27 November 2010

a grateful heart

Photo by Zachary Kaufman / The Columbian
Late this morning, I drove around the corner from the store, and suddenly it was all lights and sirens. A procession of motorcycles stretched all the way up the old highway, escorted by more than a dozen police cars. It was the bikers' annual Toy Run. Harleys, Hondas, all kinds of bullet bikes, old-school BMWs, a few homemade varieties, what could have been an Indian, one with a restored sidecar. The riders wore all types and sizes of leathers, rain slickers, scarves, military uniforms, hats, helmets, bandanas, fringe, Carhartts, boots. They rode in rows of two, headlights on.

These last few days have been a time of intentional awareness for the gifts of my life. An opportunity to be shored up with gratitude - enough to summon up some courage and reach toward what would seem impossible. Better than New Year's resolutions, these wishes are borne on the strength of a grateful heart.

  1. Unpack. That "easy" move to the new house from just across the street was not exactly all that. At the very least, there are boxes of books and enough stacks of random "stuff" that I cannot park in the garage. Yet.
  2. Write more, second-guess less. I am defeated most often by my own self-doubt. With some practice, perhaps I'll be able to turn down the volume on those gremlins.
  3. The little black dress. Surely this is the year. C'mon. Otherwise my initial thoughts about the gym are correct - that it is just punishment for getting older.
  4. Embrace the moment. Every one is a gift. It is often in the smallest of moments when the universe reveals itself to our limited human eye. Trying not to miss it.

  5. And with an extra shot of courage for those more audacious, bigger-than-me wishes:

  6. Colts to the Superbowl. Because I'm a big, nerdy fan. 
  7. Two beautiful twin girls would knock at my door. Yes, our worlds are 25 years and a universe apart, but in so much beauty and wonder, there could be room enough for our own moment.
  8. Health to my clan. Health enough for us to love our families, serve with compassion, and witness the daily miracles as they manifest.
  9. Peace. That we might be a country not at war.

  10. Finally, the most audacious of all:

  11. A sustainable, living houseplant. Released from the curse of the black thumb.


"Life is like a cigarette, smoke it to the butt." ~ Harvie Krumpet

23 November 2010

i am

Morning Moon
Originally uploaded by cazjane97
There is ice in the yard and a skiff of snow. The hummingbird feeders are frozen and have to be brought in the house to thaw, the birds tick-ticking their displeasure in the cold. My meditation today is to be in the moment.

I am.

Cold tingles in my nose like a bee sting. My eyes water. The moon is full on the horizon ahead of the dawn.

Later, pink clouds bring the sun up, and I drive north on roads slick with ice along the dark shores of the Columbia River.

I am, I remind myself.

I think my time is not my own, but I am here by choice and grateful for it. Many paths open before me, await my step. If I have the courage.

My friend runs and slides his feet on the frozen street and falls - almost. He laughs.

I am, I laugh.

At home, it's warm and there's my family. The street outside is blue with snow and moonlight. Inside we talk. Eat. Share stories. Listen. Read.

I pour the tea. Cool it with a splash of milk.

I am.

And so I am.


Work like you don't need the money. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching. ~ Satchel Paige

12 November 2010

any given day

Talking with my darling husband earlier today about the frailty and resilience of the human spirit, and the conversation evolved into something about the thought process of solving geometry theorems. I know, it sounds crazy. And super-nerdy.

Given a traumatic event followed by variable chaos (self-made and/or otherwise), prove happiness.

Prove faith.

Prove peace.

Does it take a certain kind of philosophical introspection to surpass living at a level of survival? Why do some people experience life trauma and never recover, while others move through the same experiences seemingly unaffected? Or lifted to a higher plane of living as a direct result? Is the difference genetic? Spiritual? About willingness? Effort? Luck?

In retrospect, I would be a different person today if I had not passed through even the smallest darkness of my life. Definitely a different person for the light.

Given this day, prove awe.

Two hummingbirds sparred outside my window this afternoon. They flew in tight circles under the porch roof, grazing the tops of the BBQ grills at the edge of the deck, out into the yard and back again. One landed on the butterfly-bush against the fence while the other stopped at the feeder. They traded places briefly, and then resumed their chase. I only stood inside the window, a cup of hot tea in my hand.

Given any day, prove gratitude.

The universe is resplendent with wonder.

I thank whatever gods may be.


If I have courage enough to open the next door, it is not darkness that spills out, but rather light that flows in.