Tuesday, February 28, 2012

a dance of holding on and letting go...

love is a dance of holding on and letting go
constantly changing and becoming more and sometimes less
than i ever could ever dream in my wildest imagination.

i have  a very active imagination. one that needs to be reigned in come bedtime or there is
very little sleep.
an imagination that didn't let me sleep without the light on until i was shamefully too old for such comfort.

and even with all that ability to imagine
i never imagined this.

loving someone else completly looks nothing like what i imagined.
or read about.
or witnessed in other people.
it is completly a solitary journey between two people.
the person loving and the person being loved
and the roles reverse so quickly.
one moment i am doing the loving and suddenly
awash with awe, i reilize i am being loved.

that's the holding on part.
the "i choose to love you no matter what"
that i say with a ferociousness and belief that it is true.

the letting go dance of love is tricky
and being i am not a dancer learning the steps requires practice and patience.
and i am abundantly showered with opportunity in both those areas.

loving someone, a child, a friend, a partner,
someones who is as much a part of you as one can imagine
is divine.
reilizing they are as different from you as,
oh, i don't know,
insert some great paradox here,
well, that part of love is the part i didn't imagine.
 the reality i still can't wrap my head around.

this for me,
comes up in my mother-child relationships.
this is the journey i am on.
and there is no easy remedy.
constantly, day after day, there is a new understanding,
an unveiling of the stark differences between myself and my beloved children.
how did they become them?
when i was sure i was raising them to be just like me?

that's the ego in the journey isn't it.
i wanted them to become like me i guess.
and they didn't and they don't
and they are their own fabulous people
and yes, i played an important role,
but really,
love isn't about raising them to be me
love is about allowing them to be them.

this is incomplete.
these thoughts are jumbled and raw and in process today. and yesterday. and tomorrow too.

Monday, February 27, 2012


we joke that having teenagers is like having a newborn

(up all hours of the night. not sure how to navigate new terrain.
confused and exhausted by the wailing, red faced child that is a part of the family all of a sudden)
not that he was there for the newborn part.
but he sure is here for the teenager part.
solid. commited. rock star stepdad.

we are busy. ridiculously busy. torn away from each other and the closeness we crave
by the demands, choices, and people that we love so much. by the realities of life and sickness and responsibilities.

but oh how we miss each other.
don't get me wrong.
 we are together every day.
 every single day we sit and talk and cuddle and catch up and soak into each other.
but we needed more than that.

we needed a return to the old way of loving.
the candlelit dinners, the one too many bitefuls, the shared pitcher.
the freedom that comes from long, uninterupted time and no cares.
if only for a moment.

and we found it.
we deliberatly, and perhaps foolheartedly found it.
i took biteful after biteful and didn't care of the consequences.
because for one night we needed to forget.
forget that there are restraints and pressures and stress and sorrow.

so we forgot our lives
for a few hours and filled up that craving.
it was beyond good.
it was perfect.
and it makes our life richer looking ahead.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

gratefulness list!

isn't she sweet...
a friend gave her to me
and i am grateful.

it's been a while but here are the gratefulness notes from this past week:

being unemployerd
the power of prayer
an ear on the other end of the phone
seeing blue sky
a perfect novel
life line texts and phone calls
successful birthday present giving
fresh bread
sleep in's
the irises are waking up
caleb's pizza recipe written in his own handwriting
hopeful thinking
hospice care
my dear owen
cinamon buns
tea with a friend
the colour pink
clean bedrooms
hearing people's future plans
handmade writing paper
blustery winds
poetry by mail
visits with little people
bright yellow nail polish

Thursday, February 23, 2012

finding my community...

i've been thinking lots about community.
do i have one?
i certainly need one. 
i think we all do.
for some, family is community...
and i grew up with church being my community
and oh, it was a great one
that has seemed impossible to replace.

work can become a community..it felt that way when i was at Lighthouse.
but, really,
now that i am home
who is my community?
i think there is a strong connection forged through my online community
but it isn't quite the same.
the online community is freeing because there is an ease of sharing
that is free from the daily walking out of community life.
it isn't enough though really.
we need flesh and blood community as well.
the people that sit with you, bring you meals, laugh together in the living room or around the kitchen table, the conversations that make you think and the sharing of milestones.
the kind of community that gets together and responds to a need or a celebration or a deep sorrow.

owen and i talk of this sometimes.
family is a strong source of support and friendship
but still, different.
important and forever and reassuring
but still not quite what i ponder is missing from my life.

we have concluded that community is hard to find.

alot would say that they find their community in church.
or in clubs and organized on going activites.
perhaps a tight circle of friends would make a community.
an author i read recently said that a person just needs to keep asking the question
"where am i susposed to be?" and the answer will come.
so i am asking.
so far, all is quiet

but in that quietness i am forging bonds with family members
collecting sisters whom i adore
and connecting with old friends in a real and valuable way.
i have pen pals and online connections and
my children fill a large portion of my day and we are transitioning from
mother and son to mother and friend.

sometimes, when i read community boards
 like the one The Forge has
i feel a longing...to belong to something bigger again.
so i will keep asking the question
"where is my community?"

