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Showing posts from September, 2013

Wide Open Spaces

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My stepson had a baseball game. Instead of their usual field just behind the high school, this game was on a different field.

To get to this field I walked past the high school, past their usual field, around a large section of dense trees. Past soccer fields and field hockey fields and football practice fields and... well... lots of open grass.



And in that quiet open space where there was only me and the fuff-fuff sound of my sneakers brushing through the grass, I realized something.

We never get to walk in open fields. In wide open spaces.



Spaces where you can't see other people or buildings. Spaces where you can't hear the whiz of cars going by.

Spaces where you can walk quietly. Where you can spread out, take up space, and give your imagination room to romp.



We're crowded so much of the time by things in our own home and those outside our home.

Sure, in this moment I was behind a school. If I turned around I would have seen it staring back at me. Likely watching my wonder wit…

Inspiration for the Weekend #2

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As another week draws to a close, I'm thinking about my favorite things of this week.

One is this photograph of my husband and son, hand-in-hand. Love. There is no other way to describe what I see and feel in this image.

Then there are the things I've read this week- many of which caught my attention in one way or another. There are so many wonderful writers in the blogosphere.

You never know what sentence might unravel something inside you. Here are some of the posts that touched my soul this week:

Portrait of the author as a 40 year old woman
by Susannah Conway
Today, right now, is the youngest we will ever be. Let’s make the most of it.
Yes. There's a saying that you shouldn't worry how long something will take to learn or accomplish because the time will pass anyway.

Susannah is right. We will never be younger than we are right now, so why not start today?

This is Just Me
by Connie Hozvicka at Dirty Footprints Studio
That we can be women with emotions--that we can feel anger,…

Make Some Magic

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Every so often my toddler and I catch a show called Tree Fu Tom. Tom likes to help his friends (mostly bug-like creatures) out of jams by making magic.

When such a time arises, Tom asks his viewers to help him make some magic, then leads them through a series of physical movements (jumping, reaching, stepping, kneeling, clapping) presumably called tree fu.

At tree fu time, my toddler calls out to me, "Come on, Mommy. We gotta make magic."

There it is. Wisdom from the mouth of a child.

We do, don't we? This world is hurting in many ways. There is too much pain and not enough compassion. Sadness and suffering that we don't know or choose not to see.

But kindness, compassion, and action... these are magic. Noticing someone, really noticing them, is magic.

So when my son says, "Come on, Mommy. We gotta make magic," my answer is "You are so right, baby. We do."

We have to make magic.

Go on. I dare you.

Signs

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I adore the Wishcasting Wednesday prompts posed by Jamie Ridler. She has a way of getting me to think in a way that cuts right to the heart of things. This week she asks, "What sign do you wish for?"

I am making changes. I'm deciding on the next phase of my life and work and, really, my life work.

The universe has given me little signs and nudges over the past few months that seem to say, "Yes. Keep going. You are on the right track."

I wish for those signs to continue. The little encouragements. The magic of synchronicity.

I also wish for signs of my next steps. I've come to realize we don't always know our full path right away. Sometimes it's more like finding our way through a dark forest with only a flashlight. We can see the step directly in front of us and when we move into it, we see the next step.

That's what I wish for. A sign to help me recognize the next step. Then another. And another.

I'll keep shining my flashlight. I'll keep mov…

Gift of Friendship

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The greatest gift of life is friendship, and I have received it.
~Hubert H. Humphrey

I've been struggling with my son beginning nursery school. He has (albeit expectedly) shown mixed emotions about it and it has me feeling worried and sick.

After another such day last week, I cried to my friend on the phone.

From two states away, she loved me, she cried with me, she supported me, and she reassured me.

"You are a great mother," she said. Sometimes we really need to hear that.

The next day I came home to find flowers. Peeking out from every shade of purple I could imagine was this note:
I am proud of you. Don't give up. You are an awesome mom and doing all the right things.
This is why we need friends. To let us know we aren't alone (even if our closest friends are the farthest away). To cheer us on. To hold us up.

To remind us that this is just life.

What it Means to Live Wonderstruck

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I've been thinking a lot about my next chapter. Not the next chapter of my book (though I've thought about that, too), rather the next chapter of me.

Part of that is this blog. In fact, this blog is fairly central to my next chapter. I've spent most of my adult life deciding how I want to live- simply, functionally, inspired. From that grew Live Wonderstruck.

It's that message where this blog began. A lesson to myself and others: live wonderstruck.

What does that mean? It means to actively participate in your life. Many of us have been blessed with enough. We have what we need, and then some. Not everyone has the most basic gift of enough.

