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To Study Our Daughters

8 Sep

To look at them as through a glass darkly
They show us some things
Not like before
When we heard and saw everything
Because they believed that we knew everything
Had all the solutions

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They believe the trail was blazed by mothers long ago
That we already know the way

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Now that she is far from me
I lead her by shadows and suggestions
Pray for her peace
Long to hold her again



1 Sep

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I am deeply obligated to a person who caused me much anguish because the grief made me grow up emotionally and gave me a little more understanding. ~Betty Smith ( A Tree Grows in Brooklyn )

For some people, emotional pain leaves as quickly as it is inflicted. They can go through the most anguishing times and pick themselves back up with a nonchalant smile and an American can do attitude. I have a love/hate relationship with those sunny people. Particularly because it is so darn easy for them, that they can be a bit harsh with us misers that have become addicted to licking our wounds and examining our scars.

Just put in the good Lord’s hands.

You must let forgiveness into your heart!

Count your blessings for goodness sake!

Despite the good natured judgment from my sunny neighbors, I now know that both the Polly Anna’s of this world and my own kindred spirits have this in common; we all have been hurt deeply and if we examine our anguish, we can grow.

Some weeks I can breeze right through, without feeling the familiar stab of pain; that pain where my heart used to be. I hear from people that have suffered the loss of a limb that there is a ghost pain. The appendage that is gone will throb incessantly, and they must endure a regular pain management regimen to control the pain from an injury that has long been “healed”.

Some days, lessons are hard to endure. When we suddenly realize what a loved one REALLY thinks of us. Where loyalty truly lies. These things are never equal; no, one heart always beats stronger than the other in every relationship. When we give something our all, and then suddenly have to realize that the other person in our life is not nearly as committed, a part of our soul is awakened as it simultaneously being crushed.

I think this is the pruning and grafting of the healthy whole that the ancients wrote about. And it hurts. With these hard lessons though, come deepening wisdom and understanding and we must take a moment to extend gratitute to the universe and the power behind it; for if we had not be insulted, would we really know why we must every day practice holding our tongue? If we do not experience abandonment, how would we truly know not to injure others or the value of staying by a loved ones side? How else would I know for sure that it is not ok, to just walk away from people that I am supposed to love? How else would I understand the complexity of our everyday lives?

Yes, this week I had to remind myself as I rubbed old wounds; parts of myself that are now only memories, are the scars left behind for the purpose of reminding myself that I now have a better understanding of life. I have been pruned and grafted with an extraordinary oppertunity to serve others with my years. This is also a great oppertunity to aknowledge people in my life that are older than I am and know that they are mentors in life ready to help.

I pray that they will find me in time.

Someday, maybe, I will be able to write about the abyss of depression, confusion and sickness that shattered my heart, and the amputation that followed. Not this week. This week it is enough to know that without anguish there could not be true understanding. And the people in my life responsible for those lessons should be deeply appreciated.

Jaded I am. Wiser still I stand before my maker.

Graditute intertwined with understanding.

Sunday Morning Musings Over Coffee

25 Aug



When you think of a mother, what comes to mind?

“Eat your vegetables”

“Waste not, want not”

“Because I made it for you, if you don’t want it, go hungry until the my next meal”

“Make hay while the sun shines!”

When I was in Morocco, I was with some farmers and I was able to observe how much people depended on the seasons to go well so there would be food on the table. Imported food is expensive, and hubz ( bread ) and the local fare was what there was to eat at every meal. Mother nature nurtures that lovely country without fail.

This summer as I learned to forage a bit, I was reminded that when co-operating with mother nature, I had to eat what was laid out on that proverbial table or go hungry.

I learned that stalking what I did not plant takes a lot of energy and time.

As I thought about the time it takes to clean lily bulbs for the table, or cringed about the time it can take to harvest a flour out of the seeds to purslane, I had to admit that choosing to spend my time in such a way forced me back to a bosom that I didn’t know I had missed. I felt taken care of. Sheltered a bit. Nurtured.

It is true that I also felt empowered by the knowledge I gained, and I felt independent of the need for money and a good grocery store. But mostly I was reminded of my time in a developing country and the jealousy I felt as I watched them move about and respond to the very unchanged earth that took care of them.

Here in the United States not many of us cannot choose to live this way full time. We have sophisticated responsibilities and cities to maintain. We have a way of life to protect. I have children I have to raise and train in the way of technology and making a living.


Together we took a moment out of our summer and allowed ourselves to remember from who’s womb we were born and return to her bosom for a bit of rest. This summer we were able to decide that we will continue to gather from her and allow ourselves to be nourished, taking lessons from our brothers and sisters across the ocean and give thanks for all that has been provided.

Sunday Morning Musing Over Coffee

18 Aug

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Today I am looking out my borrowed window thinking about how the summer went for my family. I don’t ever sit still for long, so a lazy summer for us was filled with so may adventures that I didn’t have the patience to blog them; it was just enough to live in them.

This summer I had to adjust some expectations, bend a bit to make it through some storms and set some new goals. I was rewarded with a few unexpected adventures and even a few new family members to boot. Life is awesome like that.

