Gratitude for Relationships

When my parents visited me in Chicago this Summer, my dad unloaded a few boxes of my “things,” which had been lurking around my old bedroom. I was content to leave them there, but at 37, I guess I’ve officially grown up and moved out of the house! In any case, I’ve been sorting through those boxes as I prepare to pack for Madison. A couple months ago I found my 5th Grade Journals, and today I stumbled upon all my 9th Grade Creative Writing — poems, practice, short stories. I thought I’d share this exercise and what arose from it, as the whole process seems so fitting as we approach Thanksgiving.

The assignment (as best as I can remember it) was to write a poem with six stanzas exploring one important relationship in your life. Title the stanzas in this order:

The Meeting
The Attraction
The Memories
The Love
The Gain
And Now

I find the challenge of writing poetry a gentle and lovely way to explore relationships, but for the poetically-intimidated, some active journaling may prove just as fruitful. The important part is to focus wholeheartedly on a particular relationship in your life, paying attention to the way that intimacy evolved from Meeting until Now, letting Memories filter in between Attraction and Love, and making note of the Gain. This can be a potent exercise for releasing hurt and putting it into perspective, as well as feeling blessed for people making obvious positive impact on your life.

At age 14, I wrote my poem about my brother, Craig, who is 5 1/2 years younger than me and was one of my best buddies growing up.

The Meeting
It was the brink of childhood–
When reality was blowing bubbles
And watching them float across the sky
Wearing Easter bonnets and sucking on lollipops
But daydreams didn’t hide the tiny fingers
Or the toothless loving smile…
And Nursery Rhymes could not disguise
The wonder in my eyes.

The Attraction
Kindergarten drifted by
But imaginary friends still lingered
Tiptoeing in shadows
And begging to play house with the big kids
He stood up on Easter and his eyes sparkled
When he found a purple egg.
A pudgy grin lit up his face
And I was proud of him.

The Memories
Flying on the wings of time
We tumbled down snowy hilltops
Grasping at the powdery whiteness
And collapsed in laughter at the bottom.
And in the summer we melted in the sun
Chewing on pretzel sticks
And splashing in the baby pool.
After dinner our voices chattered in the twilight
As we chased lightning bugs in the darkness.

The Love
Filtered sunlight glistened on a rushing brook
As a slender fawn bent down to sip the water.
Its speckles, so simply etched in white
Moved in graceful innocence as it turned
Prancing into the green depths of the forest.
Over the years it returned
And the spots were replaced by an eloquently streamlined strength
That whispered gently to the rippling currents.

The Gain
As crisp fall breezes streamed through their hair
Two children held tightly to the reins of life
Swishing in unison above the scattered playground
Their eyes were shining
When they sliced through the clouds
And the air was filled with laughter
As they swooped to earth again.

And Now
We stand together watching the daylight slowly disappear
As images of lightning bugs and lazy summers
Twinkle in my mind
When I turn to him and smile
Memories drift across the sky
With the quiet sweeps of the setting sun
And I hold him close to me
Under the starry heavens above.

(Wishing you all a gratitude filled November and always. I’d like to acknowledge Leonard Perrett as the original inspiration for this exercise. I hope you find it fruitful, healing and empowering. Abundant blessings and Much Love! ~Laura)

5 responses to this post.

  1. It’s a sweet yet powerful way to look at a relationship, Laura. Thanks for sharing it. Writing was already part of you. And it’s lovely to see a teacher/school system guided to give this assignment to their 9thgraders.



  2. Posted by Giacinta on November 8, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Laura, this is so so beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes and warmed my heart and soul. You shared the lightness of being. As a child – young – unencumbered by so many of the illussions that … well that take away so much of what you shared here. Your writing is amazing… as are you! 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing. XOX ❤ ❤ ❤



    • Posted by laurabruno on November 8, 2010 at 7:06 pm

      Thanks! Yes, Liberty High School in Bethlehem, PA had such an amazing English Department when I went there. I was truly blessed with my teachers there. Love and blessings to both of you! xoxo



  3. HI,
    I loved this poem idea, It may help me in my journey of love with my spouse, Thank you for sharing it. May I use this in my blog?



    • Posted by laurabruno on November 12, 2010 at 1:06 pm

      Hi Laura,
      Thanks for commenting. Yes, please feel free to share, but please link back to my blog from the post.
      Blessings to you and your spouse!



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