Tending the Marsh

Introducing Guest Author and Poet: Linda Marie Steele

The first poem I read of Linda Marie Steel’s was ‘baby birds’, that she submitted for an anthology I was publishing – In Celebration of Mothers. Her poem spoke of the birds of the marsh and the similarities they had with motherhood.

In baby birds, she writes:

Today I watch over the birds of the marsh as if
They’re my own.

Give them wings,
so they can fly,
they say.

What they won’t say
is how much
you won’t want to let them go.

I was hooked and I’ve loved her poetry ever since.

A year later I was accepting submission for another anthology, In Celebration of Sisters. Linda submitted an essay speaking about the life of three sisters, Linda – Luci – Laurie, with Linda being the middle sister. With that I learned that Linda is a woman that writes in more than one genre.

Today I’m happy to introduce Linda Marie Steele as a guest. She shares with us how walking the marsh helped her journey through a difficult transition in her life and how writing and poetry were a balm to her in this difficult time.

Thank you for joining us today, Linda!

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Linda’s Words about Her Beloved Marsh

My new poetry collection, “Tending the Marsh” emerged after a year of daily walking on the marsh. Each morning after my daughter got on the school bus, I’d head to the Great Sippewissett Marsh to walk. By following a short-wooded path through the back of my house I’d reach the marsh. The marsh is a stunning place of expansive natural beauty that shifts and changes from moment to moment. It was easy to feel inspired and drawn into the environment. As a writer, it felt fitting to then return to my writing desk to jot down impressions. My collection offers a close observation of the year after I went through a major life transition-the divorce from a man I dearly loved. We met when I was only 20-our relationship spanned close to 25 years. The book is primarily about my journey through navigating that difficult transition and reflected my need to tend to something.

I wrote every day for about a year. The collection first started in journal form with pen and paper, a simple date at the top and things like how I was feeling that day and the wildlife or weather I noticed. I knew I wanted to tell my story but I wanted to tell it in a way that felt comfortable for me, honest and in a way that could potentially bring comfort to someone else going through a similar life experience one day.

Somewhere along the way, poetry felt like a good fit for my story. It allowed me to make vivid observations about my environment and my experience but I didn’t have to feel bogged down by all the specifics or timeline. Poetry allowed me a way to create a space for my feelings and a way for me to grow and heal.

I brought my very rough first draft of the collection in poetry form to Marge Piercy’s poetry intensive workshop during the summer of 2018 for feedback.  I also attend a wonderfully supportive writing group called Chatham writers on Monday mornings and even though I didn’t bring everything I wrote to that group about my daily walks throughout that first year I did benefit greatly from the supportive writing community.

After I felt I was at a place of completion with the manuscript I gave it to five readers for feedback-four of the readers were from my writing group and the fifth was my middle daughter Bella. The help and support I received were invaluable. With each of the comments, I could see where I wanted to insert a haiku, for example, to continue the narrative thread I imagined for the book overall. I found ways to properly order the poems so that there was a sense of continuity.

I wanted my collection to tell a story of healing and transformation from the point of initial intention to loss to the complex ebb and flow of grief to eventual hope and healing. All of these transitions are mirrored in the natural beauty observed in the marsh.

Throughout life, we all go through transitions of one kind or another. We are born, go to school, make friends, move out of our parent’s house, get a job, fall in love then start a family of our own.  Not necessarily in that particular order and sometimes we may move through one kind of a transition and find ourselves going through the same type of transition again.

One thing we can all take comfort in when one life phase ends is that eventually, something new will be reborn. Navigating a new normal can feel difficult and prickly and at times really hard but at the end of the day I believe we all hope for balance and desire peace of mind and heart.

“Tending the Marsh” includes poems like “Tending a Tender Heart,” “When Grief Visits,” “Moonbeams,” “New Beginnings,” “Blessed” and Autumn on the Marsh.” Recently a friend wrote to me and said “Tending the Marsh is beautiful and calming. I have the sense of walking beside you and seeing all the secrets of the marsh through your eyes.”

I’d love to personally invite you to take a look at my new book available now on Amazon and feel free to reach out to share your experience or story.  I can be reached through my website at www.lindamariasteele.com.

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Look for the Good in Every Day

Trisha Faye

new year wishes

A new year is before us, ripe with opportunities and promise. I love the feel of ‘the new’, and while the slate isn’t totally clean that we start with, it still brings with it the feeling of freshness and new beginnings.

For several years I’ve chosen a word of the year to focus on. Last year I couldn’t make up my mind, so I chose three: authentic, action, and joyful. Towards the end of 2018, knowing this chance to pick new words to focus on was coming up again, I started writing down words that I was drawn to. I had a post-it note on my December calendar and when I’d run across another word I liked, I’d add it to my list. By the last week of the year I had several words to pick from – balance, peace, delight, nourish, healthy, grateful, blessed. I liked all of…

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4 ways to hit “reset” in the New Year

For moms and dads

Are you one of those people who makes a New Year’s resolution, stays at it for a couple weeks and fall off the band-wagon? Every day of the year could be a day to start a new routine, to kick a bad habit, or to start something you’ve always wanted. Despite these facts, often times the start of a New Year is a recurring date that reminds us we *can* make new goals, and with the right help, we *can* follow through. Here are some of my tips to help you get started off in the right direction in 2019.

The clarity gained by hitting “reset” can have transformative effects to our minds, our health, and our families.

1) Declutter.

Clutter has a way of making us feel overwhelmed. So many people I know have a tendency to accumulate things. Is there really a point on…

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A Hat to Wear Proudly

Trisha Faye

Following is an excerpt from a current work in progress, Embracing 60.

A Hat to Wear Proudly

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Last night I stepped into the closet to retrieve a birthday present I’d stashed on a shelf and spied my embellished ball cap hanging on the wall. It’s a hat I’ve only worn once, yet I keep it hanging there to remind me of a lesson learned later in life.

Hand painted letters proclaim a truth it took me a long time to learn. ‘I’m the quiet one and proud of it.’

The ‘quiet one’ part of the statement isn’t what I’d learned. I’ve always known that. It’s the being proud part that has been a recent revelation.

I learned to accept and be proud of that aspect of myself about five years ago, which puts the lesson closer to the age of 55, and not 60. Yet, while the title of…

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It Is What It Is – One Liner Wednesday

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For One Liner Wednesday – The thought for today…sometimes it helps, sometimes not.

it is what it is

 

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Older than Zip Codes #OneLinerWednesday

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“You are older than zip codes, they started in the early 60’s.”

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Gee thanks, sis. But I got my pay-back when I reminded her that she’s right behind me. We’ve got to embrace life – even when we’re getting older, even when we have a younger sister that teases us about our age.

This line brought to you compliments of ‘One Liner Wednesday‘, which I’ve neglected participating in lately.

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Bisterne Scarecrow Festival Trail 2018 — koolkosherkitchen

I love seeing how other people have fun and embrace the joy in life!
I wish I could see these in person, but since I can’t, KoolKosherKitchen did their part in brightening up my day. Check out their post for the whimsical scarecrows. (**Spoiler alert – the baby dragon is my favorite!)

Originally posted on derrickjknight: CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED This afternoon Jackie and I followed: Pokestop carries a Pokemon. I just squeezed The Bisterne Royals into one frame. Worzel is in trouble with Aunt Sally required a couple of shots, one from across the road. We surmised he had been on…

via Bisterne Scarecrow Festival Trail 2018 — koolkosherkitchen

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