Of curiosity and closets and the clothesline of things…..

I’ve been taking stock,
cleaning out the closets of what I think I am,
reclaiming some treasures and discarding what no longer fits.
It’s been carting off piles of what may have worked in seasons past
and infusing with sunshine fresh from the clothesline the ones I choose still to embrace.
There’s been sadness in the letting go
but this yummy, spacious joy in the after
and I feel so light about these roomy new digs that I want to share
what got refreshed and left behind to grow:

Who am I anyway.  A list:

~ I’m a friend.  A good one.

~  I’m a mother.  Not a great one.  But devoted,  wholehearted,  and I show up always
to the learning curve to discover,  listen and improve.
And I relish the climb.

~ I’m a lover of people.  Oh yes – love deeply and without apology.
I get caught up.  Smitten.
And I’m rarely disappointed.   People are mostly altogether
as beautiful as I first realized them to be.
Relationships may disappoint, yes,  and I’m learning to better navigate those,
but I think humans are almost always lovelier than even they seem.

~ I’m a codependent, recovering.  Always recovering.
But I feel the crazy like an old injury when certain triggers and fatigue wear me down
and I can stumble down those stairs so sudden
that I’m sleepwalking in the thick of habit before I’m fully awake.
I’ve wrecked a relationship or two this way.
Mostly,  though,  I reserve the lion’s share of injury for myself,
still often giving more than I can afford.
But I am in recovery, enthusiastically showing up to the work,
currently working a 12 step (CoDA) and getting some delicious freedom in the new.

~ Because, I’m a student.  Always.
Curious and unwilling to waste my living unexplored.

~ I’m a gardener.
It’s how I see the world.  I love the whole messy, unpredictable process;
– it feeds something deep inside.

~ I’m a seer…..empath…..intuit
– whatever you want to call a super-sensitive soul.
I feel places,  see songs,  hear hearts,
sense energies,  and sometimes touch the mystic.
I accept and often enjoy this,  and it also sometimes unravels me.
Such a paradox,  life.
(And,  yes,  so woo woo)

~ I’m a listener.
I love to know people.  To hear their stories.
And to be heard and known.
Assumption is the ugliest thing I know.

~ I’m a lover of nature,  lover of honesty,  a lover of God,
and a lover of words.
I’m a writer,
and diving deeper into the deep end of things I’ve carried
since I was only a girl full of dreams.

Someone recently handed me a box of darkness,  as Mary Oliver described,
and this indeed has been gift.
I’m getting clear about who I’m not,  that I am,  and what my own heart may be howling
above the music of the waves.

I’ll be back more now that our busy season is done and all the gardens growing happy.
So much that I’m bursting to share!

 “Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness.
It took me years to understand that this,  too,  was a gift.”
– Mary Oliver

“Over and over,  we are broken on the shore of life.
Our stubborn egos are knocked around,  and our frightened hearts are broken open
– not once,  and not in predictable patterns,
but in surprising ways and for as long as we live.”
– Elizabeth Lesser

The wild of wind and willows….

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It’s been a strong wind stirring up
the undersides of my leaves
in the wild way of spirit
when she moves to kiss the pink
back into white knuckles clenched
and it’s beautiful how she calls me out to hear the whoosh and whisper,
to walk out farther into the big open field of my heart
and lay me down beneath the willows

because sometimes you can’t un-hurt people with your simple words.
Sometimes you can’t un-break things.
Sometimes you have to put your hand on the cracked bowl of your heart
and just let it be wide and hollow,
filling up with mystery in the way you welcome something that you treasure.
To cherish your own space.

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To pat your hand lightly on your being
and cluck “you can’t fix this”
and let the soft brush of the willow branches
sing their way over you
the way things that don’t go brittle do.

They bend and billow and ride the wind
and whisper that I can,  too.

I wish you her willowy way,
to stand strong into your softness,
into the full of your own skin.
To be the whole and all
of you.

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“Breathe into being kind.  Grow into your substantive heart.
Embrace your vulnerability,  courage,  and might.
Walk forward with your whole being.
Be all this,  but please don’t be nice.
Nice is small.
It implies pretending no other layers exist.
It can’t hold hungry children or fishermen in their boats.
Nice arms will break and nice vessels will sink.
Only what’s real can be strong.
Only what’s true can hold empathy.”
– Rachel Awes
(From her magnificent new book The Great Green Okayness)

I drew the name Leigh Eades from the hat this week.
Will be sending a little package of handmade love her way.
Dropping more names from this week’s comments
into the drawing for next week.
Willowy love to you all!

