Tuesday, April 30, 2013


it feels like spring
the very spring we have been experiencing here on the west coast
bouts of endless rain and wind
and then the  sun warmth hitting my shoulders and letting them loosen just a wee bit.
unexpected changes as the day progresses.
one moment stormy and afghan wrapped and the next
barefoot and garden wandering.
opportunities for bravery
and for the hard work of pecking myself out of the shell
 i have needed to occupy for the past 15 months.
i have taken upon myself opportunities this week that allow for me to expand
and test out my fragile wings again.
while at the same time,
i am consuming more medicine and less food than i have in a long time.
it is fragile work
and as unpredictable as the weather
this hatching from winter hibernation into spring.
what i know is this.
the weather changes.
the sky doesn't.
and while the weather blows through and over and around me again and again
 the sky remains solid,
a canvas, a backdrop  for the patterns that pass over my head.
i can depend on the solidness of my being.
i can depend on the sky.
i am hatching
and my wings will carry me.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

the lesson of my 44th year.

the night and i were company for one another again
and as the house struggled to settle,
so did i.
the medication i am back on
can be hard on this body of mine
and while yesterday was so peaceful in my heart
it was not so in my body
and i struggled in the wee hours
 to prepare myself for the day ahead.
i had plans for today
 they needed to be relinquished and laid to rest.
the fingers that were itching to start a new art journal
were and are unwilling to do anything more than wide, simple grasping
"it's a plastic cup day"
 i said to owen, knowing that i would be dropping
 more than i would be catching today. 
there would be big baggy sweaters that didn't require button work,
and shoes that slip on and off as to avoid pulling.
the body flares that have nothing to do with colitis,
but at the same time,
have everything to do with colitis
are in charge today.
 typing on my phone today
 results in entire conversations being underlined in red
that i need to go in and fix because my hands are swollen and uncooperative.
a small gathering of intimate friends has been put on hold
because this body isn't accepting much
 of any kind of food and i am not up to watching cake eating on my behalf for another year.
but there sprang up an impromptu family lunch of burgers for them and
kombuchu for me.
no pressure.
 just comfortable love.
the best kind.
instead of having a gathering,
i am tucking these bare feet under me
and settling in to watch Narnia
 and search for secret messages.
today was wonderful in its own way
because i have learned in the 44th year of my life
that letting go of what i have planned and allowning what needs to happen
is an entirely safe and acceptable thing to do.
because new experiences, encounters rise up
and my day becomes exactly as it need be.
my life has become a dance of releasing.
of letting go and letting be.
of trusting that tomorrow will take care of itself
and always, the gifts come.

Friday, April 26, 2013

full circle.

last night was not a night for sleeping
and i wandered back in time
remembering what this day was like for me last year
and i was reminded of this day and this one too.
so much sadness.
 so much wondering.
 so much to work through.
i am at peace
i am enjoying a day of doing absolutely nothing.
it feels wonderful.
and the circle feels complete.
a few weeks ago on my very first trip of the season
to the garden store
i stopped for a moment to gaze at the figures.
i ran my head over a Buddha headed sculpture,
noticed a few other pieces,
and felt a little twinge of well,
i don't have pieces in my garden,
i have chairs and wooden twig trellises and pots and teacups
but no figures.
they aren't really me...
or so i thought.
yesterday i visited with a dear friend and she mentioned
that for my birthday she wanted to take me to the garden store.
my thoughts turned to seeds and plant starts
until i heard her say,
almost as an aside i think
"we should get you something special, really special for your garden."
and the day went on.
last night as i was reading my blog post from last year,
i reread my sister-in-law's comment
and she said this..
"She's 59 this year, isn't she? You both seem far too young for such a history. Reading about birthing conditions like that reminds me of a tour we took at Britannia Mine last year - grisly stories of appallingly dangerous and miserable work and s-l-o-w improvements after decades of casualties. Men's work like that occasionally receives the dubious honor of a well-funded museum...where their suffering is presented as info-tainment...but women's work like birth is too intimate for such treatment. That's just as well, I think, but wouldn't it be good to at least see monuments put up? Like the ones we build (justly) for veterans of war. And then we could go lay flowers to the memory of the all women who suffered before us, who gave life to us all"
 i reilized that i knew what i needed to do in order to honour my birth mama today.
i am going to put a figurine in my garden
for her.
it feels perfect.
i can see what i want it to look like
in my mind,
and my heart.
i hope i can find her.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

