Thursday, December 7, 2017

One Last Look at Abundance, My 2017 One Little Word

Hello and welcome to Spiritual Journey Thursday! On this, our final roundup for 2017, we are discussing our experiences with our One Little Words.

My word for 2017 has been ABUNDANCE. When I selected the word I could not have imagined what abundance was in store for me -- I didn't know we would get a lake house and travel to far-flung spaces and write so, so many words... I didn't know I'd spend so many hours poring over old letters and photographs, emptying drawers and filling up boxes to donate or give away... I didn't know the wide expanse of emotions I'd experience this year -- grief and joy and love and hope and despair ... what an overflowing year this has been!

It's interesting to me how one of the big things I've learned this year is about how little I need. And how much easier it is to enjoy my life when it is simple. Even something like getting dressed to go somewhere is a better experience when the closet isn't jammed up with so many someday-clothes. I like the simplicity that comes from having less, and how this opens me to the abundance of other things: nature, time with loved ones, my writing.

One of the lessons I find I must learn over and over again is my own worth -- I am enough. This year's focus on abundance, on trusting that I will --and have been-- so well cared for in my life, in spite of our because of hardships, has brought me peace and confidence. I AM enough. I am exactly where I need to be. It's the strangest thing how what seems like such a simple shift turns out ot be monumental in how I engage in my own life!

photo by Eric
Something I can always fall back on, something I constantly return to, is gratitude. How powerful to see -- and shape!-- one's life through a sense of abundance. All those pesky problems and worries shed themselves with no thorns to cling to. Life flows, like water, which brings us back to the lake, our lake house, how this thing we didn't plan for, couldn't have anticipated, has changed us in such profound ways! So much so that we've decided to move to the lake permanently. Why wait?

So, oddly, sitting in gratitude and abundance this year has helped me believe that I, we, deserve this abundance not just on the weekends, but all the time. And it is right there waiting for us. All we have to do is open ourselves to it.

Here's a poem from Linda Gregg's book THE SACRAMENTS OF DESIRE:

Singing Enough to Feel the Rain
by Linda Gregg

I am alone writing as quickly as I can,
dulled by being awake at four in the morning.
Between the past and future, without a life,
writing on the line I walk between death
and youth, between having and loss.
Passion and bravery absolutes, and I don't
have anything but the memory of Aphrodite's
elbow pushing up through the dirt, golden
with the sunlight on it. I am far from there
in a hurry not to miss the joining,
struggling to explain that this worse time
is important. It is just past autumn now
and the leaves are down, wet on the road.
Some of Her shoulder showed, but not enough
to tell whether She was facing my way.
Any of it is most of it, as any part
of Cezanne is almost all of Cezanne. Now
is so late in the world that there is silence.
Heart is as beautiful as ever. What can we
expect of a woman buried in the earth?
Most of it is enough. Some of it is almost
enough. Just as I am a body too, and if he
leans down over me there will be a world.
A train goes past making an incidental sound.
Something is nourished by the loss. An ending
and beginning at once. The world does not sing,
but we do. I sing to lessen the suffering,
thinking of the factory girl Hopkins said
lived a long time on the sacrament alone.
But I also sing to inhabit this abundance.


2018 Spiritual Journey Thursday Sign Up

Please sign up to host next year! Please leave your chosen date, blog url, and topic in comments. (If we are not yet email buddies, please send me an email: irene (at) irenelatham (dot) com so I can get in touch with you!)

January 4 - Margaret (choosing your One Little Word)
February 1 - Donna (the heart)
March 1 - Karen (music)
April 5 - Carol (poetry as spiritual practice)
May 3 - Violet (Special Days)
June 7 - Margaret (summer)
July 5 - Doraine
August 2 - Pat (aging and living with no regrets)
September 6 - Donna (commitment)
October 4 - Jan
November 1 - Ramona
December 6  - reflections on 2018 One Little Word with Irene at Live Your Poem
Finally, please leave your link below!


