Columns, Monthly Musings

June Jitters

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SHELBURNE – The trials and tribulations of the times are giving me the June Jitters. Sitting on the edge of my seat puts too much weight on my sweaty, funky feet and keeps me more in my head than from healing my heart.

Gathered recently for a pizza party, a neighbor said that she is getting depressed with all the death around us. She mused, “Is this just because we’re old?” Wake Robin, a retirement community, describes itself as “an inclusive community designed to let you be yourself and live the life you choose.” So, this morning I am wondering: What is alive in me?

Parker Palmer taught me to turn to wonder in troubling times. Jack Kornfield challenged me to live in loving curiosity. WholeHeart Inc. supports me in my practice of generous listening using poetry as a portal. Poetry inspires wonder and loving curiosity when I listen generously to my heart and to yours.

Life is a poem. I wrote a poem by that title several years ago and had an opportunity to share it with President Biden. He asked me if I wanted a hug. I penned this poem for my dear friend Sally, which Rev. Ed Sunday-Winters quoted to end Sally’s memorial service on May 25, 2024.

Soul Sisters

Sally and I are soul sisters–

not just the booga-booga and woo-woo,

although that too.

We come from a large family of mystics,

curious about the cosmos and our place in it.

For years, we shared sacred space

at the People Barn, church, and

The Wisdom Connection’s boardroom.

We had long conversations about the nuance

between older and elder.

We both chose elderhood, as our bodies aged.

Sally delighted in removing her leg prosthesis

to spark amazement and curiosity in children.

She is still the only person I know

who spread her own ashes.

We are both fascinated by spirals and circles.

When I think about Sally,

laughter, Light, and love come to mind.

Nee Sally Pleasants Lonegren,

her presence remains a present

to anyone listening from the heart.

She would be the first to tell us

that it’s just not true

that death do us part.

In a time of dangerous division, I am continually amazed at how connected we are, how easy it is to find things we have in common, even with strangers, in life and in death, when we speak and listen from the heart. Though they seldom make the evening news, many people and organizations do wonderful work in the world. It is a great joy for me at this point in my life when I can connect them, like sharing seeds of June’s lupine.

Thought partners have become friends and are visiting with the warmer weather. One I hadn’t seen for decades. We were introduced by our grandmothers, who were in the same class at Wellesley in 1909. A new friend and I discovered that we share a life-changing personal story. One friend I hired 10 years ago, and another I didn’t. We agreed that he needed a bigger sandbox. He found it. I love it. Another is one of my adopted sons. We share a passion for nature.

I am healing my heart with

connecting, continuity, and community—

good medicine for my June Jitters.

Trish Passmore Alley holds an MBA in Organizational Development and Behavior. A published author and poet, her career has included teaching at the collegiate level, owning several small businesses in manufacturing, engineering, and retail, and founding and operating three social profits in Greensboro,    A published author and poet, she posts brief, monthly blogs at She now lives in Shelburne.

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