Wednesday, July 24, 2013


this week has been all flower crowns, winged things & rivers, summertime.  we floated down the Dan twice in three days.  I love that river, the way the light sparkles upon her surface then glows beneath.  the rocks, smooth & jagged.  the butterflies & dragonflies following us downstream, dancing around us, briefly landing.  there is a peace she brings to me, reminds me I'm just a little thing in a stream.

we stopped on an island & built rock towers that glittered in the sun, all mica & sand, the waters rustling around us.  with no camera, I etched the day into my mind.  serenity.

as I floated, trusting her to carry me gently, safely, I thought about a time, not so long ago, when I was on the farm at Bonnaroo with a family of friends.  in reality, the river & the farm are incomparable.  but they both brought upon me the same self-awareness, made me search my soul for truths to stack high & hold tight.  I treasure both places dearly, keep their memories close to my heart.  am beyond thankful at my life & the beauties I experience.

with that being said, no words I could write about Bonnaroo would do it any justice, the place was far too magical, too separated from every day life & the standard rules & expectations of society.  it was freedom in a field, full of music & beauty & love.  I'll let the pictures do the talking.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

life & science

there are some days that seem to make all the rest of them worth it, that fill me up 'til I'm brimming with love and creativity, grinning from ear to ear like the cheshire cat.

Max and I took Emma to the museum of life and science, a place I have been many times, though not in a long, long time.  It was perfect, my little niece no longer a chunky toddler, all limbs and courage, running through each exhibit like it was on fire, eager to explore it all.

Emma, you climbed to the top of the rock wall then said, "help."  I was already there, and without another word, without checking to see if I was ready, you let go and leaned back.  A trust fall right into my arms.  I am constantly amazed at your daring.  And later, when you got a splinter in your foot, you insisted it was you who would pull it out, tweezers in your tiny hands trying and trying and trying.  It's hard, as an adult, to step back and let kids work things out for themselves sometimes.  I caught myself getting frustrated, waiting as your hands slipped and shook, wanting so badly to just get it out for you.  But that is a mistake made too often by adults, undermining the ability of kids.  I'm sorry I doubted you. I'm so proud of how independent you were then, how confident you were in your skill.  I hope that confidence is something you carry with you always, because you are something special girl.

my whole day was this way, surrounded by one special person after the next.  first Max and Emma, and then my best friends Carolyn, Rob, Chad, and later Sara.

I feel electric around these folks, wired.  when I'm with them I forget to feel the way I do most days: awkwardly quiet and shy, clumsy limbs and tangled tongue. around them I feel free, full of energy.  we laughed and ate good food and it felt so good.

and afterwards, with full bellies, we went back to Chad and Sara's enchanting home where the boys talked and talked while Sara and I crafted.  their house inspires me, the people who live there inspire me.  It was therapeutic there, sitting on the floor with Sara, vintage national geographic photographs spread around us, Sara's talented hands stitching together blocks of color, my own smudged in oil pastels.  we shared our thoughts on this whole experience, on finding a dream and following it, on bumps in the roads turned learning lessons.  on the difficulties of legos and the ease of paper.  we stayed too late, drove home with eyes drooping.  but I didn't mind, waking up for work tired was worth it because moments like that, surrounded by such beauty, are what I live for.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

everyday magic

It has been so long since I last posted, so much has happened.

Sumpter, Madison, and Montana moved in on a rain-laden day in a whirlwind; boxes piled in every corner of the house, inside and out, only one little path to walk, and then we worked until the wee hours of the morning, painting and unpacking.  Piling our carport high with things to sell in the yard sale.  Getting rid of so many personal possessions was like lifting one giant weight.  We all got rid of so much, and yet, since they moved in, our lives have been filled.  Always another soul around, both a blessing and a curse.  On those rare occasions when I find myself at home alone I am almost overwhelmed by the silence, unsure what to do at first, wanting to do so many things.

I find myself like this often, filled with so many ideas, struggling to start anywhere.  I want to craft, paint, blog, sew, sing, dance, and I do, I try.  but I'd like to do more.  I'm thinking of starting an etsy shop to post some things I have created (paintings, story stones, pendants) in the hopes that they can find good homes, add a little color to the lives of others.  I'll share when it happens.

These are some pendants Madison and I painted for Bonnaroo, made of wood from the holly bushes we cut back in front of the house.

Speaking of crafting, Max's Mom gave me an antique sewing machine for my birthday, a beautiful machine that once belonged to his grandmother (or maybe great grandmother..).  This past week, my Mom came to visit and we sat together setting up the machine, working out the kinks until it was ready for action.  It was peaceful, sitting there with my Mama, listening to her stories and her wisdom.  I relished every second she was here, loved to be near her, to learn from her.  I have saved all my old t-shirts, tucked under the bed, just waiting for me to learn to sew so that I can make a t-shirt quilt.  Fingers crossed I'll be able to do it without Mama's watchful eye.

Life is chaotic and beautiful and tiring.  It's not always easy.  Some days I feel like the water levels have risen above my head and I am drowning, and other days I can cheerfully let the little things slide off my shoulders like droplets of water.  I learn something new every day, practice patience and honesty, practice selflessness.  I practice directing my energy towards the positive.  I am lucky, every day. So lucky, to have a Mama to share with me her knowledge.  To have Max's parents around for support when mine are far away.  To have friends and family near and far, to have the love of the animals who share our home.  I am lucky to have Max, lucky that he doesn't give up on me when I sit in the swamps boohooing about what's not going right. There is a lot that is right.

Our garden grows, and grows, and grows.  The caterpillars eating the cabbage, ants swarming the strawberries, daikon radish and mums flowered heads towering high above it all, waving the butterflies welcome.  There's something so satisfying about getting your hands and knees grubby in the garden, it makes me feel like I am accomplishing something worthy, something that gives back.

Our garden lentils, ready for eating.

Life is good, all it takes is a little reminder, a little positive thinking.  What's good in your neck of the woods?  What magic have you seen lately?