Sweetly summered still…

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Sharing sweet somethings from a summer
slipping somehow to a close…..
(Sorry…..couldn’t stop myself)

~most foodie love - tomatoes growing scandalous in my front yard,
lightly salted and eaten still warm from their suburban vines
(lots of other veggies,  too)
-I had so much fun as a gardener this year.

~most soothing space  - a little prayer garden we built
in the back yard,  strung with starry twinkle lights,
and tucked in cozy my roomy swing.
* swing-swing* *pour out heart*  *swing-swing*
*swing-swing*  *listen tender*  *swing-swing

~biggest summer strangeness – no swimsuit lines on this farmers tanned skin,
no swimming at all……that’s a first since,
well,  that’s a first.

~second biggest first of Summer -  no despair about the first summer first.
Didn’t surrender up one morsel of joy over it
and feeling sweetly summered still.

 ~biggest summer solution – Did some stretchy creative art-growing  with the front entrance
of our neighborhood because funds were short so instead of the usual plantings
I seeded strong sunflowers,  feathery cosmos and brilliant zinnias
and, my God,  their blossoms made my heart twirl colors I’ve never met before.
It was some serious splendor…..really satisfying stuff.

~sweetest summer  surprise -  goldfinches!

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~biggest slip and save – I tugged hard on a long weed and up came the weed
and a huge swarm of angry yellow jackets.  I fell backwards and was stung only once.
On my hand.  Like a slap.  Could’ve been way more wicked.

~biggest sigh of satisfaction – my zine was born and took
it’s first tentative toddles.

~scariest leap and learning curve - letting my zine be born and take it’s first
tentative toddles.

~best summer read - strange that this would even make the feed
but so crazy-helpful that I’d love to issue every human being a copy:
Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.
Is that not just an unfortunate title?
The cover is even worse (really,  it’s a wonder anyone bought the first copy.)
But it’s brilliant stuff,  this.  Like a relationship whisperer.

~bye-to-summer splurge
-  banana bread with chocolate fudge icing
(or is this a hello to the season coming on golden with change?)
Either way,

~what I’m loving - living
yeah,  it’s a romance worth keeping alive

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Dear Life,
“I didn’t fall in love with you.
I walked into love with you,  with my eyes wide open,
choosing to take each step along the way.
I’d choose you;  in a hundred different lifetimes,
in a hundred worlds,  in any version of reality,
I’d find you and I’d choose you.”
-The Chaos of Stars

I’ll be sending September copies of my Ripplesongs zine
to Jane (my high school English teacher!),
Barbara and Susie.
Just need snail mail addresses and I’ll put your packages on a fast pony.

letting wonder woo you…

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Keep being wowed,
heaven blowing often kisses,
and because you’re watching,
you catch and let them woo you,

  keeping palms up and heart open,
your romance with living alive.

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Keep showing up to the table,
going soft to miracle and mystery,
to all the mundane glory
winking and whispering tender
over the unique heart
that it’s wilding to win.

(that’d be yours,  m’dear)

You’re the prize,  you know:)

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I want to give away a copy of my fresh little creation I call Ripplesongs.
It’s a zine…..the September issue still warm from the oven.
It’s my passion to donate these to waiting rooms wherever people are hurting
and hungry for hope.
I hope this bold, roomy read feels like a walk through a beautiful garden,  a strong shot of courage,  a big gulp of air.
I’ll draw a name next week from the comments….please tell me where you’d maybe donate a copy
and I’ll send an extra and one for you,  too.
With a whole heap of love.

“I like living.
I have sometimes been wildly,  despairingly,  acutely miserable,
racked with sorrow,  but through it all I still know quite certainly
that just to be alive is a grand thing.”
-Agatha Christi

anyway and everything….

