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.....about kids, courage, integrity, kid lit, writing and life!

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  • 04/30/15--21:22: Listen to Children
  • I've been gimping around with bursitis in my knee from a hard spill I took last month.  Last week I went for a physical therapy appointment to get some strengthening exercises.

    As the greeter at the PT clinic led me to the exam room, he made quick pleasantries and then said this:
    "I'm trying something new this year. When folks come in for their initial visit,  I am asking this question:

    If you were to pass on one piece of advice about anything in life, what would you pass on?"

    Huh?
    My mind was on my stiff, sore knee...far away from any truisms I'd learned in my 65 years of living.

    But as my exam room wasn't even close to the front desk - past three hallways and at the end of a fourth...and as this greeter guy wasn't going to fill the silent space, I had a few minutes to think - especially as my limp kept the pace slow.   Still, I remained stumped.

    Once he (who I now know as Seth and who has collected over four pages full of responses so far) had deposited me in the exam room,  I turned and looked at him.  He waited.  His face said, 
    "You can't pass."

    And suddenly, I heard myself say, LISTEN TO CHILDREN!


    He blinked. 
    So did I. 
    Then he pursed his lips, mumbled Hmmm, paused for what seemed a long few seconds,  and replied,
    "No one has ever said that before."

    And now I'm the one doing the Hmmm...ing.  Ever since that appointment.  Wondering why I said that.
     It's a fact that I love children and youth --- they feed me.  Why else would I teach for 35 years? But for that to be my answer?  Not something about Love or Family or Giving or God?

    The one piece of advice about anything in life that I want to pass on is LISTEN TO CHILDREN?

    I do know this .... those words came from deep inside me.

    And when that happens, I know they are worth wondering about ....
    so here goes....

    Why should we LISTEN TO CHILDREN?
    Why don't more of us do it better and more often or at all?

    Do we adults believe that only experience can teach and because children lack a wide breadth of experience, we have little to learn from them?

    Is it because sometimes children struggle to be articulate or to find the right words?

    Does it take too much time out of our packed-with-important-things day to be fully present and focused so we can really listen to kids?

    Do we think they will be uncomfortable?    Or we will be?
    Or do we simply think we don't  know what to talk about with young people?

    Or is it this?   That on some level we know that young people have a finely tuned and highly sophisticated crap-detector and if we are not fully present or we have an agenda other than theirs on our mind, they sniff us out in a nano-second!
     And that can make us uncomfortable, or cause us to run out of things to say, or thwart those all important exchanges from the get-go.

    I am wondering about all of this.

    But there are two things I think I know for sure after this bit of reflection and wondering:
        Number One ....Seth gave me his own version of a strengthening exercise last week.
        Number Two .... Listen to Childrenis about Love and Family and Giving and God, after all.




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    We will gather to celebrate my brother's life this weekend.  He died in late May...less than a week after turning 74.  And less than three months after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

    His wasn't always an easy life ... though you'd never know it from his ever present smile, love of laughter, and great talent as a jokester. Born a twin, he always had a ready side-kick and straight man.  There was almost nothing the two brothers couldn't dream up.  And very little that could stop them .... except cancer.

    Contracting polio at nine years old left marks he carried throughout his life.  Isolated in an iron lung in a big hospital an hour from family was a lonely and scary time for a young boy.  Yet it only seemed to make him stronger.

    Two failed marriages brought shame he carried about divorce.  For a bit, that shame kept him in a self-imposed exile from family.

    When his twin brother and soul mate died of cancer, he stepped in to fill the hole left by that loss in our family as well as in the lives of his twin's children.

    Distance, both geographically, and at times emotionally from the sons he was so proud of caused him great heartache.

    But ....there was this love story .....



    Halfway through his adult life, he met her....and it seemed, started loving himself again because of her love.  She became his straight "woman", his adoring companion, his cheerleader AND the brunt of his effervescent teasing.  She cheered on his hobbies and he, hers.  She loved his family and he, hers. She talked of feelings and he tried to. She gave him the dickens and he listened .... and behaved .... for awhile.

    Each of them became more because of the other.  Isn't that what we hope for every couple? Being secure in another's love allows that to happen, it seems.

    When illness came and he knew life here on earth was short, he wanted her alone.  Always a private soul who didn't much like showing vulnerability, it was in her care and her arms he felt safest.

    On the evening of the day he died, she said to me, "We had quite a love story."

