

~ Mary Lee Hahn

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I believe in children, of course, and that they lead us to our best selves . . . if we let them.

~ Tara Smith

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I believe that anything can happen any minute, any second
and does even when we can’t see it
and that love and art can make a difference.

~ Janice Scully

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I believe in my four little sisters. I believe in blessings. I believe in all the goodness and kindness of so many people in our land and around the world. I believe in hope. I believe in God and Jesus Christ. I believe in clouds in all their changing wonder. I believe in trees. I believe in leaves—new leaves in spring; green green summer leaves; orange and yellow and red and brown leaves in autumn, including when they have fallen and you can step on them, crunching in the cool days; and the quiet return of dead leaves to the earth in winter. I believe in poetry, and in words like “thank you” and “I love you” and “I know you can” and “It will be alright.” I believe in rainfall and snowfall. I believe in water, the long cool drink and the water coursing through our veins in our blood. I believe in books—the stories! The voices! The laughter and smiles as the pages turn, the quiet sighs and sometimes tears. I believe in teachers and in students. I believe in the ocean, rolling across the planet. I believe in food—hot buttered toast, fresh raspberries, Thanksgiving turkey, crisp fall apples, and the little circles of new-cut green onions. I believe in so many things! Thanks for reminding me, Jama. I’ve been very sad about what’s happening, so it’s good to be reminded of all that’s marvelous in our lives. Also, I believe in great blogs like yours!

Reading everyone else’s lists, and I can’t believe I forgot chocolate! Definitely.

And music! Especially Christmas carols right now.

~ Kate Coombs

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I believe in poetry,
in Poetry Friday,
in Poetry Friday people,
and Mr. Cornelius.

I believe in the embrace
of the Divine
in the open hearts of others
and, I hope, in my own.

I believe in the boldness
of barred owls,
the gentleness of soft, swift creatures
that scurry.

~ Robyn Hood Black

 

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Here’s what Mr Cornelius believes in:

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🎉 🎈 AN ARTIST’S NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS GIVEAWAY WINNER! 🎄 🌲

We are pleased to announce that the person who’ll be receiving a brand new copy of Joan Waites’ book (and likely reading it on Christmas Eve with his family) is:

🎁 MATT FORREST ESENWINE!! 🐭

Congratulations, Matt!! Please send along your snail mail address to receive your book.

Thanks to everyone for entering!!

Note:  Head over to Matt’s blog Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme any time today for a Holiday Poetry Party!

 

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The witty kitty champion noodler Diane Mayr is hosting the Roundup at Random Noodling. Steer your sleigh over there to check out the full menu of poetic goodness being shared in the blogosphere this week.

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🎁 Thank you, friends, for visiting Alphabet Soup this year. No matter what, remember: truth and justice will prevail, so continue to make art, be kind, practice compassion, resist, persist, and eat good food. 🙂

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, and Peace, Love and Joy in 2018.  ❤️

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“I’m asking you to believe — not in my ability to create change, but in yours.” ~ Barack Obama


Copyright © 2017 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

78 thoughts on “things to believe in + a holiday blog break

    1. Thanks so much, Margie. Children are our hope for the future. Though not a dog owner myself, I have always been inspired by dogs — their unconditional love and loyalty. And yes, every day is a new opportunity to do better (this reminds me of Anne Shirley). 🙂 Hope your holidays are merry, bright, and delicious. And thanks for all YOU do to promote books and reading!

      Like

  1. Jama, thank you for this beauty today! I am filled with hope and love for you and for this community. I believe in the poetry of pink sunsets and lazy rivers and fierce thunderstorms. The goodness of people, the power of forgiveness, and the way a smile is the simplest thing we can give one another. In sharing the load and celebrating each moment… and chocolate! Always always chocolate! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing, Irene. Love your list. You’re so right about smiles — a simple gesture but it can make a world of difference to people. Of course I hear you on CHOCOLATE!!

      Like

  2. I believe in the triumph of good over evil, and the infinite power of Light. I believe we are called to love one another–an ongoing challenge that teaches us Wisdom and Grace. I believe in soft gingerbread cookies, and the multiple forms of beauty that you offer visitors to this blog. And last but not least, I believe Psalms 30:5, which says: “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Merry Christmas, dear Jama.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love your beautiful words, Melodye. Thanks for sharing Psalms 30:5, a beautiful expression of hope. I hope you enjoy many soft gingerbread cookies during the holidays. Appreciate your friendship and support all these years. xoxox

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I was going to say I believe in the power of creation (any art–poetry, painting, song, etc.), which I do believe in, but, something else popped into my head just now. I believe in the aroma of bread toasting. It’s simple, but it can soothe, bring back childhood memories, and foretells a treat of toast and butter or toast and butter and honey! Can’t beat that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes to the power of creativity in its multiple forms. I agree with the aroma of bread toasting — I had thought of adding the aroma of homemade bread baking to my list, a similar sentiment. Ah, the comforts of home and childhood memories!

