Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Simple pleasures

Leading the flock after snagging a catch!
A trip into Seattle to drop off Reilly yesterday was all I needed to swing by Green Lake for a late morning walk.  Oh the sights!  Hark the sounds!

Allow me to list some highlights:
flocks of widgeons feeding
a splash and a dart as a merganser snagged a fish and gulped it down with lightning speed
a noisy belted kingfisher at the water's edge
a pair of coots rightside up and upside down 
a couple walking dogs who formed a perfect taut X with their crossed leashes
a great blue heron preening on a low-lying branch
a pair of young women with matching blonde ponytails flying, pushing a stroller and rocking out to their tunes
a dozen children from La Escuelita Bilingual Preschool walking in a row, chattering in both tongues
a pair of fluffy dogs wrestling with great abandon after meeting for the first time
a bald eagle taking off from the top of a towering redwood!
a man in hip waders searching for valuables with a metal detector in thigh deep water
a pair of mallards moseying across the paved path as if they had all day to get to the other side

None are remarkable as stand alones, but by the time I circled the lake I felt I had seen and heard it all.  I capped it off with lunch at the Sunlight Cafe.  

Lovely day indeed!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The joy of gifts

Dear Mom,  
Mimi and Andy's home, 2011, Andy's last Christmas.
Mimi was living at Brighton Gardens,
but her home still held her spirit.


Anyone who knew you well was aware of your full-on embrace of gift-giving at Christmas.  You had a knack for keeping one eye open for special gifts year' round and storing them until the holiday season arrived.  I remember one year, when I was 10, I decided to snoop and forage.  I found your stash and rifled through it all, imagining what was intended for whom in our little rambler on Brant Avenue.  It was a bad decision on my part, but that is not what I want to say to you today.

Let me ask you this.  Once the gifts were wrapped and placed under the tree, did you have a favorite?  Was there one you were most delighted about giving?  I suspect that may have been the case for you and one of the many things you passed along to me.  I surely found that as I grew into adulthood, I always had a favorite among the gifts I was giving.  Often it was one I had made by hand for one of my siblings or a dear friend.  

Last night as I was driving at dusk, a most splendid gift revealed itself!  You painted the sky with orange, pink and white, great swaths of color against the waning blue of day and the darker hues of approaching night.  The silhouette of the Olympic Mountains offset the blazing sky! Thank you!  I cried with the sure knowledge that you were at the easel, mother; that you had created this masterpiece and sent it my way.  What joy I had in receiving it!

Apparently, and true to form, you had more to offer: here is the sunrise that followed.


As I snapped this picture, I remembered a special time shared with you in December 2011.  Karen and her husband, Craig, drove to Columbia from Selinsgrove to visit us, a reunion that brought immense emotion for all of us.  When we came to Brighton Gardens to share her with you, you showed a sliver of happiness.  Then a most miraculous thing: your eyes lit up, you turned to Karen, and you formed these words: "I recall!"


Karen puts her final touch upon my mother's
long and blessed life.

  What a moment!  What a moment indeed!

That moment, Mom, is one of the greatest gifts we gave to one another: me, taking part in the reunion; you, reaching into your heart and brain and making a connection despite the grip that Alzheimer's had upon your life.

I relish in the memory.  And I give thanks for the unbreakable bond we share.

Merry Christmas!

Your Jenny

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Just down the hill

Irene with her tools for living.
Among the things I am grateful for, and the list is a long and colorful one, is the ability to discern.  Today I am reflecting on those who serve as role models for me; children, women and men who, through their steady living, show me a path.  

Meet Irene, a pioneer with a knack for self-sufficiency.  Widowed since 2008, she can be found most days tending to her acreage or taking brisk walks through our neighborhood sporting the most eclectic ensembles.  Some days she'll make eye contact or return my greeting, but she seems most at home in her own skin and in her own company.

The day before Thanksgiving as I drove past her home, she was working in the yard, festooned in a shocking pink bonnet paired with knee-high work boots.  I pulled over and got out to greet her.  It took very little to get her going about her plans for the holiday.  I was updated on her travels, the goings on of her grandchildren and great-grands, and the ways in which she self-identifies the many blessings of her life. 

Before we parted ways, I confessed my admiration for her and how she inspires me.  There was no need to elaborate; she simply smiled and said thank you. 

