206 :: Simply


I have left my room and the piles of books and notebooks,
words and reflections,
for the soft evening light coming through the windows.

I’m reaching for simplicity —
but it still evades me.
I have no less than 14 books
and 6 notebooks
on my desk.
Stacks more lie about.
I intend to pare down and let go —

but it is so much easier to pick up my camera
and hope to take one beautiful photo of my children,
playing together at bedtime.

They move around me constantly all day long.
I am the sun and they are my little planets.

But now here they are,
in still.
Where I can look at them
when the house is dark
and quiet.

The mess that is my office
has faded away into the night,
and I remember that I simply want
to spend less time managing things
and more time with them.

200 :: Not Tonight


I know
the wave of summer
by watching Ellen,
free in the rhythms of her little being —
in sync
with herself.

I saw the way the way Amie
wrote emoshons (emotions)
on a scrap of paper
on the floor, in her room
and I wondered about ordering a spelling curriculum.
(I could use it too.)

I kept Wallace up too late,
because I wanted to keep
reading Edward Tulane* to the girls,
but it’s such a sad story — that
it’s hard to find a good stopping point
and the sadness of the book
was flowing into the sadness in my heart.

It isn’t a wide river
but it contains
unresolved thoughts about Harry;
unpleasant visits to the orthodontist;
and, most recently,
an unsettling conversation in which I felt
worn down
when I was hoping to feel
built up.

And so as much as I wanted to sink into Edward Tulane, I couldn’t.
Not tonight.

*The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

187 :: Threads


She who reconciles the ill-matched threads
of her life, and weaves them gratefully
into a single cloth —
it’s she who drives the loudmouths from the hall
and clears it for a different celebration

where the one guest is you.
In the softness of the evening
it’s you she receives.

You are the partner of her loneliness,
the unspeaking center of her monologues.
With each disclosure you encompass more
and she stretches beyond what limits her,
to hold you.

— Rilke’s Book of Hours :: Love Poems to God
Translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna May

174 :: Thresholds


On the beach tonight, I am watching them.
All four of them in their own worlds — coming together to show a rock, ask a question.
Then parting ways again, each beckoned back into the stillness
and constant motion of the lake.

Everything gets washed away here.
Petoskey stones scattered on the shoreline last summer —
are now under water.
The coral pattern makes them easier to spot when wet.

Who is it that speaks so eloquently about thresholds?
David Whyte?
A threshold is a place where we stop the conversation
and become something new.

Maybe this is why we are so drawn to the beach?

When we need to step over a threshold:
that edge —
that becoming something new — we come to the big lake.
Here we can look out into the future,
and feel ourselves willing to be changed by it.
Willing to enter into the unknown blue.





164 :: Goodbye Harry


I wake up to a soft whining at 6 am
No, I slowly remember.
Harry is gone.

I am putting Wallace down for a nap
A dog barks outside

I catch myself looking for him
anticipating the sound of his tag
as it jingles against his collar
when he follows me around the garden.

I expect to see him curled up
on the couch when I come down the stairs.

It seems so quiet now.
“Maybe the house will stay cleaner?”
I say to Jeffrey.
We both laugh.
As if Harry was messy.
only his paws on a rainy day

All of his belongings fit in a brown paper grocery bag
with room to spare.
He took everything with him
except his bottle of ear wash,
which he hated anyway.

The girls said goodbye.
I couldn’t tell who was more sad
and who was more mad
at me.

Because I did it.
I decided to find him a new home.
I made the arrangements.
I brushed his fur one last time
and kissed his black nose.

And now it is quiet
But I keep hearing Harry.

162 :: Gifts


Last spring I planted
a dozen perennials
along our fence.

The fence came down
to be painted;
A baby was born
overlooking the garden;
Winter came and went.

The fence remains down —
it has yet to be painted.
Our growing boy fills my arms —
I have not weeded.
Spring rains have called the earth to grow.

My flowers are blooming.
They give me the gift of their beauty —
and all I have to do is walk outside
and gather.