Preview Warmth

Preview Warmth NaamaYehuda

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda


Feel the midday

Glow expand

Sense the gently

Heated sand.

Dampened clothes,

Digging hands,

China they’re intent

To find.

Make the most

Of wonderland.

It previews warmth

So close behind.




For Terri’s Sunday Stills Challenge: Warmth



Big Brother

Big Brother SmadarHalperinEpshtein

Photo: Smadar Halperin-Epshtein


I will go, Big Brother

To the end of the earth

After you.

In spite of fear

I will try to repeat

All you do.

But I’ll still

Just in case

Reach for

And draw courage

From you.



For the Wits End Challenge: Childhood


My Neighbor’s Bike


toddler s pink bike near wall

Photo by Afta Putta Gunawan on


My first bike

Was a neighbor’s bike.

“Too many hills,” my mom had said

As if topography in any way diminished

The accelerated thrill

Of legs off pedals

From the top of the rise

To our street.

There was no arguing

Or vowing to share and never fight.

We knew her words were code

For “we cannot afford.”

But my sister’s friend across the street

Did have a bike

And with it the absolute power to dispense

Rides, routes, direction, and duration.

There were no training wheels

To ease one in.

There was no question of admitting

Complete lack of experience

And risking an evaporated offer.

So it was guts and trepidation

A stranglehold on the handlebar

And the utter exhilaration

Of flying.



For Cee’s Share Your World Challenge


What’s a View?


Photo: Na’ama Yehuda


What’s a view

To you?

Memories of times

Long gone


The roads since traveled

But still


The sights you did not know

You will one day reclaim


What is a view

To you?




This post is dedicated to memories of all childhoods and sunsets, times gentle and not, and to Frank’s beloved pooch, Ransom.

The Tuesday Photo Challenge


Express to Play

train to play SmadarHalperinEpshtein

Photo: Smadar Halperin-Epshtein


Take the express train

To a fun-filled day

Recall the awe

Of speed and sway

And hold on to

The gift of play.



For The Daily Post




Photo: Smadar Halperin-Epshtein

This photo makes me smile.

The vistas and the light and play of shade and stream and sun, yes … But more than anything, the path and the story it tells: the measured step of the dad with the baby on his back, keeping one eye on the older one; the exuberant skip of the boy; the plastic bag tied to the father’s carrier, containing who knows what but probably some leftover drink and snack; the other people in the background, strolling, skipping, taking in the fresh air and the sights.

A timeless story. Set in any place, in every language. Humans walking from one place to another, the oldest mode of transport since we’d swung down from the trees to become bipedal and free up our hands.



For The Photo Challenge

Caper On

Live life like a kid

On feet or hooves

On two or four:

Jump and jive

Skip and romp

Frolic, gambol, cavort, stomp.

Live like a kid:

Play fully

Dance wholly

Be jolly

Caper on.


For The Daily Post

A Good Match


A Perfect Match: Photo by Smadar Halperin-Epshtein


I love this photo by my niece of her little boy and his uncle’s dog taking a walk on the beach. It encapsulates a tapestry of perfect pairings: sunset and beach, beach and dog, dog and boy, boy and beach, water and light, trepidation and trust.

The soft waves lap at the figures. Both child’s and canine’s play contained by a still-forming bond.

The silvery light with its promise of blush, the speck of island in the distance …

The footprints and shadow on the wet sand behind …

The image is a salve of contented quiet and hopeful calm.



For the Photo Challenge

Writing in the Snow

Snow is blanketing the East Coast, burying the rulers of measuring reporters, blowing microphones and umbrellas out of people’s hands, stranding motorist on highways, passengers on buses, travelers en route.

And it is COLD.

Too many cars on streets made plows lag in coming. They are yet to transform some paths from the look of dusted by ruptured sacks of confectioners sugar … to gray mushy lines of hiding blacktop. There’s a hush outside. The world stunned by winter’s hold.

People walk gingerly–confectioners sugar it might look like, but up close underfoot this is mighty slippery stuff.