There are things we get to choose.  I choose my role models, not so much for what they might offer me, but moreso, for how they navigate their lives.  Through my own discernment, the gift emerges.

Now to get my hands on one of those bonnets!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A call to an authentic life

The natural world, like art, is a sacred space, a place where connections are made, epiphanies emerge, and sparks ignite.  Who among us finds inspiration in a lecture hall while seated in a rigid chair?  They are out there, but I can't count myself among them.  

What are we to do with new ideas and inspirations?  How does change, that elusive yet inevitable thing, rise up in us and cause us to alter behaviors, lifelong patterns, long-embraced beliefs?

A long-time friend invited me to a screening of the documentary Trans which I attended last night at a community center on Seattle's Capitol Hill.  Get your hands on it; share it with others.  As I drove to meet up with friends to carpool to the event, I pondered many things: the power of art to provoke, the safe space I live my life in, and too, how it might be to reunite with my friend, Mac, formerly Sherry, after nearly 8 years.  

Over soup and cornbread at the kitchen table beforehand, Josh and I shared what was on our hearts.  He mentioned a friend who is in jail and what he might be able to do to support him at this critical time. We explored roles, responsibilities, commitments, loyalty.  Then I said I wondered what it was going to be like to meet Mac for the first time, having known him since 2000 as a woman.  To Josh, it was a simple thing, really.  He said I was seeing Mac for the first time, but not meeting him.  I already knew the person, their character, what makes them them.  And he was right.

Some learnings that I'm holding up for a closer look-see: sacred space is any place; the key is to open your heart.  Identity is a highly personal matter.  How we self identify and what we do to live out that understanding are separate issues.  And what we do to foster compassion toward ourselves and others matters. 

 I'm going to start by tipping my cup and letting go of old notions.  What stays, what goes; I can intellectualize it, sure, but I choose to let it be what it is; to see what is left in that cup and go from there.  And tonight I will gather in community at Ravenna United Methodist Church for a service commemorating TDOR and bear witness to hundreds of lives I did not know, cut short by fear and hate-driven violence.  

What matters is this: we can effect change through witness, outreach, and action; it's our individual and collective work; it's what we are called to do.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The trustworthy balm of cooking

Trust.  It's a whooper, and a concept I've been pondering in recent weeks.  
In Santa I trust.
How is trust established?  What can tip it on its head?  Is it easier to trust a stranger
than a loved one?  What does trust look like?  What influences or colors how we perceive it?

I'm gonna go for trusting in my ability to cook up a storm of delicious proportions, beginning right now!  Give me a blustery Sunday and a free calendar and watch me go!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The steady solace of poetry


















Untitled

I wonder sometimes about the beginning,
how a river makes do with what it has,
persevering with time and place,
steadfast in its claim to send new water downstream.

I try to understand why the house-finch
has a few harsh notes amid her fluid song
then I remember about injustice
and her song becomes a rallying cry.

I once saw a man who crawled on hands and knees
propelling his small frame forward
believing that what lay ahead held promise
and was worth the perilous journey.

I envision a place where river, man and finches 
can sing their proclamation with one voice raised
forever eloquent and clear,
a mother tongue, echoing 
in one long rivulet of song. 

J. Sinanan, September 2005


Monday, October 14, 2013

What a child knows, he knows

In her element, mud splattered and running
like the wind,
Bowen Island, BC 2013
Child, about 6: Can I pet your dogs?
Jenny: Sure, if you'd like to.
C: Will they bite?
J: No, but they might kiss you, so be ready.  This is Eli; he's 11.  This is Maude; she'll be 13 soon.  Maude is deaf.  She can see and smell but she can't hear.
C: Can she hear herself think?
J: Wow!  What a great question.  I don't know; what do you think?
C: I think she can hear what's going on inside her body.
J: That's brilliant.


Friday, October 11, 2013

Reilly!

True to the Laws of Childbirthing, this one arrived under the cover of darkness.  I was present for it all, including this: I remember being aware of sights, smells, sensation and emotions, but my sense of hearing was turned off at his birth.  Was it a complete absence of sound, or did I just not hear any words being spoken by those present?  No matter.  

