Thinking of You

When Giving is All We Have by Alberto Rios

One river gives
Its journey to the next


We give because someone gave to us.
We give because nobody gave to us.

We give because giving has changed us.
We give because giving could have changed us.

We have been better for it,
We have been wounded by it—

Giving has many faces: It is loud and quiet,
Big, though small, diamond in wood-nails.

Its story is old, the plot worn and the pages too,
But we read this book, anyway, over and again:

Giving is, first and every time, hand to hand,
Mine to yours, yours to mine.

You gave me blue and I gave you yellow.
Together we are simple green. You gave me

What you did not have, and I gave you
What I had to give—together, we made

Something greater from the difference.

When Giving is All We Have


Note 1:) Thanks to Janice for originally introducing me to this poem. It seems just right for the giving season.

Note 2:) Last Sunday, my small Ottawa family had our 4th annual book exchange. A gentle evening where we exchange books and sit by the fire for a couple of hours and read together. Also, with our favourite chocolates close at hand and a special beverage. It is our adaptation of the Icelandic tradition of jólabókaflóð . We love it.

Note 3:) My favourite tree. This was taken several years ago in Quebec City. The banner photo and the red berries are thanks to Rob.

Note 4:) Everyone is busy now. May you enjoy these days, with good food and loved ones, however you choose to spend them.  May you travel safely. A deep bow to you all and an armload of joy-filled moments.

Note 5:) The final word is for those going through heart-wrenching times. Please take time to care for yourself and reach out for help when you need to do so. Here is a special poem that speaks to me. I hope it is helpful to you.

Adrift by Mark Nepo

Everything is beautiful and I am so sad.
This is how the heart makes a duet of
wonder and grief. The light spraying
through the lace of the fern is as delicate
as the fibers of memory forming their web
around the knot in my throat. The breeze
makes the birds move from branch to branch
as this ache makes me look for those I’ve lost
in the next room, in the next song, in the laugh
of the next stranger. In the very center, under
it all, what we have that no one can take
away and all that we’ve lost face each other.
It is there that I’m adrift, feeling punctured
by a holiness that exists inside everything.

I am so sad and everything is beautiful.

Thanks to

16 replies
  1. Georgie Day
    Georgie Day says:

    Dear Trudy,
    Thank you for a year of wise and thought provoking messages. May 2023 be good to you. Stay safe and have a happy holiday season.

    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      What a lovely greeting dear Georgie. And to you. “May all manner of things be well.” Stay warm, travel safely and enjoy. Trudy

  2. Sabine Kaspari
    Sabine Kaspari says:

    Dearest Trudy, for me, it is always amazing how you are able to put the right ideas, words, poems into just the right time:-) Maybe the reason is, that these words and poems are just true at any time?
    Your post to me is inspiring, uplifting and I am immensely greatful for your being!
    Have a wonderful, exciting and yet relaxing holiday time and – most of all – stay healthy!
    With love

    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      Schöne weihnachtsgrüße liebe Sabine. Thank you for your kind words. I deeply appreciate you reading them and I’m glad you find them to be what you need. With love, Trudy

  3. Terri Thomas
    Terri Thomas says:

    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a year filled with unexpected pleasures. Thank you for all you put out into this world. It is a great blessing. Love Terri.

  4. Sheila
    Sheila says:

    Your posts always warm my heart. Thanks to you for all you give us.
    I have many fond memories of happy Christmases spent together.
    Christmas greetings to you and all the family in Ottawa.
    Best wishes for a healthy and happy 2023.

    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      Thank you dearest Sheila. When I see the west coast weather forecast I am reminded of the winter of 1997. (I think that was the crazy December of snow, cold and power outages.) We still had so, so much fun. The fondest of memories. Lots of love and all good wishes, Trudy

  5. Teresa
    Teresa says:

    Thank you my dearest Trudy for all your inspirational posts. As Christmas fast approaches I wish you a joyous, festive day. And as we say goodbye to 2022 I wish you many blessings in 2023!

    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      Dear,dear Teresa: honestly, you are so kind and generous and continue to graciously set up my Wellspring webinars, week after week for almost three years now. A deep bow to you, as you devote yourself to all those living with cancer. May you have a wonderful and restful Christmas time. Big hugs, Trudy

  6. Connie Youmans
    Connie Youmans says:

    Dear Trudy, many thanks for these two beautiful poems that touched my heart and for your inspiring blog posts every week. So many wonderful offerings, including the stunning photographs! Wishing you happy holidays and a healthy and peace-filled new year!
    Connie Youmans

    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      Hello dear Connie: it is lovely to read your kind note. I’m always delighted to hear when a poem resonates. May you have a lovely end of one year and the beginning of another. Warmest wishes across the miles, Trudy

  7. Pat
    Pat says:

    Trudy, I am so grateful for your wisdom, your words that just hit the right spot each time you blog, your kindness and you being you. Grateful you are in my life.

    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      Thank you, dear Pat. I am so fortunate to have such kind and thoughtful readers like you. All my best wishes for 2023, Trudy


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