      Like

    1. The aloha spirit!! YES!! Love that you mentioned it. It’s something I’ve appreciated more since I left the islands, wishing the entire country would somehow embrace it, since it encompasses the very best people are capable of — generosity, caring, sharing, openness, hospitality, etc. Mele Kalikimaka, Margo!

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    1. Nice list, Tabatha. Laughter is good medicine, something we certainly need more of these days. I couldn’t live without British TV, and we all know a good cuppa always makes things better. Enjoy the holidays!

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  4. Writing with tears in my eyes, but happy ones. Friendships and words like yours give me hope. I love how you cast a brief spell on Diane so she added the scent of toasted bread to her list.

    I believe in the geraniums on my window sill leaning toward the light, though there’s snow beyond. The big black dog snoozing near my feet reminds me to take joy. I believe in the power of the young new or newish voters who can turn around our country. I believe in the power of finding the right words. I believe in the goodness of thick socks in December and a blue glass bracelet, hidden under my wrist warmers, strung by girls in Nepal seeking education. The scent of pine and cranberry bread.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What a beautiful, inspiring list, Jeannine — The new voters give me such hope too, as well as all the women who are newly energized and seeking office for the first time. Fresh blood, new and progressive ideas, courage and persistence. Finally, the voices of women are being heard. I’ve always sensed that if women ruled the world, we wouldn’t have any more wars.

      Like

  5. A thousand thanks for this poignant post Jama, for keeping us all focused on what is essentially important and speaks to each of us individually! Wishing you and your family the Happiest Holiday Season and Peace, Love , and Joy in the New Year!

    I believe in the power of perseverance, persistence, and patience in individuals. I believe in the power of words, and all forms of art making. And I believe in family, friends, and Nature-flora and fauna.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Perseverance, persistence and patience are so important no matter the endeavor. I think cultivating patience is especially challenging in these hurried (and harried) times when we expect everything to happen with just one click. And making art in any form is the best healer, along with love, of course. All the best to you this holiday season!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What a wonderful post, Jama, at the almost-close-of-the-year!

    I believe in poodles (especially toy poodles)
    I believe in the light at the end of the tunnel
    the power of meditation
    the power of one’s mind
    the power of creativity
    the joy of choosing the best path
    but mostly I believe in love

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Poodles made me smile, BJ (hooray for dogs!). Can’t understate the power of the focused mind, which reminds me, I need to meditate more. 🙂

      Like

    1. I agree with you on the power of love to heal. And to think, it’s something within our grasp as human beings — but all too often it is withheld for one reason or another.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What a lovely post. “Carrot seeds like dust” is just… so… right. They’re the tiniest seeds! And then come into such beautiful, fairy-frond-y carrot greenery, and brightly crunchy spikes of goodness. So much to love here.

    Okay. Now, what do I believe?

    In the frigate that is books, to carry us.
    in the grace of starting over, chiefly, the grace we give to each other, when we can absolve, except, accept, & begin again.
    In the power of a song at 2 a.m., of whistling in the dark,
    In orange-and-fuchsia draped skylines,
    In the ornament of a word, rightly placed, perfectly spoken, at the correct time.
    In the unlooked for and the unmerited being exactly what we need; in serendipity.
    In the tartsweet twang of a perfectly ripe Pink Lady
    In the twist of a scarf to set off an outfit,
    In bright teal tights,
    In cardigans and tea.
    In you.
    In me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What an illuminating and inspired list, T. Especially love “the ornament of a word, rightly placed, perfectly spoken, at the correct time.” And serendipity! Wish I had thought of that. 🙂

      Like

      1. Jama, I found this — and smiled, thinking of you this week:

        Credo

        I believe in Free Enterprise, Pride of Place,
        Fiscal Responsibility, The Middle Ages,
        Seasonal Allergies, Queen Anne’s Lace,
        Undying Love, The Communion of Saints,
        The Golden Ratio, Due Process, Outer Space,
        The Diet of Wurms, The Bay of Fundy,
        The Four Seasons, The Commonplace,
        The Freedom of the Press, The Milky Way,
        The Golden Years, The Human Race,
        Pinot Grigio, The Bermuda Triangle,
        The Statue of Liberty, Prevenient Grace.

