in effort to bloom...and plant

Oh where does the time go? Really, I can't seem to find it anywhere. It seems to be dancing in breezes of storms twisting the night. It echoes in pages of homeschooling inspiration and gets stolen away in meetings with this group and that. I call for it across dreams of my edible garden, a clean yard, a clothesline planted firmly within arms length reach. Whispers of time wander in and out of my list of readings, of chores and projects and hopes for renewal. I catch glimpses in rest and moments too far reaching to be lost in the transparency of time. I find time in escape.
I must admit it is my favorite place to run to for the time being. Seeing that it is a few short hours drive away, it seems to be calling to me as well. Last week I escaped into the pines with a loved friend...to breathe, to feel weightless, to take pictures and soak in the sights, sounds, smells that we know and love. Time to be. With Spirit. With home. With breath. As I attempt to sketch myself into the reality of these plentiful responsibilities, I search for time and it is usually lost. But not within the circle of these small, savory moments. Time is all I have here. I've started asking myself why that is...and observing the details of what makes my body tighten and my throat hurt and my nerves to shorten to minuscule proportion. Today, after meeting with a homeschooling group, I chanced by a library copy of a book by Julia Cameron called "The Sounds of Paper". Reading the back of the cover was all that I needed to know that this book has been waiting for me for eternity. "In order to make art, we must first make an artful life, a life rich enough and diverse enough to give us fuel. We must strive to see the beauty where we are planted, even if we are planted somewhere that feels very foreign to our own nature. In New York, I must work to connect to the parts of the city that feed my imagination and bring me a sense of richness and diversity instead of mere overcrowding and sameness. In California, my friend must work to do the same. We must, as the elders advise us, bloom where we are planted. If we later decide that we must be transplanted, that our roots are not in soil rich enough for our spirits, t least we have tried. We have kept hold of the essential thread of our consciousness, the "I" that gives us the eye to behold". ~ Julia Cameron A part of me sees this existence in my life...this constant aching for "somewhere else" because this place feels, in many ways, so foreign and unwell. I see how I can get lost in time and how the beauty of me reaching for something, an escape, can somehow bring me back into the magic. I know how much I am bread from my environment, from the energy, the idealism, the momentum and what is so lovely about this timing of finding this book is that I believe that I am sinking in and reaching around me. I am making connections I have known I need to make. I am living ideals I know I want to live. I am making decisions that aren't always easy, but that I sense must be made. I am feeling good, in some ways, for the richness blooming up from these actions, from these thoughts, from this commitment. It has so much do to with so much. What I am reading. The evolution of my soul to reach points where things come together and make sense. Clarifying what efforts are going to be made within the NOW and realizing that the future...the future will work itself out, really.
Perhaps that last line is all there is to time.
for more visual blooming, come on over to my photog blog for a visit!


