Can’t wrap it up pretty with a bow….

I’ve been flummoxed,  wanting to offer you a fresh bouquet
from the gardens I’ve been tending,
about watery melons and milk thistle tea,
wildflower honey and coppertone on a breeze.
It meets some sort of primal need in me to create beauty with words
and pictures,  to share the light streaming in from my window
and lean my shoulder playful into yours,
grinning “look!”

To be glad about it together….this is joy to me.
But there’s sludge in my soul from holding quiet so long
a story i’m living
that feels so swollen inside that my voice has gotten heavy
and i feel it’s time to try and tell it true,
to free what needs to flow on through me
because there is nothing more lonely than secrets that metastisize
until you’re silent where your heart used to sing.

window glow
I wrestled with starting a new blog,  just for the telling.
So no one could watch.
Maybe slide this story out there faceless
because,  I tell you,  the shame that washes over me still,
even after doing the work for what seems like forever,
fighting to hold onto the truth when my ground is hard shaken,
well it can roll me until I’m thrashing for air.

But I’m taking the Summer to share.
Week by week.  One deep breath at a time.
Because it’s the garden that I’ve got.
And real life is the most beautiful thing that I know.
Even when you can’t wrap it up tidy and sweet:)

If you’re feeling it,  come back to share the road.
If you’d rather not,  i so understand.
Either way I wish you beauty,  bounty and breakthrough
in all of your ways.


“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
Maya Angelou

Feels like coming home….

bloggy thank you
“How was your birthday?”

I never really know how to answer those kinds of questions,  do you?
Because the sting of experience tells me it’s maybe a request
for a well-wrapped response,
tidy and concise,  and that stresses me,
like when someone asks “what’s she like?”
and I know they want a category
and it doesn’t come natural for me to think in terms of box and label;
I avoid that kind of thinking.

“Good, thanks…..really beautiful”  I answer, smiling,

but it’s unsatisfying to say
because what my heart wants to pour out is that it was
a gentle rain of sunshine and art supplies and fresh bouquets of soulful words,
lavender and chocolate and bright green kale with mango and lime,
an eclectic smattering of gorgeous cupcakes
and mounds of favorite candy for laughing and giving;

lavender blog

 it was much-loved faces pulled up close around tables
and everyday food infused with magic,
and cookbook and candles and a wealth of roomy choices,
and even though I felt a little mashed in some places
and the headachy bit of living kept being what it is,
it was a steambath of love
and I felt right at home in my life,

like when a song drifts ghostlike across your everyday quiet
and didn’t you dream that before,
the soundtrack your heart’s been noodling with for years,
and you feel peaceful, easy celebration
blossom deep inside
and even time seems to slow down for a listen
and you wonder if  maybe it’s a friendly thing after all,  time,
instead of something to wrestle and resent.

But that’d be too much information,  yes?
Unless you’re blogging.
And so I blog:)

Big bodacious nuzzles to beautiful you:)

too much dog
“To know what you prefer
instead of humbly saying “amen” to what the world tells you
you ought to prefer
is to keep your soul alive.”
-R.L. Stevenson

52 candles….

It’s my birthday this week and I’m plunking
52 fresh candles in my lemon blueberry cheesecake,
deep down ridiculously glad to be alive in 52 (new)
glad and grateful ways:

~for fresh skies and new trails to hike,
~the soul sweetness of being with safe people,
~the resistance that enables us to fly,
~the grace to listen slow,
~wiggle room….the beauty of spaciousness,
~creating art for the simple joy of it,  and
~clean libraries,

~for our fascinating weaknesses and imperfections
~good coaches and coaching,
~for healthy intimacy….the real stuff that isn’t illusion,
~audio books when my hands are happily covered in paint,
~golden moments in the sun,  warm and wrapped in light.
~the large,  friendly quiet of the early morning,
~the sleepy sighs of dogs plopped and snuggled
at my feet,
~the hoo hoo hoooo of an owl in the woods,


