Where the road goes.

I drive until my knuckles unclench and I am able to relax my jaw
I drive until the tears come and keep driving
long after they are dry on my cheeks.
I drive past acres and acres of farmland-
barns and silos, houses, separated
fallow fields of turned earth,
swaths of yellow wildflowers,
patches of purple and white flox
freshly mowed grass lawns and stands of forest,
patchy in the distance,
birds perched on the telephone wires
and on the broken stalks of last season’s dead corn.
Brown, yellow, green.
Midwest colors.
I can imagine running towards the distant trees
laughing as I squint my eyes
against the sun hot on my shoulders,
summer dress riding up my thigh in the breeze,
feet flying, plick-plucking their way across field
side-stepping stones and cow droppings-
The freedom and breathless excitement of exploration.

On I drive.

I drive until I am sharing the road with horse and buggy
and I watch the women, in their light colored dresses and bonnets
plow their land and prune their bushes.
I drive until the signs warn me that the road will dead end.
I drive until I can forgive and then rationalize,
acknowledge that forgiveness won’t erase the stain
that the pain of action can linger a long time,
that there are unresolved things
that still need long stretches of road to heal.

I drive until I can breathe easily and reach out.
until I can use smiley face emoji’s and winky emoji’s,
until I can laugh at the absurdity of it all
almost-
I drive until I can at least LOL.
I drive until “the road ends in 500 feet”
and keep going until I find myself, anticlimactically,
in a circle of concrete overlooking an interstate.
I turn around and head back, driving into the sun.

Later, at night, I am full of love and tenderness.
I don’t know where it goes during the day.
Sometimes, I have to drive to find it.

hydrostatic equilibrium

The point of orbit

for this shining star

resides within.

The heart center

stokes the fire

kindling this tiny

everlasting flame.

I seek you,

blindly-

reaching out

squinting the depths

of this vast plane.

Your hand arrives,

steadying me

just in time,

leading me gently

back to truth

back to my self.

My reflection resides

in the depths

of cornflower blue.

How gently

grace whispers.

How gently

my sweet darlings

part their lips

in moments

of slumbered surrender

fanning the tiny flame

into a heart wrenching

blinding blaze.

The stellar center

holds true.

 

 

 

 

 

The fruiting season


In the Spring, the world is green again.
The soul stirs as tiny buds begin to open.
The trees burst forth in multi colored regalia:
split pea green,
bright cherry red,
cauliflower white.
The fruiting season has begun.

In the Spring, we walk.
Relieved to be outside,
soaking in the sunshine,
reveling in the wide open spaces,
we look for any excuse to meander
down the dandelion lined sidewalk.

I watch our shadows as we walk
stretched like the long warm days.
I study the shadow-mother, wondering:
Is she as exhausted as I feel?
Or are her worries as weightless
as her form?
Her curves are exaggerated,
the bow of her lower back deepened
counterbalanced by the bundle
now strapped to her chest.

In the Spring, everything grows and multiplies.
I study the extra shadow accompanying our walks
the extra set of limbs that expands my edges.
The delicate scent of pear blossoms
The musky molting earth
The jelly-bean colored flowers’
-raspberry, lemon, blueberry-
sweet scents fill my nostrils
and dance with wisps of blonde
belligerently blowing across my eyes.
The fruiting season has begun.

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Thanksgiving

I am Thankful.
I am thankful for this privileged life I live,
which I have not had to work particularly hard for,
thankful for all the people who have worked hard for me.

Thankful for this path I am walking.
Thankful for all the tiny treasured that I collect along the way.
Thankful for marriage and motherhood and family.
Thankful that I am surrounded by good men and strong women.
Thankful for accepting frustration in the midst of joy
and for finding the hidden joys in the mundane madness of our days.

I am thankful for my body.
Thankful for all the parts I already love
and for those I am still learning to.
I am thankful for my body’s strength and it’s softness,
Thankful that it has grown and sustained life.
Thankful that I was able to feel tiny kicks
and give the final push
to bring my squirming, slippery babies into the world.

I am thankful for my two boys.
Thankful for Casey, my curious, courageous son,
who forges his wild way through sound and action
delighting in all things new and loud and fast
dropping bits of knowledge along the way,
leaving us breathless and astounded

I am thankful for Cameron,
My tiny little snuggler
who makes his unformed voice heard-
his grunts, snorts, coo’s and squeals
reaffirming his place in our hearts
and in this world-
his precious being just beginning to shine.

