Morning & Evening…

This year, I am studying summer like there will be a test at the end. I’m intentionally lingering in the breeze of a summer night enjoying the feel as warm air slides across my body. I am paying attention as swirling heat, brushes my hair back from my face as I walk between buildings on campus. I am noticing how my lungs recoil at the thick humidity that feels like a warm wall of water as I step outside of the air conditioning. The air seems to be alive, and I am awake to it in a new way. Continue reading “Morning & Evening…”

Aftermath…

When my doctor walked into the room she wrapped me in a hug and said, “So much has happened since I last saw you.” I was undone. She offered me tissues as I wiped the makeup from under my chin, and tried to croak out words to reassure her that I am really fine, just fine. Thirty minutes later, she made several referrals and instructed me to call if I had any further questions. She hugged me again as I left. Continue reading “Aftermath…”

Down the road…

My mom may have held a grudge. I don’t think she ever really got over the fact that I moved Allie away from the circle of her everyday life. We built the nursery together, waited for an extra month as my delivery date passed, and drove together to the hospital on the day she was born. Everyone else went to dinner, but mom stayed behind, not wanting to miss being there when the baby was born. She answered my questions, provided much needed (but not always wanted) advice, and was generally there to support me as I took my first steps as a mom. When we left, she was heartbroken. Continue reading “Down the road…”

Summer’s promise…

The dust is settling. The drama has subsided. After this latest storm, my life is regaining familiar contours. Yesterday, I scheduled a hair appointment and I went grocery shopping on my own. I’m still home, determined to give my body and soul space to recover. But I will return to work next week and begin to pick up the pieces. Continue reading “Summer’s promise…”

One job…

The other night, I sat with friends who have weathered dozens of life’s storms together and apart. We gathered in the aftermath of a wake. We had hugged a husband who was saying goodbye to the wife of his youth, children who had lost their loving mother, women who had lost a familiar friend, and a community rocked by a sudden loss. After we dried our tears and gathered our emotions, we drove off to a quiet space for dinner. Continue reading “One job…”

Better in March…

I landed in March, completely exhausted and depleted from the travel, the turmoil, and the grief of our fearsome February. March is my birthday month. One of my favorite months of the year… except for the weather.  And yet, instead of filling up my calendar with fun events and social outings, I found myself carving out white space on the calendar. Long slow evenings at home, slow Saturday mornings, and Sunday afternoons set apart for rest have been the slowly refilling my cup. Continue reading “Better in March…”

Making connections…

I am a connector. There is nothing I enjoy more than bringing people together. I do that around my dinner table, through small groups, scheduled meals, and impromptu gatherings. For many years, the main way I accomplish this has been through weekly gathering. We’ve opened our home for the better part of a couple decades to small groups of people who make room for each other and prioritize connection through a weekly meeting. These small groups weren’t our idea, we first were gathered up in a group that opened up the world to us as a young family. We found that we weren’t alone. We found that behind the Sunday morning smile, other families struggled to figure it out too. We found company for the fun days and friends for the hard ones. We remain deeply connected to many of the people who have done life with us through these life-giving groups. Continue reading “Making connections…”

Pottery class…

I’ve been dreaming about getting my hands in clay for years. I imagined the feel of the pliant clay running through my fingers as I shaped the soft block into a useful container of my choosing. In my daydreams, I envisioned hours spent calm and centered before the wheel. I was inspired to register for a class at my local art center last fall. The first night, I walked into the unfamiliar space eyeing the wheels set up in two rows facing a center shelf. We gathered around the glazing table and quickly received the basic instruction. We needed clay, which came in 25-pound bags and we needed tools, a small sponge, wire cutter, and various wooden and metal hand tools. The smell of clay filled the space. Continue reading “Pottery class…”

A look back…

The departure of 2017 has left behind a welcome calm. As I navigate the first weeks of the new year, I have spent quite a few hours tucked under my fuzzy blue blanket in my worn overstuffed chair. Usually, the week between the holidays is mine to reflect, evaluate, and plan. This year, those days were given over to people I adore, as we flew across the country to spend precious time with my Oregon family. So, I’ve redeemed slow Saturdays, a snowstorm, and quiet mornings catching up with my soul after a year of turmoil and transition. Continue reading “A look back…”

A matter of focus…

I’ve been fascinated by photography since I was a small girl. My grandma and grandpa Malone always had the newest technology which meant they had a super 8 camera when I was a child, were able to snap Polaroid pictures and wave them in the air, and they had every kind of “instant” camera you could imagine. Thin wide cameras with tall flash bars on the top. Thick cameras with color film and a twisting flashbulb, and eventually they had cameras with the flash built in. Even now, one of my favorite things is to look through the boxes and albums full of pictures. It’s like diving into a time machine. Continue reading “A matter of focus…”