What I want to say is this: this child, now a man, is in my heart today, his 25th birthday.  Allow me to wax a tad---to list for my own delight (and perhaps yours too)---a handful of things that make him who he is.

Equitable.  Self aware.  Generous.  Considerate.  Unconventional.  Spontaneous.  Organized.  Playful.  Authentic.  Wise.  Steady, yet flexible.  Loyal, truly.

Handsome!  Open-hearted.  Creative, inspired, inspiring.  Colorful.  Coordinated (though also occasionally color-coordinated).

He came bearing a message, at 7 months gestation: "I am going to bring light, playfulness and joy to the family; get ready!"

Savoring the nourishment of body, mind
 and spirit, summer 1989. 
Indeed, Reilly; indeed!  Birthday love to you! 

Taking time along the Shenandoah, October 2013.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Catch me if you can!

He was a mere ten seconds into his dinner, attacking his food lest it evaporate mysteriously before he could consume it, then silence.  I looked up from my task in the kitchen to find him frozen in time, a long strand of drool hanging from his jowls as he stood twitching, completely engrossed in a backyard scene.  
Ah, yes; autumn.  Squirrels.  Un huh.  Oh yeah.

With a clean tug, I opened the sliding door so he could pursue his higher calling without crashing through the plate glass.  He's tried that before and it was not a pretty scene.  I spotted the culprit high in the dogwood clicking his tongue, no doubt taunting Eli with a "you can't get me!" chant that only a dog would find unbearable.  Not to be outdone, Maude got in on the hunt, sending up a howl to let the little guy know it was 2:1 and they would not back down.

The squirrel made an impressive dash for the ground and promptly climbed another tree with far better options: an easy to mount roof, neighboring trees, and a parallel yard separated by a fence that the dogs cannot scale.  

Little critter, little brain, but clearly capable of higher level thinking.  

And off he went, safe this time.  We shall see what tomorrow brings. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

A man for all seasons

From Helsinki, daughter of the Baltic Sea, to the shores of steamy Trinidad; from the inner harbor of Batimore, to the quiet Kansas plains; from Vancouver's diverse playground to the halls of Johns Hopkins, such was the meandering path of this man I share my life with. 

Happy Birthday, dear man!  You are a gem among stones.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Vegetable wisdom

Sister Mindy embraces her maternal bent, circa 1977.
Throw back your head, open your arms and embrace the harvest of your precious life.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Bright lights!

And off they go!  

To Juan and Reilly; Salute!  May your joy and enthusiasm drive you forward during your time in NYC!  Hold fast to your passions; shine out!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The path in Tammisaari


Stand still. 
The trees ahead and the bushes beside you Are not lost. 
Wherever you are is called Here, 
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger, 
Must ask permission to know it and be known. 
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers, 
I have made this place around you, 
If you leave it you may come back again, saying Here.

No two trees are the same to Raven. 
No two branches are the same to Wren. 
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you, 
You are surely lost. Stand still. 
The forest knows Where you are. 
You must let it find you.

An old Native American elder story rendered into modern English by David Wagoner, in The Heart Aroused - Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America by David Whyte.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

"Anteeksi, voinko olla kermaa minun kahvia?"
 
Getting caffeinated and oriented in Helsinki, August 25, 2013.


Friday, August 9, 2013

The language of love

There is a story here.  Write it for yourself; craft it as you like.  This I know: in the time that passed between the taking of these images, a life ended, a final breath was drawn.


Tonight I see with new eyes that in her leaving, she made a path.  One, across the evening sky; another, a come hither welcome, so joyful in its randomness.


How I marvel at it all, how she washes us in color and light.



Thursday, July 25, 2013

Family stuff

It's been a busy week at the Sinanan house.  The garage and second floor are especially challenging to navigate, bringing to mind those hand-held puzzles from my youth that required moving various tiles with your thumbs until you got things just right.  

To get into and out of my car I traverse a narrow space. To retrieve an item from the former guest room, you need a map, courage, finesse, and a clear understanding that you're likely not going to find the item you need.  Best to just keep the door closed.

Reilly has, along with the help of his brother and mother, returned an apartment's worth of furniture, art supplies, and personal stuff to our home as he prepares to move to NYC in September.  Today he handed me his sock basket, the same basket he's been storing his socks in since he was a toddler.  It was his own idea way back when, to store them next to his shoes in the hall closet.  Shoes and socks; toothbrush and paste; some things just go together.