        Luci Shaw

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you, Jama, and Merriest of Christmases to you and yours! I always have hugs for you, Jama and your generous and creative spirit. Every day, every week you bring joy. I do believe in the goodness of people and those who will stand up for others in need.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the merry wishes, Linda — same to you! I am grateful for the love and joy you bring to this world. Hope you have a beautifully delicious holiday with your family. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Happy Holidays, my dear Jama, how I do love to stop by and see the celebrity bears that I imagine as scented with chocolate and shortbread. I love the air of sweetness in every word, the hope, the love and the humanity in every hunk in the sidebar. I believe in the ability of sounds to change one’s heart, arranged just so, transcribed in words or music. I believe in sunsets, sunrises, wintering seeds lying dormant in their long winter sleep. I believe in spring, coming one drip at a time, a softening in the air, a scent of trammeled mud puddles and peeping leaves. I believe in friendship, that can transcend every ache, pain, slight, barked shin, wet cheek and broken dream. I believe in a cup of tea, a warm blanket and poetry to get me through the long, darkest nights. Have a wonderful holiday, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Such a luminous, heartfelt and heartening list, Brenda! As you mentioned those elements of nature that inspire you, I thought of your wonderful blog, chock full of photos that remind us to observe, marvel, and appreciate what is all around us. You are definitely paying close attention and that’s reflected in the marvelous poems you also share with us. The comforts of a warm blanket, a good cup of tea and poetry are also things I believe in and am grateful for. Wishing you and yours a thoroughly enjoyable holiday with lots of treats, the sounds of music and shared laughter.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There’s always something around us to give us hope, if we just have the energy to look for it. I hope your holidays include family, love, treats, bears, music, hugs, laughter and someone to bring you a cup of tea when the forgoing has worn you out. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Jama,
    This post took my breath away. I’ve copied the idea into my writer’s scrapbook to ponder. For now….

    I believe in coffee as an alarm clock
    writing good words before the day steals in
    jeans with stretch
    a good haircut
    red spectacles and green apples
    the softness of my dog’s ears, eyes and sighs
    the peace of my aunt and uncle’s pond
    and the ghosts I visit around the old fire pit.
    Prayers of old church ladies
    the joy of sunshine
    the forest as my true home
    books and poems as gifts
    homemade is best
    friends are family
    watching children learn is sacred
    death is not the end
    daydreaming has value
    good will come of it all
    someday
    love

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love your list, Linda! I’m so with you on all of them (jeans with stretch made me smile — hooray for the person who invented spandex). Daydreaming definitely has value. I love your optimism and am tickled by the mere thought of soft dog ears. Thank you and have a great holiday!

      Like

  11. The constancy of waves lapping the shore
    The beauty of snow frosting the landscape
    The sight of welcome words from friends just when you need them

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is something so soothing about the sound of waves lapping the shore, and so magical about snow frosting the landscape. Good ones, Jenn — and what would we do without our friends, who know just what to say at the right times? Have a wonderful holiday!

      Like

  12. Oh this post! It has made my day and set my mood up for happy! I’ve been talking and thinking a lot about gratitude lately and the positive impact it can have on our lives. But gratitude requires attention. So that if my focus. I’m stopping to notice.

    I believe in the power of stopping to notice
    the sights of the season
    dance of snowflakes
    reflection of lights in a gold ornament
    Santa Claus collection

    I believe in the power of stopping to notice
    the smells of the season
    evergreen needles
    peppermint
    cocoa

    I believe in the power of stopping to notice
    the tastes of the season
    fudge
    divinity
    tamales

    I believe in the power of stopping to notice
    the feel of the season
    fuzzy mittens
    a crackling fire
    flannel pajamas

    I believe in the power of stopping to notice
    the sounds of the season
    caroling
    family stories
    the shuffle of cards

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love, love this, Penny! Things to believe in, à la sensory details! Spoken like a true poet :). The holidays are often so rushed and stressful that we don’t take the time to stop and pay attention — in effect, missing the many delights that come only once a year. Thanks for the good reminder. Now I need to don my pjs and mittens and enjoy some homemade fudge. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Here’s looking at you, Barb :)!
      I’m nodding at all the items on your list, kind of a nice affirmation of how well I know you. Love the Beatles reference at the end. Have a wonderful holiday. Will chocolate pots de crème be making an appearance?