    Indeed they did.  And it was a gift to all of us.

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  • 11/29/15--07:42: Grow, Grow!
  • Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers, “Grow, grow.”


    I love this quote from the Talmud.  It is a long-time favorite.  

    But last week I was cursing those whispering angels when my lawn needed mowing AGAIN!
    I have an old push mower  - my patch of grass is small and I enjoy the exercise – but last week it was cold and I had a long TO-DO list and it was almost Thanksgiving, for crying out loud.  

    “Stop, already,” I wanted to yell down to those tall, green blades as I pushed that old mower.




    YIKES!  What if someone said that to me?  
    What if someone said, Stop already!  Stop growing ……stop developing, improving, evolving.

    I’d want to stand at my highest height and shout in my loudest voice, How dare you
    Even at 65 years old, I'd shout that.    Wait! Especially at 65 years old.

    Sure, by now I may be done growing more bone and muscle – isn’t it just our cartilage that keeps growing at this age?   So basically, my nose and ears are getting bigger ….. lovely! 

    But I'm certainly NOT done with that critical, crucial kind of growing!  Conscious growth.

    Rabbi Alan Lurie talks about this Talmudic quote and conscious growth in an article titled Listening to the Call of Growth….

    “….. we can grow in consciousness – in our ability to connect to others, to live meaningfully, and to have a positive impact. This force of conscious growth is what drives us forward to create a personal and communal future that is better than what we had yesterday and what we have today.

    We can choose to hear and to act on this call to conscious growth, or we can ignore it, drowning out the angelic whispers with the noisy external distractions of constant entertainment, the internal chatter of our mental judgments, or the drone of our unconscious routine ways of thinking and reacting. We resist the call of conscious growth in order to feel safe and to avoid the discomfort of change, but this strategy inevitably backfires.

    Conscious growth begins when we choose to listen to its call, and invite it in.  We invite growth when we are willing to examine our fixed beliefs: who we think that we are, why others behave as they do, and how the world works. “


    It seems especially important to do this as we age ... to watch for places where our unconscious routine ways of thinking and reacting might be causing us to stumble,  or closing doors of opportunity, or affecting the growth of new relationships, or keeping us stuck in old broken ways. We all know folks like this.  It's not pretty.

    But it seems important to do this at any age, really.... and especially important now when the world so desperately needs all of us to quiet the chatter of our mental judgements.  To stop always picking sides and living in US and THEM thinking. To step away from fear.

      Maybe these angels are whispering us into new ways of thinking and being and loving and living. And accepting.

    I feel gratitude for their urgent and persistent whispers to GROW.

    I wonder if I am listening with an open heart.

    .....And I think I owe my lawn an apology.

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  • 12/28/15--12:13: What STAR will you follow?





  • Stars are a big part of my holiday decor....a large one greets visitors outside our front door, a plethora of different sized stars dance across our mantel, and of course one tops our tree ---- an aged wooden star we chose when the kids were little.  Our first family star.  It has a hole in the center ---- right where the fat ends of the points all start their journey outward.  There's a heart in that hole.


    For many Christmases I added more ... I put them out and up and about .... their simplicity and beauty appealing to me. Until this year, that's been about the extent of it .... simple, beautiful stars.  And certainly that is enough.  I am grateful for that.

    But this season, the stars gave me more than simple beauty.

    On Epiphany Sunday last January our minister asked us to think about what STAR we would follow this year.  She challenged us to find a STAR that called us, one that we would give more to than an Oh-that's-pretty glance .... to watch for holy moments to guide us in our journey toward our chosen STAR .... and to be able, in January of 2016, to reflect on our Star-led journey of 2015.

    Kind of a sacred way of setting a New Year's resolution.

    So ..... what STAR would I follow?

    Seeking an answer to that question led me to my generosity .... or specifically, my lack of it.  Not so much in my giving or my actions, but in my thinking!  I wanted to think more generously.
    Yes,  that was it .... I would follow the kind-and-generous-thoughts STAR.....

    I looked for Wise words to guide me.... words to give me a leg up as I took the first steps towards that star.....

    Parker Palmer has always been my go-to.  His touchstone  When things get rough, GO TO WONDER is on the wall by my desk.  I love those words.  It's always a challenge for me to go to Wonder .... to wonder why another did or said something ..... to wonder why I reacted the way I did ....  to go to wonder instead of to judgement.

