Holding Space

He did not want to go in. The air was full of changes. Colder and fresh with the hint of snow smell, not fallen yet, but filling the air with the anticipation of it. 

Libi was content. Happy to watch the squirrel scurrying up and down the trees. Occasionally swinging like a monkey from branch to branch. Libi liked when the squirrel did this. It reminded him of freedom. Of the weightless feel he got when he swam in the ocean or lake.

“Libi! Come, boy!”

Libi sighed. He did not want to go in. Not right now. Not while the world prepared for the snow. Not while the squirrel still played. He would go in in a moment, or two. Not now. No.

She stretched from the top of the porch as if she needed to get closer to him for him to obey. 


He glanced over his shoulder. Letting out a faint sigh that spoke volumes as to what he would do.

A few moments passed, he heard her foot falls walk away and the door open and close. He sat on his haunches and gazed at the sky. Waiting. 

The snow would be fallen soon. He could see the white haziness of it in the distance. His body shivered with anticipation.

The sound of the door opening had his ears lift. He waited for his name to be called. Heard instead the faint squeak of the steps as she decended. Appearing by his side moments later. He glanced up at her with the love of his soul shining out of his mismatched eyes. 

She smiled down at him and patted his head as he leaned his large frame on her. Sitting half down on her feet and half on the ground. Holding her lightly in his presence. They both gazed at the sky and the world beyond. She lifted her steaming cup to her mouth. Sipped and watched as the snow arrived.

Falling in thick clumps. Libi opened his mouth to taste the freshness. She laughed at him. His exuberance for the world. His insistence to remain rooted to this spot as the storm arrived. He was so beautiful and reverent. Her eyes teared with the gratitude of his presence, of his willingness to hold space for her, and his loyalty.

The world needed more Libi, or maybe it needed more people willing and able to see the beauty of his being. The willingness he had to sit quietly and wait.

Whatever it was, she was grateful to have him in her world, and he felt the same.

2021 http://www.carriedforth.com

Growing Into It

The shirt hung large on his small frame. ‘you’ll grow into it.’ She spoke with authority and knowing. He tugged at the sleeves which engulfed his hands. Comforted by the large shirt. Wanting for too long to be small. Because small meant he was out of the way. Muniscule. Unimportant. Overlooked.

The shirt sleeves hit too high on his arm. He grew into it, and now out of it.Bigger. Stronger. A tad surer. He loomed over some. Not aggressively, but by shear size. Gentle. Caring. 

He grew into himself. By shear luck, or circumstance. It really did not matter how it was labeled. He felt good. Whole. 

He took that wholeness and shaped a world.


She scooped the grain into the feeder and checked the bucket of water. Humming quietly to herself. Warm breath tingled her exposed ear. She smiled. Turning to lean into the embrace. He lowered his head on her shoulder. Warm, chocolate eyes met hers as they finished the embrace. She patted the spot between his eyes as he let out a short snort of appreciation. 

Speaking quietly to him, she relived the week in snippets of memory. Recounting the parts she knew he would snort his laugh of aporoval. When she got to the story of tripping down the steps of the house into the biggest mud puddle ever imagined, he started bobbing his head in laughter.

Life was easy with him. He got her like no other did. He felt the same about her.

Grateful to have found one another. He finished his breakfast while she gathered the brushes and tack. They planned the day together as she brushed him. 

‘I Want To Be A Photographer!’ Said The Gnome

He happened upon a camera, sitting quietly on a bench. 

He picked it up. Declared his luck. Merrily skipped away.

The camera was gigantic for the little gnome.

He was not discouraged as he drug it home.

He snapped photos of his flakey friends.

a pile of us 2020

Photos of his room. 

My room. Out of focus. 2020.

It was a very exciting afternoon!

Until the others happened by. Saw his pictures. Told him not to try.

He cried a bit. Dried his tears. Went along his way.

‘I will be a photographer, someday!’
He snapped photos every chance he got. Some rather good and some not.

He had a lot of fun. Smiling along the way.

Bumping into another gnome one day, who asked to see his photos…if that was okay.

Sheepishly he showed her. Delighted she liked his stuff.

These are really, really good! You should show them off.

He shrugged off her compliment. Hearing the jeers from before.

How could he get over that? Show them to more?

Working hard to get past the fear.

He took her up on the offer to appear

In a restaurant, which lead to more and more spots.

Soon his images were everywhere!

Flakey friends. 2020.

He was a photographer! Taking photos of things he cared.

frozen front porch. 2020.

Here, Take My Bag

He stood on the bank of the river. Straining his eyes. ‘What is that?’ The sun was glaring low in the sky behind the creature cantering across the water. He could not figure out what it was. Horse like, but something glinted in the sun. Like a glittery horn atop the creatures head? 

Squinting like mad, he wished he could figure it out. In the minutes it took for the creature to cross the river, he could not fathom what he was seeing. Like a fairy tale. A white horse with a glittery horn. Surprisingly this was not the most perplexing thing.

Not in the least.

