There was no other option

I walked into the mist because there was no other option. 
Where I stood was clear but stifling and my soul couldn't wake up but
surrounding me, a cloud, and yet the only hope for my soul
was to enter this great unknown.  Why do we feel safe when we are
stifled?  Why do we fear walking into a question? 

I think the simple truth that nature is circular and never fails,
is kept turning, kept moving, kept rhythmically staying true by
the God who created it,
whispers to us that we need not fear,
and that we are in greater danger from the complacent,
stifled soul than from the unknown.

I fear standing still for forty years desiring to step into the mist and
yet so afraid of what lies beyond that I never go.  I fear letting society's
values guide my life and living in a bubble of materialism,
consumerism and striving for so-called success, when just beyond is freedom.

Comes the crossroad and it's this moment that you must choose. 
Safety, complacency and soul~sickness or
the unknown and freedom?
Came my crossroad and
I walked into the mist because there was no other option.

The mist is beautiful.

"The mountains are calling and I must go." - John Muir
"I need this wild life, this freedom." - Zane Grey


The Things

1. Sometimes I don't notice the things that I should and I spend way too much time focused on those that I shouldn't.

2. I think that if most people truly knew me, they wouldn't like me all that much.

3. I think the atmosphere that we create in our homes, in our lives, is one of the most important parts of parenting, maybe of relationship in general, and that we can do so much for others if we focus on creating an atmosphere of peace, beauty and gentleness.

4. I don't think I do a good enough job of creating that atmosphere and so I beat myself up daily for that failure.

5.  My husband tells me I focus too much on atmosphere and that I am missing the beauty and joy in our everyday life because of it.

6. My stress and turmoil over not creating the atmosphere I long for and believe my children need is what causes me to not create the atmosphere.

7. I see the cycle, I get it, but wonder how to move past it.

8. The key is to realize that the atmosphere is an outside representation of my heart, my soul.  If I want an atmosphere of beauty, peace and gentleness then I need to be walking in beauty, peace and gentleness, to breathe them, to be filled with them.  As surely as the rain brings forth green, a soul filled with peace will bring forth an atmosphere of peace. 

9. I can fill my home with lovely music and art, with books, poetry and tea, with whispers, soft looks, candlelight, but there will be nothing but turmoil and chaos if I am not breathing beauty myself. 

10. As with everything, it's the pattern of life, of God's grace.  What comes from us outside is merely a representation of who we are inside.  When we fall short, our sin is not our outward behavior; our outward behavior is a symptom of the sin, which is the area where we are resistant to God on the inside. 

11. To create the ideal atmosphere for my children, my husband, and anyone else in my life, I need to focus on my own soul~care, on allowing God to move through me, to soften my heart to Him and His ways.  So focus I will.  Who's with me?


If... I may name him Wolf

I'm not dancing and yet,
I twirl.
There is a moon glowing and it speaks my name and
I can't quite breathe when it grasps me like that,
demanding to be seen, heard, known.

Sometimes I make mistakes and they keep me spinning and
nothing makes sense until
the moon.
January's full moon was called the wolf moon and
I remembered how I spun,
overtaken with anxiety or remorse or something else and
that yellow light held me and
if I was a wolf I would have howled, so yes,
I understand your name, wolf moon.

If I ever have another son I may name him Wolf.

I lost my voice, the one that writes,
and now I can do nothing but let the words flow and
I think that may be okay,
for now.
Rat and Mole sailed down the river and
my words sail and there is peace and
chaos combined and
oh, yes,
that is life, isn't it?
The combination of those forces which oppose and yet,
when viewed under the captivating light of
full moon,
wolf moon,
they connect as gently as rain,
creating the beauty in the daily.  We can howl,
oh yes,
we can howl and welcome and be free and
we can live.

And as we live God whispers through it all,
I am that I am.  Come to Me. 
And as the moon glows and the wolves howl and
we twirl, He holds us up and together,
moon, wolf, man
just stops.
And bows at His beautiful feet. 

If I ever have another son I may name him Wolf.


some beauties of its own

Solstice is here and the world outside my windows is
not white,
unless you count the consuming fog that settles
each night and fades in sunshine.
We foster awareness in our children of
changing seasons, of cycles of the moon, of
creation's rhythms. We thank God for sunrise each day and
sunset each night.  Knowing the dependability of creation,
the rhythms of the earth and that everything has a season,
draws deep peace in the lives of our family and
reminds us of what a small part we are of the world,
of life.

As a child I had no concept of nature's rhythms.  I marked
time by Christmas and summer vacation,
everything else blended together as long
splotches of useless, boring time.  Living in California,
I wasn't even very aware of changes in the weather;
it was chilly in the mornings, warmed up during the day and
cooled off again at night.  Year round.

I lived without reverence for the world around me and
the God that created it.  I used, consumed, and imagined my
future; glamorous, successful, self-seeking.  A product of
American culture, I lived for myself, I dreamed for myself.

Glory be to God,
He showed me another way.  He opened my eyes first to
His love, then to His grace,
then to His creation and finally,
the musical rhythm of everything.
Life was no longer about what I could do and get, no,
it was about playing my part in the symphony of creation,
joining with life's rhythms, glorifying the Great Composer.

Tip toeing through each day, mindfully acknowledging life's music with
celebration, books, poetry, music, food, prayer and observation,
we live a life of awe, of mystery, of peace, of
delight in God and His creation and
the beautiful, rhythmic patterns of life.
Eyes open, hands open, deep breath.

"Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own." ~ Charles Dickens


Today we walked

We walk together,
six children and I,
under sky of dark beckoning.
We talk of hopes, of story, of game,
we let dreams fall down with the rain and
and see,
each drop, dry land touched by magic,
turning seemingly eternal brown to green and
everywhere and
children laugh and wonder if we skipped winter and
went straight to spring. 

