Uncategorized Apr 17, 2019


In Thailand freesias bloom in March,
just as they do thirteen thousand miles
from there on the corner of my street;
here I also find late-ripening tomatoes,
available for picking on my side
of my neighbor's fence.

Some travel to see wonders, ride
elephants and dhows.  But others of us
find our pleasure in more negligible pursuits,
spotting miracles in a teacup or on the
whorling bark of trees or in a grandmother
cawing to the crows overhead.

Liz McFadzean

The story behind this poem:  The husband of a very good friend of mine would spend his life on cruise ships, if he could.  In retirement they have cruised the world, including a 40 day cruise across the Pacific.  They have a trans-Atlantic cruise scheduled in the not-too-distant future.

Donna loves her home and community and has to occasionally insist that they stay put.  Because marriage is about give and take, they both make adjustments to satisfy each others' dreams.

I live vicariously through some of the photos Donna sends me.  I'm not that comfortable in unfamiliar settings, especially where I don't speak the language.  Accurate communication is of paramount importance to me.  But through Donna's pictures I can see exotic locations, even some, like the Great Wall of China, that might be on my bucket list.  

In March Donna and John were in Thailand and sent me a photo of a beautiful freesia.  That morning as I walked around my neighborhood, I saw a freesia blooming in a neighbor's garden.  And I thought how amazing it is that freesias bloom here and in Thailand at the same time.  How small the world is, really.  We are too interconnected to think that what we want or experience isn't common to others in a different place.  We can travel to make that discovery, or we can find our commonality in a bloom in our own backyard.

On my way back to my house that morning I passed a grandmother out for a walk with her grandchild.  She saw crows above her in the trees and began cawing to them for the amusement of the child.  As a grandmother of four (almost five!) I find the grandparent/grandchild relationship one of the most mysterious and miraculous.  I loved my children, but sometimes I had to be their stern disciplinarian.  With my grandchildren I am free to love and do nothing but love and entertain them.  I was instantly connected to this other unknown grandparent in her exuberant performance of love.  And so that became the last line of my poem about finding miracles near and far.

Love, Liz