    But I needed some new words too .....

    When I found this quote by Franciscan Friar Richard Rohr...."An alternative orthodoxy is never stingy with grace and inclusion because it has surrendered to a God who is infinitely magnanimous and creative in the ways of love and mercy,"  I thought, YUP .... and YIKES.

    YUP !  I no longer wanted to be stingy with grace!  Bingo.  That's it.
    But YIKES.... all the time?  Even when someone really bugged the heck out of me?

    And this "infinitely magnanimous and creative with my love" part .....whew, tall order.
    I remember thinking I was glad I had 12 months for this journey.....
    ha .... 12 decades or lifetimes maybe.

    So, it's almost January 2016 .... my journey to the kind-and-generous-thoughts STAR has had its successful days and its failed-badly days. But what I have loved is noticing how I feel when I am stingy with grace .....and how I feel when I am magnanimous with love.  Loving creatively comes easily some days and is downright impossible on others.
    I plan to keep following this star in 2016.  I have work left to do.

    As the simple and beautiful STARS came out of their boxes earlier this month and went up and about and on top, they each held a reminder of this star I am trying to follow.  They were more than simply beautiful.

    And when that old wooden star went on top of the tree this year and I saw its red wooden heart in the cutout center where the points begin their journey outward and where it's been for lo, these past thirty  something years, I saw that old STAR and this journey I am on with brand new eyes.



    May your 2016 be full of wonder and blessed with magnanimous and creative love!




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    My Mother is days away from celebrating her 101st birthday.   Macular degeneration has taken much of her sight; very little hearing is left in either ear.  Her world has become  small and narrow.

    She wonders almost daily why she is still here with us.

    I understand.  I've even wondered this too at times .....

    But after walking alongside her for the past six months, I think now I know why she is still here.



    To teach me about affirmations and the power they hold to lift a person up .

    To teach me about appreciation and how even when you can't see well, or hear well, or understand much of the why, and you hurt a-plenty .... you can still say a warm and sincere thank you for a kindness done.

    To teach me the importance of allowing people in - to care for you and love you ---- that vulnerability  brings closeness.

    To teach the young ones in our family about giving love.... about stretching to accommodate the needs of those you love .... like speaking slower and louder so she can hear.

    To tell her stories again so the children can hear them and we can all keep them alive when she is gone.

    To remind me about appreciating - every single day - those that I live with and love .... and to tell them that I do ....

    ....and so so so much more that I either can't articulate or don't know yet that I have learned.

    She has been teaching me things all my life.  But somehow she is doing the underlining.... adding the Caps and the bold font right now .....

    I am no longer wondering why she is still here.
    I know why.
    I will stay alert for the rich lessons.




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  • 03/31/16--16:34: Ideas are All Around .....
  • I am having trouble concentrating on my writing .....



    THIS MIGHT BE WHY!!!!

    We are rejoicing in a week of warm, stunning weather here in the Pacific Northwest!  After a wet and rainy past few months, this tantalizing spring-time beauty and longed-for warmth has come exactly when I took myself on a three day writing retreat.....to a spot where the beauty and the warmth is especially stunning.  I am in a full-out fist fight with myself to stay indoors writing lit for kids when this weather screams at my window to come out and play.

     I want to walk the beach ..... poke in the nearby village ....  sip pinot gris on the deck .... and chat with my writing buddies.
    And..... I want fresh, fun ideas and creative inspiration to abound in my brain.

    This morning when the third-in-a-row bright sunny day dawned, promising to be warmer still than its two predecessors, I thought of this wonderful new kid lit book I bought last week.  TitledIdeas are All Around,  it is by the enormously talented Philip C Stead (think A Sick Day for Amos McGee) and his wife, Erin E Stead.  Philip Stead needs to be spending the day writing but hasn't any ideas and his dog, Wednesday, wants to take a walk.  So off they go ..... into the sunshine, the neighborhood, the neighbors,  the turtles at the pond,  the spilled blue paint that looks like a horse, and find that IDEAS are all around  ---- you just have to find them.

    So I went for a walk .....      
                                                                   

         I returned thinking about WallyDing, a bell-ringing Orca whale.

    Thank you, Philip and Erin Stead.


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  • 07/06/16--21:07: Orange Cake




  • Orange Cake


    A slice of the orange "W" cake sits before me.
    Ice cream pools at its edges.
    My fork lifts a bite.
    I chew and swallow....not tasting.

