I spend a fair amount of time reading great books, though not nearly enough either! When I walk or drive, I listen to books on my Audible. In the evenings, when I finally close the computer lid, I read physical books. I much prefer turning the paper pages myself, but I love my Audible because the spoken words can take me to tons of places and people I’d never have the time to sit and read, while I’m doing other things.
I’m in the middle of a young adult book, The Dangerous Art of Blending In, by Angelo Surmelis (Thank you, Elaine). I find myself captivated by the cruelty endured, and the rich inner mind of the protagonist, Evan, and his quest to “fit in.” I am reminded of every single time I looked the other way when I knew, without a doubt, that I was being called to reach out to someone hiding hurt.
I am also reminded of my own inner life and how I used it to survive in so many untenable scenes in my own life, and how books, lots and lots of books, showed me the way.
It was past time to take down the Christmas tree, but sitting in the early morning with only the sweet colored lights sparking through the tinsel and glass ornaments is so tranquil. It’s that Balm in Gilead that soothes my soul. The little pine’s season was over. Needles were dropping and I knew I needed to put away those shiny balls and silvery thread for another year.
When I do manage to make myself put Christmas away, the living room seems empty. Extending the season for a little longer, I left the tree in the stand and put it out on the deck under the lights still up on the house. It is good there, for a while. And I know myself well-enough by now to know that those lights will come down sometime in March, but I’ll still have the apple tree out north light up until April.
There is just something I love about Christmas lights.
2019: A year for action. I looked back to what I resolved to do when 2018 began:
- Listen in the moment without forming my response
- Daily thanks
- Use my mom’s china
- Move every day
- Let go of hurt
I’ve excused the jury. On to 2019.
- Be thankful for little things
- Write the stories bubbling inside me
- Stop saying no to myself before I’ve even begun
- Write five days a week
- Use my mom’s china
I know I’ll keep moving every day because that is what powers my writing, my thinking, my teaching, my ability to be thankful. As I begin, next week, the final portfolio course of my master’s in professional creative writing, I can hardly believe it’s been just three short years since I started down that path. I’ve learned so much and have so much more to learn. I’m going to graduate in March! I could get mired in the student debt I’ll then have to start paying back, but I choose not to.
I will focus, as best I can, on my writing and publishing and staying to true to the stories that live and breathe inside of me. A year for action, welcome 2019!
Another Christmas has come and gone. I was blessed to get to spend time with my family, especially my children and their partners. I’ve always prayed that they would both find that special someone to spend their life with, that would challenge them to reach further than ever they thought they could to reach their dreams and goals and to become all that they were meant to be, and, to do that for their partner as well. I think they are both on that road.
We shed tears together as we sat in the dark theatre watching Mary Poppins Returns, and I was especially touched at the poignant song where the little boy assures his father that their mother who died is always with them inside. I miss my children, sometimes so much that it hurts, and that song reminded me that they are never far away, not really.
As I move through my day, writing, teaching, caring for our critters and creatures, and walking the plains, they are with me just as all of those I love. And as we move toward the beginning of new year, I am reminded of all that I want to be and am meant to be and I take those tiny baby steps in that direction and hope you do as well.
Today, one of my big sisters turns 60 (Happy Birthday, Julie), and the rest of us are not far behind. Some of us are ahead. We manage to bicker about some things, celebrate some things, enjoy some of the same things, and we always cherish any amount of time we get to have together.
We’ve had to say goodbye to our littlest sister in one of the worst ways imaginable. In fact, none of us would have imagined it. Gathering in the woods, in the Colorado mountains that she loved, we said our final goodbye and let her go this weekend.
We circled up and when we do that together, we are a force of love to be reckoned with. Because in the end, we do love each other with all our hearts no matter what.
Goodbye Cathy, you were well-loved and will always be missed.
Busy. How is it that we all get so busy this time of year? We’re supposed to be preparing, anticipating, and readying ourselves for the most amazing love born in the humblest of beginnings, just like most of us.
But, there are things to do, people to see, boats to throw around (okay, that is definitely an inside joke). That one black heifer won’t leave the hose alone, can’t be trusted by the stock tank without supervision when it is filling. I watch her, but at the same time, I’m sitting with my computer by the round bales (I know, they’ve been outlawed so cattle can get a square meal) grading or writing. When I’m writing, well, my focus turns inward. Same thing when I’m grading. I have to make myself look up, and yep, here comes that long black tongue stealing under the hose and trying to wrap around it. Is it stupid cattle tricks for the late night heifer show? I don’t know.
Things to do: appreciate the blessing right in front of my face, after all, these heifers could be distant relatives of that long-ago manger, couldn’t they?