Yet we get caught up in full schedules, morning hustles, meetings, homework battles, mountains of laundry, slapping dinner together, and everything else on a to do list so long it will never be fully done. Then we fall into bed much too late dreading the alarm clock's blaring indication that it's time to start all over again.

It&#…

Inspiration for the Weekend

As the work/school week draws to a close and we enter into the weekend, I want to share a few posts that I've seen around the web recently- the ones that have made me think. The ones that have made me say, "hmmm... ." (Anyone else singing "Things that make you go hmmm...?" Just me?)

Too Late? By Whose Clock?
by Jennifer Louden at Savor & Serve

In which Jen says...
When I groan, “It’s too late,” what I really mean is I am unwilling to proclaim, “I want this.”

When I moan, “I’m too old, it’s too hard, I don’t know how, someone else has already done it better” but what I’m actually saying is “I’m not willing to ache.”
This has me questioning. Is it really too late? Or is that just an excuse?

It Gets Better
by Glennon Doyle Melton at Momastery

In which Glennon delights over her children being back in school and reprints a letter to her son that gets me every time I read it.
Baby, if you see a child being left out, or hurt, or teased, a part of your heart will hurt a litt…

Art vs. Function

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Connie Hozvicka recently wrote a post at Dirty Footprint Studios that is still resonating with me weeks later. It's called Why Artists are Important. Click on over and read it. Go ahead. I'll wait.

It was about here that she got me...
And I wondered when we stopped caring.

About details. About aesthetics. About building something that doesn't just last.

But brings beauty to our lives.
When did we stop caring?

I was fortunate enough to grow up near Washington, D.C. We visited periodically, seeing the sights, visiting the museums. The Lincoln Memorial was always my favorite monument and Air & Space my favorite museum, followed closely by the Natural History museum with it's central rotunda.

Walking around D.C. I was mesmerized by the beauty and heft of the buildings and monuments. (Yes, even at that young age I saw something wondrous about all of it.) I could not understand how something so grand could have been built long before modern tools and equipment.

When I first visi…

Changing Priorities

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I adore the Wishcasting Wednesday prompts posed by the inspiring Jamie Ridler. She has a way of getting me to think in a way that cuts right to the heart of things. This week she asks, "What do you wish to change?"

I wish to change my focus. As life took over this summer (and continues to keep throwing unexpected challenges our way), my writing fell by the wayside.

I love writing. I started working on a book in the spring, but haven't added to it since the beginning of summer. My blog has been a bit sparse. I don't think I've journaled in two months.

It's time to get back to it. And yet, time is always the factor isn't it? There never seems to be enough time.

I wish to change my focus, to make writing a priority. (I initially wrote, "to make writing more of a priority," then realized that phrasing already diminished it.)

For me writing is a way to organize my thoughts, to explore a topic, to open a conversation. Writing is a way to express my questio…

What Goes Through Your Mind When Your Duck Lays Eggs for the First Time

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We have duck eggs. That's right. Miss Buttons has started laying eggs, one per day. (I presume it's Buttons because my research into telling male ducks from females indicates that males have curly tail feathers- which Squackers has and Buttons doesn't.)

I suppose for seasoned homesteaders, this might be a time of "Yippee- eggs!" But for me (who bought ducks on an ill-fated Friday night in the spring), it's more of a "Holy crap! What do I do with duck eggs?"

Upon stumbling across the first egg last Thursday (not literally stumbling, just to be clear), my thought process went something like this:

Interesting. That rock is whiter than the others. Quite smooth, too. And a little large. And holy crap! It's an egg!

What do I do? Do I leave it there? The duck isn't sitting on it. It's not really in a nest. Oh goodness, they don't have nesting material. Should I give them hay or something? Where do I put hay? We really need a duck house now. I&…

A Day of Firsts

This morning I went out to take care of the ducks as I do every morning. I opened the pen and stood to the side as they splashed into their kiddie pool. I filled their food container and set about hosing down the rocks at the bottom of the pen.

As one section began to clear I saw a rather white rock, smooth and round amidst the tan color of the other rocks. As water ran off I realized the rock was larger than the other rocks.

That's when I realized it wasn't a rock at all. It was an egg.

Buttons laid an egg.

I panicked a little. I wasn't sure what to do. It was an egg just sitting there in the rocks. Buttons wasn't sitting on it and I had just washed it in cold hose water. That seemed bad.

It dawned on me that people collect eggs from their chickens and ducks, so I carefully picked it up and brought it inside when I was done.

When my husband woke up I told him about the egg. He told me it probably wasn't a good idea to just take the egg in plain view of the ducks because…