I am not a poet but


A short, simple poem came to me today. It emerged out of nowhere, after some rainy gardening. It also happened to appear amid ongoing efforts to stay positive despite a barrage of cold news. Stella still faces some challenges but is doing well. She just started second grade (said her first day was “awesome!”) and achieved 10/10 in 3D vision testing for the very first time recently! Trouble brews in several other of life’s spheres, but I’m feeling strong. And proud to be standing tall. Here it is, paired with the above (miraculously unfiltered) photo taken in the agricultural and floral showcase barn at the Washington state fair.

Autumn Garden

Sunflowers bow their heads
Necks tired
From following
Summer’s sun

Dahlias bloom defiantly
Hanging on
As if to say
“I am sunshine”



  1. Karen · September 8, 2016

    It’s a lovely sentiment. AWESOME

    • amberhj · September 8, 2016

      Thank you Karen!

  2. Tara · September 14, 2016


    I have a 2.8 year old son who has alternating esotropia. Doctors recommended surgery but we are not very sure. There are no good optometrists here in India. My son alternates and has good vision as of now.
    Could you please point some stuff we could do at home. Do you know of any optometrist who could do skype consultations. Please do reply if possible.

    • amberhj · September 15, 2016

      Hello Tara! There is a place in the US called WOW Vision Therapy that does some VT via Skype, though I’m not sure of the details (other than they have a truly excellent reputation): http://wowvision.net/

      I did a doctor search on covd.org and there are several COVD (College of Optometrists in Vision Development) certified optometrists who offer vision therapy in India! Depending on where you are in India, maybe you can work with one of them? Go to covd.org, click on “advanced search” (under the upper right blue “SEARCH” button). It will take you to a page where you can select your country and province, etc. I hope you find someone! Again, go to covd.org.

      I think you are wise to get other opinions before moving ahead with surgery. I think alternating esotropia has shown good outcomes with vision therapy, especially since it allows both eyes to maintain good vision (whereas my daughter wasn’t alternating and so one eye’s vision suffered–vision therapy helped equalize vision in both eyes but you don’t need to do that, just teach the brain to use the eyes together).

      Please keep me posted. I’d love to hear how your journey unfolds and be of assistance however I can.

      Best wishes,

  3. squiba · October 13, 2016

    Hi, my 2yo daughter has alternating esotropia and we had our first VT appt today. I was wondering if Stella is still attending VT or if she just had to go for a period of time? Your blog has been super helpful (and Stella is adorable – she rocks those glasses!), but I’m already exhausted about our future and want a glass of wine 😉

    • amberhj · November 5, 2016

      Hi there! How is VT going? Stella has gone back to vision therapy to work on some higher level skills — she also went for close to a year when she was wee 🙂 Exhaustion sounds familiar — this time around my husband is doing a lot of the home VT and what a difference! I hope you have someone to share the load! Keep me posted!

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