The silent daughter of hope becomes a flower with a voice

Born in the Buckeye State

Today, I woke early, full of joy and gratitude for life, for all!

Fifty-five years ago I was the fifth child of nine born to Marion and Robert Abare. I never learned about the horse chestnut or the Buckeye State. I was just a sleeping baby when my family moved from the place I was born, Cleveland, Ohio. In my treasure box I keep a buckeye to keep me grounded in where I come from: creation, stars, my parents, and Ohio.

The ocean and the California Poppy helped me to have faith when the skinned and scabbed knees from roller skating and heart break moments of my childhood introduced me to doubt. Once in a moment of anger,  my mother, a peaceful spirit-filled women, threw a glass of ice tea at my dad uttering words we were forbidden to say. I can still hear the glass breaking against the wall and see the brown splash and stain.

Childhood sanctuary

One night my dad came home drunk, tripped over my brother’s bike. I woke up to see my brother being flung from the bunk bed above me into the closet while my dad hollered, “This will teach you to park your bike in the garage.” I didn’t sleep the rest of that night. I can still hear the thud of my brother’s body up against the wall. Once, when I was sad after visiting people, including children my own age, at the State Hospital, I was told, “You’re too emotional.” And, when my first poem, “Camp” was published in the Orange County Daily Pilot, I imagine I must have been filled with 11-year-old joy and possibly pride when I likely taunted my siblings with my prize Kennedy half dollar. What I remember was being told, “Get off your high horse.” I dismounted.  It has taken me years to put my feet back into the stirrups, to write the poem. I no longer have the 50 cents or the taunt; I still have the poem. I still have the poem.

He loves me,
he loves me not

Like most beings, I set out to heal my wounds, wounds not yet visible to me. I wanted to love and be loved and married my high school sweetheart when I was 18. After 33 years of marriage, I am no longer madly in love. Each day I say, “I do.” I love my husband John madly and joyfully. And, he adores me. He loves me differently than I love him or I love me. Yes, finally, after all these years, I love me. I have learned until we love ourselves, we can’t really love others well, but in trying to love others well we learn to love ourselves. It’s a great heart mystery I’m no longer trying to solve, just trying to live and love fully into.

Perhaps our sole purpose on this earth is to learn to love and to love to learn, in that order. For years, I did it all in my head. I do think and believe in my heart that world peace could be achieved if we all learned to bring our heads beneath our hearts, bowing to each other and the earth. I still love the beauty of a single daisy, but I have outgrown the myth, the story and game of  picking the petals saying, “He loves me, he loves me not.”  We are loved into being, made visible by love, even messy love.

The silent daughter of hope becomes a flower with a voice.

“…It is the secret in the seeds, in the smile of the rich soil, eager to welcome the silent, daughter of hope, hidden in little nasturtium seeds.” These words from Joyce Rupp brought me home to my soul.  She moved me to share some of my life secrets: the faith and doubt planted in my childhood; the love, imperfect but infinitely perfectible, I’ve given and received; and the silent hope that can no longer remain silent. I am a fully blooming flower with a voice. I look forward to sharing our stories, our gifts, our faith and love to touch each other’s lives and the lives of others. It gives me so much hope. I am awake and grateful for life and life-giving words. You are invited to share your stories.



  1. Kathleen
    Apr 14, 2013

    Beautiful Julie. Thank you for sharing yourself, your words.

    • Julie
      Apr 17, 2013

      Thank you for reading and responding so kindly!

  2. Lorraine Luna
    Apr 16, 2013

    The universe is converging. Thank you for sharing your story here. I want to subscribe to your blog.

    Yesterday I started my own.

    Bless you my fellow writer.

    Love, Lorraine

    • Julie
      Apr 17, 2013

      Hi Lorraine, Thank you for your support for my words and writing. I’m working on the subscribe feature. Congratulations on your blog. So, please share how to subscribe and/or access your blog. I can’t wait to converge again when we have our AWA Affiliate reunion in May. Love and write.

  3. Joan stallbaumer
    Apr 16, 2013

    Julie,thanks for sharing. Our stories are so important to share especially with our children and loved ones. How else will people really know who we are? You have a great gift with words. God bless you and all your extended family. Joan

    • Julie
      Apr 17, 2013

      Hi Joan, It is a nice surprise to have you reading the blog and responding. Thank you for your blessings and kind words about my writing.

  4. Julie
    Apr 17, 2013

    Thank you to all who read, liked and commented on Facebook. It’s humbling, affirming and scary having people read my words.

    And, I noticed no one caught that I referred to my mother as women, in the plural form, rather than using the singular woman. Not intended, but with intention, I am choosing to leave it plural since it captures the true meaning of my mother. To me, my mom was the first face of God/creation or what I call Spirit. She had, still has many faces to me. Often, I see her Spirit at the seashore, in others words and more. Just yesterday, I saw her Spirit in my sister Sue as she was photographing the colorful snapdragons in Sedona’s Tlaquepaque arts and craft village.

  5. Sue Gustafson
    Apr 17, 2013

    Julie, I love words and what a beautiful way you have with them. Joyce Rupp is one of my favorite writers I love that quote you used. It’s so amazing how our lives keep crossing paths and it’s so exciting to see what the future holds.
    Oh blooming daughter of hope I look forward to your musings. Thanks for sharing.

    • Julie
      Apr 17, 2013

      Oh blooming sister of hope, thank you. I look forward to sharing stories in the sun at the seashore.

  6. Steph
    Apr 22, 2013

    Beautiful writing Julie. Your honest words remind me to “keep it real.” Thank you….

    • Julie
      Apr 22, 2013

      Thank you for your response. I love that you found my writing to be a reminder to “keep it real.” To me, it seems writing helps me to hold the dark and the light, rather than just make light of the dark or difficult in life.

  7. Sheila Mattingly
    Apr 23, 2013

    Beautiful, Julie! You truly take my breath away with the honesty and beauty of your words. The Joyce Rupp quote was used by Clarissa Pinkola-Estes at the Women’s Convocation along with an amazing story and a lovely ritual. Because it’s long, I’ll share it with you in a separate email.

    I didn’t realize we had so many things in common other than our birth month — I was also married at 18; Jack is from Zanesville, OH.

    Blessings on your gift of words, and much gratitude for sharing them.


    • Julie
      Apr 24, 2013

      Thank you for blessing my words Sheila. Yes, Clarissa Pinkola-Estes and the many other women inspired me. I look forward to receiving the story and ritual. It is important for me, I think for all of us, to keep sharing our words, our stories and our lives so we can have those take away our breath moments and keep breathing!

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