  1. Irene, I love that you found abundance through simplicity. I need more of that in my life. I will take January 4th for Choosing your one little word. I can also take June 7th if you need us to take two. It will be summer for me so the theme will be Summer. Thanks for gathering and organizing us.

  2. Thank you, Margaret! Putting you down for both. xo

  3. Hi Irene,
    Your post had me reflecting on all the abundance (and some over-abundance) in my own life. Your positive spirit is infectious. I always love coming here to be lifted.

    I'd love to take May 3rd. Since May is the month of my birthday, the topic that comes to mind is "Special Days" (I thought of "Birthdays" but would like to broaden it to include other days that are special to people for whatever reason.)

  4. You have abundance when you are happy with what you have I love your outlook on life and I only see a future of wonderful memerories. I will that Aug 2

  5. I am caught by breath and thought.
    I have been"alone writing as quickly as I can,
    dulled by being awake at four in the morning.
    Between the past and future, without a life,
    writing on the line I walk between death
    and youth, between having and loss."
    I can't say more, it is all here today.

    1. Forgot...see, caught...
      Could I sign up for February 1, and Sept. 6 (only if you need me to)
      February 1 topic - The Heart

    2. Thank You, Donna! They are yours! xo

  6. Irene: Thank you for your post. I also am trying to simplify, sharing recipes and book ideas instead of presents with several folks. And I am working on the idea of being enough. Why is it so tenuous? And wouldn't it be nice if my piano teacher agreed with me? Haha.
    Today is my oldest sister's birthday. She turns 90 today. She is Number 2, the oldest surviving of the 10 of us, and I am number 9. We lost one this year, a very good brother to me, and I look back on the year through blurry eyes. There are 7 of us now, and being Number 9, I foresee that I may well be watching as they go, one by one. Still, I am at peace. It's a strange world we live in. We try so hard, we love so passionately, and then we must let go. So, today begins a new year for my sister, and it is appropriate that we here on Irene's blog look forward to the new year also. We look forward with hope, bravely and faithfully. I hope that the new year brings us mysteries to solve and challenges to meet, peace to share and strength to meet each day. And an abundance of love and fulfillment. I also hope that next year I can remember my One Little Word when it comes to December.
    Irene: I think my One Little Word for 2018 will be RESOLVE. ;0) You can put me down for Nov 1, and if you need me to take 2, also March 1.

    1. Dear Karen, I am sorry for the loss of your brother. Happy happy birthday to your sister! I love your hopes for the new year (mysteries to solve! how wonderful!) and think RESOLVE is a beautiful word. Thank you! I will sign you up for Nov and Mar. xo

  7. Such a lovely post, Irene. You have had quite a year! I am wishing for a cup of tea and some time to catch up. I'll take July.

    1. Dear Doraine, July is yours! And speaking of quite a year, my dear... yes, we totally need that tea and catching up time. Love you! xo

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  9. Irene, how you wrapped yourself in abundance perchance and by design is a beautiful story. Your digital on abundance is inspiring and makes me want to believe in the power of simple elegance as a way to walk through life. Thank you for being you and sharing your abundance with all of us. I wish to send you a special thank you again for the lovely poem, "On Grandmotherhood". I often think of it. The paper ornament you presented to me at NCTE will grace my home this Christmas. --I will take April 5th - Springtime Transformation. Let me know if you need the last slot filled.

    1. Thank you, Carol - I loved seeing you at NCTE! April is yours, my dear. xo

  10. Oct. 4, is my Spiritual Thursday hosting request, Irene if still open for Jan/Bookseedstudio

    Appreciate & nourish are my two favorite words. This post on simplicity &
    joy in accepting the abundance gift of Moments is a gift to read.

    And a splash at the dock for the whimsey + wisdom of your Lake House!!!

  11. I love this post. Your words, "I am exactly where I need to be," are a gift. I love how you've decided to move to the lake house now. Indeed, why delay, when it brings so much joy? I can't wait for the words you've written this year to be published and shared. Have a very, merry Christmas, my friend! Looks like I missed a chance to host.


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