Inventory

Our seeds are spread across the dining room table. Packets and packets of garden seeds — some still good, some long past their prime, but I am loath to let them go. Because, where would they go if not into the rich soil beneath my bare feet? I could feed them to the grumpy winter chickens. I could dump them in the frozen woods. I could let my children play with them and plant them in pots and get their hands all dirty and see what might come up.

I ask a farmer friend what he does with his leftover seeds. “Do you save them?” I ask.

“Some,” he answers. “But not the alliums.”

“Oh yes,” I say. “We learned that the hard way. Last year hardly half of our onions came up. The seeds were old. Too old.”

It just begs the question: how long does a seed last? An onion seed. A carrot seed. The seed of an idea in my soul. How long can I keep it in the dark?

Pinecones: Close In

Revisiting one of my favorite poems. . .

Start Close In
By David Whyte

Start close in
don’t take the second step
or the third,
start with the first
thing
close in,
the step
you don’t want to take.

Start with
the ground
you know,
the pale ground
beneath your feet,
your own
way of starting
the conversation.

Start with your own
question,
give up on other
people’s questions,
don’t let them
smother something
simple.

To find
another’s voice,
follow
your own voice,
wait until
that voice
becomes a
private ear
listening
to another.

Start right now
take a small step
you can call your own
don’t follow
someone else’s
heroics, be humble
and focused,
start close in,
don’t mistake
that other
for your own.

Start close in,
don’t take
the second step
or the third
start with the first
thing
close in,
the step
you don’t want to take.

(David Whyte, River Flow: New & Selected Poems)

Little Getaway

The highlight of our little getaway for Wallace was watching the cranes outside our hotel room window!

The tropical greenhouse at the Frederik Meijer Gardens is like balm for the January soul. We could have stayed inside all day.

My dream mini greenhouse!

The only thing they would have changed about visiting the conservatory? Being allowed to explore in bare feet!

I rummaged around in a box of hand-me-downs, looking for a swim suit for Wallace just before we walked out the door to leave for Grand Rapids. When Jeff looked in my bag, he asked, “What is this smurf costume doing in here?”

Self Portrait with Baby Boy

Self portrait with baby boy.

I’ve seen so many beautiful self portraits of women photographers on Flickr and Instagram over the past couple of weeks, and I’ve felt very inspired by the vulnerability and expression shared through these little windows.

Thank you to couragous women, near and far, who inspire with your dedication to your families, your work, and your creative lives.