The Truth

1. On Being in the Moment

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

2. “For the rain it raineth every day.”

Daylight gets shorter and shorter as snow fleets past with rain.

November Rain

3. On Maintaining Friendships

It’s tempting to go into hibernation, when it’s cold, wet and dark outside as it is right now. But “I’ve always got five minutes for a friend.” Do you? Because it’s that time of the year, with holidays almost upon us, where it can be very lonely for those who don’t have loved ones close by to celebrate with.

4. November Days

In these dark November days (as shown in the images above and below) I have no choice but to find ways to glow from inside out. How do I do this? I make sure that I start my days by reading a poem or listening to a song, instead of rushing to check e-mails or threads on WhatsApp, for example.

The Glow

5. Truth is…

I’m busy focusing on being fully present. Today though, I’m not here to talk about my personal truth but to share Nomzi Kumalo’s. Some of you might already know this remarkable artist from the blogs. Well, Nomzi and I do not only share love for poetry but she is also my homegirl. That is, she is also a South African, and a neighbour as she nowadays calls Norway her second home as I do Finland.

So, I’m super excited to share news of her debut single’s release, Truth, and an addition to my playlist. Nomzi has put her all in this work. If you’ve enjoyed listening to the song, please do spread the word!

Wishing you a lovely weekend! Remember not to let November tentacles rob you of joy and happiness. Be fully present in the moment!

Occasionally, I share five random things I’m reading, watching, doing and thinking about. I love hearing about your days, too.

Khaya Ronkainen
Khaya Ronkainen is a writer, poet and creative professional. Her blog focuses on all things poetry and creative nonfiction.


  1. Khaya, what a musical treat this grey dark November afternoon. Thank you so much for sharing about Nomzi … an amazing voice and song! A lovely post reminding us about friendship and the gift of time and awareness we can give to each other. I loved your first quote of ““The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh. How true … so often it is there but we hurry past oblivious.

    Wishing you a magical weekend, my friend! 😀❤️

  2. Few things are as life-giving as understanding the importance of embracing the now, even when its arms are cold and uncomfortably wet.

    You know, I start my day listening to a short story while I massage my achy hands. I save poetry for right before bed. One of these days, I might switch it up a bit.

  3. I hear you, the now can be cold and uncomfortably wet sometimes. But let’s embrace!

    Actually listening to a short story sounds ideal too, except my daily commutes are a bit short. I might get distracted all the day thinking about how the story will end…lol! But I’m eager to hear how switching the two works for you.

  4. Nomzi’s song is a lovely and timely treat. I’m really enjoying listening to it, more especially in these gloomy November days. It does wonders for the soul, and I can’t wait for more songs to come from this talented artist.

    As for friendships, I think we sometimes forget that they are equally important and require effort to nurture or maintain as we do family. With all the treasures in the world, time is something I appreciate and try to give as well. Being present for others can also fill us with joy and happiness.

    I’m glad you enjoyed this post, and also took time to listen to the song. Thank you so much, hope you have a wonderful weekend too, dear Annika! <3

  5. Love the way you start your days! I need to develop a routine like that. It’s way too easy to get consumed by emails first thing in the morning!

    And many congrats to Nomzi on her first single! It’s so beautiful and evocative, wow…

  6. Love the image ‘November Rain’
    November can be such a dull, and dreary month … it is important to spread our own rays of sunshine 🙂

    All the best Jan

  7. You have no idea how much difference it makes starting my days like this. Even with deadlines left and right, I feel energized as I stride wearing my smile in the mornings. People must be wondering what I’m happy about in this gloomy weather…lol!

    Glad to hear you enjoyed Nomzi’s song. I’ll pass on your message to her. <3

  8. Khaya, I commented here last week, and it somehow didn’t go through. So, I’m going to try again. I had something to say about each of your points, but after listening to Nomzi’s song, I couldn’t focus on anything else. Those cut-to-the-bone voice, melody and lyrics are so haunting…and revealing. Kumalo’s song and voice immediately and unapologetically peal back layers to expose a brave, true self when you really listen closely. What an astounding talent. A voice like Nomzi’s has not emerged in long decades. I have been and will continue to spread the word. I bought the song immediately and dearly hope there is a whole album soon to follow. Thank you most sincerely for introducing me her music. I really needed it.

  9. Hi H! I appreciate you taking time again to repost your comment. The previous comment actually came through. I responded here,, and even forward your comment to Nomzi, who was really grateful to hear your encouraging feedback.

    You are correct, her braveness together with the haunting and beautiful voice moves me too. She has an astounding talent, indeed, and her message deserves to be heard. I’m really glad you connected with her music. Thanks once again for supporting Nomzi, and reading me. Much appreciated.<3

  10. Being present is where it’s at and something still very new to me as I had to change my thinking about priorities. My practice in mindfulness is so worthwhile and difficult at the same time–do you have any tips to share? Love Thich Nhat Hanh’s wisdom.

  11. Oh no!! I forgot to mention just how much Nomzi’s song touched me. As soon as she began singing the words that came to mind were hauntingly beautiful. I’ll be listening to this one again and again.

  12. Thank you Steph for listening. Nomzi appreciates all the support with this single. She promised to be back to blogging at some point. Till then I’ll convey your message.

  13. For me, mindfulness is simply act of gratitude. This means I always work hard at not taking things for granted. When I approach things this way, I feel more satisfied with what I have and where I am, right now in my life.

    I recently found Thich Nhat Hanh, and I love his wisdom too. I listened to one of his conversations with Oprah, and afterwards I rushed to buy one of his books. I’ts on Audible and I keep going back to listen again to his teachings. If you’re comfortable with audio books, you should try one (he’s got many) of his books!

    Thank you my dearest friend for reading. I appreciate your support. <3

  14. Thanks Khaya for passing my message onto Nomzi, I found her song on Amazon Music and added it to my favorites playlist.

  15. Oh, I’m addicted to Audible have been for years but then cancelled my subscription a couple years ago cause I couldn’t justify the expense. But since the women’s retreat I went to this past summer and looked up some of the recommended books I reactivated my account and have been reading like almost non stop. Books by Brene Brown, Pema Chödrön, Elaine Welteroth, Michelle Obama, Marti Olsen Laney, Stephanie Moulton Sarkis, and yes, Thich Nhat Hanh are among a number I’ve read the past few months. I haven’t finished The Heart of Buddha’s Teachings but I’m doing something I never thought I’d be able to do and that is reading several books simultaneously and I’m so thirsty for more.

  16. Lovely to see your reading list, Steph. You have really impressive reads on your Audible. Brene Brown is also in my Audible collection, I really like her topics on business leadership. I’ve learned a lot from her regarding women in business. I guess, like you, I like listening to non-fiction books on Audible. Marti Olsen Laney now interests me, I’m adding to my to TBR list. 🙂

  17. I adore Brene Brown and could listen to her for hours on end. She’s one smart cookie. The book by Marti Olsen Laney was very insightful to me and I now understand why I do some of the things I do as an introvert. For so long I thought I was just strange, turns out I’m not. Phew, what a relief.

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