A Small Steadying Sail of Love

Early morning winter light on Gabriola Island – December 18, 2018


  A Small Steadying Sail of Love: a small book of poetry 

On the back of the cover, poet,  Nancy Gibbs Richards writes: “When a sailboat is in dangerously heavy weather,all the sails that move the boat forward are taken down, and a very small storm or steadying sail is raised. The purpose of this small sail is not forward motion, but to keep the boat headed into the wind so that it will not capsize. It is my hope that, for you, who open the pages of this book, these words and images will become a small steadying sail of love in your journey through life.”

 This book came to me one poem at a time,  from a friend, when I was in rough waters,  followed by the actual book a few weeks later. The seven poems I have copied out for you here, are amongst my most favourite and I have added some photos to accompany them. These small verses truly were my steadying sail for a time and I was grateful to have received them.

This season is not joyful for everyone. There are many where the lights and good cheer exacerbate their deeply personal sorrows. I am thinking of you, in particular, as I write this post.

 All except one of the poems is untitled and I pass these gentle words on to you. They are short little poems so it will take you only a few moments to read them. If one speaks to you, copy it out and read it again. For those who need them, may they be a balm for the soul.


On seas of grief

my boat and I

weather storms

of terrible sorrow

with a small

steadying sail of love.


The comfort of friends

There is evidence 

threaded throughout my life story

 that I have been strengthened

 and guided at every turning.

 Now is the time to trust

that this will continue to be true.





I cannot save the world

or heal another’s hurts,

but I can offer

one small act of kindness

 at a time.



In this time of waiting

 and not knowing

how things will unfold,

 may you find a pool of calm,

a place of peace and rest

deep within your soul.


It is a challenge

to accept the truth

of what no longer is possible.

 and yet embrace all that still can be.



 This also is true:

it may be possible

to meet

in a place of tenderness

with a person

whose troubles trouble you.


Can You Hear Me?

We are separated by the wild river

of all that is unspoken.

With this small rock

I throw the first line across.

Tie it securely.

Let the building of the bridge begin.


Note 1: I recently arrived on the beautiful west coast and love walking in the rain everyday. Yes, its true. My skin is unwrinkling with all the moisture and the loveliest part is that it doesn’t turn to ice. And you see from the photo that even on rainy days, there is the beautiful golden light that arrives early and although it doesn’t last long, it is pure magic while it shines. Warmest wishes to you all, Trudy

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