    Bubbles rise in the champagne along with the emotions inside me.
    Toasts, tears, poetry bring memories of that day seven years ago.

    His siblings, eating orange cake alongside us, watch, listen, ask questions, take it in.

    We are two families, strengthened, perhaps even bonded, by this grief....
    Gathered as one
    Around an orange cake,
    Longing for a little boy.




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  • 07/26/16--13:36: A Soul Place
  • We'd been hearing about this place of hers in South Dakota ever since we met her ....back in the 80's.

    This place.... two small cabins, one large shed, one double-holer outhouse....her father's former hunting camp .... on a piece of land near the itty bitty town where she grew up.... deep in the ruralness of the Black Hills.

    As a married couple, they spent each summer here in this place...with their children, then their grandsons....connecting and reconnecting with relations, friends, swimming holes, hiking trails, and quiet.  It was a long trek each year, both geographically and otherwise, from their involved lives as university professor and public school teacher in a sizable town up in northwest Washington.

    We knew, from the stories, this place held rich memories laced with history. For years we wanted to take her up on the invitation to visit.

    Finally. This was the year.....this was the summer.

    She told us to watch for the county line sign, then a big tin shed on our right... their driveway would bend off that narrow winding road just past the shed.

    And there she was on the red porch, waving through the dust our tires kicked up .... smiling her love and hellos from every bit of her small but sturdy, almost 82 year old frame.

    Three days ...with her... in this place.  Wildly wonderful, but not enough.  Not nearly enough.




                        On our first night there, as we lay back into the dark of the lower cabin amidst the hooty hoot of the owls outside, while half of me remained on alert recalling her comment, 'I hope you're OK with rodents!" my husband said across the quilt, "Well, this certainly is her soul place!"

    Yup.  True.  We both knew it and felt its embrace.

    For those three wonderful days ... (and still, actually),  I wondered about what defines a Soul Place .... what bullet-pointed items fall under that heading ....  what descriptions get the blur out.... what words articulate the experience....that palpable yet intangible experience that shouts Soul Place.

    Was it that we were snugged in amongst family photos, memorabilia, tale after rich tale, furniture and artifacts from times past, abundant quiet, new faces that understood and shared our love for her, longings for a dear husband and father now gone from this earthly place, bird song, pine smell and breath-catching beauty?

    Certainly it was present in that visit to the six building town where her Mom and Dad had run both the only store and the only gas station while she grew up with a beloved Grandmother some distance away.....and at the visit to the ranch that was home for her earliest years where we couldn't distinguish which weather-weary-but-still-beautiful building had been the house and which the barn... and at the visit to that peaceful ponderosa pine-smelling cemetery high on a hill where she and her husband will rest alongside one another some day....

    Was it present here,  I wondered,  because internet, cell phone service and television reception were not?

    Was it present here, I wondered,  because this strong wise woman has, it seems, done her own version of the Australian Aboriginal Walkabout... alone on this wild land much of each summer since her husband passed away?

    I started a new book the night before we left ... one I had picked up on the trip.  In A Singular Notion, Renee Carrier describes her ranch outside the small town of Hulett, Wyoming as "not a ranch, not a farm per se, it is a place." 
    "I love," she continues, "the Muiresque definition of a place as being a part of the environment claimed by feeling."

    I dog-eared that page.

    Certainly, my friend has deep and strong feelings for this place. It seems to breathe the very values she holds dear.
    Or could it be the other way around?  Did her values come from this place?
    Sort of a chicken and egg kind of question.

    Either way ....what a joy to have and know a place that sings the very song your heart sings ....a place that calls you to remember what it is that brings you closer to your sacred self.

    I treasure the gift of those three days with her in that place. They reminded me to live more fully into Rumi's words ....

    Wherever you stand
    Be the soul of that place.

       Rumi 














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  • 11/08/16--07:56: "One Nation....Indivisible"
  • Today is Election Day.  2016.


    I awoke early ... my head and heart troubled and angst-filled.
    I sit with it.  And know I need to get out for a walk.  But I must wait for the light to reach the sky so I sit with it some more.

     I grab Parker Palmer's book, Healing the Heart of Democracy, from the shelf and scan the pages.   I want hope.  I want wisdom.  I want answers.

    The words on the page ..."One Nation, Indivisible" feel long forgotten .....  far from me ....  far from our country .... almost unreachable.