inviting space

I crave open space. Not just in a physical sense but also within the realms of mental and emotional breaks and gaps...wide open space. It heals me, it gives me room to simply breathe and it takes me into greater understanding of my relationship with self.
The family I was born into knows this of me. They know my need for space in many forms and they often do their best to accommodate that need of mine. They don't push and prod, they often extend spaciousness. In that spaciousness is where I know I can thrive, through making my own decisions and mistakes. This is one thing I really hope to extend to my own children....space. Space without trips of guilt, without passive aggressive prodding, without manipulation of any sort. Just space. To be...to live as I choose.
Whenever I feel that there are demands being placed upon me or my world involving motherhood, I start feeling the walls close in. It doesn't matter if it is in the form of culture or individual not-so-spacious requests placed upon our time and rhythm. It doesn't matter if they are big or small. Sometimes I just start feeling a tad claustrophobic. This is when it is most important to invite space in. Sometimes that just means listening to my heart...saying no...taking off...creating space. Often it comes in the form of finding some physical expansiveness within the tightness of a city and the fast paced culture that our society loves to love.
Doing this somehow ignites breath and I find myself inhaling and exhaling...as if I knew how to do it all along. When I can grab moments with my children where they are free to roam and "be", I see these moments where my own awareness is mirrored in their natural play. Freedom. Exploration without judgement. No one to fit in but their own longings and adventure. Totally and amazingly grounded in confident awareness.
I get fueled through this exchange. As a mother, I can breathe easy knowing my kids have plenty of room to run. I feel my shoulders fall and my mind expand and I know that this is good.
Yesterday we had the chance to meet up with Grandpa GG at a big, long, grassy park to feed the ducks and geese.
It was blissful and energetic, beautiful and simple...and spacious.
Unstructured. That is how we tend to roll and that is how we stay sane.
In effort to invite more of this freedom into our play, I have been led to many resources and encouragement. Because, in truth, at times it takes effort to create opportunity for this freedom to feel invited in such a world as ours. I want to share something that has been brought into my attention and world.
I'm posting some information about a local screening of an important documentary (Where do the Children Play?) that touches on the subject of children and natural, unstructured, creative play. Lovely words, aren't they.
If you are a local who is interested in viewing this screening...please contact me for any information you may need.
"Where Do the Children Play? grew out of Elizabeth Goodenough’s work on “secret spaces of childhood” at the University of Michigan. The film was written and directed by Christopher Cook and produced by Michigan Television. “Children need free time every day to discover their own abilities, desires, and limitations,” says Goodenough, who also edited the film’s accompanying study guide. “Open-ended exploration and play in woods, fields, vacant lots, or other semi-wild spaces enhances curiosity and confidence throughout life.” A marked decline in children’s spontaneous and creative play is a key factor in their increasing mental health problems, according to a recent statement from an international group of educators and children’s advocates. They called for “a wide-ranging and informed public dialogue about the intrinsic nature and value of play in children’s healthy development.” Their letter echoed a recent warning from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP): children have far too little time for unstructured play, which leads to increased stress in their lives. Causes of the demise of play cited by the group include parental fears of “stranger danger” and the explosion of electronic entertainment—to the point of addiction for some—in the lives of today’s children. These and other issues are explored in the film. The lead author of the AAP report, Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, appears in the documentary, along with Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods, British “playworker” Penny Wilson, and other experts in child development, psychology, and urban planning."
***First viewing is scheduled for this coming Sunday. It should be a wonderful web of words and information...and I anticipate it provoking great thought and conversation!***
And a few places you can visit for more info:


many branches

There has been a (very hesitant) realization taking place within this little family. The acknowledgement that we will be staying within these wee walls for a bit longer, calling this physical place our home for several more moons has brought with it some much needed motivation to settle in as best we can into a rental, an "in-between" in the mind of moving on. I have actually become comfortable with the decision we have made to stay put. I think these walls offer some much needed lessons on living within our means and doing without things outside of that. All of that feels good and important and expansive.
It has also fueled me up with some motivation to get some energy flowing throughout this home. Since last Saturday, we have been moving things about, switching rooms with the babes and reconstructing the interior of our home in a way that "works" a bit more smoothly for us. I have even managed to set up a small (very small) little piece of the house for some creative work and inspiration. There is still much to be arranged and organized...and at this very moment I am feeling quite lost in that task. My eyes looking around, noticing that I only have TWO hands and also counting the number of blondie little heads running around my living room. One, two...yes there are two and they seem to be exercising every last effort to make sure organization is limited.
So my mind is branching itself out in too many directions all of which are stemming from a need to feel at home and in peace within this space.
Somehow, it will all get done. Closets will be moved around, crap will get purged, craft areas will be organized, rooms will become breathable, heck...the lawn might even get mowed and the floors quite possibly could get mopped.
What I am really aching for is to paint my kitchen yellow, to work with the earth in my backyard...designing, building and planting a garden, to hang beauty on my walls and to remember that all of these branches reach out from a single seed.
It is within that simple truth that I know something I MUST do for myself and my sanity. I must write...if even for brief moments, and I must create quiet time for myself in which to do so.
I'm not sure how it will all work out but I trust that with a little effort and a little bit of luck...I may be finding myself waking up before my littles, brewing a cup of coffee sitting down with full mind and empty page. I think this place might be the place I will be coming to.
If so, it might be worth me mentioning that I am hoping to invite the challenge that keeps appearing in my life to write with greater honesty and courage and to show up to this work without hesitation of who may be reading my words.
It isn't always easy for me to do this, but each time I hear this lesson from creative source, I wince and I cling and that is how I know I am supposed to write.
It is my way of sinking down into my source...where all of the branches, and their many directions, feel a bit more connected and purposeful.