As I thought about the summer and if I had anything to write about, I had yet another surprise. This blog was intended to document my journey and in some sense, explain myself to my children when they were old enough to be angry with me and ask questions and seek answers. For all my faults, this blog was one way for me to shout back that I have goodness as well as my brokenness. I wanted my children to have a window into my soul that they alone could interpret.

Maybe that will happen.

What did happen in the last forty or so posts was something far more personal. My focus shifted from explaining myself and proving to my children that we are awesome the way we are, to being in the moment of how…awesome we really are.

I began to see awesome moments when I began exploring with the camera to document the summer, and we had to stop and be in the moment.

Awesome moments were I chose to stop and look back to collect my thoughts and share why the day was great with a world that shares the same focus.

And finally, the familiar sensation of moving forward to another great day. This time with a new skill of being in the moment, reflecting then moving forward to tomorrow.

I am here musing over my coffee thinking about how blogging taught me to meditate this summer.


Blazing A Trail For Me

21 Jul

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One of the most precious things about being a parent is what our kids can teach us and where they can lead us. This week my son blazed a trail to our first 4-H BB gun shoot. We would have never have become involved with this sport had it not been for David leading the way.

You see, Dave was BORN holding a gun. Not because we are enthusiasts of the sport, but because if guns had not been invented, he would have been the man to invent them. Some people are born passionate about their life hobby and sometimes, their life’s work. David is one of those people. The minute Dave could sit up he was taking things apart and putting them back together, so as soon as he could cut and paste he was in the internet teaching himself how to make working guns out of paper. He loves the process of creating, but also loves the mechanics of a working machine. Guns of course would be the natural cumulation of such interests.

We are country people, so naturally our summers are not complete without BB guns and all of the empty soup cans we knock over with them. Davids passion and interest goes much deeper than that. His interests go beyond sling shots, cane pole fishing and typical cop and robber games. So, like any other country bumpkin mom living out in the sticks, I enrolled my child into 4-H so we could get the proper mentoring and inclusion into a group that knows EVERYTHING about the subject we know NOTHING about, so David could explore his passion for marksmanship.

As we were all standing around watching his first shoot, it occurred to me how much our children can teach us, and lead us into, if we listen to them and follow their lead. I thought about how this parenting thing is a partnership of mentoring between our communities, our children and ourselves. I am so humbled by how my child’s life makes my community so much bigger by introducing the whole family to people and places that we would never encountered if we had not stopped to listen to another heartbeat and follow the sound.

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Sunday Morning Musings Over Coffee

14 Jul

The second year in a row that radishes failed to grow in this spot. What a beautiful reminder that our failures are BEAUTIFUL.

This the second year in a row I tried to grow some radishes. Who doesn’t like those little bits of sassy root fresh out of the garden with a little bit of salt for a snack? Much to my dismay, the last two years, in two different pots even mind you, that my radishes didn’t grow. By that I mean that they didn’t grow the raddish part. No bulb. No sassy little nibble for the kids and I to harvest on a summer’s evening and snack on while watching fire flies dance over the corn fields.

I almost let my frustration get the best of me.


While out playing with my camera and cleaning up the gardens a bit this week I had to stop for another lesson from mother nature.

Life is beautiful.

Life is beautiful when it all goes wrong.

Life is beautiful when we don’t get what we want from it.

And life is most beautiful when we stop to look closely and appreciate what it has to offer.

Sunday Morning Musing Over Coffee

23 Jun

I woke up this morning to send my daughters off with their aunt to their first rabbit and cavy show. I felt only a little bit selfish to smile and wave goodbye knowing their brother was sleeping and I was about to enjoy a beautiful sunrise all by myself. Image

One of my favorite activities as always been to greet the sun. When I was a moody teenager on this same family farm, I would get up and go sit behind the barn to watch the sun come up and think. Today was no different, yet special in its own way…as usual. As usual, it was just plain awesome in its own right.

Today as I decided to forgo my window musing space and instead walk barefoot through wet grass and talk to the flowerbeds. I thought about how I have not been thinking much at all lately.

All winter long as I am caught up in my ambition and quest for a different tomorrow, I make a list of things I don’t have time for and think about  how I will make it up in my three of four months of summer, my time “off”.

This last week I have done absolutly nothing.

And I have enjoyed every last minute of it.

I remember talking to a teacher a few summers ago, and she told me that teachers need the three months off to rest and regroup. I think she is wrong only because I think everyone needs time to stop. I think we all need LOTS of time to stop and do all sorts of incredible, soul nourishing, body restoring, glorious nothing.

Nothing like only making your own tea from the garden can provide.

Nothing like only a long visit to old friends can restore your soul.

Nothing like looking around your home and seeing all of those loose ends that need to be tied up, and choosing one small task for the chore of the day and resting with a bad book and that cup of tea fresh off the stove for the other seventeen hours that we are out of bed.

Nothing like looking at your dog that needs to be walked and turning it into a day long hike, hiding from all the responsibilities that want to turn us into responsible adults that never have any rest.

This next week I am determined to start tackling my to do list with the same fervor that I had in the fall, but this week was a wonderful break from thinking so much and just breathing in the essence of life as it passed by. I hope everyone takes some time to indulge in at the very least, a little bit of beautiful nothing.


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