She had crashed and burned, but somehow she didn’t die.

For a while she could only just sit there, and wonder why?

One day she had an epiphany, though, about that man.

He was like an ostrich with his head buried in quicksand.

So immersed he was in the days of his past

He couldn’t see that quicksand foundations just don’t last.

For her, she was born to soar above and yes, to fly!

She didn’t just want to hover, she wanted to fly high.

Would she, rising from the ashes of what was once love

Stay in that empty nest, or would she rise up above?

Would she be like that azure feathered blue bird,

And sing aloud the sweetest songs ever to be heard?

Would she be more like the little hummingbird

Whose faith knows impossible is nothing but a word?

Or would she be like the noblest bird, a majestic eagle,

Whose attributes can only be best described as simply regal?

No, she’d be no ostrich, bluebird, eagle or hummer,

For she longed to march to the beat of another drummer.

Her survival had left her with feathers like a peacock,

Beauty from the ashes, and strength as hard as a rock.

As she took flight, she saw him struggling, way down below,

And down, down, farther into the quicksand did he go.

He could not escape, though he had definitely tried 

But she had to leave behind the buckets of tears she’d cried.

It was a gorgeous day, favoring a new adventure,

And no more would she be tied to his tragic indenture.

The warm Winds of Change began to blow in her direction,

And with it they carried a change of her affection.

In the best epiphany she had ever received

She recognized that her heart was now relieved. 

She was free to do and be and see and become anything

All she was leaving behind a bittersweet memory thing.

Up, up, up, she climbed, higher and higher still

And glanced back once as she reached the crest of the hill.

What was that she saw sinking in QUICKSAND?

Was it an ostrich or someone who didn’t understand? 

Sighing, she shook her head in one last poignant goodbye,

And with that, the indomitable Phoenix really began to fly!

– Lou Lehman Sams




It was a gray Sunday afternoon in the Fall of the year, the sky was pregnant with cotton candy clouds, & there was a slight chill on her face when the Epiphany burst forth on her, like crepuscular rays from a cloudbreak. She looked down at her wrists & her ankles, & was amazed to see that they were unchained, that every single link to past disappointments, hurts & fears had finally been broken, & she felt the balm of forgiveness that can only come from above bathe her wounds like a powerful healing salve.

 Then she realized that, not only had her chains been broken, but that the door before her, the one which was opened with a key to her present, stood wide open, & that all she had to do was walk through it toward the road to the future which was just up ahead, steeped in a light far brighter than she had ever imagined. Slowly, she took a tentative step, but then she stopped, turned, & waited for him, as the deep compassion which enveloped her heart like a cocoon was tightly bound, & prevented her from leaving without him. But he took a step backward into his past, rather than one towards her, & her Epiphany revealed that, though God breaks every chain that binds you, it is up to you, & you alone to walk through the door to escape your prison cell.

 Rather than follow her into the light of day, he retreated into the darkness, where she was disheartened when she saw him deliberately pick up his chains & close the shackles back shut. He was too weak to flee the bondage of submission, & years of acquiescence had desensitized him to the joys & opportunities that were his for the taking, if he would just find the courage to break away. In his brainwashed existence, he believed that it was better to sit there, like an obedient puppy awaiting a command, than to think or feel things for himself. He had rather feel the pain & hurt of their friction than risk leaving them behind, & she felt the sting of a thousand sadnesses prick her spirit.

 But she had taken a step forward, & she knew that, once one has tasted Freedom of the Soul, anything else is just too bitter to swallow & very unsatisfying, as well. And she knew that she was finally free to love without exception, to be loyal without doubt, & to commit without reservation. 

So slowly, she walked out of that prison cell – it was far too small for more than one person, anyway. She felt the sunshine on her face for the first time in months, & the wind whisked away the sorrows that had taken their place like a heavy mantle that was too cumbersome to wear any longer. She turned once, intending to wave good-bye, but his chains were too tight, & she knew he was unable to reciprocate the gesture. Part of her wanted to stay there with him, to comfort him in his hour of misery, but her Life was beckoning her to go forth & explore & partake of the adventures that the Universe had set aside just for her. 

