youth is a flying horse
age slows to a walk on sand
now I notice sea shells

~ Naomi Wingfield

Naomi Wingfield (1912-2014)

In her 102nd year, Naomi Wingfield passed away in February.  She has long been my mentor in writing, aging and spirit. And, she delighted me by calling me ‘a wonderful kid.’

For more on Naomi Wingfield, see my 2010 article about her – Spirituality & Aging: see RyanWingfieldWICC10


My attic has changed.
For fifty years we stored our treasures there,
my mother’s wedding dress
great-grandfather’s solemn face in the ornate frame
love letters from high school days.

Change. My house is sold.
I return grandchildren’s drawings.
My brother’s wife cherishes letters from war-time years.
My daughter has my mother’s dress.

The attic is bare,
but my heart is full
of what has been.

For a selection of Naomi’s other poems, see Wingfield-Poems.

Aging in Community News

Janice Blanchard (editor of the important 2013 resource book Aging in Community) has published an article in the journal of the American Society on Aging: Generations, entitled “Aging in Community: The Communitarian Alternative to Aging in Place, Alone“.

Relationships between community members tend to be informal, voluntary, and reciprocal, and, therefore, sustainable over time.

Driving these new housing arrangements by choice are baby boomers, particularly those considered to be the “cultural creatives”—“people who buy with their values; are involved in community organizations and social and political activities; find innovative solutions in creating their living environment; and who place a high value on the quality of their life situation” (Paiss, 2008).

One thing is certain: the circumstances of where, how, and with whom we grow old are changing. From cohousing communities to Golden Girls Homes to high-rise artist co-ops, baby boomers are redefining their lives—breaking down the old stereotypes and rules, and building new visions of great places to grow old—and doing it better, together.

Aging by the Book

CBC IDEAS radio show presented ‘Aging by the Book‘ in February.  I was interviewed for this show about a Reading Circle for older adults who read aging fiction and discuss the stories in terms of age-related issues. The show includes the Circle discussing a poem emerging from our work with poetry in longterm care. FOR MORE INFO >> Aging by the Book.

Writing News

Susan AJ Davis writes about the relationship between swimming outdoors and her late life creative work as visual artist and writer in the SERC Creative Aging newsletter>>   DavisSusanAJSERCCA14

Writing Exercise

Create a timeline of a relationship – with a particular family member or with a longtime friend; or a working collaboration or even your relationship with an activity (e.g., writing, travel) or even some thing (e.g., family cottage, cars, food).

Write about the timeline to identify patterns, choices, and the energy for the future of the relationship.


With this shadow photo taken on my winter trip to California, I wish you adieu,