253 Loving Presence of Light – Amy

I love her dearly, and I’m so full of admiration and fascination at her youthful spirit and abundantly generous heart.

I have learned the incredible gift of loving presence with Michele this last year. Our four
hour phone conversations, ripe with laughter and thoughtfulness have been monumental in my life at this time.

bright light of a loving presence
The bright light of a loving presence

Michele continues to endlessly inspire me, help me to see things on a much broader scale and to appreciate all the little things sprinkled around where I’m currently standing.

I love her dearly, and I’m so full of admiration and fascination at her youthful spirit and abundantly generous heart. She selflessly continues to shine the brightest light despite the challenges and I am eternally grateful for being included in her journey. Happy happy birthday dear friend. I love you to the moon and back. XOXO Amy

252 Best Birthday – Jeannine and Dave

May the love, well wishes, and peace from all your dearest loved ones and acquaintances absorb into every quantum subcellular space inside your body, mind, and spirit surrounding you on your birthday -and forever!

Dearest Michelle,

Dave and I want to wish you the best birthday, celebrated with Kwami, your family, and friends!  God bless your big day and this upcoming new year of your life.

Making pudding out of pud enjoying kites at Ocean Shores
Making pudding out of pud enjoying kites at Ocean Shores

Amidst Covid 19 restrictions, and your cancer chemotherapy journey, this past year of your life has certainly brought many challenges.  And how do you handle it? You’ve turned it into an opportunity to creatively write your way through the rollercoaster ride with beautiful prose and poetry.  The artwork I’ve seen on Zoom in the background (when I facilitated the Anti-racism group and Kwami was a part),  looked absolutely amazing!  Gathering regularly with your family, prioritizing what matters most in life, you continue to make pudding out of pud!  I’m so impressed with you – and we haven’t even actually met in person yet!

May the love, well wishes, and peace from all your dearest loved ones and acquaintances absorb into every quantum subcellular space inside your body, mind, and spirit surrounding you on your birthday -and forever!

Our love and hugs,

Jeannine and Dave Dagget

251 Happy Birthday Miss – Kwami

And so another birthday filled with love
Ang joy and gratitude
Is here: Of yours…. And Sarah’s
And Arya’s and their children’s children
Fuse into one endless birthday of the four seasons.

Happy Birthday Miss

markings of critters on the sand photo by Kwami Nyamidie
Ephemeral markings captured for posterity

I am so glad to celebrate this your special birthday.
Last year we faced the possibility that every major life event might be the final.

Oh the agony and release of the terminal.
The last view of the Pacific Ocean waves crashing on the beach.


Reluctant goodbyes to the horizon we could not abandon.
Salty taste, heavy tired feet wrestling with glittering sticky sands that refuse to let us go.
Echo of the last seagull flying above us melts into Indrayani’s mystical flute.

Fine raindrops hide the story the faces tell.
Goodbye to mysterious critters that leave their ephemeral markings in the sand forever.
Thank you for a year of heightened focus,

Michele and Nyasha and Leon at the beach
But we had the blessing to go back to the ocean several more times. Michele and Nyasha and “Leo” Dandelion

Acute noticing of a sliding droplet on a green leaf.
Infinite color shades of flowers.
Rays of sunrise filtering through pine branches, fir trees and window blinds in winter.

The unspeakable message of silent eyes
Transport us beyond time,
Briefly.

Beyond pain, fear and death—briefly,
Across the portal to eternity
Where all is well.

Another stunning sun rise in spring quickens the heart
Other visits to the ocean
To fly kites, see horse riders and seagulls in the summer.
In the fall, dragon flies welcome us beside memorial trees at the Sanctuary.

We thought this might be Michele's last day at a beach. From right to left: Erik, Indrayani and Michele. Photo by Kwami
We thought this might be Michele’s last day at a beach. From right to left: Erik, Indrayani and Michele. Photo by Kwami
Memorial Trees at the  Sanctuary
Memorial Trees at the Sanctuary

And so another birthday filled with love
Ang joy and gratitude
Is here:

Sarah's birthday is near
We feared Michele might not live to see the birth of Sarah. But Sarah’s first birthday too is here.

Of yours….
And Sarah’s
And Arya’s and their children’s children
Fuse into one endless birthday of the four seasons.

Happy birthday, Miss.

249 Positive attitude and a lot of prayers go a long way from Jan

You are my rock! You have helped make my life easier with Mike. It has been wonderful to  have a partner. and I thank you! We will make it through this. 

Jan Moberly smiling
Jan Moberly

Positive attitude and prayers go a long way. Michele, when you told me about the cancer and the doctors information of 2 years of life I  thought NOOOOOOOO!!! At that time I felt you had accepted exactly what they had said,  that you had no hope of more than two years left.  

