The excerpt above was spoken by Alice in Chapter 1 of Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, written by Lewis Carroll and published in 1871. It was a similar story to his earlier novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, which was published in 1865. We thought it was a perfect for this time of year!
It’s almost the witching hour! To help get you in the eerie, mystical mood, we thought we’d share a Halloween poem with you that our Senior Editor, Liza McNamara, wrote for us last year. We liked it so much that we thought we’d “magically” turn it into a printable version just for you. Hang it in your home or on your front door to greet trick-or-treaters or include it in treat bags when you hand out candy. Add it to the festive office décor or leave as a fun surprise for co-workers to find on their desks. You might also have fun reading it out loud to kids and grandkids to get everyone in the spirit of this mystical night of All Hallows Eve. Enjoy!
Click here to receive a printable size of the poem, or click here to receive the correct size to make the poem your desktop background.
leaf piles beckon
what the soul needs;
what we forgot
golden sun washes faces
as crisp winds
harvest light bathes
living room floorboards
curls the air
and firesides begin
of crackling coziness
days too quickly dim
as fall envelops us in her
vibrant sweater of warmth,
_Liza McNamara, Sr. Editor
Now that you’ve had some time to pull your own ideas and thoughts together using the tips from our last blog post, we thought we’d share with you some favorite traditional prayers and inspirational poems that you may like to lead with, or combine with your own expression of thanks.
Remember, gratitude in and of itself is a beautiful thing and there is no right or wrong way to speak about it. Simply relax and speak from your heart, and enjoy the opportunity to let those around you know how thankful you are that you’re all together for Thanksgiving.
Poems, Graces and Prayers:
- Bless us, O Lord
and these Thy gifts,
which we are about to receive from your bounty.
Through Christ our Lord.
- Bless this home
with love and cheer,
And bless all those
who gather here.
- Thank you for the day so sweet,
Thank you for the food we eat,
Thank you for the birds that sing,
Thank you, Lord, for everything!
- Every so often, we all need a day to stop everything we’re so busy doing
and simply be. A day to turn off all the noise and step outside to breathe
in the air, and to know we are part of something bigger than ourselves.
A day to realize the richness of our blessings, the miracles we are,
the wonder that is our lives, the gratitude in our hearts.
- With a prayer that this beautiful season
gives us many new reasons
to rejoice and thank the Lord.
- Thanksgiving is a time of awareness,
of caring and sharing —remembering the best,
seeing the beautiful,
being grateful for the fullness of life.
When you eat, remember the farmer.
From the Poem i thank You God
by E. E. cummings
i thank You God for most this amazing
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
Dear Lord, thank you for this gift of food
You’ve placed upon our table.
And help us all to do your work
In any way we’re able.
Serving Food by Thich Nhat Hanh
In this food, I see clearly
The presence of the universe
Supporting my existence.
by Ralph Waldo Emerson
For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends,
We offer thanks. Amen.
A Blessing based on Gandhi’s Principles
Oh God, bless this food we are about to receive.
Give bread to those who hunger; and hunger for justice to us who have bread.
Shortest Grace by Dag Hammarskjöld
For what has been—thanks! For what shall be—yes!
All Hallow’s Eve
As Scorpio claws the moonlit sky,
the bats and owls in flight soar by.
The fog is thick; the night air, chill,
and shadows shift upon the hill.
The Jacks smile wide as willows weep,
as if dark secrets they do keep.
The spirits rise, the dead–they roam,
while witches recite their evil tomes.
This Halloween; this mystic night,
makes mortals wary of ghostly sights.
For the veil is lifted to worlds unseen,
on this hallowed night of Halloween!
This Memorial Day, as we honor our fallen men and women in uniform who have served since America’s birth, let us take a moment to reflect upon the sacrifices they have made in the name of freedom for all.
The following poem pays tribute to those who have given their lives so that others may pursue America’s great promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Fallen For Freedom
With every fallen hero,
And every sacrifice,
Each man and woman serving
Knows freedom has its price.
As stars and stripes fly higher
Over lands, both far and near,
New generations take the pledge
To protect what we hold dear.
And should that mean they offer up
Their lives for liberty
Their sacrifice is not in vain—
For freedom isn’t free
And so today we honor those
Who have been laid to rest—
Remembering that these brave souls
Gave better than their best.
