A Pilgrimage of Poetry: “You Are Not Alone”

A Pilgrimage of Poetry: “You Are Not Alone”

“Pilgrims are poets who create by taking journeys.” So said Anna Elkins, as she led a poetry writing class at the Bethel Writers Workshop. I never had any desire to write poetry, but when I heard Anna share a poem she had written at the Welcome Session, the beauty of her words drew me in. I figured I would give it a go. Instructed to use our five senses to explore the world around us, we were sent off to find inspiration in whatever caught our attention, from the beautiful to the mundane. I knew instinctively where I wanted to go. I didn’t realize that the writing I’d create would affect me so much. Since when is poetry supposed to do that? This poem is for anyone who is facing uncertainty in life. In the middle of your circumstances, I pray these words will help you to find hope. And peace. You are not alone.   “Not Alone” by Lorraine Marie Varela   I walk the halls from my place of safety and step out into the world unknown.   The coolness of the halls brought comfort; their sights and sounds wrapped me in the familiarity of days gone by. My childhood was spent within the sanctuary of halls such as these.   I leave the coolness the chatter the peace and step out into the light the quiet the heat as I journey toward the unfamiliar.   Up ahead I know I will encounter dust and rocks. Dust and rocks.   But is there more?   The shade of the tree welcomes me to come and sit within its shelter.   In...
The Making of a Book Cover

The Making of a Book Cover

We drove into Seattle on New Year’s Eve. I convinced my husband, Gabriel, that we could take some beautiful photos of the fireworks going off over the Space Needle. The night was warm and clear—definitely a treat for the Pacific Northwest, and something we hadn’t seen often in the years we’d lived here. Unfortunately, the idea came a little too late. By the time we entered the city, the streets were full and not a single parking spot was to be found for miles. We quickly turned around and set back for home, celebrating the beginning of the New Year in our car while stopped at a red light. That’s one way to do it! Not to be deterred, I decided that before dawn, it would be worth the risk to drive 70 miles in the opposite direction to see if we could see the sunrise over Mt. Rainier from beautiful Gig Harbor, Washington. It was a risk, because often the mountain is covered over by early morning fog, and you just never know if you’re going to be successful. This time, it was a risk that paid off! For 45 minutes, we stood in awe as we watched the most beautiful dawn break open over the Gig Harbor marina. The stillness of the water, the impressive mountain and the colors that unfolded had me mesmerized. I didn’t want to look anywhere else…until this caught my eye. I had never seen ivy shaped so distinctly as this before. Hearts on a vine, glistening with the morning frost. As I stood taking pictures, a woman approached us with her camera in...