That was why I shared with you (probably more than once) about my cousin who lived many  years past what the doctors had predicted (and she was a nurse in his office). I said then, and I  still believe, that a positive attitude and lots of prayers go a long way. I do believe your attitude  is positive. 

Positive energy from orchid in kitchen
Positive energy from an orchid in bloom in the kitchen

Dorian and I were talking about you and she feels the attitude is important also. So keep your  positive attitude!! 

You are my rock! You have helped make my life easier with Mike. It has been wonderful to  have a partner. and I thank you! We will make it through this. 

You have taken controlled of so much in your life and are dealing so well with what life has  presented to you. I love how you are doing things with your loved ones making memories. I  admire you. 

I love you much. 

216 Thank you, COVID-19, on this Winter Solstice

In this the darkest day in the northern hemisphere we can express our gratitude that spring will come. “Thank you, for the Light!”

Guest Article
By Kwami Nyamidie

As we celebrate the winter solstice, we thank you, COVID-19, for giving us an opportunity to experience our inter-connectedness, even if it meant we had to walk through the valley of frustration, sorrow, and death.

History will remember 2020 as one of the years in human history when a virulent pandemic brought the world again to its knees.

COVID-19 Long term effects

Some 1.69 million infected patients around the globe have succumbed to COVID-19. Like a devastating hurricane, the relentless SARS-CoV-2 virus has left in its aftermath several millions of people whose lives have been turned upside down, suffering with mysterious long-term effects.  

Gregory Poland, M.D., head of Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group in Rochester, Minnesota, describes these as “the significant cellular level damage this virus can cause.” There’s lasting injury to heart muscles, long term harm to the air sacs in the lungs, and impairment to the brain leading sometimes to seizures, strokes, and temporary paralysis.

Gregory Poland Gregory Poland, M.D., head of Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group in Rochester, Minnesota, describes the long term effects of the wicked virus.

COVID-19 Economic, Social, and Political Impact

This minuscule virus’s economic, social, and political toll has equally been devastating. Lockdowns have affected travel of all kind. As it peaked in different counties in the United States, religious gatherings, businesses, schools, and non-essential government agencies were closed. Some businesses have been permanently swept away.

Unemployment has rendered some families homeless. Some can’t feed their families. Some political leaders have lost power because of their inadequate handling of the pandemic that blindsided them. Grandparents couldn’t play with their grandchildren. Thousands couldn’t visit their loved ones isolated in clinics or hospitals in intensive care units. There was no time for relatives and friends to grieve the dead in this year like no other.

Cars Line Up For Hours, Waiting For Food Distribution At Pittsburgh International Airport

Breath of Death or Breath of Life

How is it possible that such a virus originating from Wuhan, China, can infect so many people from almost all countries in just a year? Yes, some remote Pacific Island states including Kiribati, Tuvalu, and the Cook Islands have succeeded, so far, in shielding their territories from the virus’s scourge.

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site explains how the virus spreads: “When people with COVID-19 cough, sneeze, sing, talk, or breathe they produce respiratory droplets. These droplets can range in size from larger droplets (some of which are visible) to smaller droplets. Small droplets can also form particles when they dry very quickly in the airstream.”

Spreading on the wings of breath, SARS-CoV-2 turned what brings life into the carrier of death. And in its capacity to spread like wild fire, has given us a clearer understanding of our inter-connectedness.

For thousands of years, wise men and women have revealed to us that we human beings are interrelated at our very core. But this remains a difficult concept for us to grasp. How can you be connected to 7.8 billion people all over the world?

Aloha Spirit

The Hawaiian word “Aloha” expresses a range of feelings that include: “love, affection, gratitude, kindness, pity, compassion, grief, the modern common salutation at meeting.” It can also mean “goodbye.” Aloha has no exact translation in the English language. A deeper meaning of the word emerges from the two words “alo” which means “sharing”, or sometimes “coming together” and “ha”, which means “breath, life energy.” Aloha Spirit symbolizes the understanding that the nearly eight billion people alive today share the same breath. That is the basis for our love for one another.

An attempt at explaining The Meaning of Aloha . Celebration of our unity during the Winter Solstice

In 2016, HuffPost published an article on Buddhism. It explained that “When Buddha gained enlightenment, it was the realization that inter-connectedness is the true nature of all beings.  We are not only connected to other people, but to the air through our breathing and to the universe through light.”  The air we breathe is a primary channel of our connection.

If it took about one year for the virus to be carried to millions infected through the medium of human breath, it’s easy to see that the air we breathe in an average lifespan of 75 or so years can circulate several times through may be 99% of the entire human race.

But “breath” is not just air. It’s energy. It’s prana, the force that animates us.