An Amazing Journey…
Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 12, is the most special day of the year to celebrate the unique and wonderful women who make an incredible difference in our lives. And while every mom has her own style, wisdom, gifts and legacy, one thing all mothers have in common is a lifelong journey of love. So whether Mother’s Day inspires you to take a walk down memory lane, surround yourself with family, or excitedly anticipate your baby-to-be, here’s a collection of heartfelt and humorous quotes that celebrates the amazing journey of motherhood, even before it begins…
Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~Elizabeth Stone
Nobody will ever know the strength of my love for you, after all you’re the only one who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside. ~Author Unknown
His little hands stole my heart…and his little feet ran away
with it. ~Author Unknown
I never knew how much love my heart could hold until someone called me “mommy.” ~Author Unknown
A mother will sit in the rain to watch her child sit on a bench. ~Author Unknown
There is an instinct in a woman to love most her own child—and an instinct to make any child who needs her love, her own. ~Robert Brault
A mom’s love waits up when the rest of the world has turned out the light. ~Author Unknown
My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it. ~Mark Twain
A mother is one to whom you hurry when you are troubled. ~Emily Dickinson
Just you feel like you’re all grown up and don’t need your mommy, you get the flu. ~Author Unknown
The advice my son rejected is now being given by him to my grandson. ~Author Unknown
The Academy of American Poets created National Poetry Month in 1996 to build awareness of the rich heritage of classic and contemporary poets and poems and their impact on our culture. Celebrated by bookstores, libraries, schools, and bloggers, the hope is that more of us will become aware of the joys of poetry. Celebrated Poet, Billy Collins, wrote this somewhat humorous piece about our desires to understand poetry.
“Introduction to Poetry”
I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide
or press an ear against its hive
I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,
or walk inside the poem’s room
and feel the walls for a light switch.
I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author’s name on the shore.
But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with a rope
and torture a confession out of it.
They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.
~Billy Collins, Poet Laureate of the United States 2001-2003
Billy Collins writes, teaches, and inspires all of us with his gifts of poetry. From Shakespeare to Milton to Dr. Seuss, we have a long and diverse heritage in the art form
So, what can you do to honor and participate in National Poetry Month? How about carrying a poem in your pocket? You could either write a piece yourself and share it with others, or you can find a poem from one of your favorite classics and sit with it, enjoy its mood and intention, and write it in a card to give a friend.
Look for poems on themes that make you happy. Poems exist on every subject imaginable. Find a good poem on love, or marriage or raising children and then write it down in your journal or on a note card and post it on the refrigerator.
Look for poetry books at local bookstores or visit websites. Encourage people in your family to try their hand at writing a poem, perhaps about a favorite pet or cooking dinner together. Any topic that brings a new light on the everyday moments can be fun to share.
Be more intentional about reading poetry newsletters, writing reviews, or letting publishers know that you appreciate the genre of poetry and want to see more books on the subject. Let a poem walk through your mind, do a little dance, and give you some new insights today.
Freedom spread across our new-born nation,
Independence sparked and stirred imagination,
Declarations read aloud,
In cities strong and proud,
Marked by cheers and welcomed celebration.
Today, parades and picnics mark the occasion,
Fireworks fill the sky with colorful elation,
For what we fought so dear,
Pride fills our hearts with patriotic jubilation.
July 4th. The day we celebrate America declaring its independence from Britain in 1776 has many customs familiar to most people. Fireworks, parades, picnics, and other festivities are just a few that mark the patriotic occasion nowadays. But what lesser known events transpired long ago that add to this festive national holiday?
- During the summer of 1776, colonists created mock funerals of King George III, illustrating the end ofBritain’s grip onAmerica.
- The U.S. Congress declared July 4th a national holiday in 1870.
- The Declaration of Independence was read aloud in major cities across the colonies, met with cheers and fireworks.
- Fireworks were originally an invention of ancient China, using a combination of gunpowder stuffed into bamboo sticks, all of which were thrown in to fire. The explosive elements were later brought over to Italy by explorer Marco Polo where chemicals were added to give the fireworks their color. They eventually made their way to theNew World(the colonies), when settlers used them to amaze or fend off Native Americans.
- Celebrations, although modest at first, became more noticeable after the War of 1812. In Boston, the Boston Pops Orchestra ends each July 4th musical celebration with the 1812 Overture.
These historical references not only provide great patriotic perspective, but add substance to festive activities that people may not be aware of. This 4th of july, wear your red, white, and blue proudly as you celebrate with family and friends, remembering the journey that our nation took toward its independence.