    I read on.

                  "If we aim to be "one nation, indivisible,"he writes, the capacity to imagine ourselves as members of one another, despite all that separates us, is essential."

    He reminds us that we belong to one another..... so we cannot be as "self-centered as we please" but must understand the necessity of differences and respect.  Respect, he reminds us,  takes imagination ..... that ability to really see one another ..... across our inevitable differences.

    I look up from the page to find that the sky is now pink .... there is a sharp wind blowing .... but the walk will do me good.





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  • 01/04/17--14:15: Give. Grow. Receive.



  • A wise friend wrote me last month about a minister who told her that the mission statement for his church is Give.  Grow.  Receive.  Spot on,  I thought.  So simple.....so complete.

     I want to adopt that mission statement as my own.  Give.  Grow.  Receive. What more is there really?

    He also told her that his church finds that last one ....  the Receive part ....  the hardest.

    And when I lay those words beside my life ....I think it's that third one that is out of balance for me too.  Possibly, many of us could say the same.

    This past month, when a Monday commitment I had made to another got cancelled, I tucked myself into the big cozy chair beside the window with an afghan and a charming novel.... ALL morning long.  It was deliciously indulgent.  Not undeserved.  And I loved every minute of it.
    BUT .... that is rare.

    Now that I am retired, I do have entire days where I can give myself those delightful breaks....but other than trips away,  I rarely schedule them into my calendar like I do the lessons or the volunteering or, or, or!  Even when I know how important that is to do.

    As excuses, I have a litany of blather....
                I still want to contribute... to make a difference .....
                 The needs are so huge, after all ....  
                 It's important to keep learning and growing and not stagnate...
    Blah dee blah.  But I venture there is something unsaid here.

    I simply think it is dang hard to receive. I struggle mightily to give myself permission to receive... even from myself.  Growing up, when I'd wrestle with a decision, my Mother would weigh options with me, but often say, "Well, you don't want to be Selfish!"

    And then there's that whole other level ....  ASKING to receive from others.

    Talk about being vulnerable. To say.....I am really struggling, could we go to coffee and could you simply listen to me?  Or.... I have a rotten cold,  could you make a meal and deliver it this week,  or pick up the kids, or the groceries, or walk the dog?  My head says,  How presumptuous of me!

    Am I saving the ASK for when I truly have a need ..... am hospitalized with a terminal illness or lose a loved one?  And while I wait for that day, do I miss out on the authenticity and community that comes when we ask and receive on a more regular basis?   Do I lose out on the fullness... the wholeness perhaps, of my relationships ... am I limiting their depth and richness when I make this choice?

    It's a good thing it's the dead of winter.  I have lots of time to wonder about this.  I am putting myself on Time-Out.









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  • 11/20/17--10:08: Gratitude for the YES.
  • It has long been a part of me.  It fills me.  Centers me. Rights my soul.  Yet now, a couple years from 70, I don’t do it much anymore.  Except at the occasional wedding reception or with my granddaughter when she visits.  

    So, when a friend called two months ago asking me  to choreograph and perform a solo in a production she was putting together, I hesitated on my way to NO.   She seized my moment of pause  …. "How about if I just send the song so you can listen to it?".  
    Wise woman. 
    The haunting words and soothing melody reached in and touched my heart ….and I said Yes.  

    A week after that YES, I departed on a three week vacation to Greece and Crete and quickly forgot all about it….exactly what vacations are designed to do. 

    Upon returning, after the jet lag abated,  and some sort of normal returned,  a reminder email popped into view ...the production is two weeks away - hope you have been practicing - here is the rehearsal schedule.  
    Wait - what?  Did I really say yes to this?  To dancing in this production ?   What was I thinking?  My body is older and thicker and weaker ... AND .... I just spent three weeks eating baklava and moussaka! 

    All of that, followed by …. I gotta get OUT of this.
    Then, as I can be prone to do when faced with hard stuff (and the potential of disappointing someone), I got busy with minutia and  avoided even thinking about it ....for days.
    When more emails arrived about shifting rehearsal times, an unexpected surgery requiring that a cast member step away ….  my angst built... and did battle with my inner compass....READ ..... “when you commit to something, follow through”.  

    It was poop or get off the pot time.    

    Unenthusiastically, I scrolled through old emails to find the music....all the while plotting a well-crafted exit. 

