Another version of the moth.

Erf. I got kind of grouchy this evening, trying to give an extremely thick-haired kiddo a haircut. He was twitching his head all around, the mosquitoes were whirring all about our heads, younger brother kept dancing past mashing blueberries all over his own face and trying to get attention, the cat kept pawing at us and crying to be picked up, and it was getting dark. I really want to let my kids get messy and filthy, but I wasn’t very pleasant with the mulberry-faced youngster.

Gratitude List:
1. Mulberry-Picking with my boys. Delightful, though not perhaps the gently quiet experience you might be imagining:
“Hey! That’s MY branch!”
“Mom! He’s shaking mulberries onto my head!”
“Hey Dad! We’re picking mulberries!” (Dad’s about two full acres away.)
Addressed to a mulberry: “I am going to call you Daryl. Stay with me now, Daryl!”
“Daryl–this is your cousin Bob.” Etc., etc., etc.
2. Knowing we’ll have bags of frozen mulberries for smoothies.
3. Robin’s rain-song
4. Serious talks with the kids. I was paging through some Facebook pages while Ellis was looking over my shoulder. He wanted me to stop and look at the article about raising feminist boys with him. It led to some great discussions.
5. In some ways, tonight is actually the real beginning of summer vacation. While I do still have to clean my room and grade my papers, I don’t have to wake up tomorrow morning and go anywhere right away. I am on my own schedule now. No Sunday afternoon panic. The weight is lifted.  And, I have more energy right now than I remember having at this point in previous years. Even though this year’s grading was more stressful for me than ever, I still feel much more motivated to do the work I need to do.

May we walk in Beauty!


Yesterday as I was walking out of school, a robin began his spring song in the little tree in the parking lot.  This is Josiah’s robin from last year.  He has taped it to our living room wall, and expanded the picture onto other sheets of paper.

You walk on tiptoe,
keeping to the shadows.
Even your voice is hidden
deep in a pocket somewhere,
beneath a layer of gum wrappers,
tissues, and crumbs.

You have practiced the art
of becoming invisible,
of fading into the walls,
until you can step sideways
out of anyone’s awareness.

The trouble with many of the magical arts
is that there comes a point when you don’t know
whether you are casting the spell
or the spell is casting you.

It is time to let this one go.
Walk out of the wallpaper,
stop blurring your edges,
seek your lost voice and speak.

Speak your name into the room,
set your feet firmly on the floor,
and let the world see you.

Gratitude List:
(A list again today)
1. The robin in the tree
2. Digging a hole with a small boy to make a fire pit (though my hands really hurt today from all the shoveling and wheelbarrowing)
3. How you are beginning to let people see you
4. Drawing the line between us, which is to say–making community
5. Opening the bag of this day, to see what it holds inside.  Every day a new thing, eh?  What shall we make of this one?

Sing Me that Song


Last year, I began my April 2 Poem with “Sing me that Song.”

I’ll try it again this year:

Sing me that song,
like Phoebe in spring,
where you sing your own name
over and over,
reminding the world
how you belong here,
naming this spot as your true home.

Sing it fiercely into the rain.
Sing your true name.
Sing it like a whisper in the dawn,
then loud and louder,
feeling it enter the the deepest corners
inside the hidden chambers of your heart,
inside the locked rooms
where you waited so fearfully
for hope to enter.

Gratitude List:
1. Phoebe in the hollow
2. I’m just going to repeat this one from two years ago: “Robin singing the sun to birth and singing it to sleep again [in the] evening. A day bookmarked by robinsong cannot go far awry.”
3. Poetry
4. Presence
5. Planning

May we walk in Beauty!

Everyone is Coming Home

This morning when I went out into the balmy sunrise to feed the chickens, I thought a strange wren was singing in the walnut tree.  He had such an odd accent.  But suddenly instead of wren, cardinal was calling, then robin was clucking out a scold, then jay announced, “News!  News!”  And there, at the very top branch of the walnut, was my old friend Mockingbird, giving me the run-down of all the folks he’d met on his wintertime journeys.  He seems to have expanded his repertoire of languages.  Welcome back, Polyglot.

And the swallows and the phoebe were back last week, along with the pileated woodpecker.  I put nectar in the oriole feeder today in case that friend arrives in the next week or two.  I’ll have to put out some oranges this week.

Mockingbird is the inspiration for this blog.  When my own internal editor gets too demanding, I listen instead for the voice of Mockingbird, my new editor of choice: “Oh, just say it again.  Say it more forcefully.  Say it three times in Spanish.”  I think we’re going to have a very good summer, Old Friend.


This is me at 3.
Slides 108

Gratitude List:
1.  Mockingbird is back in the hollow.
2.  The peony stalks are pushing up above the soil.
3.  This phrase, that was in my head this morning, when I woke up: “The life force is wanton and indiscriminate.  Use it.”  It may be time to start keeping a specific journal of the words and phrases that sit in my brain when I wake up in the mornings.
4.  Taking it one step at a time.
5.  Good old Vitamin D
May we walk in Beauty.