Because joy…..

I posted a snippet yesterday and then plucked it back down again
because I’ve been a little frazzled
and I didn’t trust my words to land true.
So many swirling around like birds – not sure if they were ready to light
or if they needed to linger in flight until they perch for you to read.
So I’ll share instead what the river seemed to sing
as I watched her tumble smiling across the rocks:

That even in the noise and swirl there is reason enough,  and grace,
to gather up the edges of my hope
and shake it out hard so I can lose the fluff
and draw up solid around me what remains
like a blanket in the night
to feel the strong warm
against my heart
thumping
scared

because
of what may be coming
around that scary-looking corner up ahead
and all of the dark unknown that seems to cry danger
and warning and this is the moment just before the other shoe drops
and then won’t you feel stupid for all the joy you held foolish like a silly child
so busily enchanted in your sandbox that you didn’t see the storm in time to run.

Those are the bony fingers that come for my joy in the night,
rattling that it’s a fool’s errand to celebrate beauty
and cultivate gratitude
because shelter is not built in such ways
and
feeling it all so deeply is not a luxury
you can afford.

Better to numb it all down,
the cold wind hisses,
and brace yourself against
whatever is to come.

But as I watch the waters tumble and trust-fall undaunted down
into wild places they’ve never been,  all of that whitewater
singing fearless joy in a brave language
that I’m longing to learn,
I feel a wisdom in the joy
that rises high above the
voice of my anxious rumblings
and makes sense
of hope.

My heart settles there today,
trusting,  leaning, and tumbling headlong into the Hope
who is loving presence and tender mercy and solution and strategy and peace.
Anchoring my soul in this gives space for my joy to get loud and colorful and do the bright work
of making this moment delicious and this life worth all of the even gnarly,  often heart-breaking living.

Fight for joy in this strange season,  friend;
Don’t go ’round without it’s medicine.

“Joy is the most vulnerable emotion we experience.
And if you cannot tolerate joy,  what you do is start dress-rehearsing tragedy.”
– Brene’ Brown

Congratulations to Jeanie of Marmalade Gypsy
– your name popped up in the drawing for a copy of Tell Me Something Good

which arrives fresh from the West Coast tomorrow.  I’ll be sending it out this week!

Offering another giveaway this week – leave a comment and your name goes in the warm fuzzy hat.

 

the soft soil of eden….

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Hello Summer just begun and year half done,
large friendly hum of the warm breath of morning,
a freshborn season for loving and squeezing,
and drinking deep of long days turned ripe and jeweled
like the pearly mounds of berries at the farm stand
fresh picked and still mottled with earth

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hello rolling skies and silky rays painting dusk with soft sighs of rest,
lilies and wild things breezing along the roadways
and love songs and light shows riding on the clouds,
cool water splashing fat drops of mercy and tugging the too-hot from me,
joy, and lift and belly laughs,  sweet bath of sunshine and sea,

hello rustle of green and willow and blanket spread beneath the trees,
for soaking and sifting and basking and being
in the places inside where our  hearts are still tending
the sweet, soft soil of eden.

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Really,  I hope this season is a hello to restoration
in every way your heart is wilding for,
some fresh sweet freedom in your wanting-spacious places.
Yeah,  I hope Summer splashes you good:)

“Hello,  sun in my face,
hello you who made the morning and spread it over the fields….”
-Mary Oliver

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I’ve got 5 happy little packages wrapped and ready
for the 5 names I drew
(I wish I could send one to each of you….will offer another giveaway soon with Ripplesongs July)
Please message me with your addresses, dears!
~Amanda Fall,  Simone,  Wanda,  Lynn Wilkinson,  and Anita.
Love and smooches all around.

 

A Christmas hush….

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I’ve listened for  it since I was little,
the hush that seems to fall like snow
these days before Christmas,
a  holy quiet
that hovers heavy
sweet and thick,
even in the bustle,

the universe holding her breath
in wonder.

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I’m slipping into the quiet
for a long soak,
making space to bask
and awe
and holding close to heart for each of you
love
and Christmas hope.

I'll see you back again before the new year.
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 "How silently,  how silently
the wondrous gift is given...."

-O Little Town of Bethlehem

Funny that way….

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I won’t say it again this week,
more about being work-weary and worn and smelling of Ben Gay
and how my knees pop and crackle
because it’s October
and,  well,  our busy season is hard that way.

I’ll tell you instead how vivid turquoise the sky over me can be
and how the drape and arch of twigs and vines
can make my heart go all swimmy and glad
and I don’t even try to  figure that out anymore.
I’ll share how a blaze of sunlight wrapped in cloud
can glitter flecks of plum and raspberry and tangerine
and how noisy grackles in the treetops make it sound as if
the woods find something hilarious
and it’s pretty much impossible not to  laugh along.

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I’ll tell you  that I’m thinking how grateful I am for fields
wearing their Autumn swish and rustle,
all rich and loamy and raining seeds for next year’s wild blooms
and for the pumpkins everywhere,
each bright orange globe a shot of courage
for the grey and cold to come,
and for the way the light goes golder
and the shadows more purple
and memories somehow more vivid

and how there is  treasure
in what the sky speaks,
and the wind whispers,
and how the trees will hug you back

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and how gentleness is strength
and the way the earth flings up ebullient praise to her maker
and you can hear it if you listen
and I  get to be a part of that,
my own marks in the dirt as valuable as
the bells crying out in grand cathedrals

and I suppose that makes me a pretty rich woman
which is not something you’d likely guess
if you saw me rambling down some backroad in my dirty truck
with my windows rolled down and the music cranked up high.
Oh,  you’d think maybe that I’m happy enough
because of the singing
but rich?
I doubt anyone would guess that with a look.
Life is funny that way

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“…and in the morning when I rise
you bring a tear of joy to my eyes and tell me
everything is gonna be alright.”
-Kenny Loggins

May be something new….

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I’ve been pouring gallons of tea on the ground,
a happy concoction I make for the gardens I tend
and with every splash of the fertile,  watery goodness
I feel strength find it’s way to roots
and it does this May thing in my heart
’cause it’s so much fun to pour on life
so,  mind if I splash, splash, splash
some fertilizer over you,  too?

Okay,  hold still…

May these be days of open doors and soft dappled light,
of warm southern breezes and lids lifted off,
a waterfall of birdsong pouring down
washing weary things clean.

May this season find you
and fireflies,  too,
with new dances and next steps in even old places,
new touches and brushes and whispers and spaces
and fresh grace to live close to your belly.

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May you lose the “it’s not worth it”
and feel it fluttering inside that you matter,
that you’re loved with a love
that isn’t lost or weak or sleepy,
a love that is leaning in and moving toward you,
meeting you more than halfway
with freedom to spare,
freedom to share
and fresh hope thumping joy inside your chest
with new rhythms.

I feel it for you,
your life growing into fresh new shades
of beautiful.
Drink it in….you are worth every drop.
.

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“Well I’ve got a hammer
and I’ve got a bell
and I’ve got a song to sing all over this land.
It’s the hammer of justice,
it’s the bell of freedom
it’s the song about love between my brothers and my sisters
all over this land.”

-folk song by Lee Hayes and Pete Seeger