November 24, 2016

I Will Show You This

Littlest One,

It is snowing outside. Last week the grass was green, my begonias still vaunting their soft pink petals. And tonight, your brother asleep, the night a quiet dark, I watch the way the white changes everything over into something new.

You do not know yet, the way things fall at different speeds.

You do not know yet, the way a cup of hot tea can calm.

You do not know yet, the feel of soil between your fingers.

You do not know yet, the sound of singing.

You do not know yet, the possibilities of a daydream.

You do not know yet, the scent of wood smoke.

You do not know yet, the pleasures of the body.

You do not know yet, how humans can disappoint.

You do not know yet, this snow softly falling, this apple on my tongue, how beautiful and fragile it all can seem.

I have tried to guide your brother. “Look,” I tell him. “Look up, look low, look there, look under, smell that, touch this, listen to that crow that chickadee that owl. Breathe deeply. Do you sense how it feels, on the inside?”

I will do the same with you. I am not the loudest, Baby, I am not the bravest. There are others who lead more boldly. But I will offer you what I know is good. I will bring you into this imperfect world, and I will demonstrate for you the way I pray: with my attention.

It is snowing outside. You are warm and safe and probably sleeping, sucking a tiny thumb, stretching small limbs, pressing in the quiet dark against the only home you have ever known: me.

There is more for you to see. Every day will be new--not perfect, but worth it. I will show you.

November 12, 2016

"Spring Forward" in The Fourth River

Because sometimes you need to think not cold but warmth.
Because sometimes you need to think not dark but light.
Because sometimes you need to think not fall back but spring forward.

Here's an old essay, friends, that I first tapped out right here in this space that has, in the meantime, become a newish thing, a reminder that we can find a balance between two unsteady places.

Visit the most recent online issue of The Fourth River, and once you open the PDF, read the other wonderful stories, essays, and poems, and then find my essay "Spring Forward," on page 96, at the very back.

Thanks for reading. And believing in the transformative power of art. It is what will save us. It is what always has.