The single tear that silkily slipped unbidden down her cheek contained all of the remaining hopes she had carried within for so long, but when finally it splashed onto the ground at her feet, like a raindrop from a celestial sky which cleanses & washes away past regrets, she felt unburdened at last. A gentle breeze tickled her wings, & she knew, at that moment, that she was born not just to walk out of that cell, but to run, & yes, to fly. And fly she must, for to stay one instant longer in that place would have meant a return to prison, & she was tired of the confinements of the guilt, misery, & fears of each of them that had paralyzed her for far too long.

 Like a baby bird preparing for its first solo flight, she hesitated, then spread her wings, & off she went, into the expansive, limitless horizon of the sky, which was now the deepest cerulean blue, as that same wind which had blown away her cloak of worry had pushed the clouds away. As she began to soar, she looked down, & saw him there, still in his cell, chained to his past, & she offered up a little prayer that the next time God allowed his chains to be broken, that then he would, somehow, find his courage & thus his way out of that cage. She did not know what he would do, should that ever happen, but she did know that some people are afraid of the wind beneath their wings, & prefer instead the safety of the floor of the cage beneath their feet. 

But she was thankful that her own time had come, for she could never have flown so high with the chains of the past weighing her down, & oh, what a view she had now!! She could see things in ways she never had before, could see what treasures lay in wait atop the mountains she wanted to climb, as well as what lay on the other side of them. And, being unfettered, she was happy, for there were many roads from which to choose, & now she could actually see the choices that she had. She looked forward to, whenever she decided to do so, scaling the peaks that presented themselves in the near distance. But for this moment in time, she simply chose to FLY!!! And that is what she did!

– Lou Lehman Sams 

December 2014


A Friend Above All Others

When friends are nearby, yet nowhere to be found,

Your heart cries out, yet no one seems to hear the sound …

Your soul feels restless on its constant quest for peace, 

And all you really want is some form of sweet release …

Rest assured that someone hears your every single word

And you can hear His voice in the singing of the bird,

Or feel His touch as the breeze kisses your face …

Just close your eyes, & imagine His embrace

For He is the One you will always be able to find

And if you call upon Him often, He will not mind …

For you are a special treasure, & you deserve love

When you are all alone, just take a look up above.

– Lou Lehman Sams



 Not so long ago, if anyone would have predicted that I would be taking photos of birds, other people’s trees after it snows, my dog, or … Drum roll … Taking & actually posting selfies, I would have died laughing! I used to HATE birds. I mean I really DETESTED them! My mother made me stay up very late with her when I was a little girl & watch a re-run of that Alfred Hitchcock classic movie, “The Birds”, & I had nightmares for nearly a week after that. I wanted nothing whatsoever to do with birds!!! And a mockingbird used to swoop down & peck my cat, George Washington, on the head – he did this so many times that poor George had a bald spot atop his head. No lie. Not saying that George did not deserve it. He did, after all, have a propensity for killing birds, & he did destroy that bird’s nest, including its babies. Nonethless, when I was a little girl, birds were creepy critters that I wanted no part of participating with in any way.

However, when one finds oneself sitting outside, reflecting & ruminating during a protracted divorce, one takes note of the fact that there are 6 blue jays living in one’s yard. Fortunately, my cat at that time, Lucky, was not much of a hunter, & the only gift he ever brought home to my doorstep was those nasty little snub-nosed voles, & an occasional mouse.  I guess he did not have a taste for birds, or was not athletic enough to score one. Whatever the case, the jays were safe from him, & they would come & visit with us at the end of the day, as Lucky & I sat swinging to & fro in the splintered old wooden swing in the back yard. We would sit there for extended periods, until darkness fell, or a I saw a coyote wandering through the yard, in which case I would abandon my post & hasten indoors. I was telling a friend about all of the blue jays I would see, & she told me that they stood for persistence, which I sorely needed to survive that season of my life, so I thought that was apopros, given that I needed a lot of tenacity to survive the ordeal of a contested divorce process.

 After my divorce was final, when I moved into the townhouse, I could not believe it when heard myself say that I missed having a big backyard where I could see the stars & the BIRDS. But I did miss them. The house that I live in now has a great back yard with an expansive view of not only the stars, but also phenomenal sunsets! Yes, I take & post pictures of the sunsets, as well! And while I do not feed them, a variety of birds, including cardinals, blue jays, & bluebirds, frequently come & watch the sun set with me & my puppy. They come so often that I sometimes grab my camera  & snap pictures of them to share on social media. I know that there is at least a handful of people who are unable to get out due to illness or disability to enjoy these things in person, so I keep posting the pics for their benefit.  

