holiday hope

Hope’s here at home.

Send prayers far away.

Believe in this moment.

Honor this day.

Know what to keep.  

How to let go.

When to hold on. 

How to go slow.

When to forgive. 

How to forget.

Who we remember. 

What we regret.

Gathered in tradition. 

Today, slow the pace.

Missing who’s missing

A family in grace.

in case of overwhelm

ride it out * go with it * this too shall pass * one day at a time * first things first * do the next right thing * take something off your plate * tomorrow’s another day * do something for yourself * do something for others * self-care * don’t worry, be happy * rest * relax * meditate * breathe

count your blessings * start with gratitude * it will all be there tomorrow * walk it out * talk it out * work it out * be

progress over perfection * create something * build something * clean something * move your body * organize * strategize * prioritize * trust the system * believe in yourself * have faith

unplug * disconnect * recharge* ask yourself: how important is it * will this matter: in five minutes, five hours, five days, weeks, years * follow your instincts * trust your gut * surround yourself with people who love you* spend some time alone

pray

a friday kind of calm

I spent about an hour early this morning chopping vegetables for salsa. It was peaceful there in the kitchen, quiet all around but for the brief moments of knife to wood. I stood there chopping amidst remnants of last night’s dinner, a sinkful of dirties, piles of mail, and a counter collection of life’s daily detritus. So the environment itself was anything but serene, and on any other day, I probably would’ve felt rattled by the magnitude I almost always make it to be.

But not today.

Today I woke feeling calm. Confident. Capable. Ready for those dishes and that job and even an unexpected plot twist or two. Maybe overwhelm has no room to take root on a Friday. Maybe my inside knows my outside survived Monday through Thursday, proof Friday is certainly do-able. Maybe there’s a Friday kind of calm.

I’m all for feeling it. And wish it for you as well.

it’s a great day

It’s a great day.

A day for coulds. Maybe I cans. And why nots.

A day to experiment or go for the sure thing. Maybe try a first-time recipe or mix up something tried and true. Measure or estimate. Who cares? Why worry? Stack the dishes and let them air dry. Give the whole kitchen a lick and promise because tomorrow’s gonna be a great day too.

It’s a day for curiosity. Maybe I’ll open a new book or page through an old one. It’s a day to live astonished. Or curious. Delighted. Or Daring. It’s a day for supposing. For wonder. A day to ask a question and then find an answer. To take a chance. Stand up. Speak out. Share.

Today’s a great day.

It’s a day for movement. For walking. Climbing. Biking. Waving. Smiling. Swimming. Dancing. Singing. A day for leaping before looking. For whistling. And blowing bubbles.

It’s a great day. A day for wishing on dandelions and stars and birthday candles. A day for hoping against hope. For dreaming. And today’s a day for giving. My time. Attention. Eye-contact. Forgiveness. An invitation. A compliment. Some just-baked cookies. A donation. My thanks.

Today’s a great day to listen. Birds and breezes. Kids in the pool. Conversations in the car. The solid th-wack of a satisfying backhand.

It’s a day for work. I write. Plan. Clean. Think.

Or why not rest? Read. Rock. Day-dream. Breathe.

Today’s a beautiful day for beginnings. For beauty. For kindness. It’s a fine day for chasing rainbows and believing in miracles.

Today’s a great day.

Let’s live it.

even the hardest parts

Sometimes life’s hard.

There’s grief. Loneliness. Worry. Disappointment. Sorrow. 

Even in a hopeful, happy life.

Could be it’s situational and driven by circumstances outside of my ordinary day to day.  Might be an old wound recently reopened. A good intention gone somehow wrong. Or maybe what I hoped for … dreamed about … counted the days until … somehow didn’t develop at all as planned.

Usually, I weep a bit. Slow, seeping tears. The kind that well up until the surface tension breaks, and they spill in a slow slide down my cheeks. Or maybe I turn away. Block the feeling. Avert my gaze. Deny it space or room to breathe inside me. I’m quiet. A little lacking in purpose. Adrift. Not much able to find comfort in almost any of the usual places.

I’m not sure what difference dawned in me today, but for today … I just want to feel the hard. Feel it all. The whole of it. Sit with it. Loll about in it. Inhale and exhale. Live through it and in it and on it and under it … until it’s over.

And done.

That’s what hope’s about, after all.  The certainty, faith, and knowledge life’s circle will eventually take a turn toward better. 

Because sometimes life’s hard.

And I want to live it all, learn it all, and love it all.

Even the hardest parts.

anniversary

you tend our marriage

as you tend our garden

careful

attentive

well-fed, watered, and weeded

you’re protective

preventative

dedicated

ever on watch

hopeful

always planning

scattering seeds

patiently working the soil

happy in every small shoot

proud of every bit of growth

nurturing our love

to be the most vibrant bloom,

the healthiest flower,

and most nourishing

plant in the garden.

measuring time

I’ve been measuring time in flowers. Watching spring unfold petal by petal. Open. Warm. (Sometimes.)

After the dormancy of a long, difficult winter, the beauty is there for the noticing in real time. The first unfurl of a leaf, a sudden bright shock of forsythia by the side of a salty, winter sand-covered road, and just now the peonies by the front porch, plump and ready to burst.

Life cycles, of course. Even within a season. Memories attach to events and flowers mark places along a continuum. I wonder if I’ll ever again see an early crocus in bloom without remembering a friend, lost too soon this spring. Or breathe another lilac perfumed breeze without remembering Mother’s Day. In the spaces between, I’m mentally tracking time in tulips and daffodils, following spring’s slow but steady march until summer comes.

Hope follows despair as bloom follows an empty landscape.

Summer’s about ready to take her turn, and just today I discovered wild daisies! Already. Almost before I was ready. The iris in front of that yellow house down the street is in bloom. Those iris always bloom the week before the last day of school. Another flower on the timeline and a consistency I can count on.

The point is, I suppose, is to know where you are at all times. More aware. More present. Equally intentional and spontaneous. There are flowers to count time by and tides rolling in on schedule. Places to go. Things to do. People to meet. I’m always optimistic at the crest of a new season. More ready to begin again, make good on promises to myself I may have broken in seasons past, itchy to explore all my life has to offer.

Lots to do … before the sunflowers rise.