    I've heard science folk say that music speaks to our body's molecules. I believe them now. I listened to this beautiful song again …. and my molecules started to move. 

    IF this were a Disney blog, the most beautiful and flowing movements would have lifted my aging body along with the words of this song right on up into the starry heavens.  But this isn't Disney .....and while I felt joy in the movement,  I hit  wall after wall when my creativity got stuck or my body wobbled .  At one point,  I even wished to suddenly require surgery, myself.

     But each time I thought, "BAIL. Get out now!......TAKE THIS RISK" was a little louder.  It out-shouted you’re older and thicker and weaker, and this choreography looks older and thicker and weaker too.

    And then the best thing of all happened …. I asked my eleven year old grand-daughter - who studies dance three times each week -for guidance and help. 

    Her suggestions were gentle ... with clear explanations behind them.  She  was encouraging and kind. And, I think perhaps, she was even a wee bit proud of me.

    I am a wee bit proud of me too. I danced to that beautiful music - written by a beautiful woman and sung by her lovely daughter.  No starry heavens were reached.  Wobbles happened.  But the YES gave me gifts I didn't know I was seeking.

    And for that I am grateful.










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  • 04/25/18--20:05: A "God" in our Palm

  • I see us waiting…..for the bus, the boat, our coffee, our turn with the doctor…. 
    head down, palm up - in an almost prayer-like posture.…  
    to a persistent God. 
    This Diety sucks us in. Glues us to itself.  Holds our souls.  
    Connects us…. to what?  
    more news?
     friends' and family’s needs?
     work demands? 
    schedules?
     time chunks?
     music to soothe us? 
    movies to entertain us? 
    podcast info?
     rants?
     feuds?
     laughs?
     tears?
      Certainly not, it would seem, to those waiting alongside us, 
    or….
     to ourselves.

    Is this the new public hiding place?  The replacement for  books, magazines or newspapers….but with endless articles, titles, and features …. so you never ever need even look up? (Unless….oh my…. the battery goes dead….and the coveted spots in the coffee shop or airport where outlets live, are taken).   
    I suppose it might seem a bit predatory these days to simply sit and look…or people watch. 

    Is this our new safe space?  A place where we can be alone?   Where nothing is asked of us?  No one awaits our response or our smile or our opinion or our action….
    unless we choose to engage?

    Perhaps this Diety… this Force with whom we are spending so much of our day is benevolent….. protecting the shy teen from the angst of not being included in the circle of conversation next to them.  Lovingly providing needed relief to the introvert who has had enough of the party…or assurance to the socialite who needs to hear frequent pings.
      Perhaps ….

    And while we wait with our head bowed down to this "God" in our palm,  does another Force wait for us
     to leave the competition in our coat pocket or purse…and spend time…
     in silence,
     in emptiness,
     in noticing, 
    in breathing, 
    in conversation, 
    in wonder,
    and yes, in rants, feuds, laughter and tears….

     In simple Connection… 
    with others…

     and with ourselves?

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    We drive that stunner of a North Cascades Highway headed for our annual family reunion and the curious four year old grandson in the back seat peers through his car window while he volleys forward his usual plethora of questions.  

    What made the fire start that burned all the trees?

    How did the fire get across the river to the other side?

    Where does the water come from in that waterfall?

    What animals live in this forest?

    Which ones live way up on the top of that top mountain?

    What makes the water so green?

    And when there are still miles to cover, and he is DONE with the car,  and he wants to BE there…..

    Bapa, is this an off-road vehicle?

    When the answer isn’t affirmative, his imagination describes the last of our journey if it were….

    “We’d jump the river, zoom through the forest, rev straight up to the top of the mountain, then bump all the way down…. and we’d BE THERE!”

    ********


    Now, three days later at the close of this family reunion…..I sit at the lake’s shore - the tea in my mug and the sweet birdsong bringing me and the day awake…..And suddenly, I am crying …. not simply from the beauty I sit in, but the realization that my heart is that off-road vehicle.

    It feels giant-sized, super strong, unsurpassable!

    Pumped by the relentless squirt gun battles, whiffleball games, soccer matches and gut-busting laughter. .....Revved from the catch up conversations with each beloved..... Set into a steady rhythm by the “signal-less” surroundings free of texts, emails, and troublesome news.... bumped into steadiness by the magic that is our history and years-long legacy, it is filled up and broken open.  

    It could jump a river!






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