"keep the earth below my feet"

i take a lot of photos of pathways
and feet.
seasonal feet.
it's not just a summer thing.
or an outside hobby.
i organize my instagram images by month
and every single folder has multiple feet pictures.
mainly mine.
no one else seems to want me to document their feet the way i do my own.
but sometimes i sneak them in
(these are Hannah's feet at a temple garden in Thailand)
when i go to therapy the first thing i do is take off my shoes,
when i walk onto the beach i fling them off and then carefully put them on a log so i don't forget where they are.
at the garden, i remove them and sink my toes into the soft earth.
at home, they are naked, tucked up under me on the couch
or when i sit on the floor cross legged under the living room window.
i will let my feet freeze in order to feel a connection with the earth, the floor, the solid foundation.
my feet ground me.
 and they are my center,
even though they are no where near my physical center.
i love that quirkiness of me.
i am keeping the earth below my feet
very conscientiously this week.
it has been a week of tremendous personal growth and opportunity
 with a whopping side of physical pain.
i am approaching my birthday tomorrow with more peace than i can ever remember
but i am still carrying sadness for my young birth mama as the hour gets closer.
my heart is empathetic for her aloneness, her loss, her gift to me that i am not able to thank her for.
today i am sitting with how to honour her,
  yet also celebrate the growth i have made
this past year.
my feet are bare.
i am grateful for the sun.
 i am spending time in nature today.
it is a deliberate decision.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


the practice of seeking out the lovely in the gutters of life,
that moment at the end of the day where you lay your head down and give thanks
regardless of circumstances
despite the blood and the sweat and the chills and the unknown
the morning breath that whispers
"this is the day that the lord has made, i will rejoice and be GLAD in it"
even though church isn't part of your life anymore
but you feel grateful, oh so grateful,
 for all that memorization
 done way long ago.
the determined devotion to optimism
that you notice has been waning recently despite your best intentions
so you go out to find it.
to notice the beautiful world around you,
the people who make a difference every single day
the innocence and free spiritedness of children
{we could learn something there}
you make eye contact with the ugly
and face it head on even as your heart pounds and your chest tightens up.
you make eye contact long enough to notice the catchlight there
and then,
without fail
{i promise you, if you keep looking}
the exhale comes.
the beauty pours in
the gratefulness arrives.
there amongst the weeds of your life
there is life.
there is light.
we go on.

Monday, April 22, 2013


the truth is
it was such a hard one.
this weekend.
yet so very beautiful at the same time.
is my new favorite phrase.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


i am returning to this place.
where i sing my brightest song.
there is a remembering happening
after a long dark winter that has lasted longer than i imagined,
through seasons that usually are filled with light.
my bravest and brightest song gets sung
in the company of little people,
{i must remember the little people}
in wide open spaces or
when my hands are with the soil,
where the trees grow strong and tall,
at the edge of the water and land,
beside the fire pit
i hear the singing happen when i am behind the camera,
and sometimes even in front of it,
when i can let my guard down with a trusted friend
and feel heard.
understood. with nothing to compare, nothing to prove.
my song is getting louder each time the sun shines
but i notice it can lose its volume so fast
when the day is dark, when this body is hungry
when i forget
what makes me sing.
remembering is important.
i must not forget.

