Penguin goodbye and the fab Neil Gaiman

The world is shifting and changing. We are going inward and connecting even more deeply with our souls. We are discovering new avenues of joy, trying our hands at creative endeavors and delighting in the gifts of Mother Nature.

And the profound value of relationships and our heart-to-heart connections with one another are more precious than ever.

Equally, our hearts are being stretched wider than ever by the calamities, disasters and crises that every community is facing.

It’s a big time of change and reflection. And in keeping with the current energies, it is time for this Penguin to say good-bye and thank you. We have been together many years, and I am so very grateful for our connection and your constant support.

Tender little green shoots of new thoughts, possible directions and burgeoning energies are making their way into the light. It’s time. That said, I’m never very good at good-byes.

Please know you are deeply loved. I bless each of you with much happiness and great joy.

(FYI, the Penguin will stay up until the end of February. All subscribers will be added to my email list and will get to enjoy the occasional newsletter and one-day-this-year updated website:)

And as a parting gift, here is the extraordinary Neil Gaiman (courtesy of the wonderful Dr. Theophil in Mumbai) with a gorgeous poem that feels particularly fitting and resonant:

by Neil Gaiman

A baked potato of a winter’s night to wrap your hands around or burn your mouth.
A blanket knitted by your mother’s cunning fingers. Or your grandmother’s.
A smile, a touch, trust, as you walk in from the snow
or return to it, the tips of your ears pricked pink and frozen.

The tink tink tink of iron radiators waking in an old house.
To surface from dreams in a bed, burrowed beneath blankets and comforters,
the change of state from cold to warm is all that matters, and you think
just one more minute snuggled here before you face the chill. Just one.

Places we slept as children: they warm us in the memory.
We travel to an inside from the outside. To the orange flames of the fireplace
or the wood burning in the stove. Breath-ice on the inside of windows,
to be scratched off with a fingernail, melted with a whole hand.

Frost on the ground that stays in the shadows, waiting for us.
Wear a scarf. Wear a coat. Wear a sweater. Wear socks. Wear thick gloves.
An infant as she sleeps between us. A tumble of dogs,
a kindle of cats and kittens. Come inside. You’re safe now.

A kettle boiling at the stove. Your family or friends are there. They smile.
Cocoa or chocolate, tea or coffee, soup or toddy, what you know you need.
A heat exchange, they give it to you, you take the mug
and start to thaw. While outside, for some of us, the journey began

as we walked away from our grandparents’ houses
away from the places we knew as children: changes of state and state and state,
to stumble across a stony desert, or to brave the deep waters,
while food and friends, home, a bed, even a blanket become just memories.

Sometimes it only takes a stranger, in a dark place,
to hold out a badly-knitted scarf, to offer a kind word, to say
we have the right to be here, to make us warm in the coldest season.

You have the right to be here.




12 Responses to Penguin goodbye and the fab Neil Gaiman

  1. Adele Ryan McDowell February 21, 2021 at 11:11 pm #

    Nancy! How lovely to connect. Thank you for your good words. I am most appreciative. And early Happy Birthday to you, my friend. Much love, Adele

  2. Nancy Klavans February 21, 2021 at 8:33 pm #

    Dear Adele,

    My dear, dear friend from so long ago. As always, I admire your courage to go deeper and reinvent. I look forward to seeing the new form that emerges like the tender green shoots that push their way up through the snow.

    I hope I am still on some contact list, perhaps dog-eared from time.

    Much love,

  3. Adele Ryan McDowell February 20, 2021 at 9:15 pm #

    Oh, Annie, your humble me. Thank you so much, dear friend. I am deeply honored by your words. 💚✨💚

  4. Adele Ryan McDowell February 20, 2021 at 9:12 pm #

    Thank you, my dear Diana. You are so kind. And we both know that the Penguin energies will show themselves in another way. 💚✨💚

  5. anne downey February 20, 2021 at 8:38 am #

    Dear Adele,
    I am sorry to say goodbye to our Penguin friend but know that it means a period of growth and change and challenge for you personally. I think I have read them all and always marvel at your ability to connect the spiritual mysteries of life with the cold realities of everyday living. Somehow both are transformed into something sacred. Thank you for your “pearls” of wisdom over the years and the introduction to so many other deep thinkers who have inspired me.

  6. Dianna Vagianos Armentrout February 20, 2021 at 1:10 am #

    Oh, I will miss The Penguin too, especially on this warming, changing planet. Thank you for all the years of insight, inspiration and comfort. We are grateful to have you, Dear Adele.

  7. Adele Ryan McDowell February 19, 2021 at 3:36 pm #

    Oh, Rebecca, I love your way with words. Of course, you are on the list. Thanks for all. Much love, Adele and, of course, The Penguin 💝

  8. Adele Ryan McDowell February 19, 2021 at 3:35 pm #

    Thanks so much, Mary Ann. You are on the list! 💚

  9. Adele Ryan McDowell February 19, 2021 at 1:54 pm #

    Indeed, we share a long, strong soul connection. Never occurred to me to archive this? Something to consider. Much love, 💕💕💕

  10. Na'ama Yehuda February 19, 2021 at 11:37 am #

    Oh, I will miss The Penguin! And yet, I know that change takes place and big shifts are in the air and cracks in the glacier of times. Perhaps The Penguin is ready to dive once more under the snow in search of luminescent krill and schools of fish and the undercurrents that take us to new places.
    I know we’re connected, and will stay connected. Connected souls have many such a way.
    Love much
    PS you ARE archiving this treasure, right? 🙂

  11. Mary Ann Mahan February 19, 2021 at 11:05 am #

    Thanks for all the wisdom you share. Please include me on updates.

  12. Rebecca February 19, 2021 at 4:50 am #

    Thank you Adele and Penguin💜
    Wishing you the best warm, cozy night
    As you dream the new sprouts of change 💚. Keep me on the mailing list!