Resilient Woman…With Gratitude to Bette

Photo Credit: c. Jane H. Johann, Indian Ocean, 1975.

Photo Credit: c. Jane H. Johann, Indian Ocean, taken from the shore of Mombasa, Kenya, E.A., 1975.

dedicated to my friend,


~ a young girl on the Eastern seaboard

carried by the ocean waves

a seashell washed upon the shore

and gratefully found itself

resting in the sun soaked floor…

 a young girl was walking near

her tiny toes spinning wisps of powdered sand

she came upon the seashell,

knelt down and gently cupped it in her hand…

and together they sat

beside the ocean dream

opening their thoughts to the world’s room

vibrant waves of blues and greens

~a dedicated teacher of the young

the day arrived when life’s distance

carried her away from the shore and sea

but the wisdom of the seashell 

accompanied her like a comforting breeze

the children sat at her feet

listening with respect

knowingly she taught them

with presence and with no regrets

sensing the promise in their eyes

helped them to see the strength held inside

supportive and caring

urging them on

lovely as the bluebird

singing its song

her colleagues were affirmed …

encouraged as well

lifting others to their call

 as the waves lift the seashell to the swell

~ a friend

the seashell is a friend to the tiny creature

it holds inside

and so by this truth,

the little girl did abide

self-respect and honor 

honesty and truth

virtues held and shared 

to the young and long-in-tooth

listening to the secret quiet of the waves

forward the seashell travels

and so did this woman too

through all the bright moments and turbulent battles

she goes forward with courage

and tells YOU,  you will win!

never a complaint or self-pity you hear

regardless of how life may spin

~A lover of nature

Mother Earth is her friend

and the squirrels and birds she does feed

she tends to the wondrous gardens

of friends and of seed

a long way from the ocean is she

but this truth tale of a seashell and girl

invites us to the  balance gracing us

promising a pearl

12 thoughts on “Resilient Woman…With Gratitude to Bette

  1. Jan says:

    Beautiful. I’d like to have known her. Jan


  2. A beautiful tribute, Jane. 🙂


  3. Mary says:

    wonderful tribute Johannis!


  4. reocochran says:

    This journey of your friendship resonated with me, Johann. I used to be a good friend to a girl named Joanna Barnes from Rockport, Mass. While I was 16, she was 17 and we worked at my Great Uncle’s pharmacy on Bear Skin Neck. Once we became friends, we traveled around on our ‘off’ hours, while my parents were states away in Ohio. It was a splendid summer and I learned so much about life. Joanna had a disability in one of her legs being born with a crooked leg. She was spunky and probably went from Kalamazoo College into being a lawyer or advocate for disabilities. Someday, she and I may reconnect.
    Meanwhile, your friend, Bette sounds wonderful and you have given her a wonderful tribute to her life, so glad she is still around to enjoy the praise and you both can continue forging new paths in your long time friendship, too.


  5. Clanmother says:

    Friendship is the most powerful conduit for transformation. Profound and moving words…


  6. thank you, Rebecca…yes…friendships build LIFE …it seems in my life, at different moments, different people have come along at just the right time to grace my life…I have been blessed…and I need to remember the blessings! Your friendship is most certainly a blessing to me, Rebecca! Thank you!


  7. says:

    I do love the ocean and its support of life for our planet.
    Thank you, Jane for this wonderful tribute.


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