Fast tide rising…..

Did I really disappear for this long?
I think my breath got too short in the thicket
of dear ones in pain and feeling too thin spread over jagged edges of great need.
As if there wasn’t enough oxygen left over in my life-living
to come over here and say my words.

Because I felt for awhile too small for this world,
like there was more to lift than I could heft.
And while I doggie paddled through the soupy swirl,
something hard and sharp and brilliant began to slice away at some of my false parts
until I could feel the true of me rise.
Like new wine from the press.

I’m not sure how to come back;  feels like too much story to tell short.
So for now I’ll share some gifts I’ve discovered in the unpacking.
Celebrating found gold from the road:

~ the gentle surprise that I’m better able to hold space for my dear ones in their pain
because I’m more comfortable sitting now in my own.

~ that I’m safe to make peace with whatever is in my path,
even what I can’t yet see around that scary-looking corner up ahead.

~ that I can own my mistakes and also hold it tender for myself
that I didn’t know how to do different or better
….to forgive this quick and not waste the grief.

~ for change that shakes my shaky things,
that stirs my stuck places into rock and shudder,
and the spaciousness that settles in sweet when I make some room for defeat.

~ that the sense of groaning, splintering floorboards that scared my breathing shallow,
fearing that it was the sound of my life in collapse,
was only the end of things as I knew them.
But not even close to over.
That life is made to be breakable.  And so are we.  Nothing is beyond repair

Because this storm is like a fast tide rising,
lifting the doldrums until my ship floats free.
There is meaningful motion where before were only dry-docked dreams.

~ that the birds keep singing;
(always they teach)
and so,  yes so,  can I.

“The pain that comes from loving someone who is in trouble can be profound.”

“We’re so careful to see that no one gets hurt.  No one,  that is,  but ourselves.”

“Remember the key principles:  boundaries,  letting go,
forgiveness after feeling my feelings – not before,
self-expression,  loving others,  but loving myself too.”

– All priceless gems from Melody Beattie



What I’ve been grazing and grooving on……

sunset blog
I’ve been squeezing the last drops of juice from January,
the one month each year that sometimes feels like vacation
because our gardening business settles down for a long winter’s nap
and I can throw myself more into projects I’ve been saving for the big quiet
but this year has been cheeky,  as the sap is already rising,
and so I’ve been hours in the trees,   pruning,
and I’m sore from the hard and cold and a stiff sort of sleepy.

My blogging process looks a lot,  in my mind,   like gardening and cooking;
I tend what’s growing in my heart,  writing down snippets and making bites of art
and then gather the bits into bouquets
or cobble into soup or salsa or pie
to serve up fresh and in season here every week
(a small lyrical café,  I imagine:))

ladder blog

but I’m a wintery sort of tired this week up here pruning away
(and I skipped a week already,  didn’t I)
so I’m going to serve them straight up,  the munchies I’ve been grazing on,
the clippings of what I’ve been loving (like turnip greens and their sweet baby roots).
Feel free to snack on the whoosh and whisper of it all:

 ~ There’s  fierce beauty in spending less than we make.

~Urgency is rarely true,  and is always a lie when it’s compulsive.

~ We are –  all of us  –  lovely to God
(don’t let shame hiss at you otherwise)

rail bloggy

 ~  “Hope is a conclusion we stay in
as we hope our way through hopeless circumstances.”
-Robin MacMillan

~There is something profoundly and deeply right with each of us.

~it takes me back home to the healer of my heart,  whispering in the cold,  brave sunshine
how Love walked right into this thumping ache of mine,  went tenderly to the room
where I feel broken,  and moved in bearing balm and comfort and courage
and “where does it hurt?”
and when the wind outside was howling chaos,
became the greenhouse where my fiercest flowers grow.

~ “…the air a library and the record of every life lived,  every sentence spoken,
every word transmitted still reverberating in it.”
-Anthony Doerr’s  All the Light We Cannot See
(potent read and a terrible beauty)

moody blog
 I'll soon be down from the trees and back in my heart's kitchen,
 stirring up something hopeful yummy to serve
  but didn't want to go silent so long so here is my little offering.
Much love and light and lift to your astonishingly beautiful heart - xoxox
(little drawing to give away a copy of my February issue zine,  Ripplesongs;
 leave a comment
 and your name goes in the fuzzy hat)


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

trail markers and tools….

