Monday, July 17, 2017

Little Feathers: Heartbeat

Little Feathers: Heartbeat: Sally Nava, our beautiful daughter, middle child, amazing woman- made this card for me. I asked her to choose inspirational sayings for...

Heartbeat


Sally Nava, our beautiful daughter, middle child, amazing woman- made this card for me. I asked her to choose inspirational sayings for greeting cards that she watercolors. She chose this one to paint. Because hope is the heartbeat of her soul.

When someone who has been through a life-changing hardship, like Sally's car wreck, still talks about hope, it makes me pay attention to my own heartbeat. 

I don't know anyone anywhere who is immune to dark thoughts, to times when the sad parts seem overwhelming. But the courage to go on, the courage to do the next right thing starts with hope. Hope that we will heal. Hope that we will make it through, and with the added benefit of lessons learned, obstacles overcome, gratitude washing over us like the water of grace to give us new life.

For me, hope is born of a faith that I am part of something greater than myself. Greater than the offerings I lay out there in the world. If I always got what I deserve, if I received only what I earn, I would find it harder to hope. I don't mean to say that I hope in order to get a better life. But I do say that hoping brings me a better life. Starting in my own heart. Giving me faith that, as Julian of Norwich said seven hundred years ago, "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well". Imagine the difficult world Julian lived in the 1300s. Even our crazy, out-of-whack, scary world of today can't be worse.  

Hope is the heartbeat of the soul. Thankfully.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Little Feathers: This Box Of Things

Little Feathers: This Box Of Things: An embroidered handkerchief. It's folded into an envelope that also holds a note from my mother, saying her grandmother made it, and may...

This Box Of Things

An embroidered handkerchief. It's folded into an envelope that also holds a note from my mother, saying her grandmother made it, and maybe someday if I have a daughter it could be the something old. I love the handkerchief. And I love the note written by a woman much younger than I am now, who has loved me all my life.

An 18 year old hand written note from a teenage boy studying in Spain for the semester. A kilt bought in Scotland for a 4 year old girl who is now 35. A single earring that lost its mate, but was loved enough to go into the little painted box instead of the trash. A card from a young man I fell in love with, the one I married shortly after the note was written. The one I am blessed to share my life with still.

I can hold these things in my hands and remember the me who held them years before. Taken one day at a time, 63 years is a very long time. I'm not exactly sure when the days that became years, became decades. It was a subtle shift, that bending of time. One minute there was a long stretch ahead of me, plans to be made, stuff to be done, so much to learn. Holding the little treasures in my box of things brings that time into sharp focus. If I looked in the mirror at this exact moment, I know I would be surprised by the gray hair and face of my grandmother. I remember how my children smelled when they were new. I remember their little puffs of breath on my neck as I rocked them. I remember how I felt in my skin.

Sometimes I think about how some of the sweetest memories are not from big events, but from the little moments of perfection that happened through the years. The time when the laughter or the tears, the dancing or the quiet moments walking in the evening light, lined up with my heart and made me feel I was the luckiest person ever to live.

We've just moved to new house. A much smaller house. Which has caused me to go through everything we've amassed through the years. To hold it in my hands, and to let go of a lot of it. But some I'll keep. Some will stay in this little box of things. To remind me of the me who lived back then. To remind me to say thank you.


Monday, June 12, 2017

Little Feathers: Bone Deep Memory

Little Feathers: Bone Deep Memory: I moved from the beautiful Pacific Northwest at the tender age of 19. I vividly remember the time I went home a few years later,when our kid...

Bone Deep Memory

I moved from the beautiful Pacific Northwest at the tender age of 19. I vividly remember the time I went home a few years later,when our kids were really little. I scoured the scenery for the familiar. For the sense of home. Maybe it was because life was so busy, so forward-moving at a breathless pace, or maybe because my actual home town was changing really fast. At any rate, I didn't find it. I said to myself at the time, well we can never go home again.

Last week, several decades later. we went to Oregon with good friends to enjoy the wine country of the Willamette Valley. But first we drove across the coastal range to the incredibly beautiful Oregon coast. On that drive, just outside the window were these trees and plants that were so familiar, I honestly saw them as if I was 19 years old and riding in the car with my parents. That time of life came rushing back. The way I felt, my life stretched out before me. It almost made me cry.

Maybe because it wasn't my specific home town, and I didn't need the buildings and roads to be the same as they were. I only needed those trees. That air. Those blackberry bushes along side the road. But it was a gift of the rarest kind. A bone deep memory of a wonderful childhood. A bone deep memory of a loving family who cherished the beauty of their homeland. It's a new memory I'll file away, to take out again someday and spend some good time being grateful.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Little Feathers: Looking Back, Going Home

Little Feathers: Looking Back, Going Home: There are times when the past seems like a siren song. When going through old photographs, reading old journal entries is a balm, an antidot...