A fond farewell

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A bittersweet hollow inside as I write these words. Until recently, I posted (fairly regularly) a monthly blog of reflections along with a poem from my poetry treasure chest. But now that pull to post has weakened to the point of vanishing.

It seems I have entered a new phase in the time left me, one that involves fewer words and more silence; less outpouring, more receiving. A line from one of Wendell Berry’s Sabbath poems keeps returning: There seems to be little to say, less and less.

I have greatly enjoyed sharing my musings with you. Your encouraging acknowledgements have gladdened my spirit. With a full heart, I thank you.

May you travel well, accompanied by the warmth of connection with beloveds, and a good poem or two.

With love, Mary Lou

Sabbaths 1998, VII

There is a place you can go
where you are quiet,
a place of water and the light

on the water. Trees are there,
leaves, and the light
on leaves moved by air.

Birds, singing, move
among leaves, in leaf shadow.
After many years you have come

to no thought of these,
but they are themselves
your thoughts. There seems to be

little to say, less and less.
Here they are. Here you are.
Here as though gone.

None of us stays, but in the hush
where each leaf in the speech
of leaves is a sufficient syllable

the passing light finds out
surpassing freedom of its way.

Wendell Berry

Image courtesy Delyth Williams from pixabay


  1. Janice Falls

    April 15, 2022

    Dear, dear Mary Lou, My sadness to hear your farewell is only tempered by knowing that I will still have you in my life, my poetry soul mate. I have appreciated your fine musings, your poem selections, and always a perfect photo to accompany. Deep thanks for your offerings. May your silence and your receiving keep you nourished.
    much love to you my friend, Jan

  2. Nicole

    April 15, 2022

    Dear Mary Lou

    You have touched some many of us with your our rich and profound offerings. As you continue your journey as it may I hope it will bring you what you need. You are so deserving. I have always read your blogs with interest and curiosity. I still do to this day. Sending you a big hug dear Mary Lou.

  3. Maureen McGahey

    April 15, 2022

    Dear Marylou— one of my dear “Bardsistas”.
    You have nourished me with your poems, reflections over the years. It has been a beautiful connection always.
    And I hope our paths do cross again.
    Much love and poem prayers,

  4. Gaye

    April 16, 2022

    Thank you for your beautiful poetry and writing Mary Lou. It has been soul nourishment for me. I wish you love and blessings as you walk into your next chapter, warmest


    April 16, 2022

    Ahh, Mary Lou, what a beautiful way to be true to yourself and to follow the nudgings of your soul. It seems to me that as we elder (that is a verb!) we may bring our gifts most fully to the world thru our silence. I have a wise friend who discovered in the midst of the pandemic that she felt called to be “a keeper of the Quiet”. When I remember, I join her there. Maybe there are whole covens of us across the globe, tending deeper Silences, keeping a new kind of Sabbath in the midst of the horrors of our time, in the midst of the beauty, letting the passing light find its freedom. I too will miss your poems and your reflections and when I do I’ll know the Quiet is holding you. Much love, Wendy

  6. Roxanne

    April 16, 2022

    Mary Lou, your wonderful writing will be missed. Like most things you do your talent, your care, and your love shine through.
    Your words have meant so much. I want to let you know that one time you turned to me and said what I feel from you is exquisite tenderness. This struck me and I felt seen at a level that I hadn’t felt before. Even to myself. It took a while to own this. Now I am in a spiritual program and we are doing in depth work in opening the heart and I have found exquisite tenderness in the deepest layers of my heart.
    When this happened I thought of you.
    I want to wish you the best in the next phase for you. Thanks for your present and unfailing exploration of what is it to be in this life. Love Roxanne.

  7. Mary Lou van Schaik

    April 19, 2022

    My dear friends: Tears flowing as I receive and bathe in your loving comments. My heart is full. With gratitude and love, Mary Lou

  8. Patricia

    April 21, 2022

    Dearest Mary Lou,
    A deep bow of gratitude for the gifts you share. The poems, reflections, images, all selected with so much insight and wisdom. I, like so many, have received your offerings with a sense of coming home to myself. Often your selections have been a direct thread to my heart.
    And now the call for silence, for gathering in, for receiving. Receive this my dear Mary Lou, many blessings as you continue your soulwalk.

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