There are days/weeks when it just all begins to feel like you’re trudging uphill through mud to get to your destination. It’s hard to sort out the immediate from the long-term. What has to happen now? What should I be doing? Why am I baking another loaf of bread?

Sleep patterns get disrupted. A couple late nights means mid-day naps, which means tossing and turning the next night. It’s almost midnight, and I have finally finished the project I was working on. Why am I still awake at 1?

They say this is a good time to establish wellness routines. I walk. I do yoga. I breathe. How many days has it been so cold How many days of walking have I missed? One? Two? Five?

I know this is temporary, that it’s usually only a couple days of fog until the crisper air begins clearing my brain again. Meanwhile, I need to do little things that help me to cope. Set timers to work for an hour at a time and then take a break. Make sure I get the walk and the stretching in every day. And recognize that there are other things happening in my brain, even if the productivity piece is a challenge. I have been doing lots of thinking and meditating, building something inside rather than outside myself.

And you? How are you faring? What one thing will you do to give today a boost of energy?

“My hair is being pulled by the stars again.” —Anais Nin

“To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power.

“Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget… another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.” —Arundhati Roy

“In the very end, civilizations perish because they listen to their politicians and not to their poets.” —Jonas Mekas

Rob Brezsny:
Think about your relationship to human beings who haven’t been born yet. What might you create for them to use? How can you make your life a gift to the future? Can you not only help preserve the wonders we live amidst, but actually enhance them? Keep in mind this thought from Lewis Carroll: “It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backward.”

Into the Dark, December 10

Every year at this time, I feel the anxiety and restlessness begin to rise within me, and the cold settles into my bones. Every year, I need to consciously ease my spirit into the season. This year, from the beginning of December until Epiphany, I will set it down here on the blog. May we journey into the darkness with intention and tenderness.

I’m getting ready for a new week, and already feeling far behind. And tired. Don’t get me wrong. I love my students and my colleagues, so school is a good place to be. I just. Don’t. Want. To. Go. I’m feeling such a powerful inner resistance to leaving the house, to leaving this nest of darkness and warmth. Today’s word, I think, must be steps. I’ll just have to move moment to moment, and step to step, through the fog of morning and into the week.

Gratitude List:
1. Scent of Pine
2. Tender Hearts
3. Walking through the shadows, one step at a time
4. Literature
5. Wise Friends

May we walk in Beauty!

“Most people are willing to take the Sermon on the Mount as a flag to sail under, but few will use it as a rudder by which to steer.” —Oliver Wendell Holmes

“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.” —Rumi

“O, my love, there’s sun in the crook of your arm!” —Grace Schulman

Excerpt from Leymah Gbowee’s Nobel speech:
“This prize could not have come at a better time than this; a time when global and community conversations are about how local community members and unarmed civilians can help turn our upside-down World, right-side up. It has come at a time when unarmed citizens—men and women, boys and girls—are challenging dictatorships and ushering in democracy and the sovereignty of people.

To women of Liberia and sisterhood across West Africa who continue to band together to respond to crisis in our sub region; to women in Asia, the Middle East and the World: As we celebrate our achievement through this recognition let us remind ourselves that victory is still afar. We must continue to unite in sisterhood to turn our tears into triumph, our despair into determination and our fear into fortitude. There is no time to rest until our world achieves wholeness and balance, where all men and women are considered equal and free.”

Step by Step

Gratitude as Resistance Nineteen:
It only has to be one step at a time. When I look at the map, and the journey just seems so long, and I know that I can’t go all that distance, I need to remember to look down at my feet and just walk it one step at a time. Bit by bit. Piece by piece. Bright leaf by bright leaf. Morning by morning. Challenge by challenge.

May we walk in Beauty!


Today was a hard day. No one was able to adjust well to the heat in Room 206. We just lived through it. The allergy sufferers (including myself) are all in a bit of a pollen haze. But mostly we were in shock today. We heard early in the day that one of our buses had been in a bad accident, and we didn’t know for quite some time how our friends were doing. Kids were extra tender with each other today, quiet and thoughtful, concerned. Anxiety, heat, and sniffling made it a difficult teaching day.

I am left with layers and layers of weariness. Still, in the middle of it all, in the heat that has continued after the sun went down, there are things to be grateful for.

Gratitude List:
1. The way people focus on the important things during a time of crisis. The self-absorption of the daily disappears, and everyone focuses their hearts on the hurting.
2. Most of the students appear to have escaped the bus accident with minor injuries. I suppose one can always say, “It could have been much worse.” Still, it could have, and I am grateful for the grace of so many at home tonight with their parents. We continue to pray for the two who remain in the hospital.
3. Refried beans. That’s true comfort food.
4. Citrus. It’s therapy for an allergy sufferer.
5. Hummingbird! During supper this evening, she came twice to hover outside the big dining room window and look in at us. She has done this for the past several years in her first days back to the hollow. I like to think that she is checking in on us, announcing her return. The first time I was aware of how she (or her mother and grandmothers) seems to look in the windows was the spring eleven years ago when I was nursing a tiny new baby, and a tiny hummingbird repeatedly hovered just outside the window. Perhaps she was seeing her own reflection, but it has always seemed like a greeting.

May we walk in Beauty, in Wonder.

Winter’s Last Stand

I know I have felt this panic before.
February has finally ambled its pokey self
right out the door and we sit on the cusp
of March which should mean spring,
but doesn’t.  What it is, is:
it’s the last month of pregnancy.
When you know and your body knows
that the next thing should be upon you
but something in the universe conspires
to keep you in the grip of what has been
just a little longer, but you know
that this one could go long.
Just like the last one did, and how will you,
how will you ever bear it?  Not one
more month, not another week, even.
Oh please, Timekeeper of the Universe,
if you know what is in me, get this child,
get this everlasting winter, get it out of me,
get it over with.  I’m ready for transition.

Gratitude List:
1.  Game night.  All generations.  Dutch Blitz tournament.  Letting our hair down.
2.  Mallard couples flirting on the pond
3.  Dusting off the tschotschkes
4.  Altar-building (which may be a repetition of #3)
5.  Rhythm of the in-breath, out-breath, pause.

May we walk in Beauty.