      Like

    1. Belly laughs is such a good one — don’t know when I last really laughed hard at anything, so thanks for the reminder that it *is* possible . . . I’ll be thinking of you this holiday season, making spritz, wearing a paper crown and enjoying your beautifully decorated tree with your family. 🙂

      Like

  13. I BELIEVE

    the Universe is listening

    in women

    everyone is enough

    in the power of creativity

    that no action, however small, is wasted

    we all deserve a glorious life

    the right time to become your whole self is NOW

    in love

    that it’s okay to love your body, even if it isn’t the size or shape you might prefer

    the time to live your life is NOW

    the time to make a change is NOW

    the time to begin something new, something better, something different is NOW

    that life and love are what you make them

    that women have a right to keep their own power

    that women have a right to stop giving themselves away

    in the power of positivity

    that the glass holds exactly as much as it should

    in dreams, and I believe in magic

    in pursuing your dreams, goals, and aspirations

    I believe in eating dessert

    I still believe in happily ever after

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow — quite a personal manifesto, Kelly! I feel stronger and more empowered just by reading it. Wholly agree with all; there’s no time like the present to take charge of one’s life and make of it what you will. 2018 will be the year of the WOMAN!

      Like

  14. So much richness in this post, Jama. Thank you for inviting us to share what we believe in. I see threads of love, forgiveness, the constancy of the seasons and so much more. I believe in miracles, the healing of places deeper than we dream of, a toddler’s trust (especially one that’s just learned to say ‘Nana’), the way ocean waves calm my soul, hot tea with milk to accompany any situation, hugs, the power of “I’m sorry,” Greek olives and figs, and home.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Joyce. I love that you believe in miracles — I do too! Also, the power of forgiveness and the innate trust and innocence of children. Enjoy the holidays and have a happy, blessed, inspired new year!

      Like

  15. I love so many of these, especially Patricia’s and your poems…thoughtful and comforting. And thank you for the book, what a nice surprise!

    I believe in the power and majesty
    of little things;
    a grain of sand, spiderweb strand,
    one solitary snowflake
    alighting on my coat.
    I believe in the triumph
    of good over evil,
    love over heartbreak,
    time over wounds.
    And I believe all the world
    owes its existence to a God
    who deemed it necessary
    that the living place of humankind
    should be more beautiful than ugly,
    more loving that hate-filled,
    and smaller
    than we think it is.

    – © 2017, Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for these beautiful thoughts, Matt — so positive and life affirming, just what I needed to hear. I love your focus on what is small yet miraculous and powerful in the world. Let no one person feel insignificant; we can all make a difference, and we must always be grateful for what was here before us, and what will remain long after we’re gone.

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  16. I love this post and poem!
    I believe that light will shine and the darkness will not overcome it,
    that love will wash away fear and hatred and apathy,
    that an offer of soup and bread and conversation can bring people together,
    that laughter can set things right again,
    that truth will prevail over lies,
    that nature will heal itself, and us, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m with you on everything you mentioned, Kay. We are the keepers of light, we have love at our disposal to vanquish hate. I love that you mentioned the power of food and conversation to bring people together. A simple communion can work wonders. Have a beautiful holiday!

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  17. I believe in fairies and other secret creatures of the forest.
    I believe in the power of love, like that between Colonel Brandon and Marianne Dashwood.
    I believe the healing power of macaroni and cheese, hot chocolate, and warm oatmeal raisin cookies.
    I believe in the joy my Kindergarten writers bring to my life every day.
    I believe the world will right itself one day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Christie, your list made me smile and feel warm all over. Coincidentally, I just watched Sense and Sensibility last weekend and swooned over Colonel Brandon reading poetry to Marianne. And yes to the healing power of mac and cheese, hot chocolate and warm oatmeal raisin cookies (you are my kind of person)! I like thinking about the magic that happens in your classroom every day — we have much to learn from kids. 🙂

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    1. And thanks to you for continuing to make the world a more beautiful place with your amazing art, Elisa! I remain in awe of your talent and many gifts. Love and Happy Holidays to you!

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  18. Wow, Jama, what an inspiring post and replies! So many of these responses resonate with me too (like the power of forgiveness, miracles, healing, light conquering darkness).

    I would add that I believe in the power of a smile to brighten a day, that working on something one is passionate about energizes rather than depletes, and that no condition is permanent (or as some wag has expressed it “It came to pass…”)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for adding to the list, Violet. When times are bad, it is very important to remember that as you said, “no condition is permanent” — change is probably the only certainty there is in life. Hope you have a very nice Christmas and New Year’s!