I am thankful for my husband.
My quiet, hard-working husband
who loves me because of and in spite of,
has loved me during and through,
who accepts my fears and encourages me to dig deeper.
who holds me hand as we explore uncharted territory
and anchors me to a safe harbor in this mad world.

I am thankful for all I have
and all I have yet to receive.
Thankful for good friends and strong coffee,
for beauty and creativity,
for sleepless nights and nap times
chaos and quiet moments.

I am thankful for the tiny flame of faith
fanned by growth and intrigue and devout friends,
Thankful to feel the spirit move me-
in soft windy gusts upon forested hills,
the warmth of sunshine in quiet summer mornings,
colorful blooms of wildflowers opening their faces to me
and in the tiny hands and soft smiles of my babes.

Most of all I am thankful to just be alive.
To get to experience this short time of living,
on such a beautiful planet,
among such rich diversity,
to discover the vastness of the human spirit every day,
is a gift.
I am so thankful to have been given it.

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Broken Dam

I don’t know when it happened-
when the dam broke.
A trickle widened into a crack,
brick by brick the walls fell away
until one day the entire structure gave way.
Whoosh!
The contents poured forth
washing away the divide.
There was no longer any separation
nothing dividing the halves
nothing to keep one side from embracing the other.
There was no longer anything holding them back.
The topography changed in an instant,
quietly, unnoticed even, to those not paying attention.
But to the sole witness,
it happened with a roar,
a flash of light so totally blinding
it caught her off guard and she was forced
to catch her breath,
to close her eyes, to blink,
in case it wasn’t real-
In case it hadn’t really happened at all.

Palms to sky

Tonight, I held his hand as he slept
and his hand filled my palm
and I remembered another night
when I held him as he slept
and his tiny hand wrapped around my finger
and my fingertip filled his palm
and I imagine another night yet to come
when he will hold my hand as I look up to him
and my hand will fill his palm.
My son.

We walked outside in the rain today.
He ran in front of me and knelt down in the puddle
pajamas and all.
He fell to his belly and laughed
as he splashed the muddy water upon him.
His baptism.
I let the raindrops fall upon my shoulders
and turned my face to the sky
and let the rain wash away a thin film 
from my bedraggled body.
My renewal.

Palms to sky
I stare at the blanket of stars above me
reaching out as if to pluck one off
like a piece of lint.
If only I could bring one down
and put it in my pocket
and surprise him someday
as we stand in darkness
and he tells me he is afraid.
If only, then, I could pull the star
from my pocket and put it in his palm
so he would always have a light to lead his way,
a star to guide him through the darkness
when he is afraid
when my hand is no longer there to fill his palm.

Stardust

Stardust came down and filled her-
Coalescing into a tiny bundle,
a shining secret ball of glowing, growing energy
that she had to carry for nine months.

Nine months of waiting and wondering,
of loving intensely,
of dreaming and feeling heart-full
even as her heart broke open
again and again,
bursting into a thousand tiny pieces
shimmering and expanding
to clear space
to make room.

The heat can make the afternoons drag on but the days seem to be passing all too quickly. It seems like it was only yesterday that I gave Alex this hastily made Valentine’s Day card, announcing our good news:

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Now, here we are ten weeks away and I am steadily working my way through a list of projects.  I haven’t felt much of the “mom guilt” that I hear other women talk about but I am making sure to savor every moment I have with my son even when he is difficult and over tired and I walk out of his room, after putting him to sleep, wondering how I am every going to manage two.  While he sleeps, I use the time to enjoy my moments alone, knowing they will be few and far between in a few short weeks.  I spend the time reading, napping, dreaming, sewing, painting, preparing…

In my heart I am ready: ready to give birth again, ready to meet this little boy growing inside of me, ready to see what he looks like, ready to have two little boys to hold in my arms and in my heart, ready to watch our family of three become a family of four and experience what that is like.

But until October, I will be enjoying the last days that I have as a mom of one.  I’ll enjoy every hand hold and every laugh, savor each sweet cuddle, every hug and kiss, take advantage of every moment to connect.  I’ll remind myself again and again to smile and breathe when I am feeling frustrated or tired because I will never get these days back.   Each night, when he cuddles in as close to me as he can get and we read book after book, I won’t rush through them or put a limit on how many we can read.

Change is inevitable but I am ready to embrace it because it is scary but it is also beautiful.