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It’s groaning with gratitude,  my anyway jar,
filling up with goodness glinting like unpolished gold
in these hardscrabble times
and my heart grins brighter with each plunk of plenty
and I remember laughing how I thought I’d fill one quicker
with “stuff that sucks”

and I think that maybe,  in time,  I’d have had to dump
the “holy crap,  this bites” pile into the
“thanks for this brilliance” jar and see it all true
and call it all good,  the whole lump of it,

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because it’s all being worked together that way,
crafted into something I wouldn’t have wanted to miss
or control
or sleep through dull

and now  I’m thinking thanks for it all,
the bits that are beautiful and blistering and balmy and broken;
I’ll take it all grateful
because loving genius is weaving the parts
into story large and strong
and I can trust this resourceful heart
with my everything.

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Just doing a little heartcheck as the year unfolds
and the one little word I chose
*anyway*
still challenging me.
Do you have a word that’s speaking to you?

If you are kind,  people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.  Be kind anyway.
If you are successful,  you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.
Be successful anyway.
What you spend years creating,  others could destroy overnight.  Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness,  some may be jealous.  Be happy anyway.
In the final analysis,  it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them,
anyway.”

- attributed to Mother Teresa

Thirty-one years the journey….

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It began in a rose garden,
this journey thirty-one years long,
and I’m thirty-one reasons glad
for this weathered, wizened kind of strong…..

~for his beautiful hands with their firm,  kind touch,
~his quiet way,
~how when he laughs,  really laughs,  it’s music,
like my grandpa’s was,
~his fierce love for our kids,
~the compassion that rises up and takes him over
when  he senses genuine need,

~that he keeps learning,  keeps growing,  keeps opening to change
even when it challenges and chills him,
~that he notices nature  with childlike eyes,
~that he still surprises me,
~the way he cares for my car,
~that he takes life’s hits and keeps moving forward,
~how he wouldn’t quit on us…wouldn’t let me quit,  either
….the peacefulness that’s come,

~the way his eyes smile to me in a crowd,
~the feel of his hand on the small of my back,
~the iron-sharpening-iron way he challenges
with his oh-so-different-from-me-ness,
~the happy squeeze in my belly when we ride the same wave,
~the way he’s learning to be free about me being me,

~how we’ve learned to fight hard and often and well,
~the way his straight lines sometimes bend to blend with my wavy ones,
~the way he lives his own truth and keeps it real,
~his calm courage when I lose it and come undone,
~his humility when I’m the braver one,

~that his heart is tender,
~his prayers are real,
~his love is faithful,
~his art is forgiveness,
~and his story is strong,

~the way he loves his mama,  feels his music,  and lives out his love
for me real and raw and true,
~the way we’re creating something simple in a hard,  chaotic world,
~that our journey becomes daily an adventure more
~and though it’s a messy one,  it’s our story
~and growing still is the freedom to do life as we
while being true to the me’s
we both celebrate and see.

And I’m thirty-one seasons grateful.

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“Give your hearts,  but not into each others keeping,
for only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.”
-Kahlil Gibran

Like someplace made of sky…..

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August rolling in under stormy skies
and my heart pounding hard on the keys,
singing songs I’ve never heard before
while strong winds blowing in some cool change
and I need to pull thanks around me snug
to keep out the chill
because I’m unnerved
and gratitude has the potent power to steady
where we tremble.

I want to be curious in the places where I shy,
to be open to the mystery of the messy in-betweens
and so I fling ebullient thanks for summer soup growing wild,
for blossom to apples,  tender sprouts to pickles in a jar,
and baby bump to laughing child,

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to lean into it grateful
the hope I hold inside
for a roominess of life
that feels like somewhere made of sky

Now can be delicious,
and it’s what I’ve got,
a rich full slice of it to notice and nuzzle.

And what’s around the riverbend that we can’t dare to see?
…. it may be startling goodness
we wouldn’t ask or dream.

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“If you don’t die from thirst,  there are blessings in the desert.
You can be pulled into limitlessness,  which we all yearn for,
or you can do the beauty of minutia,  the scrimshaw of tiny and precise.
The sky is your ocean,  and the crystal silence will uplift
like great gospel music,  or Neil Young.”
-Anne Lamott