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  19. I believe in
    God
    Family
    Kindness
    Love
    Country living
    The simply things in life
    Peace
    All creatures big and small
    Being creative
    Sharing our stories and gifts with others

    Love this post, thanks for sharing. Have a great holiday season.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for visiting and joining in on the list! I look forward to reading your blog and seeing all these beautiful things in action.

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  20. Thank you, Jama, for this positive note at the end of your year’s blogging song.

    I believe in smiles,
    the restorative power of sleep,
    keeping memories alive through stories.

    I believe in tradition,
    the miracle of talent,
    and, of course, in chocolate.

    I believe in
    science and nature,
    reading and writing,
    art and music.

    Most of all, I believe in community,
    in the power of Us.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Thank you Jama for finding the perfect poem for these times. Have a lovely holiday. What do I believe in? I believe in children, of course, and that they lead us to our best selves…if we let them.

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  22. What a gift this is! Jama, thank you. You enrich our lives, and I bow to you with a flourish of my most feathery cap.
    I pick a word every year to lean on, to pivot around. Courage keeps popping up, so I’m choosing that for 2018. I’m wading into work on a book that will need plenty of that, and with the political climate, well, nothing more needs saying.

    Happy Christmas to you and your family and friends, Jama. And here’s to a courageous, loving, healthy 2018!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the lovely words, Wendy. So glad we connected online this year. Courage is definitely something we all need for our personal and professional lives, and certainly for facing such an uncertain future in America. My word for 2017 was TRUTH. Little did I realize how it would be tested, disregarded, erased and disrespected! I haven’t come up with a good word for 2018 yet.

      Hope you have a beautiful Christmas and Happy New Year too!

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  23. It’s inspiring just to ponder the question. I’ve recently had the sense of the unpredictable more than ever.

    I believe that anything can happen any minute, any second
    and does even when we can’t see it
    and that love and art can make a difference.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for visiting, Janice. Yes, I know what you mean about the unpredictable. For me this has translated into a general state of unease about most everything. All the more reason to make the most of every day, and to live in the moment. Art can definitely make a difference. A process of creating something that wasn’t there before, of “making” when so much we cherish is being destroyed.

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  24. Thank you, Jama! I believe in my four little sisters. I believe in blessings. I believe in all the goodness and kindness of so many people in our land and around the world. I believe in hope. I believe in God and Jesus Christ. I believe in clouds in all their changing wonder. I believe in trees. I believe in leaves—new leaves in spring; green green summer leaves; orange and yellow and red and brown leaves in autumn, including when they have fallen and you can step on them, crunching in the cool days; and the quiet return of dead leaves to the earth in winter. I believe in poetry, and in words like “thank you” and “I love you” and “I know you can” and “It will be alright.” I believe in rainfall and snowfall. I believe in water, the long cool drink and the water coursing through our veins in our blood. I believe in books—the stories! The voices! The laughter and smiles as the pages turn, the quiet sighs and sometimes tears. I believe in teachers and in students. I believe in the ocean, rolling across the planet. I believe in food—hot buttered toast, fresh raspberries, Thanksgiving turkey, crisp fall apples, and the little circles of new-cut green onions. I believe in so many things! Thanks for reminding me, Jama. I’ve been very sad about what’s happening, so it’s good to be reminded of all that’s marvelous in our lives. Also, I believe in great blogs like yours!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! Love your list of uplifting and life affirming beliefs. You’re right — it’s good to be reminded of what we have that no one can ever take away, and to renew hope with expressing gratitude. Your “hot buttered toast” reminded me of Mercy Watson. 🙂 A big YES to the books, stories, voices, students and teachers! And I envy your having 4 sisters!! What a blessing. Happy Christmas to you, Kate!

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  25. I’m stopping by late to admire “the generosity of apples.” Enjoy your break, Jama! I have to think about what I believe in (the creative spark in all living things?). I’ll get back to you on that.

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  26. After three different family trips over the holidays (whew!), I’m finally circling back to a few favorite virtual places. Cheers to all in this new year.

    I believe in poetry,
    in Poetry Friday,
    in Poetry Friday people,
    and Mr. Cornelius.

    I believe in the embrace
    of the Divine
    in the open hearts of others
    and, I hope, in my own.

    I believe in the boldness
    of barred owls,
    the gentleness of soft, swift creatures
    that scurry.

    XO

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