 And during rare Heart of Dixie snowfalls, I was always too busy making snowmen, having snowball fights, eating snow cream, or making snow angels to take many pictures, let alone photos of other people’s trees. However, when you have six and a half inches of snow in your back yard, & only one tree, no kids to bundle up, no man to engage in a snowball fight, then a walk to see what is going on in the ‘hood is the next best thing. So I snapped pics of people’s trees, & an occasional snowman, & enjoyed a brisk walk just soaking in the scenery. Realizing that some people criticize & complain about how many photos others post, I nonetheless posted a bunch of the pics on FaceBook for my home bound friends & those who do not live here to enjoy, figuring if other people do not want to see them, they know how to use the scroll feature, & just scroll on by. 

 This brings me to the subject of selfies. Once upon a time, about a year or so ago, I used to cast a critical eye on a woman I knew who posted selfies of herself. I thought that meant that she was self-centered. But now that I have walked a mile or so in her shoes, those being that of a single woman living alone, I understand. Just because you live with another person who can take your photo for you, that does not mean that you should criticize someone who does not. What does it matter, anyway, who takes the photos? If your kids live many hours away, & you want them to see that you are faring well, you want to share your excitement about an event, or you need a current photo for that dating website, then you should, if you so choose, take a selfie. Again, if people do not want to see it, they can delete your profile, or scroll on by. My great-aunt, who is in her 90’s just told me yesterday to please keep posting pics, as she loves to keep up with people that way. 

 Last but not least, there is my precious & precocious puppy! No, he does not change much from photo to photo, but he was my companion to ring in the New Year, my partner in photographing the beautiful red-tailed hawk that was sitting on my fence one morning, my friend while walking the Greenway, my dinner companion, etc. etc. If I am going to photograph my life’s events, I cannot omit him. Some people’s pets are their best friends. You take & post pics of your best friends, so why should you care if someone else takes pics of theirs? I will stop & peek at their pups on the days when I have time to do so, will hit the like button for a pretty pic, & just scroll on by if I do not have time to do either. It’s just that easy! 

 Yes, I take selfies now. No, I do not take them at inappropriate times, such as during a worship service at Church, when I am dressed in my unmentionables, or when I’ve got a nasty scrape or bruise. Some things are best left to the privacy of one’s home. But God has shown me that it is okay to do simple things that make me happy, as long as they do not intrude upon someone else’s rights. My private social media pages are for viewing by people that I consider to be my friends. Like a scene from a movie that you do not wish to view, you can always just look away if you do not agree with something, or not buy a ticket to the movie at all. I am secure enough in myself that I am not going to let critics stop me from expressing myself as I see fit. And please do not let them steal your joy, either!! 

 I do not envy people, I’m not jealous of what they have, but  by the same token, I would gladly exchange taking pics of selfies for a boy friend, a husband, or kids at home to spend time with, & take photos of & with, so for those of you who are fortunate enough to have those things, perhaps you would please be so kind as to not be so critical of those of us who do not have them, please? While we are busy taking & posting pics of our puppies, you are snuggled up on the sofa watching a movie with the one you love, or going to watch your son’s baseball game, or reading a bedtime story to your grandkids. Perhaps I am just wired differently: but even when I was in a serious relationship with a man that I loved, whenever I saw a picture posted by a friend that was one of their dogs, a selfie, or some thing that they were having for dinner, I did not condemn them. I was always just happy to see that they were doing well, and enjoying life.

Yes, I look forward to the day when God will hopefully give me a special man with which to build a home, & I will be too busy sharing dinners, walks in the snow, or ringing in the New Year with him to take pics of birds, puppies, & neighbor’s snow laden tree branches, but until that time arrives, I intend to keep living life & enjoying the small blessings God sees fit to grant me, such as writing in my blog & taking photographs.

Haters are gonna hate. Rise above, & express yourself in the manner you wish, so long as you do not harm anyone in the process. I pray that you will find your own joy, & live your life in a way that brings you peace & happiness … 

 – Lou Lehman Sams