saving grace
detail of painting


My project has been fully funded!! I am acclimating to asking and actually receiving such riches. Chronic illness is such that a life can begin to feel so very narrow. Just your presence out there helps protect me from the tendency to enter into invisibility and stay there.

I am so humbled and grateful. Thank you.




Once upon a time there was a girl who had a secret place.
It was up on a hill covered in long grass.
Sometimes she would snuggle down and make a nest for herself
when her parents were bugging her or if she felt alone.
She never really fit well anywhere.
She was well liked though she belonged to no group.
Her best friends were Nature Spirits.
They would whisper and sing softly in her ear.
Her fledgling heart was always soothed.
As she grew older she returned again and again to her grassy hill
and the Spirits who tended her so long and so well.

One day she noticed that far away across the river, in a little cottage
Smoke was rising from the chimney.
In all these years from her secret spot she had never noticed this before.
She became curious and decided to pack a little bag
And make the long journey to the cottage.
She was cold. Perhaps she could find some warmth by the fire.
She walked for days, for years and a lifetime.
As she finally approached the cottage she heard laughter.
I sounded like a party.

She timidly knocked on the door and all the noise inside stopped.
The door creaked open and in a blaze of light and warmth she saw a table.
It was set with crystal and silvery things.
There were many places set at this table.
From each chair came a welcoming smile from the most radiant people
The girl had ever seen.
She felt warm and tingly inside as she noticed
There was a special place set just for her.

She sat and someone began to speak.
“We are the HONEY GUIDES. We are here to teach you about sweetness
And nurture and family and love.”
“We will hold your hand while you eat and your heart will grow
And you will always know where to go for food.”
And at that- a beautiful woman with golden hair
Began to sing a heartbreakingly lovely song,
A blessing was given and the feast began.

The girl understood that her whole life so far was in preparation for this-
Her seat at the tribal table.
She was no longer alone.
She felt her heart grow wide and wider still.
And she saw it was true what she had been told;
That part of The Journey must be made alone
But for the heart to become ripe and full
One needs a hand to hold.


– Cathy Aten 2008


2 Responses to “Honey”

  1. laura Hegfield on October 18th, 2014

    …and so we hold your hands, both the one that can return the clasp and the one that gratefully receives.

  2. Alexandra Eldridge on October 18th, 2014

    So glad to be part of your tribe! xxx

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