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To the neighbors,

Thank you for putting and keeping the magical lights in your trees. I don’t even care that they’re not really in the trees — they look as if they are. When I first saw them, I felt like a child again, delighted with all the wonder and mystery of Christmas. I felt that same tonight, so happy that they were still there. I may have to find a way to get magic lights in my little apple tree in the front yard of the bungalow, so I can see them every day. A little sense of magic in your life every day is a very good thing.

#yearoflove

Dear World,

There are some days when I don’t interact with anyone, which leaves little room for love notes to humans, but that doesn’t mean that there is nothing to which to write a love note. Tonight, I write a love note to owls, and send it to them on the black wind.

To the Long-Eared Owl, glimpsed through changing aspen trees many September ago, in the woods somewhere outside of Crested Butte, on one of those journeys that shaped the years to come. To the baby Western Screech Owl, nestled in the corner of a porch, so still that I wasn’t sure it was real. To the Barn Owl in the Portland Zoo, whose ghost face leapt brightly from the shadows of a rough-hewn roof beam. To the Great Horned Owls who lived in the towering White Fir tree outside my pink cottage, who hooted to one another in my sad darkness, gently, until I learned their language and could hoot in response. Especially to the one who, one night as I made my way across the cold dead grass, swooped so low, so huge, so close to my head that I had to duck, that I could feel the draft from the beat of his wings. And finally, to the pair, as yet unseen, that speak softly outside my window on rare wee hours in the Bungalow. I hope that one day I can learn how to talk to them as well.

great horned owl

#yearoflove

Dear MKL,

I love that even when we’re both “off”, we can still have a wonderful time together. It was lovely to see you two days in a row, and I believe missing each other, while certainly not optimal, is proof that absence makes the heart grow fonder. All my love.

#yearoflove

(Because yesterday should have been No. 19 — calendars and I are apparently not simpatico.)

Dear Andrea,

Thank you for your friendship and your beauty. You’re one tough cookie, and I’m so happy that you’ve made a connection with someone who appreciates you for you. I know I certainly do

#yearoflove

Dear Annie,

You give the best hugs too.

xxx

#yearoflove

To the blonde barista:

Thank you for sharing memories of our mothers, both of whom told us, “Don’t walk in my dirt!” when they were sweeping the floors. My Mother always had a particularly funny, squeaky way of saying it, and I hear her voice in my head every time I sweep a floor with anyone else around. As a mom, you say it to your own kids. Thank you for laughing with me as I instinctively picked my feet up off the floor, sitting in my chair at the green cracked-ice table, so you could sweep under them. It was a sweet interlude on a cold winter’s day.

A photo of my first ever matcha. It grew on me, but the first few sips, sadly, tasted like what I think a dog must taste after he throws up the grass he just ate. Number of stars: questionable. For you vintage furniture lovers, please note the aforementioned green cracked-ice table.

#yearoflove

To the FedEx Kinko’s lady,

Thank you for the walk down memory lane. Those days of IBM Selectric typewriters are so distant now (that backspace correcting key – a Godsend!) and yet, my memory of typing dozens of papers in front of the Duraflame logs on the floor of that apartment on Beacon Street are as vivid as if it were yesterday. Armed with White-Out and the weird eraser brush thingy (pictured below, but whose name we couldn’t recall). Retyping entire pages if I missed a line. Technology is not like that today, and I think I’m grateful. And thanks for sharing your memories about Seattle. You made my day brighter.

img_3465

Seattle, Washington.

And in honor of one of my favorite poets, who passed away today, I’d like to share the following poem. Reminiscent of my Weekly Wednesday Poems on this blog — I know some of those were Mary Oliver’s. Rest well, Mary, and swirl in the beauty of words and other worlds.

White Night by Mary Oliver
All night
I float
in the shallow ponds
while the moon wanders
burning,
bone white,
among the milky stems.
Once
I saw her hand reach
to touch the muskrat’s
small sleek head
and it was lovely, oh,
I don’t want to argue anymore
about all the things
I thought I could not
live without! Soon
the muskrat
will glide with another
into their castle
of weeds, morning
will rise from the east
tangled and brazen,
and before that
difficult
and beautiful
hurricane of light
I want to flow out
across the mother
of all waters,
I want to lose myself
on the black
and silky currents,
yawning,
gathering
the tall lilies
of sleep.
#yearoflove

To the woman I met on my walk:

Thank you for noticing my Western Washington University sweatshirt. Your enthusiasm and excitement about my daughter attending your alma mater was adorable, and it matched your bright yellow jacket. You were truly a ray of sunshine on a dark-dusky winter afternoon. And your dog was super sweet. ♥️

#yearoflove

To my Checkout Lady at Safeway tonight:

I hope you didn’t find it odd for me to tell you so, but I’m so proud of you for going back to school a little later in life to get you Associate’s degree. And proud of you for finally gaining your US citizenship after 16 years. All while working full-time and raising a family. Way to go, woman! I hope you’ll take my advice about your resume and those pesky keywords, and so glad that you’re taking the next step to go to the Workforce Services folks, because yes, they can help, and what’s more, they want to. Wishing you all the good things this world has to offer.

Today’s quote: “Because this is the beauty of strangers: we’re all just doing our best to help each other out, motivated not by karma, but by a natural instinct to help the greater whole.” — Sloane Crosley

#yearoflove

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