Tuesday, December 27, 2016

I Crave Light


Some people
find it soothing,
the grayness,
but I find it suffocating --
draining the world
of its variety and color
smudging the details
at the edges.

I crave light.

Once an opaque plane,
the ice on the
kitchen window transforms
into a thousand glittering
crystals, each one a
snowflake of
incomprehensible beauty,
captured on glass
to extend its fleeting
existence.

I crave light.

Once dark, abbreviated days
at year's end,
illuminated by
singing, bells, old
friendships renewed --
by a thousand
acts of glittering
kindness.

Not all grayness
Not all light
is surface: we allow one --
or the other --
to infuse, consume
become part of us,

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Pay Attention

I found you again!
stretched out cozy
dark evenings, temperatures 
falling, radiators hissing
nature patiently prodding,
pushing us to ponder
(reflect) on this latest
rung in our life
spiral, as we spin
headlong into the
next layer.

Holiday busy-ness
fills each moment --
cards caroling crafts
concerts -- (deflect)ing
introspection.

The perennial rhythm --
hushed tones, muffled
palette, the cocoon of
muted light, remind us:
pause, plan,

pay attention.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

One November

One November, when
I needed them most,
all of my words

bowed out. No way
to explain, no language
to make sense of

our surreal new reality;
leaving me with a body
waking in the predawn

light to lift weights and
sweat, guided by Mother
Moon to run and run

on soggy trails through
a dying landscape, and
yoga -- hoping to twist

the knots out of my
stomach and dislodge
the despair settling into

my lower right hip.

Am I preparing
for battle?

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Election Night Haiku

This is so scary
I think I'm going to throw up
It must be fiction


I wasn't worried
He has shown his true colors
Weren't they listening?

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

For Nicole

For Nicole

The phrase "a heavy heart" 
never struck me before.
I feel it now.
The lowest chambers
of my heart sinking
into my gut,
the grief settling there
with a mournful melody.

It has been one week.

One week of being startled
over and over and over
by the (un)reality of her absence.
An absence that goes
beyond blankness
into the realm of void
and vacuum.

One week of memories
tripping and falling,
nipping at my heels:

Our daily song began first thing,
herding kids off to school,
five minutes stretching
to many hours
of gliding fluidly
from one yard to another
pushing a swing, catching a ball,
soothing a hurt, nursing a baby...
without missing a beat
without dropping a note.
The afternoon movement
a crescendo -- more kids,
homework, guarding the alley,
making dinner --
hers planned for the month
mine always a surprise.

She is still here in
the high frequency
of our duet --
joys, sorrows,
depths, shallows --
an eternal vibration.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Ode to a Lovely Maple

  • Shifted light
    leaves me off - kilter
    out of balance

    Last night we dined
    "en plein air" as we do,
    unable to stop gazing up up up
    at the dizzying absence.

    Before they had finished
    chopping, chipping,
    my daughter and I
    ran to measure --
    our arms encircling
    her wide expanse --
    a farewell embrace.
    14 feet 2 inches!
    How long was she standing
    watching over this house
    so steadfastly?

    We first stepped inside
    one golden June afternoon,
    sunlight dancing and jumping
    in glittering patches
    across the wood floors.
    Through humid summers
    her vast canopy shielded us
    from the heat,
    keeping our rooms
    deliciously cool.
    Each October brought a burst
    of flame, bathing us all
    in shimmering yellow.
    She shook each last leaf
    to carpet the grass,
    benevolently brightening
    the months of darkness.

    Disoriented, I mourn
    my faithful friend
    in this new,
    alien space.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Ode to a Four Year Old

A terribly ripe four year old
likes to ride his bike until
sundown, play the piano
in the early morning quiet,
and ask important questions
before breakfast:

Can I sleep on the pillow
with you? Is it boom de
yada time? Why do people
need belts? How many more
days until my birthday?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Tiny Twinges

I felt a tiny twinge --
to give a friend, 
who was feeling down, 
some flowers. An
easy enough charge

with the flashy
tiger lilies
screaming for attention
over in the corner,
the clematis curling
seductively round the
garden gate,
the fluffy zinnias
beckoning
with their toothy,
multi-hued smiles.

However,
 I stayed inside,
quieting the
karmic jabs with
flimsy excuses,
leaving the friend
to sit alone
and the floral fete
to be enjoyed
solely by the
bees.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

So Civilized

Can I tell the tale of
humankind?
My story is a biased
one, just one
individual in the
collective mind.

A chimp will not eat a grape unless
all the chimps have a grape.

History is pocked --
great craters of
devastation, terror,
and
Enlightenment!
minuets, sonnets
(clubs, spears)
The Pieta, a perfect rose
(rifles, drones)
survival of the fittest
(maddest, meanest)

We are so
so civilized
compared to
the chimpanzee.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Still Spinning

In other lifetimes, 
it took years 
to crisscross 
this glorious globe,
but as the distance
diminished, knowledge
expanded and
we know (we KNOW)
that all of us want
the same things:
peace, safety,
love...

This Earth,
so buried in
grief and confusion,
is somehow,
somehow,
still spinning.

Still producing
fresh green cucumbers
and fireflies
that dart in and out
of the hydrangeas.
Little girls still
selling lemonade
on Sunday afternoons.

How can it all be so
exquisite? So beautiful?
How can it all be so
(crushingly) sad?