From my window, everyone is a walking story:
Here are the sturdy footers, placing one foot in front of the other in assured steps;
There come the triers, delicately placing one foot and then another, almost in a dance;
The best-spot-placers, scanning the sidewalk for less slippy spots before zigzagging their way along, concentration at the full;
The text-n-sliders, keeping half an eye on the sidewalk and the rest on the small screen;
The unprepared, stepping tentatively in not-quite-appropriate footwear and attempting to ignore physics–a body in flat shoes will sink in snow piles;
And the snow-welcomers, faces upturned to the wind against tugging-hands at their wrappings. Many grasshoppers-size with bookbags and lunch boxes, dismissed early from school, drunk on Snow-Day delight;
There are the careful-balancers, holding canes and walkers or clinging to shopping carts or someone else’s elbow, praying to not throw out backs or hips or knees or ankles, casting yearnful glances at the sure-steppers and grinners, nostalgic peeks at grasshopper magic, and a half-envious, half-knowing shake of head at the texting and unprepared, for their careless take-for-granted health.

From my window, everyone becomes walking story. Stories in the snow.

How do you write stories in the snow?

The Wonder of Wondering

A mom of a client tried to find a day to reschedule a session that they were going to miss next week. She could not find ‘an opening’ in her five-year-old’s schedule in the next SEVERAL weeks.
“We may have more time in March,” she murmured, peering at her iPhone screen. “No, actually, that’s when his sports club changes, so I don’t know if he’ll have time then.”

Aside from speech-therapy, which he needed because of a small deformity in his mouth which affected the clarity of his speech; this five-year-old had baseball, soccer, drama, piano, chess, guitar lessons, and tutoring (for kindergarten preparation–the latest hit in urban upper class–this mom is actually behind the curve because she ‘only’ started him at age three, and not earlier…). He also had two playdates scheduled–in the several weeks ahead, there was no time for more–one to take place at a museum and the other at a movie theater followed by a pizza place.
Al of those were activities to fit after his preschool was done at 2pm each day or on weekends. Sunday was especially busy, apparently, with double tutoring, so he “not fall behind on no school days.”

“When does he play?” I wondered aloud.

The mom looked mildly surprised at the question. “Oh, he plays a lot. He plays soccer, baseball, chess…”

I smiled. “I meant when does he have time for unstructured play, to just be in his room with his toys and use his imagination and daydream and make up stories for himself?”

The mom nodded dismissively, “Oh, yeah, I know that’s good for his development, but he’s just too busy right now. He does read, though. He’s up to level 2 now. Every night he has to read his words before he goes to sleep.”


The wonderful power of wondering was completely lost on the mother, swept up as she was in the rush of demands an requirements, competition, check-marks, and achievement.

It made me wonder, too, about whether she herself knew how to just be, if she still remembered how to play.

Do you?

Do you set aside time for musing and refilling your tank of creativity and playfulness?

How much time does your child have for play? Does he lose himself in fantasy, imagination, and the wonder of wondering?

It is the job of childhood to be at play. To invent, experiment, inquire, speculate, dream with eyes wide open, animate toys, get slightly bored and think of nothing and everything, walk slowly outside and collect pieces of leaves, paper, dirt. It is the job of childhood to socialize, assign roles in joined mimicking of adult-roles and fantastic stories, negotiate with peers and make your own rules, unencumbered by adults who demand you follow the ‘rules-of-the-game’ instead.

Surely there is time a child should spend in listening, following directions, and learning. There is room for rules and consequences, routines and chores. However, losing the balance between adult-led and child-inspired, tilts childhood off its axis. How can a child who does not have the time to breathe and get a little bored, learn how to entertain himself, day-dream, imagine, be truly creative, be a child, play?

When is the last time you deeply reconnected with wonder? If you cannot say, then it is time to stop, watch a child getting lost in a bubble, let them be, and find your own path to some play.

Photo Credit to S.E.

Photo Credit to S.E.