Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Gap of Stillness

There is a gap between the trees
That fills with light
Each day
As I walk my girls on familiar path, through the forest
Like an open window
Nestled above a bench, facing the stream
Where I used to stop and sit
Each day
No matter the season
Through trees bearing leaves,
And branches turn barren
I would sit in communion with the light shining through.

For many months I couldn't,
Or wouldn't
Stop to sit
I felt the light come through as I walked on by
Like an old friend reaching down
Tapping my shoulder,
Asking me to stay a while
"No time to stop"
I'd say to no one in particular
Pushing past
Hurrying the curious noses of my two babies
Urgently moving,
"Just keep moving"

But today as my friend called again,
Tapping on my shoulder like she always does
I sat
And I felt the warmth of the sun shine on my face
Kissing me in gratitude
For stopping by
Looking up I saw the clear blue sky
Shine 'round what's left of the leaves,
Shimmering in brilliant shades of yellow
And I heard the crunch of fallen sister leaves,
Brown and dried, rustling under nearby paws
I felt the gentle tug of two leashes on my wrist
Trying to pull me on,
And that fearful voice in my head kept whispering,
"Just keep moving"

But I stayed a bit longer
Soaking up the goodness of the light filled gap.
Realizing by rushing past to numb
Grief and fear and pain
I had misplaced my gap of stillness
To feel
Joy and light and peace

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Emptiness into Shadow

Fast moving clouds
leave light
shifting shapes
on bare bedroom walls
turning emptiness into shadow
and back again

What is grief?
I could give an answer
of what I thought it was
of what you’d expect it to be
How do you describe
the intangible  
when words you thought you knew
are now simply letters arranged
on blank pages

When light disappears
for too long at once
the vast space
seems to swallow me whole
and my breath
needs reminding
of its natural steady pattern
coaxed in
sweet-talked out

But clouds keep shifting
and light continues to find
its peculiar way through

Monday, March 6, 2017

Oklahoma Wind

That Oklahoma wind came to visit me today
-strong invisible power-  
I sat and watched as it guided 
tall grasses and young trees
I sat and watched as it helped them discover
their own unique ways 
to bend and bow

I felt that Oklahoma wind
as it kissed my cheeks,
and ran gentle fingers through my hair
and I knew she was here
singing sweetly,
‘Amelia Claire, I love your hair’

Eyes closed, that Oklahoma wind 
swept me back home
and my tears became
film projections 
of near forgotten memories
when white eyelet lace curtains
danced between open windows,
and cornflower blue bedroom walls

And so I sat and watched,
entranced 
as she sang to me
soft and steady,

drawing fingers through my hair

Thursday, February 23, 2017

sacred ground

Walking in the forest
I see one after another; 
tiny dew drops resting on young leaves 
They collect and share light
like soft fleeting diamonds 
Viridescent moss crawls up the deep saturated trees, 
encircling their trunks 
like delicate lace hems 
Tender white petals sprinkled down the trail, 
are commingling with fallen foliage 
of seasons past
Scattered further and further from their source, 
they bring their message with them: 
Spring is here
My puppy's curious nose follows a small purple butterfly,
 no bigger than my thumbnail, 
as it flutters low 'round the ivy 
 She watches from a distance, 
seeming to sense its magic 

Wandering along the creek
I start to weep 
My tears fall below me 
like salty sea cousins of the fresh morning dew,
 gritty and rugged as they splash the ground 
How does the dew form in perfect round droplets? 
My grieving pauses in a moment of thanksgiving
for this beauty surrounding my feet
Though my head hangs heavy 
I am soothed by this sacred ground 
that receives my weight
one step at a time.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

no words

Today marks one month since I left ATL and arrived in Oklahoma.
It has been 31 days since my grandmother Celia passed away.
It has been 26 days since my great Aunt Jan passed away.
It has been 23 days since I called an ambulance to take my mother to the ER, and on to ICU.
And it has been 5 cloudy, heart wrenching, sporadic uncontrollable sobbing days since I watched my mother take her last breath.

