Clare Bolton offered a session on May 14.

Clare Bolton is an AWA certified facilitator who makes her home in Barrie, Ontario. She writes poetry and prose and has developed her craft by participating in workshops with leaders in the field of creative writing including Pat Schneider, Sue Reynolds, James Dewar, Barbara Turner-Vesselago, Ellen Bass, and Barry Dempster.

She admits to having an obsessive fascination with all things Celtic, including music, the writings of John O’Donohue, the poetry of Seamus Heaney, sacred stone circles, mystical stone walls and wild Irish rose gardens.


The Flow of life.

by PatriciaMary

For many years I drifted on the seas of circumstance welcoming those uncertain moments that released me from the trappings of dos and don’ts, shoulds and should nots that insidiously creep into family traditions, social norms and culture.

The relief did not last long. It was like a sugar treat after a bitter pill, for deep down I longed for an anchor in my life, a reference point that gave me direction and purpose. I looked this way and that, entranced by all that life offers. Like a butterfly I flitted from one flower to the next sucking the golden nectar for sustenance.

Then one year I made a trip to the desert. That was really exciting. It was a small group and we were taken on a nomadic experience, riding camels over never ending stretches of sand and spending days relaxing in luscious oases. We each had our own tent with a flap that opened to reveal the wide starry sky. Gazing at the stars one night, all those pinpoints of light, millions of earth miles away, seemed to reach down to me, enfolding me in their numbers, their light pointing to my heart. “This is your reference point, here is your inner compass.” The words were whispered in my left ear, strong and clear. It felt weird yet I knew it was no dream. It was a wake up moment that spurred my motivation to explore that inner compass.

Over time I discovered how it connects me to my inner wisdom, how it grounds me to an anchor deep down in the core of the earth and directs my gaze to the pinpoints of Light that beckon me in any situation in my life. On grey days it guides me to hope and promise, encouraging me to discover the treasure in the shadowy realms of my own psyche that becomes a springboard to purposeful action. Each day that inner compass calls out an invitation to celebrate, celebrate and celebrate the joys of being alive. It’s like being in a different world, a world of my own making, a world I can claim for myself, standing tall and secure whatever the outer circumstances.


Hope is the thing with feathers 

by Carol Good

This pandemic has created more time and space to observe my surroundings. The view from my office window includes our bird feeders. As I have been ZOOMing I have also been watching the endless antics of the birds. I interrupted meetings with exclamations when a Downie woodpecker swooped in. I know that pickings must have been thin if it plucked sunflower seeds and then bashed them to bits on a branch. 

The appearance of the cardinals lifted my spirits and their quiet beauty held my attention. The flock of goldfinches always created a stir – they descended as a twittering gang, fed fast and fled. The chickadees dined and dashed when they could.

This spring we cracked open a bird book to identify newcomers. We decided they were white-crowned sparrows. The book said they are the “handsomest” sparrow. Who knew there was beauty contest among sparrows? They hung around for about a week, scratching beneath the feeders for fallen food. I tried to persuade them to stay and eat LDD caterpillars. Last year’s infestation seemed to go untouched by our feathered friends as the trees were defoliated.

I am grateful the birds have not been directly affected by the pandemic. They may have been fed more as most people stayed home. Perhaps Emily was right, “hope is the thing with feathers that sings the tune without the words.” I know that these feathered things have generously given hope this past year. Although they loudly demand more than a crumb from me whenever the feeders are empty.

Thank you for joining us to Write Around the World!

For the rest of the summer, watch our blog! We are sharing writing from AWA’s yearly marathon fundraiser, which happened this year all-online throughout the month of May.

We offer this series in appreciation for the incredible community of writers and workshop leaders that sustain us. If you’re inspired and would like to be part of the fundraiser, please donate!