Now I Can See

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I live across from a cemetery now; the neighbors are rather quiet.

The corners of the sky glow pink and red as the last of this New Year’s daylight slips away.

I’ve just come through one of the more difficult parenting months of my life. The months ahead do not look less difficult, but perhaps unknown light will emerge around the edges of the darkness. There is, in any situation, always room for hope.

Last night, I journaled about the low lights and highlights of 2017, a practice I learned from Sister Karol Jackowski. I was blessed to take both Spiritual Writing and Nature Writing from “Karol” during my MFA program. From Karol, I not only learned to write better, I learned to live better.

In accessing my low and highlights, I recognized (which I think is the point of this exercise) the kernels of grace that exist in each down turn, each dark path. Many of the seeds of my highlights were germinated in the low lights.

Whether fortune or foe, who is to say, goes a familiar Buddhist teaching.

“Barn burned down, now I can see the moon.”  Mizuta Masahide

Now I can see.

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And sometimes, the barn can be salvaged.

Dreaming of a Vintage-Postcard Fourth

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In recent years, I’ve learned there is nothing more sweetly satisfying for a mom of adult children than to have all of your kids sleeping under one roof. While my young one, my seven-year old little man, will occupy my nest for years to come, I still feel I am a partial empty-nester. My oldest–Hannah–lives in LA and is rarely home. My second oldest, Ethan, just graduated from college and lives out of the house much of the time as a house/dog sitter. Ethan’s also in training as a postal worker. His artwork doesn’t support him (yet). Ethan will be returning home early on Monday, after an 11 day dog-sitting gig, and Hannah flies in later on Monday, stopping off here en route from a trip to NYC (she managed to score a ticket for Dear Evan Hansen–I’m so jealous) to LA. It seems that this 4th of July, we’ll all be together. I have some romantic notions of croquet games (with my vintage set) on the lawn and fresh-squeezed lemonade. I’m not sure this will quite be our reality, but I’m sure there will be at least one game of Apples to Apples and my kids will be sleeping under one roof. I plan on savoring the sweetness.

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The boys playing croquet in our backyard just a few weeks back.
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It was still snowy when Hannah was last home.

The Work of Adulting . . .

never ends. I’m so pleased and proud to have an essay publish on Grown and Flown this week. The essay explores a few difficult junctures of letting go as my oldest–my daughter–has spread her wings in life. Please check it out!

H teaching her little brother Japanese quite a few years ago now.

New Essay Up on Angels Flight Literary West

I just published a new essay on Angels Flight Literary West Magazine (alfwmag.com). This essay has been in progress for a few years now and sometimes, it takes a sense of arriving and completion in life, before an essay is ripe and can be finished. I am learning patience with and in the writing process.

Not everything has to happen at once; most things won’t. 

Here’s the video that inspired this essay.

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