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I've Been Thinking, Reading, Listening to ...  

by Kayce Stevens Hughlett

“The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years.”

Audrey Hepburn


I’ve been thinking about my mother lately, her face mainly,

the one I see when I look in the mirror each morning.

I’ve seen her hands holding my pen for several years now.

Still it surprises me.

And the face, her face on my shoulders,

how did that happen?


I’ve been reading Diana Athill’s memoir,

“Somewhere Towards the End.” It is exquisite,

written when she was 89 years old.

It’s odd to feel contemporary with her,

the aged woman who examines her life

even as I continue to examine my own.


I’ve been listening to nature, the sounds of water flowing,

birds singing, and old trees coming to their end.

Today I turned on my blue tooth speakers and,

as if by magic, trees frogs and jungle sounds filled my bedroom,

that is, until my daughter left for work

and the music stopped.


I’ve been watching hummingbirds dance

in our new granite fountain and noticing

squirrels scour the landscape for treasures

they buried last fall.

I see neighbors look over our fence and wonder about

the transformation that’s formed these winter months.


I’ve been feeling isolated and confused.

Pondering grief and travel and privilege.

I’ve been wondering where I fit,

what I have to say,

if all my words are finished or in vain

or just plain vain.


Am I destined to be the aged woman

who stares back

at me from the mirror?

The one who absentmindedly

turned pages of the Bethany Tribune and sipped

percolated Folger’s from a chipped cup?


Or will I rise and rally

and bring my own

voice and hands

back to the page,

speaking what’s on my mind,

unfettered or tethered,

inside and out?


I’ve been sleeping under a magic potion called “Dream On”

the one that smells like mulch and mystery.

I see another woman on an old collage, buried beneath

fallen leaves, as if death awaits.

Then I hear the whisper,

You have not been buried. You’ve been planted,

so Bloom.


Bloom like the crocuses that push up through the mulch,

the fresh mulch packed down by

heavy snow and wayward boots.

Remember the young hands that planted those bulbs

when your children were tots.

The bulbs are resilient and so are you.


I’ve been hearing the naysayers, loud and ludicrous.

I was warned of them on the morning I began

this writing journey so long ago,

when I sat beside the Sonoran pool with pen in hand,

with these hands that form the words here and now.

My hands. My face.

My beauty. My growth.

My life.  My oh my. 


Order here!

SoulStroller: experiencing the weight, whispers, & wings of the worlds  has arrived! Available @ Bookstores, Amazon, and your favorite audio version

“Hughlett finds her voice in the most unexpected places—amidst the grief of life’s challenges, in letting go, in strengthening through presence.” Pixie Lighthorse,  Prayers of Honoring Grief 


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