It’s been a year, dear Mom…

Dear Mom,  I was near your old house this week,
a whole year since the last time I got to squeeze your tiny hand
and kiss your sunken cheek
still remarkably soft like the young one that used to nuzzle mine.
I was so tired,  Mom,  and I felt overcome with missing you,
such a longing to drop by your house with the open windows and fresh linens,
and say,  “Mom I need a nap,”  and you’d have welcomed me in with care in your voice
and maybe even stroked my hair for a minute
as breeze slipped soft through your crisp white curtains
while I sunk into sleep for just awhile.
After my nap we’d have shared a cup of tea
and I’d have felt less lonely with each sip.

But as much as I miss you,  I’m glad you didn’t have to navigate this year.
People have been so cruel to each other,  Mom;  it’s harsh enough to blister a heart
but Lord knows you’d have loved the sparring.
And you know I’d have quietly withered a bit over each of your fb posts:)
Oh sweet mercy that your political soap box was retired
before this year of hard shaking.
(smile)

Yeah this year has been a non-stop rumble,  Mom,
– such a catalyst for change.
Kind of like an asteroid slammed into everyone’s backyard.
I’m feeling much charred but also grateful for how it came shaving off places I didn’t know
needed impact until I noticed some shift
in my entitled,  self-righteous places.  Oye.
I hope I’m becoming a better peace-builder.
And even with our wildly differing perspectives,
I always heard the affection in your voice every time you greeted me
and I miss it much.
I know your love was real.

I’ve still got my big feelings
and kind of sense that you don’t find them so daunting now,
like we’re closer somehow
from where you’ve landed,
as if my “too much” doesn’t feel as much so
in the great spacious wide you now enjoy.
I imagine you in those brilliantly lit fields of beyond
and think somehow that we could picnic there for hours,
together without a single sticky fear to flare up between us.
When I climb to the parkway,  to the rocky winds where we released your bones,
I let the jagged light kiss the spaces we kept between us
and it feels like healing
and home.

Last week in your city,  hungry for rest and feeling homesick and alone,
I remembered how you used to crawl into the warm car you parked in the sunny spot
of our old driveway just to take a nap.  Sanctuary:)
The memory felt a little like an invitation,
like I could hear you say,
“just lay back the seat,  dear,  and catch a few winks.”
And you know what,  Mom,  I did  – right there on the street where I was working.
I shimmied down,  closed my eyes,  and imagined you there beside me.
I woke up revived and thinking I’d heard you sigh.

I made you a garden this year.
Out of your favorite things – words and beauty.
On your favorite platform (Lord help us) – facebook.
I tried to show up daily – didn’t make all the days but gave it my all.
I leaned in to cobble together words and images that would lift,
and encourage from a mama-heart.
To honor your fierce like-a-lion love.
I used your pet word “dear” so much I can hardly punch it into the keys now
and I think your garden is full.
Am needing some rest from the digging –  want to go build other things
so I’m calling time.  It’s enough,  and I believe I feel your smile on that, too.
So weird how I made this for you but I grew way richer
in my own heart than anything I could’ve given.
Your generosity still kisses my life with gold.

I honor you,  Mom,
will continue to honor you by living my life – the one that you helped carry –
from the bottom of my being
until I’ve squeezed free every last drop.
I love you forever.

“Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing
there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.”
– Rumi

Thanks for letting me grieve and process out loud,  dear ones.
Your reads and comments are precious to me.
And congrats to Maureen – I drew your name to receive the giveaway bundle
I’ll make for you this week.
With joy:)
More giveaways coming soon.

A little love letter to my country….

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I love this country.
I wish I had a way to hold our collective hands, smile into each pair of eyes,
and whisper tender and strong,
“hey,  this is so not you.”
You aren’t defined by thisthe hurtful ads and jabs
and manipulative campaigns that saturate our feeds
until we’re forced to look away or go hard inside
so the poison doesn’t scald what we need to keep on living.