My mother liked to remind me that the door swang in both directions for her children; we came and went and came and went and she just welcomed it all: dirty laundry, stories carefully edited for her sanity, and, sometimes, a lover in tow.  I've felt her cheery presence this week as we made multiple trips with Reilly's stuff.  I can't say I'm matching my mother's cheerful demeanor, but I can surely admit to feeling the blessing of family.

As Reilly seeks new horizons, I know his tether is long and loose.  He's got courage, bold ideas, and opportunities to grasp and explore.  And I know he feels supported and loved.  

As it should be.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Year number four!

Road trip!  It's time to return to Soap Lake!


Mastering the art of climbing on 'bottom first'
 while covered in mud.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The time it takes is the time it takes

Eddison and Leila's offspring,
left to right: Phil, Sarah & Mika.
I'm a little slow.  I'm not talking about the speed at which I live my life.  I freely admit though, that slow is a pace I'm quite comfortable with.  In fact I prefer it nearly all the time.

What I'm noticing more, though, is how the passage of time brings things into a different focus, an altered view.  And how, as my life unfolds and circumstances change, things, events, and relationships take on entirely new meaning.

Recently I was looking for a particular photo in my many folders of e-files when I noticed my heart felt heavy and I seemed to need to take a rest.  The effort needed to scroll and click is nothing compared to the emotional energy required to revisit the images.

I was stunned by the boatload of big stuff: diminished health of loved ones, long goodbyes, births, celebrations, loss after loss, the sheer number of trips east over these past several years, and on it goes.  There's been plenty of positive change as well, most notably my own improved health since changing how and what I eat.  I seem to be connecting the dots more, or at least gaining some insight.

These graduation photographs speak volumes to me, noteworthy for their place of prominence in my in-laws home.  Though one of their children died a few months shy of his 34th birthday, there are many mementos of him throughout the family home and in our shared home on Bowen Island.  Leila once told me it took her 10 years to move forward after his death.  Though I have not had to endure the loss of a child, I could relate: I was nearly frozen in time for 13 years after the tragic death of my stepfather, Dick.

Loss takes time to process.  It takes time to manifest, and we need time to identify what it is and how it changes us.

I'm taking my time.  It feels like the right thing to do.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Tools and their people

He lives in the corner house with the rusted farm tools in the yard.  The old RV, no longer parked in the driveway, used to sport the name of their family bluegrass band.  I've walked by their two-parcel homestead many times over the years and so today, when I circled back, I was excited to see someone in the yard for the first time. 

It went like this.  I greeted him and he greeted me back, pausing mid-stride with his mail in hand.  There was mention of the beautiful day, and then I confessed I have long admired his property.  That's all it took for Harold to tell me the stuff of his heart.  How, having lived there since 1957 with his beloved wife, Elva, he now wonders if it might be time to pack it up, you know, move on.  Elva's been gone since February, and frankly, he says, "It's hard to get motivated."  Harold tells me being married to her was everything, natural as breathing.

He still makes music, "cause Elva loved it, and it just makes people feel better."  He said he plays there on Thursdays because he enjoys it and it brings other people joy too.  Then I said he sure has found a fine way to spread his light.  

There was more shared there in the driveway and the summer sun and then I left him there, shuffling his mail and summoning up the courage to go back inside where he crafted a fine life with Elva, a life that spanned 60 glorious years.  May the memory of his beloved buoy him onward.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Dog days of summer

Geo and Sam seize the moment.
For me, summer is the season for slowing down, relishing in the bounty of fresh fruits and veggies, losing myself in novels and non-fiction alike, and reflecting on the nuances of my life.  

The season calls to me: "quiet the rumble; listen." 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Room for us all

A man with his thoughts, the Labyrinth on Bowen, 2012.
He's made room there on the bench, lest another should seek a place to sit and rest.  In truth, it's how he lives his life, creating gracious space.  It's a place where, as Rick explains, "the other person shines- a place where people are helped to know, deep in their person, that they are unique, important and loved.  It is a place where they are free to tell their story without fear of judgment; a place where the most vulnerable feel safe to grieve, to cry, to rant and to laugh out loud."

