Why I love Abraham Lincoln

Personally, I love Abraham Lincoln because even the most basic outline of his life shows how great he was; because he remained true to himself despite enormous pressures; because although he was born poor; he never let wealth rule him; because he worked so hard to educate himself; because he loved to read and used words so powerfully they inspire us today; because he showed empathy and compassion to those who suffered, and suffered with them; because despite his wife’s emotional frailty, he always treated her with love and respect; because he was a loving and accepting father; because he never diminished other people, including Southerners, even though they belittled and ridiculed him; because he saw himself and Life with wry humor and honesty; because he could laugh at himself; because he used humor to survive heart-wrenching sorrow; because he was deeply spiritual but not judgmental; because he could see clearly, understand intuitively and love deeply; because his spirit inspired so many, and in some way I can’t explain, I see our own father in him.


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You say I am your rock

You say I am your rock:
Someone you can count on, lean on.
Like a mountain, use me
To inspire, to escape, to be there.

Sometimes I feel like a rock: igneous
Raw, new, uncontrollable
Hot, molten emotions explode from my core
Scalding, searing, on fire.

Sometimes I feel like a rock: metamorphic
Changed by Life’s experiences
Pressured, re-formed, slowly evolving.
Like marble, I can be sculpted, chipped, cut,
But remain myself.

Sometimes I feel like a rock: sedimentary
My life is layered with experiences and emotions
piled on over the years.
Colored by pain, joy, love and tears.
Shaped by forces seemingly beyond my control.

They say rocks and stars are made of the same stuff.
I hope when I am no longer your rock
I can be your light.

Loretta Richardson Hicks

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Thoughts on Time

Thoughts on Time
When I was younger,
I couldn’t decide
if Life was a roller coaster
or a Ferris wheel.
Now I think it’s more like Velcro:
an intricate strand of loops and circles,
sometimes interlocking
sometimes ripping apart,
but always tough and resilient.
All those Life circles
along a continuum of Time,
in an intricate, interwoven,
patter of Life.
Loretta Richardson Hicks

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A Conversation

It’s funny how certain smells flood us with memories. For me, it’s furniture polish. Lemon Pledge. I grew up, the fifth of seven children of Dust Bowl Okies on the San Joaquin Valley in California. (Labels! How much, and how little, they say.) Our mother sang and danced and laughed, every day, and she worked the whole time. She transformed our wooden, shacky house into a home that was spotlessly clean, filled with music, laughter, flowers, and love. “It’s not where you live, honey,” she used to tell us, “it’s how you live!” So as I polish my furniture (sorry, Mom, once a week is all I can manage!), I am filled with emotions.

As I approach the age of my Mother when she died, I wonder – did I pass on my Mother’s lessons to my children? Cleanliness and order create serenity. Music nourishes an important part of our spirit. Along with hard work, it can help you conquer your fears and worries. Laughter keeps Old Man Trouble in perspective and gets us through tough times. We should create and seek beauty every day.

Did I teach them the grounding of our spirit from working with the Earth? It’s been a New Year’s resolution of mine for years —- grow my own flowers. It’s February, and as I watch my daffodils blooming, (Mom, thanks for all the bulbs), I think of her, and the day we planted them. My Mother spoke to the Earth, and it talked back to her in flowers.

I have more years behind me than in front of me now, but it seems so many things about Life are sharper and clearer than when I was young. My Mother’s Life Lessons have stood me in good stead. I know all the hurt and heartache and darkness that exists, but it is up to each of us to shed the light we can, to add to the Earth’s goodness and beauty.

I hope I was your conduit, Mom. There are times, I swear, I see your spirit in my daughters’ eyes.

Loretta Richardson Hicks

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Words of Wisdom

If you don’t want to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you. Replace learn with any other verb, and you have a universal truth.

Sophocles said, “to one who fears, everything rustles.”

Listen to your fears, but talk back.

Or as my Mom used to say, trust your gut.

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