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A Summer Morning

A chubby four year old finger
tentatively touches the space
between my eyebrows -- 
flipping a switch
the chattering squirrels already deep into 

the negotiations of the day,
the birds concluding their dawn chorus

stepping outside with a stretch,
an eight year old garden nymph
stirs up the mint, oregano, and sweet pea,
my skirt brushes past the roses

I sit in a pale slant of sunlight,
the laundry fluttering dreamily in time
to the scales floating through the window

A summer morning garnished, sliced, and served

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Colorado!

Well, I've set off on an adventure! I'm going to Utah for my yoga training at Bodhi Yoga!  I was originally going to fly there -- and had even bought my ticket!  But then my parents suggested I bring the kids so they could go to a timeshare in the mountains with them.  I am all for the kids spending more time with their grandparents! This is the first time I've driven out west without another driver in tow!  I have the three youngest kids with me and so far they've been so so well behaved and great travelers!  We intended to do the usual 10 hour first day and stop in our beloved North Platte, but they were being such troopers that we just kept driving and driving!  In Ogallala I called Zach and Stacie to ask if they minded us plowing through and arriving at their house late that night.  They enthusiastically assured us that would be fine so we did just that, arriving to their house about 17 hours after we left ours.  Whew!  We added India to our little crew and headed up to Evergreen the next morning.  I was so happy that my trip coincided with the Rocky Mountain Retreat!  I was also very grateful that Jon was willing to watch my three and an extra for the weekend.  It was so lovely to reconnect with women that I had met last year and I was even able to room with my Fara ❤️ .  We drank a lot of mexican coke, spent some time at the hot springs, and even got a massage, ooh la la!  I can't believe that I didn't get any pics of the kids all together -- they got along so well!  It is truly a shame that we don't live closer...









Tuesday, May 24, 2016

My Favorite Flower

The peonies popped this morning! -- with iris (inhale)

Monday, May 23, 2016

Matchy matchy

I try to always match my nails and my yarn -- as one does.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

I & M Canal

Another fun hike with our homeschool friends.  We walked quite a ways so I was glad I thought to bring my Lula toddler carrier so that Archie could comfortably ride on my back, and Phin found a little snake.  It was amazing weather and great company!




Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Watch Out!

Someone got their drivers license!  I was a little apprehensive because she made more than one driving error whilst traveling to the DMV... but she passed her tests and is now all set to rule the road!  Jessa was nice enough to come along to lend moral support.




Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Mother's Day Poem

I perch near my light 
infused window, 
soak up afternoon warmth, 
and pretend not to worry.

They know where to find me --
bouncing back like yo-yos
to seek tear-filled sympathy,
to share triumphs with a kiss.

No more babies to
cradle in this little nest;
the strings have
lengthened.

Fretting over heartbeats,
first breaths, unsteady steps,
wobbly friendships,
chronic self-doubt...
each fragile phase interwoven
with uneasiness and relief.

I sit at my perch and pretend --
it is now as habitual as breathing.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Mango Mango

Charles got a job!  We are so happy that he can earn some money... and be away from the house sometimes... They serve Thai style rolled ice cream and claim to be the only place in the state that does so.  We decided to pay him a visit today and there is no denying that it was pretty yummy!




Sunday, May 1, 2016

Happy May Day!

I am quite sure that most people don't even celebrate May Day, but our neighbor happens to own a maypole, and if I was the proud owner of a maypole you had better bet your boots that I would use it!  We usually make a little craft with flowers to drop off at other neighbor's door steps and then we attempt to circle the maypole without getting too too tangled up -- it's so quaint.








Sunday, April 24, 2016

Allerton Park

To continue our enjoyment of this delightfully sunny and abundant spring, we invited the Rowley family to join us on a little excursion to Allerton Park in Champaign.  Neither of our families had ever been there so it was fun to discover it together.  We had a little picnic and then hiked through the woods.  The path circles back around to the main house and who should we see lounging on the grass?  Sean and Jessa Mitchell and Sean's lovely new wife, Alecia!  It was such a nice surprise to run into them.  We also tried our hand at flying a kite on the expansive lawn.  Overall, a very fun afternoon!














Friday, April 22, 2016

Tea for 1

When my lovely friend Twila visited us in Spain, she brought the most exquisite green tea blend from Paris and left it with us.  It is loose tea and I always wanted more than just one cup so I decided that I absolutely needed to get a sweet little teapot with a diffuser in the lid.  I jumped on over to Amazon and found the perfect thing.  When it arrived, I remembered that I had a charming set of tiny tea cups from Japan that were still in the box.  They go swimmingly together, don't you agree?  Aaaaaahhhh, it makes me happy

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Lake of the Woods

It was so nice to go on a little field trip with our homeschool friends.  A lot of them we haven't seen at all since we returned from our trip.  It was so nice to reconnect and also spend time in nature.  I think the universe is trying to tell me that Illinois is incredibly beautiful and I need to just stop with the restlessness and always wanting to be somewhere else.





Sunday, April 17, 2016

Spring!

There is evidence all around that Spring has sprung and it makes me so happy!








But our friends, the McLaughlins, are moving which makes me so sad.  They were supposed to be the more permanent ones who kept us company forever! We were able to have dinner with them one last time and enjoy a little walk around their neighborhood.






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