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Photo by Laura Vinck on Unsplash

The horse was huge.

Flowing mane. Flaring nostrils. Plunging hooves.

Pulling what looked like a chariot. A chariot ready to crash, throwing its driver over the side.

The sight astounded and mesmerized me.

I was so mesmerized that I nearly rear-ended the car in front of me.

Because, you see, this horse and chariot were in the sky. Or more precisely, in the billowing clouds overhead as I drove over a bridge during rush hour.

Fortunately my brain was not completely immersed in this celestial vision. I braked hard just in time. But it was a near thing. …

What the innocent joy in the heart of a child can teach us

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Photo by Jakayla Toney on Unsplash

He was an adorable child.

I was a nervous, inexperienced teacher.

In the two weeks I taught him and his classmates, I had one of the most memorable encounters of my life.

It happened like this:

Fresh out of college in the 1970’s I was unable to get a job interview, let alone a job, as a qualified high school English teacher.

Desperate to find any kind of job in education, I naively applied for a job teaching kindergartners in a poor neighborhood. …

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Photo by Erin Wilson on Unsplash

“In the midst of winter I found within my self an invincible summer”
Albert Camus

I am not a person who loves winter. The cold, the darkness, the lack of flowers and green plants all get me down. Although I try to continue walking outdoors on most winter days, the free swinging feeling of walking outside is somewhat suppressed under multiple layers of coat, sweaters, hat, scarf and gloves. So in the winter, more than ever, I turn to birds with appreciation and pleasure.

The hearty winter birds are a true inspiration to people like me who tend to shudder at the first cold snap or snowflake. …

An Illuminating experience

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Photo by Skye Studios on Unsplash

Encouraged by Dr. Mehmet Yildiz, I decided to post some of my poetry on the Illumination You Tube channel. Fortunately for me I was able to enlist the musical composition skills of my brother Steven Antonelli and the visual compilation skills of my nephew William Antonelli.

I have always loved to read aloud, so it was fun for me to record my voice on my smartphone app. I then forwarded the recording to Steven who created an original composition to accompany each poem. William then found still photographs and brief video, which with proper attribution, created a seamless collaboration.


A great way to start the day

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Photo by Carol Carpenter on Unsplash

You! You! You! Pretty! Pretty! Pretty!

A cardinal outside my bedroom window woke me early this morning with this ardent compliment.

Singing from the mock orange bush — at this time of year, a dense tangle of bare stems — the red male cardinal seemed intent on declaring his unabashed affection for me.

Normally very little will stir me before 6 am. Even my two cats, always eager for their morning meal, do not start purring in my ear and stepping over my head this early!

But hearing the cardinal’s bold and pleasing song made me stir and smile. …

Most of the time

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Photo by Shalone Cason on Unsplash

I am no longer a practicing Catholic, but I do remember some of my experiences with the Church, as a school girl . The Catholic ritual that made the most impact on me was confession.

I call confession a ritual, because like all rituals it had strict rules and practices which you were expected to obey. For example when making your confession you always included the words “Oh my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended thee…”

As I young child, I am afraid I didn’t have these contrite words quite right. …

Deborah Barchi

Deborah Barchi has recently retired from her career as a librarian and now has time to read, explore nature, and write poetry and essays.

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