Valerie Anne Burns
5 min readApr 28, 2024


Once upon a time, there seemed to be an endless amount of time. All at once I feel as if I’ve lived seven lifetimes in this one but then it’s a lightening flash in the scope of a vast universe. I’ve been thinking about time lately. Some of what rolls around in my mind are: I wake up on Monday and the next day it’s Friday, the grace of nostalgia, that I’ve always been a beauty seeker and embrace the moments all the more, dreams unfulfilled, dreams I continue to dream and desire as if I’m the 27 year old woman (shown in the photo above) possessing an abundance of curiosity and hope.

Nostalgia plays a part in time. There are highlights in life that make vivid memories precious. The list would go on and on of course. More recently however, would be travel. I’m so grateful to have found purpose with my workshop presented to survivors at retreats in Italy and the Dominican Republic. Ever since I traveled to Italy for a semester with the fashion-design college I attended, a part of my spirit remained there. Revisiting twice decades later, I felt at home all over again. I’m convinced that I’ve lived at least one past lifetime in Italy. The vibe and lifestyle is something that I resonate with.

Then I think about the time we’re living in. Are we in the 19th century or the 20th century because it doesn’t feel like the logical progression 2024 should provide and certainly in the US where we ought to be a leader for rights, climate crisis, economic equality, etc. ? How is it possible to be going so far backwards? It’s unfathomable that women are running for their lives to receive the health care they need. And it’s a crucial time for all women to vote whether in local, state, and national elections to ensure our rights. Otherwise, what’s next — losing our right to vote or suppression in key states???

I never thought there would come a time where decency, integrity, truth, and a lack of accountability have taken a back burner. It can’t be ignored because it’s a time where democracy hangs on by a thread. It’s a time of acute awareness and not a time to hide our heads in the sand. I trust that women will move into a powerful movement as they did in the time of suffrage.

I felt united and hopeful out there marching for women’s rights back in 2016. I couldn’t have imagined it could become more of a concern in 2024. I suppose I’m marching in my mind from concern all the time. I think about my dad who lived in a time where going off to war as a 19-year-old for the purpose of a mission to fight for freedom against a dictator. How did we get here and why is it acceptable by any human being the world over, especially in America to side with dictators? I know that a fair percentage of folks don’t want to talk about it but it’s in our face and a far-right, evangelical force in this country want to reign with autocracy. The question is, what do we do in this time? Speak out and vote. Women will will be powerful deciders in the election.

I also think about (often in my meditations) all of those I’ve lost way before their time. I’ve lost family and friends when they were far too young (including both parents) which is difficult to reconcile and make sense of. Perhaps the quest to learn the meaning of life varies depending on personal experience. We continue to move forward in acceptance because that’s what our human spirit guides us to do. I’ve always found it interesting how different we all are even though we are all humans sharing the same DNA as stardust — literally the same atoms as the stars above.

With a milestone birthday coming in the fall, I’ve thought about lost time. Mostly the six years on a parallel planet and auto pilot to get through a health crisis. I’ll always be honest with my readers, which is the promise I made to myself when I decided to choose writing as my full focus in another reinvention — I wish I could get those years back and postpone this next birthday. I saw an intuitive in the hopes of seeking clarity in what has been a confusing time and one of a crossroads. She told me to pull out my magic wand… I’m still looking for it. We all have hurts and ones that can really sting because you know you’ve been greatly misunderstood or judged unfairly. I’m grateful for the fact that I’m a survivor, have a roof over my head with an ocean view from my blooming patio, dear friends who know my heart and loyalty, and a therapy cat who’s been a magical gift.

As time races by for all of us, love is our greatest weapon. While I have been an impassioned activist for our planet, wildlife, and animals by speaking out, signing petitions, donations, and making suggestions wherever and whenever I can for small improvements — at times to the annoyance of others. I’ll carry on since the planet is more fragile and in peril in the year 2024 … despite decades of warnings. As the planet spins and more than half my life is behind me, I’ll proceed with passion, compassion, and in this immediate moment, take time to absorb the spring beauty and bounty after the blessing of a good rainy season in CA.

With earth day in mind, embrace your time and place on mother earth. Enjoy the rest of spring and may your hopes, desires, and dreams blossom abundantly.

Keep on swimming through life,

Valerie Anne




Valerie Anne Burns

Author of Caution: Mermaid Crossing, Voyages of a Motherless Daughter”; Blogger; Breast Cancer Survivor; Hollywood Survivor; Workshop Leader; & Beauty Seeker.