I know.  This pensive man has extended it to me.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Looking back with gratitude

A mother's gaze, June 2012.
Last June I traveled to Maryland to assist my sisters in preparing our mother's home for the real estate market and to say a final farewell to her.  Saying goodbye is a simple gesture carried out by most of us on a daily basis.  But those goodbyes most often assume the very real likelihood of future hellos.  This one felt final.

After some private time in her room, we made our way to the dining room where I felt it would be easier on us both to have a task to attend to, then transition with a hug and a kiss and ...well, then I would leave.  Here she is holding a bit of soft food in her mouth, managing the milieu and her daughter with unwavering grace.  Look at her gaze, how she latches on to my face, how she leans in as if to emphasize her commitment to the moment.  I too shared that commitment; there was no where else I wanted to be.

As it turned out, we were blessed with more time together.  In January of this year, I traveled to Maryland with Josh to see Mimi and be intentional with a final goodbye.  Josh had not seen her since 2008, a lifetime ago by any number of measures, but with Alzheimer's, the changes were indeed many.  What was unchanged was their easy comfort with each other and their mutual admiration.

Head to head, without words, January 2013.


Much has unfolded since last June.  Our mother is no longer living, yet her presence is palpable.  Suffice it to say that this grieving process is ongoing and I continue
to put one foot in front of the other, and I remember.  Oh, how I remember.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Barrier or support?


"Give yourself the power to transform your experience of any unwanted condition into one with which you care to live." 

~ Ben Zander, from The Art of Possibility

            


Friday, June 14, 2013

From this place where I reside


"The best way to evaluate whether we are moving in the direction of greater well-being is by listening to our inner messages of comfort or distress.  Our highest evolutionary path is the one that generates the least resistance and the greatest joy."

~ David Simon, Co-founder of the Chopra Center

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Together in grief

Children of a common parentage:
 Jeffrey, Georganne, Melinda & Jennifer
Wilde Lake, Columbia, MD
June 9, 2013
There comes a time for saying goodbye.  It is a gift to be able to share it with those you love. 

"Give good gifts, one to another,
peace, joy and comfort gladly bestow,
harbor no ill 'gainst sister or brother,
ease life's journey as you onward go."

~ Shaker hymn, Give Good Gifts


Standing by.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Beyond barriers


We all have them.  Some are real; some perceived.  I'm working on identifying the self-imposed ones, those barriers that keep us from going forward or pushing through to the other side.  

"Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day." 

~A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Looking back

June 1, 1980, flanked by my parents.
A lifetime ago we exchanged wedding vows in the shade of a tree, so very young were we.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

In Honor of Mimi

The bench inscription shall read:
Marianne S. d'Elia, 
who walked this path through six decades,                                                      ever with a spring in her step 
and a smile for every passerby.


Sitting on the bench that will soon bear her name.




 
In her final year of walking around Wilde Lake, 2010.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Honoring the void

Mutual effort and teamwork yields success!
My high-spirited mother had a passion for living.  In her mid-life years and beyond, after her mastectomy, she took great pride in hitting the gym several times a week, working diligently with a personal trainer to regain range of motion and improve her upper body strength.  I recall with great fondness how she'd roll up her sleeves to show off her defined arms. 

There was much about her to love and admire.  I miss her dearly and daily.  Last night I attended my first Legacies Support Group offered by Providence Hospice.  The focus is mother loss.  There are ten of us in the group, mostly women in our fifties and sixties.  Four women are there with a sister, including two who are in their late twenties.  

Do no assume anything, including what we may or may not share in common.  Trust me when I say that our stories are vastly different.  Believe this: some of us are angry.  Most of us are experiencing fuzzy thinking and intense emotions that come in sudden waves.  Some of us are drifting through our days with no sense of direction.  All of us are seeking to fill a void.  

I know my mother would be in full support of me choosing to join such a group.  She was my number one cheerleader in nearly every endeavor I embraced over the course of my life.  She admired my self-direction and my willingness to partner with others.  She wrote intimate heartfelt letters of support that I treasure dearly.  Have I said I miss her?

Each day affords new opportunities for each of us.  Right now, for me, it's enough to simply honor that I'm grieving.  

Friday, April 19, 2013

A song for the world

Give good gifts one to another, 
Peace, joy and comfort gladly bestow; 
Harbor no ill 'gainst sister or brother, 
Smooth life's journey, as you onward go.

