CREDO, Fermata, Pause

March 14, 2023

raspberry bush

CREDO, Fermata, Pause

Time is everything.

Everything is frozen now, and the wind whips around corners and under my hat.
The apricot tree in our backyard is only branches and stiffness, one abandoned nest
Caught at the crown.
The night sky, clear  cold  brilliance.
Resting in the silence of not-knowing, we are waiting for the thaw.

Still point.


Change begins in a moment, on the curve of an inhale.
This is an act of faith, and anything can happen when I,
When you,
When we,
Speech rises from silence,
Raspberry bushes emerge triumphant,
And I walk barefoot through the backyard,
One step at a time, one step at a time,
One step at a time.

There is, in each one of us, something that is worthy of love and respect;
I look for that spark in myself and in others. By granting myself moments of quiet,
I encourage those around me to do the same. By speaking my truth, I encourage others to speak, and when they do, I listen. When necessary, I act.  In doing so, I am
Aware of my own (and my society’s) addiction to busy-ness.  I strive for
and the willingness to let go of certainty.

The symbol I chose to represent my vision is a fermata. A musical notation that indicates sustain; when placed over a musical note, the fermata instructs the musician to hold that note for a few extra moments. The fermata does not indicate an exact quantity of time; it is up to the musician, within the context of the piece, to determine how long a note must be held to produce a lingering feeling of sustain, of timelessness.

For me, the fermata evokes patience, trust, and a willingness to suspend certainty.

There is a saying in Buddhism that goes something like this; “the solution to the pain lies in the pain.” I understand this to mean that we cannot run away from what is … we need to stay present in the actual moment. Learning to pause, to take a breath, and to avoid getting swept up in the tumble of emotions that accompany pain is hard work. The process has instilled in me a sense of compassion for every person I meet. Wounds can be invisible, and a simple action, such as walking down the street, may represent a great triumph. I hope in my work and in my daily living to take time to listen, to be present, and to offer compassion. I may not be certain of what comes next, but I will try to trust in the silence of un-knowing, that after the pause, the fermata, I will figure it out.

Megan Kelly Flood, dancer, educator, occupational therapist

Nancy writes, “As Megan’s mother, I hope to remember the courage and patience of that apricot tree and those raspberry bushes, and breathe, pause, and trust in uncertainty.”

Nancy Bo Flood

As a fish-brain surgeon or a rodeo poem wrangler, I have loved stories. I strongly believe that words – in poetry or prose – help heal our hearts and give us new eyes to see the world. I was first a research psychologist studying brain development at the University of Minnesota and London University before following my passion – writing for children. Learn more...