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

collecting moments...

i attempt to collect the moments of my day
through instagram. the quick photos remind me of all that is good about my days
and this wonderful place we live and the amazing people i share my life with.
i thought i would share a few today.

i notice secret messages on coffee shop blackboards.

i am cheered up everytime i see the flowers a friend blessed me with.

i bake almost daily in an attempt to keep teenage bellies full.

i read  wonderful story, after wonderful story.

i spend time in my art journal,
which is my happy place during the rainy months.

i drink my creamy kefir
i wonder alot....

 life is full. and good. and challenging. and ever changing.
i don't want to miss a moment of it!

Monday, February 20, 2012

balancing the needs of each other.

-source unknown-

i don't know how to do this very well.
how to care for myself and care for my most precious
loved ones.
i struggle with balance.
i struggle with fear and with feeling responsible for the people in my heart.

this is not a logical complication.
this is a heart complication.
and they seem to be trickier to manage.

i am trying, trying so very hard to learn to balance
my needs, my responsibilities, my love and my overflowing
desire to do right by them.

this all has to do with trust.
i know that.
trust in the creator. trust that we are all exactly where we are meant to be
right. now.
this journey is unfolding as it should.
i get that.
i believe that.
but it doesn't always help to just know something,
 to understand something.
that knowing has to sink down into our hearts and flow through our veins.
this takes time and practice
and there are days when i don't feel like i have enough time.
that my care and love and influence are waning and i need to focus.
focus on loving and guiding and occasionally,
pulling with all my might.
i need to take care of me.
i need to go and accept medicine into my body that renders me useless,
at least by my standards, for days.
i don't want to do this.
i want to be available and fully ready to be
 for my children. for owen. for my friend who has a breaking heart.
this is the balance i struggle with
i don't want to go. i want to stay. and be present. but in order to do that,
it seems i have to go. at least for a little while.

i feel like a small child. stomping my feet in protest. expressing myself the only way i know how.
unable to articulate what is really being felt by me.
of course, this will pass and all will continue as it is meant to.
and my articulation, my expression of my stuggle
will improve with time and practice
and i will continue to face each day with determination and grace.
tomorrow will come and go and the medicine will do what it does
and my body will do what it does
and the fears i have around my family will disipate as another day closes.
this is how it works.
and i will sigh and give thanks and begin again.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


i am full of curiosity.
i wonder about all sorts of things.
i keep a curiosity list.

my inner critic would like to tell me my curiosity
is immature or perhaps foolish.
kinda like my wishing i do.
but i think not.

i think curiosity is one of the habits of a hopeful girl
of an optimist
an explorer of the world...

right now my curiosity list looks like this:

i am curious about
making my own bath products
  how much i need to spend to collect enough air miles to go somewhere warm
the role of genetics and can we beat them
growing my own onions
where all the towels in this house go
the proper structure of a poem
just how to keep my camera clean
saving babies in Haiti
how to prevent the racoons from eating our beloved chickens
nature vs. nurture
true love and how some people miss out on it
just what can i actually mail at the post office

what are you curious about?

Friday, February 17, 2012

there aren't enough cups of tea...

there are not enough cups of tea today
to push through the sadness.

and that is okay.
it is okay to be sad
i have often told others.
it is healing and stretching to sit with our emotions
especially the ones that might frighten us or bring up feelings of vulnerability.
sit with them.
invite them in.
make them tea.
befriend these emotions that just want to be heard

they pass

like clouds in the sky, like the seasons of the year
hard emotions and their whispers and tourment.
they pass

but today
i am sad.
i am heavy and weary and so i turn to what i know works for me.
i journal, i create, i bake bread, i write notes of encouragement to others,
i brew pots and pots of tea, i keep the lights off, i wear slippers and i am quiet.

i am quiet as a way of not saying anything that will later bring regret
because sometimes sadness can get mixed up with anger or judgement or accusations
or fears spoken out loud.

i am quiet because i know that later or tomorrow or soon,
this sadness will fade and be replaced with another emotion and so the cycle goes.