Broad as the sunshine, free as the showers,
So shed an influence, blessing to prove;
Give for the noblest of efforts your pow'rs;
Blest and be blest, is the law of love.

~ Shaker hymn

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Lean, leap, live!


Friend Kris Berg shows fine form in her bungee jumping debut,
Cape Town, South Africa.
When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.  

~ Audre Lorde

Monday, April 1, 2013

Inspirations

 Beautiful tree art found along the west shore of Maui, 2005. 
I am intentional in my seeking of peaceful places.  Beach and woodland walks, the yoga studio, my home; all offer me the gifts of peace and quiet.  Equally valued is inspiration, though I am less intentional in seeking it.   The important thing seems simply to be open to it; to recognize when I see, hear, or feel inspired on some level.  

After my swim today, I was pulling on my boots when a woman came into view.  She walked gingerly with the aid of a cane and appeared to have full use of her right side.  Her left arm was bent at the elbow and holding a bag; her left leg offered her sufficient stability to walk, though it was clear the left side was weak and less abled that her right.  

Deliberate and with great care, she approached.  I wanted to say something.  I wanted to speak from my heart.  It was important to first get her attention.  "Hi," I said.  She looked up, stopped, steadied herself, and returned my greeting.  Our eyes met.  I spoke with a level tone absent of drama.  "I draw inspiration from you."  

She looked at my eyes, then at my body, then back at my eyes.  Scanning me.  Reading me.  "You look like you have inspiration enough," she replied, as if she found me sufficiently whole.  I continued to meet her gaze.  "We all need inspiration, and you are offering it to me."  Before she moved on, I saw her shoulders drop and relax a little.  And she said thank you.  

The important thing was that we connected.  We both allowed it.  There was mutual giving and receiving.  

This is what makes my life rich.  

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Beyond hello

It's been 34 years since we had a conversation, so perhaps it should come as no surprise that our recent attempts have been both awkward and intimate.  I have questions.  Some are about the nuances of his life.  Others are focused on what we had, what we relinquished, and what, if anything, we've learned in the process of looking back.  

There is a path I walk.  It is the place I put one foot in front of the other and repeat the process over and over.  It is where I reside; I call it my life.  It is where I stand still and where I reserve the right to look back at where I've been or ahead to where I'm going.  There are choices involved.  

One never truly knows how a single act can shift the course of another.  Though I strive to be mindful of that, I am reminded how very fragile that thread of intention can be.  My friend Jan once wrote, "Courage, intelligence and love can help any situation and are never out of place."  

Once again, I see that truth made manifest. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Between friends

Jenny & Beth: still at it after 43 years!
We met in 1969 as feisty teens in our newly acquired hometown of Columbia, MD.  She, a transplant from Yellow Springs, OH; me, a new arrival from Etters, PA.  

Today we reunited for lunch and conversation in La Conner amid a spring hailstorm.  

What I really want to say is this.  Nurture your relationships. Stay the course.  Listen to one another's stories.  And keep the flame of love lit.

One foot in front of the other

"Nothing in life should simply be a passage from one place to another.  Each walk should be taken as if it is the only thing you have left."

from Smilla's Sense of Snow, by Peter Hoeg

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The work of hands

Sunlight, soil, water.  Air enough.  And tenderness, too.  
      Yet now I know 
   it is the willingness to drop on bended knee--
    to reach down with both hands
       and dig a hole, 
     to lift out handfuls of damp earth--
that allows us to begin 
the sacred work of growing.  

Friday, March 15, 2013

The designer at work

Sunset, March 15, 2013.
Still a master with color and texture; that's our mother, yes it is.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Of dusk and of grief

The setting sun, like a ball of fire,
 on my mother's final day.

Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, from the hills, from the sky;
All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.

Fading light, dims the sight,
And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright.
From afar, drawing nigh, falls the night.

Thanks and praise, for our days,
'Neath the sun, 'neath the stars, neath the sky;
As we go, this we know, God is nigh.

Fare thee well, precious mother.  Go in peace.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The slow dimming of a remarkable life

Mimi at sunset.
My mother is nearing the end of a long and fruitful life and I shall miss her dearly.  Godspeed Mimi!

Peace like a river.  May it carry you home.