The Gladness of Nature ~ William Cullen Bryant

The Gladness of Nature

IS this a time to be cloudy and sad, 
When our mother Nature laughs around; 
When even the deep blue heavens look glad, 
And gladness breathes from the blossoming ground?
There are notes of joy from the hang-bird and wren, 
And the gossip of swallows through all the sky; 
The ground-squirrel gaily chirps by his den, 
And the wilding bee hums merrily by.
The clouds are at play in the azure space, 
And their shadows at play on the bright green vale, 
And here they stretch to the frolic chase, 
And there they roll on the easy gale.
There’s a dance of leaves in that aspen bower, 
There’s a titter of winds in that beechen tree, 
There’s a smile on the fruit, and a smile on the flower, 
And a laugh from the brook that runs to the sea.
And look at the broad-faced sun, how he smiles 
On the dewy earth that smiles in his ray, 
On the leaping waters and gay young isles; 
Ay, look, and he’ll smile thy gloom away.

William Cullen Bryant


Longevity Tips ~ Friends

Make Friends

Here’s another reason to be grateful for your friends. They might help you live longer. Dozens of studies show a clear link between strong social ties and a longer life. So make the time to keep in touch. Source

Wellness Tip ~ Practice Gratitude

How often do you feel thankful for the good things in your life? Studies suggest that making a habit of noticing what’s going well in your life could have health benefits. Taking the time to feel gratitude may improve your emotional well-being by helping you cope with stress. Early research suggests that a daily practice of gratitude could affect the body, too. For example, one study found that gratitude was linked to fewer signs of heart disease.


Life is for the Living ~ Langston Hughes

Life is for the living.
Death is for the dead.
Let life be like music. 
And death a note unsaid.

– Langston Hughes

Grieving Changed Me – I Knew Love Wins

Grieving Changed Me

It was nine months since Babe died. I sat with M at the coffee shop. She saw changes in me. She wanted to know if saw any changes in me. Grieving changed me. I think it changes everyone. Here is an excerpt from Dancing Alone: Learning to Live Again on how I was changing:

“How are you different, Ray?” M asked. “When I look at you, I see what I see. But, I don’t see everything. There are parts of you that only you know. And, there are parts of you that you don’t recognize and only God knows them. . . . What matters to you, Ray?”

“You do, M. My family does. My neighbors do. The people at the Y. The baristas at the coffee shop. The birds that come to my bird feeders. I feel myself connecting to everyone I meet, and to all of God’s amazing creations surrounding me. It is this sense of connection that is pulling me out of isolation. It is healing my open wounds. It is creating a new heart for me, one capable of loving all and receiving love from all.”

M smiled and said, “Love is leading you, Ray. Love wins. Love heals. The more you love, the greater your healing. Where love is, the door is always open.”

Ordering information for the paperback or ebook version of Dancing Alone: Learning to Live Again may be found at

Excerpt From: Dancing Alone: Learning to Live Again by Ray Calabrese. This material is protected by copyright.

Gratitude Became my Grieving Turning Point

Gratitude Became my Turning Point

M continued to encourage me to be grateful for Babe. Being grateful was difficult because I fixed my focus on what I lost, not what I had. It was only later when I realized being grateful was the grieving breakthrough I sought. It was only later when I realized I couldn’t be grateful and sad at the same time. Here is a journal excerpt where I continue to express my gratitude for Babe.

“You taught me to love. You taught me about love. You were, and still are, love. Each moment we spent together, you taught me another love lesson. Each time you touched me, you taught me about love. Each word you spoke to me was a message of love. Each time you looked at me, you filled me with love. How can I choose to do anything else but love? You’re a gift. I buried your body, but I did not bury you. Ciao—until …”

I finished my brief journal entry. I was smiling. My heart was at peace. The images of Babe lingered with me. For the moment, life was good.”

Ordering information for the paperback or ebook version of Dancing Alone: Learning to Live Again may be found at

Excerpt From: Dancing Alone: Learning to Live Again by Ray Calabrese. This material is protected by copyright