on being born

Sunday brought with it an invitation for me to join a lovely friend and her hiking group on a road trip up north to none other than:
It is extremely hard for me to resist an invitation to peace. And so, although this mama could probably come up with one million reasons to stay home and clean and tend to the disarray around her, I took off to one of my most treasured places on the planet. I am so glad that I did. The minute I drive into this town, something deep inside of me shifts and rests and collapses into a sense of place. I come home, I feel light and I am acutely aware of my feet on the ground. There is nothing slight about it for me.
The reason for our day trip was to head out to the Lava Tube to do some hiking inside of the earth. INSIDE of the earth. Wow. That is really amazing. It just so happened that on our trek out to this sacred place, one of the members of our little traveling group brought up the discussion of viewing the hike as a journey into the womb of mother earth and she mentioned how there is a history of Tibetan Buddhist monks meditating in caves. She offered the encouragement to set some intentions on things that we would like to let go of and be reborn into...as we might like to think of the journey into and out of the cave as a type of re-birthing process. I liked the idea of that and I carried that with me as I walked into the depths of this amazing place.

And it really is amazing. It is pitch black. The kind of pitch black where there is no difference between having your eyes tightly sealed and having them wide open with wonder. We each had our own flashlights and we stumbled along the lava rocks with curiosity and awe. At the end of the tube, we each found a seat on the cold floor and we all turned off our flashlights. This was so intense! Pitch black, 3 miles into a tube INSIDE of the earth. I think we all felt the amazement of where we were and the respect from that experience kept us all quiet. There was this natural meditative ambiance as we each went inside of ourselves. One of the members of our group offered to lead us through a guided meditation and it was just this really beautiful experience.

For me, it was a moment of strong connection and reverence. Mother Earth embracing me with her able womb, the birthing process prevalent in my mind, journeying along with mindful companions, anticipating and honoring the contrast of light and dark...the entire experience pushing me forward with powerful force and energy.

And it was FUN. It was full of laughter and great conversation and a joyful knowing of coming into ones own.

So I emerged from the darkness to set my eyes on my path.

And I took the time to notice the cool air, the thundering skies, the smell of pine and the fact that directly below me was this other world. This silent, sacred place with open offering of quietude.

I think I will be carrying that with me for a while now.

Carrying it with me as I journey through this process of learning to walk and think and speak in the language of freedom, love, laughter and growth.

In what better place is there to be born?



Life has been full lately. I'm not confident that I could articulate clearly what it has been full of if I were asked. But it has been full. Full of challenges, realizations, moving forward and letting go. It has been full of choices and lessons and decisions that reflect the whole of the family. I have been full...and tired, and motivated all at once. At the same time, my patience with this summer heat is wearing thin and I am aching for change all around me.
As things always seem to work out, we took a much needed trip to the woods this past weekend, to camp in tents, build fires, explore the natural world and gain some clear perspective on what is really important.
I took in scenes like this one, all weekend long. Which pretty much qualify as some of the most precious of all sights for my eyes. My children running free...touching, tasting and smelling the good earth and experiencing exploration in every sense of the word.
Feeling the water.
Learning from the creatures.
Finding the freedom.
Even building a house for the forest fairies and bugs.
Mostly, it was spent looking down and finding myself here...with mother nature, learning from her wisdom and wonder...allowing her richness to sink down deep and bring me the peace of mind that she always does.
Quite enchanting, really.