COVID-19 helps us realize that we’re connected at the energetic level through breath to all human beings and that what we transmit can affect others. Mother Nature has designed an experiment to prove to us that we are connected through breath. The corollary of this insight is that if we send out positive energy through our breath, it will go to the entire world for good.

Winter Solstice: “Thank you, for the Light!”

How do we do that? When we fill our minds with positive thoughts, they imprint our breaths for the good of us all. As you flood your awareness with words of love, and peace, and gratitude, your breath, instead of spreading a virus, sends out a sound, which is a vibration. The vibration turns into energy that circulates the world.

This Winter Solstice Day, and throughout this holiday season, is an appropriate time to test this for ourselves. In this the darkest day in the northern hemisphere we can express our gratitude that spring will come. “Thank you, for the Light!” Just us we shall come out of the darkness of the winter solstice, so we shall rise out of the Shadow from the Valley of Death, in whatever way this appears darkness appears to us.

A magical mantra for nurturing a blissful life | JayaShri Maathaa Thank you, COVID-19, on this Winter Solstice

Let these words spring out from our lips as we wake up in the morning. Let them stimulate our minds throughout the day. As we take our turns in queues, as we wait for our smartphones or computers to restart, or update or download, as we get ready for the traffic light to change let us remember to express gratitude for the light that never fails. “Thank you, for the Light!”

Gratitude for the Silver Linings

Let us be grateful for all the silver linings that COVID-19 (caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus) brought us even as we are kicking and screaming.

125 Four Poems for Michele Stowell: You will remain invisible; Were you on a mission?; Terminal one Terminal Two.

Divinity wraps Herself around me
Like an invisible light
There are no ominous shadows to swallow me.

by Kwami Nyamidie

  1. You Will Remain Visible

New Moon.
You call us to prayer,
Reminding us it’s time to make wishes:
Mother’s bygone days ritual
For the nascent lunar month.

silhouette of man standing near body of water

Wish Making at New Moon

Full moon.
The sacred spell-casting time
A reminder
Of the bond across time and space.

three women sitting on rock infront of ocean

Full moon: A Time to Cast Spells

Invisible loved ones surround us now.
Grandma Chickadee comes twittering.
Double arced rainbows flutter
Across snow-capped mountains.

Grandma Chickadee

Owls hoot the presence
Of medicine men and women
Waiting behind the liminal wall
Of life
Of death.
They blow us their kisses.

From new moon to new moon,
You will melt my heart.
As I gaze up at the full moon’s dreamy disk,
You will stand by
As my co-celebrant of sacred spells
Visible to me
From yonder.
April 2020

2. Were You On A Mission?

From teaching primary school children with Norma
To tutoring teenagers learn to drive,
Mentoring youngsters on money matters
Did you come to show us how to live?

Mother figure to girls scout members
Guardian of children with less present parents;
Biological mother of two daughters.
Did you come down to show us how to love?

You cared more about others’ pain
Than the prospect of your own death
Worrying more about
The oncologist’s torment
As he delivered devastating news
Than the prospect of a terminal illness
Robbing you of life.


About your demise you spoke
As though you were just getting ready
To return to a cherished home.

Stepping out of your human coccoon
Seems to pose no problems for you.

Did you come to us mortals of this world
To teach us how to die?

  1. Terminal One

A run-away pet python let loose
slithers under the kitchen sink.

An assassin with white gloves
lurks behind the shower curtain.

A lion in the car’s backseat
Readies to attack.

They dog me everywhere like
Invisible shadows of doom.

The soles of the feet feel the heat.
A volcano readies to erupt.

A missile on a drone hovering above
locks in steelthily its crosshairs
on the crown of the head.

The mind struggles to forget what it has known
The blood pressure machine
Registers 88 over 140
Betraying the body’s fear of its end.

Terminal.

  1. Terminal Two

Do not be afraid to crush
a raven on the highway–
Its wings can ferry it far away.

Between the disaster about to happen
And the catastrophe,
Much happens.

With medicineman mojo
I wake up in a dream
My magical vision
Sees under the kitchen sink
A purring cat standing in
For the deadly python.

Through the shower curtain’s slit
I receive a soft towel my beloved hands me.
There’s no assassin with white gloves.

Leo barks in the backseat
Recognizing the familiar landscape
And the sweet smell of home.
There’s no lion waiting to attack.

Divinity wraps Herself around me
Like an invisible light
There are no ominous shadows to swallow me.

Mother Earth cuddles me in a warm embrace.
Above me fly the diamond shaped kites
Of the vacationers on a summery beach.

assorted color kites

Kites, not drones, hover my head.

Between the disaster about to happen
And the materialization of tragedy
Stretch nanoseconds
Wide enough for the raven to fly away
To experience the magic escape
In a lucid dream.

There is no death.

June 4, 2020.