What astonished him was the creature poised on top of the unicorn. Billowing hair and gleaming skin covered in iridescent blues and pinks flowing in the breeze.

As he stood, mouth slightly agap. The two creatures stopped beside him. A gentle neigh emitted from the unicorn as he lowered his head to munch grass.

‘Here, take my bag.’ She said as she slipped off the unicorn and ran off into the forest.

Standing there. Beside a unicorn. Holding a pink iridescent bag. Mark wondered what world he had entered. Where exactly was he?

Minutes passed and she emerged from the woods. Thanking Mark for holding her bag.

She swiftly mounted the unicorn and they trotted away. Leaving Mark standing in the same spot. Still trying to figure it out. Wondering if he had dreamed it. Wondering.

Seeking A Quieter Way

Walking among the ice crystals.

Footfall echo off the trees.

All is silent. Except my feet.

The crow caws once to announce the intrusion.

All else falls silent, my foot fall finds a mossy path.

Falls silent, as well.

In the silence the trees begin to whisper.

Quietly. Then with more force. The cold causes their branches

to moan. A sound my body understands on this cold morn.

Holding its agreement by bringing to my awareness an ache so deep

it burns. We will be warm soon. A few more treks through the forest. 

Squirrel would like to say hi. He does. Quickly. 

Flashing his bright colors before he burrows

into his grassy bed in the crook of the tree.

Moving on. Grunts and air blowing. Deer run by. Dodging left and right.

Sprinting through the trees. Laughing at my lack of agility, or the fact I insist on keeping to the human path.

Which winds in and around trees and shrubs. Never following a direct route. Meandering through.

Footfall echoing crunches of ice again. Loudly stating my goodbye.

As I try to quiet them. The ice protesting with every break, until I step onto quieter ground.

Saying goodbye to the beauty around me. Thanking the animals for their acceptance of my crunching through their home to find solace among the trees.

Searching for a quieter way.

Looking Through The Stained Glass

She sat, cross legged.
The step was hard.
She barely noticed.
Focused on the colored light circling her legs.
Everything else disappeared.

Movement caught her eye.
There was something on the other side.
Standing fast. Moving forward.
She pressed her face to the clear panel.
The one in the corner of the intricate window.

Looking through a tiny square.
She saw it looking back at her.
Tall and lengthy. It stared back.
Smiling some, as if to ask,
Would you come and play with me?

She rushed down the steps.
Out the door in a blur of skirts.
Finding him staring up.
Looking for her.

Giggling. She asked. Will you come and play at last?
Grin splitting his face wide.
He jumped up, tail wagging high.
Tossing balls and chasing sticks.
They played forever, or so it seemed.
Until she woke from the dream.

And He Soared

Taken by the blue of the sky. He stood at the cliff edge. Looking out. Looking above. Feeling the wind wash over him. The air felt charged. Electric.

His ears had a faint buzzing in them. Barely audible over the sounds of nature. He focused on the sounds around him. The rapid drumming of a woodpecker. The joyous song of a flock of finches. The rustling of the trees. All of it added to the experience.

He stepped closer to the edge of the cliff. A few rocks escaped their place and tumbled over edge. He breathed deeply. The moment had come.

He leaped. Launching his body far from the cliff. Briefly he thought it might not work. Only seconds passed when the wind hit the sails and he soared.

Laughing in delight, he tried maneuvering the apparatus. Leaning left, then right. Turning himself. All the while gently gliding toward the ground.

What a feeling! To soar like a bird!

Landing with a bit of uncoordinated movement. He looked up at the cliff he had stood on moments before. Face split in a wide grin, he took off the wings. Folded them into his backpack, and set out for the hike back to his car. Enjoying every moment that passed along the way.

Triggering Memories

A pinecone on the floor of the forest. I pause to look at it. Memories flood in.

The year PapPap asked us to collect pinecones so he could build a wreath. Morphing into the scent of the Christmas tree when it first enters the house.

Like a film clip the memories real on. Filling my heart with joy.

Christmas decorating with the kids. How they insist on hanging every ornament on the tree so it looks like someone dumped the whole box of decorations on it. Somehow in that chaos it manages to look beautiful.

Thank you pinecone for the lovely journey of memories from times ago. My walk continues, a little teary eyed for what was, what is, what might become.

Walk With Me

Hand outstretched. He asked. “Walk with me?”
Follow where I lead. Taking his hand,
I follow. Arm pulled and tugged. Up rugged hills.
Down narrow paths. To a wide open field. We’re he
giggles with delight. The sun is warm. The air clean.
Movement catches our eyes. We turn, as one, frozen in time. Silently searching. What was that? Looking.
Looking. ‘Oh! There it is!’ Laughing quietly. We watch the small bird flit around the log. Dancing, in his search for bugs. Silently nodding we walk back. Slowly. Taking a new path. Your hand small in mine. Walk with me, forever, in this life.

To my children who always insist I walk with them to share the magic of their worlds. May we always find moments to walk together.

Love and blessings, đź’• Carrie