Monday, April 15, 2013

{for madison}

{she was my flower petal loving toddler friend whom i spent many garden days with}

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

a piece of the story.

as someone who is strongly moved by images
and one who documents my day
and attempts to share my story
through the photos i take, the journal pages i make,
the words i type or print
i am very aware that i am sharing only
a piece of the story.
moments before this image was taken
i had hit my face so hard with that shovel that i saw stars
and could barely stand up straight.
that wallop to my face set me back for an entire day
and while it didn't prevent me from returning to my beloved garden
it certainly reminded me of my physical limitations
 and just how much
 an ear ringing headache can hurt.
when i look at the image now,
and for some when it showed up on my instagram feed,
i see a woman in love with her life.
i see peace and i see contentment.
i see myself leaning into my life and embracing it fully.
at that moment,
i was seeing stars. and remembering to breathe.
photos tell me what i want to see. what i want to feel. to remember
they lead me down deep emotional paths.
an image will capture my heart so quickly i don't even understand myself some days.
they speak my language.
i can create stories for myself from the images i take,
the images i collect and cut and paste onto my journal page
and i can use them to propel me forward, to remind me of who i was, who i am , who i want to be.
i can and do create my future plans with image collecting practices.
they show a piece of my story.
i want to live an authentic life.
this is a value i hold dear.
i am tired of hiding, of pretending. of being someone i am not.
images are holding my hand, helping me transition from being a pleaser of others,
to an honourer of myself.
my camera helps me do that gracefully and safely.
sometimes my words get me into trouble
or are too big for me to say
 or just don't know how to come out
 and join the conversation.
often, my images speak for me.
i fill in the blanks if asked
but the photo has been the introduction i sometimes need.
pink was following me on the day i took this one.
ever since i have experienced such lovely closure
with my birth story
i am finding pink continues to follow me.
seeks me out..hops in front of me,
as if to say,
i am propelled toward the seed packets
 that boast beautiful pink blooms.
{i find this fascinating and buy them, trusting the process}
it's as if my photos
that i snap, fairly casually throughout my day
have become markers for me. holders of my pieces.
that feels good.
knowing they are there.
just hanging out, waiting for when i need to remember.
or not.

Thursday, April 4, 2013


i am here again.
and it feels very, very good.
(feel free to visit for a visual tour of my garden days...big camera style)
i love the feeling of bare feet in the garden.
dirty hands that become caked in soft soil.
i appreciate the brave seedlings that are germinating after the winter,
returning year after year to their self claimed spot in the garden.
yesterday i was moving bulbs and was delighted by all the baby corms that had developed.
"really!" i emailed to a wise friend
 "this is amazing!"
 so many from just one bulb!
replenishment happens in the darkest of places
the garden is my healing space
right along with the beach
and the deep forest
i live in the best place in the world
for me.
i landed exactly where i needed to.
how amazing is that!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

not a single thing...

these are my stories
and i wouldn't want it any other way.
my life is unfolding in such an amazing way...
and i wouldn't change it for anything.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

and i knew...

he asked me what i wanted to do for my
birthday this year.
always a conversation that can go sideways pretty quick
but ideas tumbled out of my mouth
and i found myself being saturated with a feeling of
sweet anticipation.
i knew then,
what i thought i knew the day before.
i have made peace with my birth story.
and there is a ligthness to my steps and a fresh energy
that is following me and there are sweet spaces opening up inside of me
making room for new experiences.
i have laboured over my birth and adoption  story for two long years.
much longer really,
but it wasn't something i understood fully until i faced the feelings head on.
i have travelled deeply into that time in my life
and i understand myself much better as a result.
my triggers make sense.
and while they are there still,
when i feel the reaction
instead of pushing it away or not understanding
or worse yet, blaming,
 i can see that all is well.
i am able to observe myself
and love that little baby part of me and just let it be.
i am grateful for the journey
but even more grateful to see what is ahead.
i think i might just have a birthday party this year
and enjoy it!