don't be afraid of your sadness
i say
to the curly haired girl, or a small one, or to myself
don't be afraid.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

throwing out wishes...

do you have a wish?
desire - will - want - request - longing - aspiration
as the google dictionary puts it?

sometimes i get to wishing.
i make doodles or lists of my wishes.
today feels like a wish list sorta day.

want to know a secret?
i'm still in my pj's.
these past few days have wiped us out.
emotionally and then of course,
so, yes, at 1 pm in the afternoon.
i look like i just got out of bed.

but that's not the point of this blog post.
this is about wishing.

sometimes i wish for simple things
like fresh flowers in every room
a bit of extra money at the end of the month to tuck away for a holiday fund.
perhaps a choice of bubble baths to choose from.

other wish lists seems more serious.
important perhaps.

a chunk of land to donate as a community garden so that families could garden together and have fresh produce
(this is a reccuring wish of mine)
that city budgets considered the needs of the children in their communities
world peace
health and accessible clean water for everyone.
those sorts of wishes.

 most days,
i wish for this

that we would be able to see ourselves as others see us.
that we would be able to love ourselves as others love us.
that we would embrace our potential and become just that wonderful.

 imagine what would come of us believing in ourselves
that much!
and all that believing would spill over onto each other and before we knew it
there would be fresh flowers in every room
and community gardens would spring up
and children and adults would play and work together
and all the wishes we wished could come true.

that is what i am wishing today
not world peace,
just our own inner peace.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

a web of love...

we build it carefully and slowly,
taking moments and days and sometimes years
we build it through time and action
words and deeds.
we build it with patience and determination

we string together trust and connnections
vulnerably at times and joyfully at others.
connections become stronger and more closely intertwined with each
and every interaction,
twisting close together, making the web strong and sturdy
with small spaces between the love.
it's hard to slip through small spaces.

this web of love is bouncy and wide and held sturdily between the people it encompasses.
instead of catching  bugs like a spider does
this web catches caring and love and encouragement
and hope and second chances and joyful moments.

it catches tears and heartache and feels the sobs in the night.
these strings glisten with the teardrops and  catch the joyful light that a new morning
 then all these wonders of love are bounced and spilled over
whenever they are needed.
always refilling with more for the next time.

sometimes the web of love sits quietly,
gathering dust if it isn't carefully tended with care.
daily tending makes for a strong web i am noticing.

there are days, months and sometimes years that can go by
but the moment there is love needed
all the wonderful qualities that are stored amongst the strands
 spill off and into and onto and all around
 the person who is needing help
or a friend or just someone who believes in them.

we have been building a web with great determination these past few years.
our web has seen so many different contributors and the additions are so wonderful and good.
love is so wonderful and good.
i am in love with the belief that love can save lives.
love is always the answer.
at least that's what my heart says to me.

we are still busy here
in our little home
helping with the
saving of a shiny, bright life.
she is doing her own hard, true work and we stand holding the web,
spilling the love goodness  all over her
the journey isn't over.
please believe with us that our web is a catcher of souls
and a sharer of love.
our web is so strong,
thanks to our community of lovers,
that not one will slip though the holes.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

a love list.

warm hugs when feeling cold
affectionate glances from across the room
little notes found unexpectedly
back rubs
being brought warm tea
vanilla scented candles
warm hands slipping into yours when out for a walk
(especially teeny, tiny hands of small ones)
deep sighs over tea dates because you both get how "it" feels
unexpected splashed of red when you least expect them
(i love confetti)
love making that looks like dishes and vacuuming and grocery shopping
candy hearts with secret messages
turning a "holiday" into a daily practice
special love packages to be delivered
photographs that capture true connection
heart doodles
i love you texts from the curly haired girl
heart shaped pancakes with maple syrup
love cookies
teenage boys awkwardly searching for a way to belong
love letters to ourselves
the little acts of kindness that go on everyday right in front of us
lollipop moments

i sure do love love

Monday, February 13, 2012

just dropping in...

often as  i wander through my morning
i begin to formulate in my mind what i am feeling
i might be blogging about that day.
most days this comes as naturally as my hair is curly
but some days,
days like today
there isn't much.
i feel quiet.
but blogging is a daily practice for me
just as my morning reading, gratitude journal
and tea drinking are.
so i come to this space
to type.
and to say hello to my thoughts
and to you.
it is an intentional recording of my story.
so that i remember.

i need to remember
because when i forget
i become more judgemental of myself and of others
and i am working very hard to love both myself
and others
just right where they are
just right how they are
just because they and i are worthy of love.
all the time.

somehow, for me,
remembering my story and my daily journey
helps me to be more loving and generous
and creative and genuine.

so today,
nothing much to say
just hello.
take care of yourself today
i did.