I want to plead,  “Do you see the children watching?  They can hear us.”
What are they taking in as we demonize and degrade the ones who’ve stepped into the arena
while we project our bias and turn down our thumbs with words increasingly lethal and obscene.

 I want to look over at the young ones and say “it’s okay,  we’re good,” and  then invite us all
to sit down together
at a table groaning with good coffee and wine and really yummy things
and make it safe to let our hearts speak,
to say our reasons and share our other-ness
without shame or defensiveness or assumption.

Because,  for the love,  we are spirit and bone and soul and skin
and it’s clear that this political machine doesn’t care who or what it grinds up
as it slashes through the airwaves,
feeding on our wounds and rage.

Much of what our eyes and ears get scraped across in the media
isn’t genuine news or even politics.
It’s emotional abuse.
So we  buy into the lie that there is a monster to be exposed,
goaded into to battle,  gladiator-style,  until the arena is soaked in blood
and even though it’s our collective blood that gets spilled
it’s okay,
because this is how progress is done,  yes?
No.
This is not who we are.

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I know smart,  big-hearted, wide-thinking,  and deeply feeling people
who plan to vote for each camp.  They really aren’t happy about this.
They don’t love their particular choice
but will make it because they see something in this specific platform,
among all that they dislike about the candidate,
that compels them to follow their heart and place their vote for this ticket

What might we discover by having meaningful conversations with our egos checked?
By engaging in inquisitive and respectful dialogue with other hearts
in order to listen wide.
By pursuing the meat of it,  not in debate,  but to hear the heart
of what is it that you want?
What is the hope that you are voicing with your vote?
By hearing deep their reasons and finding them maybe also valid

and worthy of respect.

Someone is going to win this election and our kids are going to have to find a way to function
in a country where a demonized-as-dangerous  figure head
has become their President.   We all will.
Will we be able to build and create more than we’ve destroyed and torn down?
I’m holding onto big hope that we will look back on this election as a tipping point in history
where we were shaken sober to become a civil, more noble society.

I’ll go and place my vote.
And,  yes,  I’ll likely throw up in my mouth a little bit while I pull the lever.
But I won’t give the political machine any more of my power
by buying into the hateful spirit it encourages.

Imagine a diverse community of people who respect the individual enough to listen and know,
rather than assume or reject or attack.
We will build this sacred space yet,  I believe…..regardless of who wins this election.
Neither of these candidates will save us.
But,  oh,  there is a field….

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field.  I’ll meet you there.”
– Rumi

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 “If we want to know,  love and experience community,
if we want to be part of creating a more peaceful world,  we will work to understand this:
Either everyone is special,  or no one is.
Putting yourself or another human being on a pedestal
– making yourself or someone else right all the time –
is a sure recipe for disappointment or conflict or loneliness.”
– Elizabeth Lesser

To just feel free….

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I’m celebrating my birthday this week
with some gentle hikes and deep breaths and easy togetherness
with ones that I love
and a gift I’m giving myself that is so simple
(like this,  my word for the year)
that it helps knead out the strain I sometimes carry
over being another year into this thing
that I sometimes feel I’m doing rather badly.

Life.
It’s such a big deal.
And I want to do it wholehearted.
So I’m giving myself a wide generous spread of permission
to make enough mistakes;
(you almost can’t make enough,  you know)
and to dance badly
and more,  please,

blog brighter

 to love out loud-er,
to ask for crazy stuff,
to not take it on heavy when someone calls my art “my work”
(I know it’s my play)
and to forgive like my happiness depends on it,

to feel free,  in fact,
to give away more than seems reasonable,
to show up even when I’m gimpy
(maybe especially when I’m gimpy)
and to believe that Life is also sweet on me.

blog feel free
To feel free
to just
feel free.

To help celebrate another year of living,  I’m pouring some handwritten love
through my etsy shop this week

…..if you want to order one of these for yourself
or as a gift for someone else,   this gardener will be honored to help
do some intuitive soul-tending in that beautiful heart of yours:)
Because I love sharing the journey with you.

blog louder
I want to sing like the birds sing,
not worrying about who hears
or what they think.”
-Rumi

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