 

Only love can make it rain….

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Standing in this cathedral of wind and wild things,
feet planted easy in a field that sings your name,
I cheer and then go quiet because it’s right inside
that I feel your heartbeat thump with mine
and I don’t need to hurl words high to be heard;
when I’m still I feel your sound
like a low,  healing bell
and again I fall soft into the quiet of your love.

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And even when dear ones seem to be sinking
and I must let go and trust them to stronger hands than mine,
when debt squeezes tight and I can’t slip free the coils
and the pain finds it’s way into my body and thunders hard,
there is a freedom, still,  so fierce and untiring
that it won’t be worn down.
It lifts and buoys and breathes back the air
that the crazy can suck right out,
breathes it back into me with every sip of truth
so I can go on and live big anyway

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and we can,  you know,  stand even here loved and safe and cared for so big
that the pain can’t steal it away,
this love that doesn’t quit or condemn or withdraw or manipulate;
just leans in open,  with a holy grin,
and so we,  too,  can live big and open and grateful and true
in a powerful peace that keeps pouring down wholeness
on every place where we let go and let dance in the rain.

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“Only love can make it rain
the way the beach is kissed by the sea
only love can make it rain
like the sweat of lovers layin’ in the fields

Love,  reign o’er me,
Love,  reign o’er me,
Rain on me,  rain on me.”
-Pete Townshend

I so wish I could send a zine to each of you beautiful people
but I drew 5 names and am oh so happy to be gifting one to
Sandra Ludwig, Kathy of Paper Pumpkin,  Julia at Of Petals and Wool,
Elephant Child and Brenda Thebeau.
I’ll try and send you messages to say.  Much love all around.

Sea deep and sky sure….

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I dreamed my world was sinking,
going down,  down,  deeper into the
dank,  dark,  depths.
Drowning seemed so horrifyingly sure.
I held fierce the rope I’d tied between us
until my lungs shuddered to bursting,
tucked my chin to chest to muster more grip
and in that flicker of ear-to-heart
I heard it quiet like a lullabye
“I’m deeper,  still……let go the rope”

Let go and surface,  my heart urged calmly.

Heaving deep,  exhausted gasps
my face felt again the sweet rush of air
and here in this big,  wide sea
I let go the weight of worry and rescue,
trusting in a stronger love
that is deeper still.

Do you feel it in your deepest soul,  the fear-grip?
White knuckles shaky on a worry rope you cling to tight and breathless
and blistered and worn,
pulling you down?
Detach….let it go…..there is a better way.

I sense the struggle down below
but also the firm and gentle pulse of peace
as it whispers through the panic
“you can swim….you can swim”

I go calm as I note the salt of the water on my lips,
the stir of breeze
and the vastness and blues of the sky
as the waves toss me sure toward the shore

And suddenly  I  just am again
and not so necessary,
here with my freedom
and my toes in the sand.

“Detachment does not mean we don’t care.
It means we learn to love,  care and be involved without going crazy.
We become free to love and care in ways that help others
and don’t hurt ourselves.”
-Melody Beattie

I’ll be here every day this month,
sharing a little.

choosing to cherish…

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“I miss Dolly,”  her faint voice trembled
with over ninety years of love and loss,
her tiny frame seated near my kneeling down
as I planted the blooms that will keep her company
in the living and letting go.

Her goodbyes have been a long and steady stream,
husband,  siblings,  family and friends
…so many graveside goodbyes,
sitting small now in the yard,  wistful eyes tugging at memory
and searching the windows of Dolly’s house empty next door
still unsold and looking  painful hollow.

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I listened to the homesick  sound her heart made
and clucked soft and pulled weeds from Dolly’s bed,  too,
so the lonely wouldn’t grow so tall
and filled Sara’s  bowl with attention and fresh water
and “I hear you” and “I care”
and made sure the flowers will sing her their sweetest songs

and packed up my tools and the wisdom
that is her gift to me,
this freshly fertilized choice to cherish
and I tuck it in close to heart as I drive away
and hear it deep down,
hear it clear and strong:
Appreciate
Show up.
Don’t waste this.

Life is shorter than our busy days can make it seem.
Be here now.

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“To live in this world,  you must be able to do three things.
To love what is mortal,  to hold it against your bones
knowing your own life depends on it,
and when the time comes to let it go,
let it go.”

-Mary Oliver