I wish I could relax with you on a quilt in the grass
and tell you how amazing and valuable and utterly beautiful I think you are.
Before we parted I’d squeeze your hand and slip a little package of these bites of art to you
with a hug and a smile and a maybe a pray if you want
so you could take away some playful mile markers,
of the journey we’ve shared.

If I quoted anyone,  it would likely be Melody Beattie because her words,
they’re just so good and I want to remember a few of them exactly.
Like this:

Nurturing yourself is neither silly nor self-indulgent.
It’s how we show love for ourselves,
(building)  loving relationships with ourselves that work
so we can have loving relationships with others that work.”

  I love that….sing it,  Melody.

I’d also share this
-my life coach and friend,  Anjie,  showed me and it’s really helpful.
Whenever I’m feeling
H ungry,  A ngry,  L onely   or  T ired,
Just stop for a moment and ask:
what do I need to do right now
to take care of myself?

(like take a walk,  power nap,  call a friend,  leave,  drink some tea,
say no,  re-schedule,  go home,  get out and play……etc)

Yeah,  I’d pack you up a helpful little tool bag and wrap it in some pretty cord
and leave it with you,  if I could.

I’ve loved this visiting season
-so glad to be tramping across the earth with you
…..hope you can feel my smile.

of monsters and mercy and me….

I’ve dreamed it since I was young,  this recurring fright:
I’m at the beach with my family when suddenly I’m standing on bare sand
that is sloping madly toward the sea
and a monstrous black wave is towering over me….towering…..and I’ve no time,  not a second,  to run.
And I don’t know how I got there….the waves were lovely and friendly
when suddenly a dark dinosaur of water is curling menacing overhead

Wherever I am is suddenly freakishly not a safe place to be and my mind reels….how did I get here?
I think, to survive,  I should’ve dived through the wave into sanctuary but it’s come on too fast,  too  big
and I’m standing exposed on bare sand.

If I’m in the cottage,  the nightmare wave smashes over the roof while I watch through the windows,
horrified,  as the dark of the deep envelops us and I fear the house will splinter.

I always wake up shaken before the wave touches me
…..never  taste it’s salt or feel it’s sweeping power crush me.

I’ve wondered most my life what it means,  if anything,  this dream.

Last week I walked along the shore,  my feet knee deep in rushing tide and it settled sweet to spirit,   what a water girl I am,
how I always feel the me-est when I’m weightless in the waves,  floating free,
wallowing in the lift of  salt and  sea.
I watched the dark waves rolling in and suddenly,  as if splashed,  I know the wave that’s haunted me.
It’s name is “false” and it threatens
when I get washed up high and dry from the truth of me,
jostled and churned until I’m beached
like a fish out of water….. with false responsibility
but I can stop and wake up and shake myself free

Because the false never takes me,  never crushes out my life,
there’s mercy more and  always enough  to wake me up to the light,
to  tweak my course and find my bearings and go back to simply be,
otter-ly real and true to me.

“To thine own self be true.
A grounding statement for those who get caught up in the storm of the needs and feelings of others.

 Sometimes,  the demands of other people and our confused expectations of ourselves
-the messages about our responsibilities toward others – can create a tremendous, complicated mess.
We can even convince ourselves that people-pleasing,  going against our nature and not being honest,
is the kind thing to do!
Not true.  Simplify.  Back to basics….what do we need to do to take care of ourselves.
Let go of the confusion.  By honoring and respecting ourselves,  we will be true to those around us,

even if we displease them momentarily.
To thine own self be true.
Simple words describing a powerful task that can put us back on track.”
-Melody Beattie

Thanks for wading through that l-o-n-g dream-speak with me;
I love posting shorts and am heading back that way now,
just needed to let that say itself.
Peace….so much peace in it’s wake.