~when sometimes into life’s overwhelm come soft days,
thickset with grace,
~sea kayaks and coppertone air and  summertime dreaming,
~those times when you feel like a bird with a big song,
~the first flutters and tenderlings of Spring,
~the shepherd psalm,

~song lyrics and movie lines that make your heart leap,
~thank you’s….all the creative ways that appreciation
gets expressed,
~the beauty and honor of Native American culture
and each baby step toward restoration of these noble people,
~how “the Lord lives among pots and pans”  (Teresa of Avila)
~Melody Beattie and Brene Brown and their brilliance shared,
~ poetry and prayer,

~for the cool breeze of friends who are shade in the swelter
and help to stir my dreams vivid and shining,
~the simple beauty of spending less than I make,
~the poignant power of well chosen words,
~every laugh that shakes my children’s bellies,
~that we are not our pain,  not our problems,
and there are exciting,  interesting things in store for us
and  we get to  cooperate with the universe by taking good,
tender loving care with ourselves,


~the big heart-massage and brain de-clutter of morning pages,
~hot steamy baths,
~the whoosh of satisfaction when all the gardens tucked in for a long winter’s nap,
~cutting into a really juicy  lime,
~the beauty of timely support,
~the gorgeousness of vulnerability,
~the way the pain and loss of tragedy reminds me to love out loud,
to say it,  write it,  grow it,  guard it,  live it,  show it
and dance all over the fear that I’ll be rejected or look a fool
….I’d rather put my love out there than hide it away unexpressed,

~for the freedom to get hopping mad,
~the gift of solution,
~the joy of just turtling along,  free to mosey,
and also the thrill of zooming
and that we mostly get to choose,
~the sweetness of new season,  new rhythm,  new dance
with the same partner,
~the deliciousness of coming uncaged,
~for the gnarly,  stretchy stuff….that life without tension
goes shallow,


~people who are generous with a smile,
~learning to forgive ourselves for what we didn’t know
before we learned it,
~for how much easier life gets when we accept the apologies
that we never got,
~sunny stone walls to lean against warm
when icy winds blow,
~after-storm clarity
~and the deep breath of relief when we let love come near
our unloved places
and get some healing done.

~for naps and sweet, sweet sleep when it comes
~and for another year to sing into the wind
that life is precious,  love is treasure,  time is currency
and it is pure gift
to be here now.

There they are…..the 52 new candles flickering in my heart this year.
I’m so grateful to be able to serve up a slice to you,  friend.
Love and thanks for coming around to help me celebrate.
You make my life richer than I can say.


“I decided that the most subversive,  revolutionary thing I could do
was to show up for my life
and not be ashamed.”
-Anne Lamott

tired or true….


What if
our tiredness is a picture of our true-ness,
our wellness,  a story of our you-ness?

Want to join me in a ponder?

“When I repress my emotions,
my stomach keeps score….”
-John Powell

( a gross oversimplification,  of course
……..always, always there are exceptions
and complexities;
but I’m wondering if more of our fatigue and un-wellness
than we realize
is brought on by being untrue to ourselves,
by taking responsibility for that which isn’t our heaviness to carry
and equally by not owning choices
that are our very birthright)

let me count the ways….

 Celebrating 29 years of togethering
  and oh how grateful I am
 for my mister

~  his beautiful hands and kind, firm touch,
 ~ his quiet way
 ~ how when he laughs,  really laughs,  it's music,
 like my grandpa's,
~ his loving fierceness for protecting our children
 ~  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.....our shared love for
 wildlife and aliveness was how we fell in love,
~  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" and 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 me with his
 ~  the happy squeeze in my belly when we ride the same wave,
 ~ the way he's learned 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,
~ that i love this adventure we share more each day,
~ and that I believe
that together we can find a way

to thrive through whatever comes down this unpaved path
we travel together.


Wait!  That’s 29~  and there’s so much more to love!
I want years more still
for the telling.