Friday, January 6, 2023

Spiritual Journey Thursday & Poetry Friday: New Year Musings & My OLW for 2023!

Margaret at Reflections on the Teche is hosting our first Spiritual Journey Thursday of 2023 with a reflection on purpose, her OLW for 2023.

The Poetry Friday Roundup is with Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core.

I composed this post in my writer's notebook*, the first time I've written in it in some time. It felt good to sit in my recliner, notebook in hand, to think about the new year and a new word. I was proud of myself for writing early, but then yesterday was crazy. So my SJT post joins my Poetry Friday post.  

(*I just discovered today that Ralph Fletcher has a new and expanded edition of his book, A Writer's Notebook: Unlocking the Writer within You. It releases on January 10. Hurry now to place your pre-order. I loved using this book when I was teaching. I'm sure I'll find a young writer or two who would appreciate this new edition of an old favorite of mine)

This acrostic poem reveals my OLW for 2023 and some of the feelings I have about approaching a new year.


Goodness me! 

A new year's arrived. 

Time to still the

Hustle. Watch for 

Enchantments. Find hope and goodness.

Revel in wonder.

 - Ramona Behnke


My next poem brought to mind a familiar poem by Bobbi Katz "What Shall I Pack in the Box Marked 'Summer'?"

 What Will I Gather in 2023? 

Words, Moments, Stories

Photos, Empty Boxes, Loose Ends

Friends, Loved Ones, Ancestors 

Hope, Goodness, Faith

Laughter, Love, Light

- Ramona Behnke


I'm still not sure where my journey with gather will take me, but for now it feels like a perfect word to guide my steps in this new year. Leave a comment and tell me what you will gather in 2023.


  1. Gather...what a great word. There is so much to gather. Our thoughts. Time to do what we want. Friends for get together. I will be interested is seeing what you gather throughout the year.

  2. Ramona, your one word choice is innovative and worthy of being your guide for 2023. I love the word gather. It brings family to mind immediately. Your poems are great formats and to the point. This line stands our to me in poem 1: Revel in wonder! and in poem 2 gathering loose ends is something very important that I definitely need to do. I hope your holidays were filled with family gatherings and grand grandchildren fun. We are going to Disney with the grands at the end of the month. While being worried about catching COVID, I am glad that our dream came through: going to Disney when Sierra turned 5. My daughter researched the trip so it sounds like a fabulous gathering at the Magic Kingdom and on the cruise with the new Wish boat will make everyone happy.

  3. Happy New Year and happy gathering!

  4. oooooh! How wonderful--even the crazy day. I love how the first word in your box of summer is WORDS! Yes, indeed...I found my olw in your post. So, now we're connected, buddy! Happy New Year. I just know that gathering is going to bring you some wonderful, wonderful experiences.

  5. So many good things to gather through this year. I love the ending to your first poem--revel in wonder.

  6. I love the idea of gather... gather hope, gather moments, gather thoughts. The feeling of coming together - all of our broken parts making a whole. Thank you for this!

  7. 'Gather' is a great word, Ramona, and it's always exciting to see where a word will take us! I especially love "watch for enchantments" and "revel in wonder" in your acrostic. And yes, we must find hope and goodness - these are still present. We must look for them, impart them. I am always buoyed by your bubbly spirit, Ramona - thank you for the loveliness and encouragement you give to the world! Happy new year to you and yours, especially those precious boys. And happy gathering <3

  8. Love your word, gather, Ramona & the poems you've written for its debut! It's like the beginning of a scrapbook of words! Thanks for the heads up about Fletcher's new & revised book. I love everything he does!

  9. That's a fine choice, Ramona, and I like the way your acrostic begins, with goodness and yourSELF. So many of the enchantments arrive just because we open ourselves to receive them, no chasing, no hustle. Lovely.