Of slow crawl and stretch and set fire to the night….

Been chunking on extra wood to make a bonfire
out of the coals of gratitude I tend,
stoking it to a roar
because these times.
And this week.
So here,  bright flames leaping a fury of joy for….

~ dreamy dahlias and their diverse faces,

~ safe spaces to twirl and move and dance and groove healing
’till it flows barefoot to my bones
and soothes away the sick and tired of me.

~ all the silly cards and jokes sent to my Dad as he recovers his strength
alone at home.

~ the grace and capacity to re-learn and repent and change my mind,
to tolerate the discomfort of a painful honest look
at my internalized superiority (ouch) and privilege.
and do the slow work of learning,
even when it feels at times like drinking from a firehose.

~ for permission to step back from fb and the gram as a learning tool,
from all the partials and pieces that may prevent me from thinking through thoroughly
these wildly complex ideas and thoughts,
that “there is no humility in certainty”;
that “some people never learn anything
because they understand everything too soon.”
(Alexander Pope)
For the long slow crawl of this thing.
And that it’s okay to scrape my knees.

~ for the soft breath of evening and the way the last glow of each day lingers on the ridges
before it dips down low behind the night.

~ that delicious knowing that you’re actually,  finally,  gratefully dipping again
into a sleep that may hold you for a little while.

Just sharing these short snippets because i don’t feel good.
But I’m feeling it big to write it down,  these next little words,
and send them out into the big wide……

Right now,  just especially,  try a little tenderness.

Let loose compassion
for the humans holding on.
For me that is strong creed that family,  friendship and faith community
are not places to rally around political beliefs
but to care even more carefully for the core
around which we gather
– the Love that overrides every political position.

Fight for relationship when you sense it’s getting dragged under the wheels
of the political machine.
In the end that’s what’s going to matter:   did we learn how to love.

I didn’t want to not show up.
Because my heart has a thing for you:)

“You can resist bullcrap and live to tell.
The status quo is counting on your submission but you do not have to bow down.
This will create tension,  but I’m convinced that a tension-free culture is a dangerous one.
Tension can be defined as the act of stretching or the state of being stretched.
You will feel the stretch,  you will cause the stretch in others,  and this is called growing.
If no one injects tension into the atmosphere,  we will always default
to existing power structures that operate beautifully
as long as no one puts any pressure on them.”
– Jen Hatmaker

These days I feel like g-u-m-b-y; embracing the burn:)

Giveaway!  This week it’s a bundle.
Tell Me Something Good – a bundle of made-for-you bites of art
with handwritten encouragement for uniquely you – I will spend some Rivertime,  have a soak about you
and write down what bubbles up as I listen to hear what the ripples speak.
For you.  And send them to you in a bundle.
* Coming soon to my etsy shop *

(And happy little leap to send last post’s giveaway to Sue of Elephants Child!)

Thirty-one years the journey….


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.

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

of treasure and bells

Yes!  I have such a thankful YES to share!

and as I work to tuck Rivergreen in
for her long Winter’s nap
I linger over the treasure chest of living
she has been,
this business we created as a life raft
and the ship she has become these seven years long
and I honor the journey that together we have shared

the way that growing Rivergreen
grew this family,
how we worked and bonded and tumbled and listened
and fought for,  cared for,  discovered
and needed each other,

for how we learned to really serve
and grew a strong NO
and learned to be true
and not pimp ourselves out because of need,
for all the flowers we got to know
and the dear friends we made along the way,

for those getting free times that broke my heart wide open
like that day in July when,
drenched with heat and grimy work,
I came undone in the  chatting
with a lovely lady customer
reclining regal in her marble pool,
frosty pearls  collecting cool around her glass,

….oh God,  I remember her flawless poise
and polish
as every insecurity I’d ever known as a woman
gnawed through my composure,
teetering there on the edge of tears
and how once she took her perfect tan inside
i let my  jealous tears fall hot
and spat through gritted teeth
“what in the hell am I doing down here?”
~my questions tumbled out as seed
and the answers began to grow.

And I learned to look and see my worth,
that i am not the sum of what I do
or what I seem,
to see the enough-ness,  the beauty,  the treasure
in what the sky speaks,
the wind whispers,
how the earth gives up her secrets
and how trees will hug you back

and how rain is rewarding
and gentleness is strength
and timing is everything
and how earth flings ebullient praise
to her maker
and you can hear it if you listen
and i am  a part of that,
my own sound heard,
my own marks in this dirt as valued
as the bells crying out from grand cathedrals.

As Rivergreen slows and sleeps this winter,
we’ll board another vessel,
a new job for hubby  will pull the weight awhile
and give this body and soul a rest
and when we wake her in the Spring
we’ll paddle gentle,  Rivergreen and I
and let the next chapter unfold
with plenty of space
for nexts to come
and this is a whale of a relief
for me.

I know this was l-o-n-g,
so full up with so much to tell
…thanks for catching the snippets that jump to you
and for sharing my thanks-giving!

“We had to learn to bend without the world caving in,
I had to learn what I’ve got,  who I’m not, and who I am.
I won’t give up on us even if the skies get rough,
I’m giving you all of my love
even if the skies get rough.”
-Jason Mraz