When I was in my mid-twenties, I was part of a women’s group that met once a month in the evenings to discuss readings about politics, the environment, religion, women’s health, and our emotional lives. It was not the first women’s group I was ever in, nor was it the last, but it was very special because of its diversity—women from twenty-one to sixty-one, from different backgrounds, regions, religions, races, and classes.
I was one of the younger women, and I admired and appreciated the wisdom of the ones who had had long marriages, and children, and loss, and skills for living. Among them was a woman I’ll call Betsy.
Betsy’s birthday was coming, and for reasons I can’t quite remember now, I didn’t have time to get her a present, so I wrote her a card and mailed it.
A couple weeks went by, and the next meeting was at Betsy’s house.
After we had gathered our cups of tea and glasses of wine and plates of snacks, we sat in a circle in Betsy’s lovely living room, surrounded by art and pictures of her lawyer husband and beautiful children. I was feeling young, and poor, and underemployed. And then Betsy suddenly jumped up and said, “Wait! Before we begin, I want to read you Cassie’s poem!”
What, I thought to myself, is she talking about? What poem?
And she proceeded to take the birthday card I had sent her off the mantel and read it out loud.
What she read were the words that became the poem “Wishes.”
the wind across your porch
the rose and its cycles
your husband’s patience
your children’s laughter
how flowers prosper
a turtle in your yard
lizards on white wood
letters from friends
books you get lost in
how leaves come and go
the opposite of pain
wind from the North in summer
wind from the South in winter
wind from the West most days
wind from the East when we need rain
butterflies in daylight
moths at moon
I had not meant it as a poem.
But lovely Betsy saw it as a poem.
And so it became one: Later that evening, I copied the words from the card onto a scrap of paper so I could take them home and type them up and make them a poem.
This is how we co-create.
We allow people to see in us what we cannot yet see.
And we rise to their vision.
As I get ready to leave for the Earth Joy Writing Book Tour, I’d love to hear how co-creating with others has helped you over the course of your lifetime. Leave a comment below and let me know how Earth Joy Writing is helping you rise to a higher vision.