(and for all of you who lost me for the past few weeks,
i am glad we found each other again)

Friday, February 10, 2012

it's all in the choosing.

i hear the requests alot during my day
especially now that i am home
and they are home.

"mom, can you make me a sandwich?"
"you are picking me up from school, right?"
"do you have time to go for a drive today?"
"call me when you are leaving so i can catch a ride"
"what's for dinner tonight?"
"will you sit with me while i do my homework?"

and there are lots more.
requests of me. of my time. of togetherness.
sometimes it can sound quite demanding here at our house
and it would be, and sometimes it is,
too easy to consider them all demands of my time.
selfish, i just don't want to do it myself requests.

(and indeed, sometimes, they are)

those who know me well,
are aware that i prescribe to a
"don't do for them what they can do for themselves"
kinda parenting/educating/caregiving

but you know,
sometimes philosphies and best practices can be replaced.
by new ones. new ways of doing and being and thinking
because life changes. rapidy. and we need to do the same sometimes.

i choose to hear something other than demands when i am requested.
(somedays..this is not a perfect science..this parenthood thing)
i am hearing relationship building.
i am hearing trust rebuilding.

i am hearing,
choosing to hear

"i want to spend time with you. you make the best sandwiches. i like talking to you in the car. you make me feel smarter when i know you are close to me. i feel safe in your presence."

our journey with the curly haired girl earlier this year
blew away alot of what i thought i knew. alot of what i believed to be
"the way" to raise the children.
she is a constant teacher.
as are all of them. but she in particular.

i hear her rebuilding her trust of me
 just as much as i am rebuilding my trust of her
when she asks
"you are picking me up from school right?"

she has had times in her life when she felt i loved others more than her.
that is changing. she is learning to trust me again.
knowing that makes it easy to pick her up and make that a priority of my day.

choosing to hear the requests in my day
with a positive ear,
assuming the best
even when that may not be their intention
 allows me to love freely.
give more of myself and not feel resentful.
this is the choosing that creates life. growth. love and connection.

it works for me.
and it seems to be working for them.
this week there have been so many instances
where they blessed others with their presence, their service, their contributions.
i have been blessed through their actions.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


-baby Ewan's toes-

the bravery that is bubbling out of me is
fun to witness.
it's as if i am watching an infant discover her toes.
 just noticing,
then grasping and missing,
grasping and missing.

sometimes all that grasping
needs to be followed by rest.
(it's hard work trying to catch those toes!)

perhaps i've been in the grasping and missing stage long enough.

finally, the baby,
the sweet baby is able to touch and hold those toes
and there is delight and drooling and chattering-
all the adults peer down and  smile and congratulate-
the baby has found a way to delight herself,
all by herself.
yay baby!

so here i am,
in yoga,
folding my body deeper than i thought possible
touching my toes and feeling delight.
calm delight.
here i am signing up and going
to a workshop-
just for fun,
no other reason. not to learn anything important or new.

i feel that i have spent alot of time grasping and reaching.
over and over and now,
i have made contact.

with myself.
for myself.

the timing is perfect.
it always is, isn't it?

oh, january,
you were good to me through all the pain.
this is possibly one of the greatest gifts i could recieve
right now.

the gift of bravely connecting with me.
(i think i like her too- not sure yet...i'll keep you posted.)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

i knew i loved this space.

i just didn't reilize how much
until this morning
for some reason
unkown to me
i was logged out
and unable to log back in.

hannah tried. gideon tried.
i kept that sensless trying that you know isn't going to help
but you do it anyway,
feeling yourself get all worked up and upset.

i had visions of never blogging again.
of losing my story
that i have so vulnerably typed away here in this space.
i, of course,
disapointing people
by not showing up.

oh ,it was pretty classic

then i stepped away.
decided that my life would indeed continue
blog or no blog
and besides, i needed to get myself together
i am having company any moment now.
how would i be able to explain my frenzy
over something as simple and replaceable as a blog.

of course, stepping away always helps solve the problem at hand
and here i am.
good as new.
heart rate has returned to normal and i am happily
pounding out my thoughts. 

so what i reilized
is that this is a valuable place for me.

it serves a purpose in my life
and has a role to play.

thank you for joining me.

oh! i also figured out how to respond to comments..
so if you do leave comments..i can respond!
and for those of you who don't have accounts,
you can always leave comments as annonymous and just add your name to your comment
(just in case you didn't know, like i didn't)