I can’t remember whether I read my first copy of Ideals magazine in my mother’s home or somewhere else. I loved the publication because it was all beautiful pictures, encouraging stories and inspiring essays. One year,1977, I bought the autumn edition because I’d fallen in love with the cover. I still have it. I take it out every September and leave it where I can turn to a beloved page whenever I’m in the mood. I have several of the poems nearly memorized.
Yes, fall arrived this morning
I felt her tangy touch
Persuading me to wander
Down paths I love so much . . .
That’s the first stanza of a poem by Georgia B. Adams. Lovely.
Here’s the thing. It’s my mother’s fault. When she was still in her twenties, she and my father pulled up stakes in Minnesota and with their four children (and one on the way) they joined millions of other Americans in the westward trek to California – the Promised Land of the 50’s and 60’s. It must have been so hard for her. Consequently she never missed an opportunity to remember Minnesota and the days of her youth to us whenever we snuggled up on the bed to listen to tales of the “olden days”. And she would rhapsodize especially about autumn. The chill in the air, the colorful trees and turning over outhouses on Halloween were my favorites. My siblings and I fell in love with an autumn we were pretty sure we’d never experience.
Many years later I married and moved with my husband and son(and one on the way)to upstate New York. Now I had an autumn “seasonal experience” every year just like Mom had in Minnesota. Every bit of what she had instilled in us about the season was presented in my 1977 copy of Ideals. I pored through it and the romance of the season washed over me. I admired each and every one of the writers and artists who contributed to it. How I envied their way with words.
Here’s another thing. Many more years later, when I began writing, I hunted down the Ideals contributor guidelines. I wondered if I could ever be as good as some of the wonderful writers I’d found within the pages of that beautiful publication. Measure up? Probably not. But I gave it a shot. I wrote several simple, rhyming poems and sent them in. I waited for the rejections. I wrote other things. Then one day I got an envelope containing a contract from an editor – at Ideals – they’d like to use one of my poems in an upcoming Easter issue. I was gob smacked! And grateful and gob smacked! I wish I could tell you how gob smacked I was. You’ll just have to imagine the awesomeness of it.
And here’s what’s happened since.
I have a poem in each of these issues 2012, 2013, and this year Christmas 2017. God is simply amazing. Right?
Image: 1977 Autumn Ideals