Home's warmth and scents welcome us,
fire glowing and fresh bread waiting,
wet clothes strewn and dry clothes on
or not and
always books,
and tea and toys and.

Sometimes I'm so wrapped up.
In this or that or what he said or she thinks or
this happening or that or can I believe this or.
So wrapped up and these moments,
these simple, perfect moments are
lost.  Today we walked and rain fell.
Today the littlest beauty danced around naked
over and over
and wrapped herself in afghan and snuggled
in my arms.
Today my twins needed to be heard,
their stories and plans,
their unwavering desire for fairness, their frustrations.
Today we ate homemade bread covered in butter and
it crumbled hot, some in mouth and some into the carpet and
it was perfection and a mess, and it takes mindfulness to
notice that
often perfection is.

Today we walked.  Tomorrow we will walk.
Daily we will walk.  Same path.  Everyday will hold
perfection and everyday will be messy and
everyday I will need to stop being wrapped up so
I can grab these moments.  

It's these moments that make a life.  And
I will live.


When it rains they forget

Christmas tree shines light and I sit,
listening to the rain dropping out the window.  Two weeks of
storm doesn't mean we are out of this drought but
people like easy solutions and I already notice the lack of
conservation in the neighborhood.  Hello rain, they say,
that must mean everything is better and they use and consume
and waste and hello people, we need water, not just a good storm's worth,
please slow down.  Slow down.


I wonder about life and how people can lament something, can know
that things are not right, can see where changes need to be made and
yet, do nothing.  Nothing.  Continuing on as before, as always,
consuming, wasting, rushing, "progressing," losing touch with
all that is real.  Tolstoy wrote a short story, pen to paper, questioning,
how can we continue on like this?  How can we know and yet not do?
How can we pass on this legacy of wrong-ness? 

If I cannot pass on love, simplicity, truth and goodness,
if I cannot offer rhythm, stability, peace and knowledge of the truly important,
I will feel I have failed.  When we are glad for rain so we can water our lawns again,
when we work 40 hours so we can buy the newest, fanciest gadget to remove
us further from the people around us, the sunrise, life, reality,
when we buy and consume and don't consider where this stuff came from,
what it's made up of, and what it's doing to us, we have failed. 

We have failed to live our lives beautifully, to embrace the created world wholly,
with reverence, to love and give and mindfully live each moment.   We have given
ourselves over to false comfort, false security, to entertainment and those who seek
profit, not truth.  We have entered the Brave New World cheerfully, with no regrets,
leaving behind Narnia, Middle Earth, Prince Edward Island.  Is there a place for us
in this world of consumption, of materialism, of success?  Is there a place for
those who walk a different path?  And how do we keep that path clear, not
wearing out before those who follow behind reach it?

"For Lucilla was not without hope for the future.  She had lived long enough to know that the spring always comes back." ~Pilgrim's Inn
I guess we just continue on, walking and
planting.  We become as Miss Rumphius, tossing
seeds upon the roadside wherever we go, beautiful lupines growing
in our wake.  Hope for tomorrow keeps us moving, hope that spring
returns.  Hope that eyes open, that birds sing and that there will always
be people who want to listen.  Hope that we will shower our children with
beauty, love, nature, give them a voracious appetite for life and they will keep seeking,
keep pursuing, follow this road less travelled.  Hope.



Oh clouded eyes and I can't see

I tiptoe through my days now, praying with every breath, praying with every stitch I knit, watching jays fly overhead, standing in chill of night while rain beats down, taking in every glowing star, delighting in each night's moon, refusing to take anything for granted.  I can't see straight sometimes when the tears cloud my green eyes, but it's okay because the tears don't fall, they sit there as a reminder that there is something greater than all of this and I don't need to see.  I don't.  I just need to remember there is something greater. 

I spend a day heartbroken over the darkness; a friend's mother dies from cancer just a few weeks after they learn it is consuming her, a broken system lets a father and husband's killer off because of a badge, darkness and turmoil just rage and people can't hear past the pain and there is hate and hurt and where is hope?  And as the moon rises gloriously once again, hope creeps in with phone calls; my sister's beautiful engagement, and the birth of new life to a friend.  I rejoice and I mourn and I wonder how to keep going when things don't make sense and it's the tears and the cloudiness that remind me; I don't need to see, I just need to remember there is something greater. 

I reach out to one of the wisest voices I know, begging for something, some insight, something to make the heartache lessen, and I find truth in her words.  "I think in some ways, that's our job here; to mourn with those who mourn and keep being witnesses to the suffering."  I witness.  I do.  I witness the pain, the suffering, the hurt.  I witness the darkness while I hold my candle, flame aglow, this little bit of light, this little bit of light is the Light and I will hold it while you cry and I will cry with you and I will not let this Light go out and together we will walk.  We will walk.  Through your darkness.  In your pain.  We will walk and the Light will shine even when we are consumed.

And this, "Maybe this is where we find real humility, Amy, in this heart-broken place, knowing we can do nothing but pray and love?"  I hear the cries, the pain, the anger and I can do nothing, nothing, but pray and love.  I want someone that can do something to hear them, their cries, to hear me.  Pray and love.  The only Someone that can do anything does hear them, does hear me.  Clouded eyes, I don't need to see, remember something greater, Something Greater hears us.  Hears us and He weeps with us.  Oh He weeps.  The Light, shining in this darkness, weeping for our pain.   The clouded eyes, Something Greater, and  He will wipe our tears, He will bring vision and light once again.  A little bit peeks through; life, love continues; marriage, birth, He is here in the midst.  Pray and love.  Pray and love.  There is comfort to be found.