This is all still so raw and so very very sad that words like 'sad' seem to have lost their meaning. I still don't really know what is happening. And don't know how long this feeling will sit heavy on my chest, making it hard to breathe.
But I do know that my mother and the generations of strong women before her, two of whom we also just lost, have raised my sister and I to be strong and adventurous and loving women. And I feel that in my blood and my bones, even as it's hard to move and speak. I am forever grateful for the powerful village of amazing people my mother stitched together like a beautiful warm quilt, now wrapped around Carrie and I. This will take time, but we will be ok. Love you all. Miss you with all my heart, Mama.



Monday, October 3, 2016

Tashlikh

I'm not Jewish. I can't claim that I know anything about anything I'm about to write on here. But my boyfriend is, and I have many many dear friends who are Jewish. Funny enough though, it was actually my mother (another non-Jewish but very spiritual person like myself) who reminded me a few days ago that Rosh Hashanah was coming up. She decided she was going to celebrate this year, in her own "internet guided pagan hippie" way. It made me laugh and got my interest, so I started my own search and read up about the traditions and customs of this High Holy day. The ritual of Tashlikh, where people walk by moving water reciting prayers and sometimes throwing bread or pebbles in as a symbol of casting off sin, sounded like a beautiful way to invite the Jewish New Year into my life. 
I took Fig for a walk to the urban forest near our home today. We spent more time than usual down by the creek walking and thinking, it was peaceful and lovely and sweet. Then I tried to take a picture of my adorable baby puppy by the creek (probably not recommended to bring your iPhone to Tashlikh, but I'm usually pretty sacrilege in most things I do). I started to get so frustrated that I couldn't get her to sit and stay, even though I brought the good treats she loves! I finally realized how silly I was being, and snapped an "un-perfect" photo of my curious sweet pup who just wanted to play and explore. I had to cast off my own sin of trying to find perfection in everything. Fig was able to show me that this is perfect, in every way it should be. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Patience

Yesterday, after taking class at my yoga studio, I ran through the parking lot getting drenched in an unexpected downpour. I crossed paths with another teacher friend of mine also caught in the same crazy shower as she entered the studio. The minute I got to my car, the sheets of rain that had been coming in sideways at me, drenching me head to toe, slowed to a light shower, then on my drive home, almost stopped. I had been so impatient to get to my car and on with my day, that I hadn't stopped to think that this rain could clear quickly. My friend and I laughed about it today, how we both got soaked because we needed to be somewhere else and couldn't wait one minute to see if the sky would clear.

Today I am on day 6 of a cleanse, and the first 5 days were weaning off of caffeine, alcohol, cheese, sugar, gluten, corn - basically all of the things I have become addicted to and dependent on. I was being impatient wanting to see a flat belly and clear head immediately, then got discouraged when things got hard and I just wanted ice cream. Today things are going better, and stuff that I hadn't even considered could be food and caffeine related (teeth grinding at night, neck pain, muscle stiffness) have started to subside. I still find it difficult to resist a glass of wine at the end of the day, or going out to dinner with friends, but this isn't forever, and I am trying to be patient.

One of my biggest reminders to be patient right now is our new puppy, Fig. She is so sweet, and learning very fast, but of course she is still a puppy... Things get hard and discouraging when she is having a good time learning to potty outside, or walk on her leash, then totally disengages and wont come when we call her. My boyfriend witnessed me turning into a child one day when she wouldn't come to me and I declared that she hates me and none of our training is working (I know, DRAMATIC) He reminded me that she is just a baby, and these things take time. I totally Virgo-ed out and wanted perfection right away. But, she really is the cutest hourly reminder of patience.  

It can be difficult sometimes to find the balance between finding patience and becoming complacent. I've found it helps to keep a personal journal, and write down goals and desires that I want to work on in different areas of my life. This also allows me to get clear and honest with my current reality (what's working, what's not). There are times when we must be patient remember that the storm will pass, and there are others when we have to run through the rain.