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With 2017 in the works, I’m starting some new things, though I’m not making resolutions, because they usually are pointless. I am setting intentions and acting on exciting changes. It has been a lovely, protracted holiday season, and I will miss it – it’s my favorite time of year. Here’s a sunset towards the end of our strange last year, to usher the old out and the new in. I hope you feel hope and positive change (yes, I did that) for the coming months. And of course, as always love and joy.
Quote of the day: “I’ve always found that the most beautiful people, truly beautiful inside and out, are the ones who are quietly unaware of their effect.” — Jennifer L. Armentrout
Feeling like a lovely married couple
Dogs in shop windows
My surrogate daughter
That Kelsea returns from Ireland tomorrow (though not to me)
Two workouts today
Today had best be mostly wordless. Sending peace and love to all.
Quote of the day: “Whatever may be the tensions and the stresses of a particular day, there is always lurking close at hand the trailing beauty of forgotten joy or unremembered peace.” — Howard Thurman
MKL’s love and support
Lunch with a dear friend
An expedited passport request
Mr. Man’s paw on my heart
Trying to make sense of our world
I have been silent again. With all the upheaval in this country, I have been feeling like my pretty pictures and small gratitudes are frivolous. MKL reminded me that perhaps they are more necessary than ever. So fewer words, even though I have many thoughts.
Topsail Beach, North Carolina.
Quote of the day: “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”– Martin Luther King, Jr.
My Washington children
I don’t talk a lot about being an empath. Partly because it’s a complicated thing. It’s also a pretty private thing. And these days, it has entered into popular culture enough that it can be easily dismissed by those who don’t share this quasi-gift, and easily adopted by those who are struggling to belong, to attach a cool label to themselves, or to understand their own feelings. I don’t diminish those people and their needs, but I do not know if their experience is the same as my own….though that could be said of everyone.
This week has been an eye-opening one for me with regard to this component of myself. Being an empath is something different from being empathetic or highly sensitive, or even empathic. I’ve been led to the realization that it is not something I can ignore at times of global collective distress – or anniversaries like September 11. It took the universe dropping a heavy veil over my body and spirit for me to see that this gift, this calling, this ability to wend my way between worlds and realms, is something precious and needed. I am a path through the veil for silent acknowledgement and connection for those beyond. Being a channel, a vessel, is part of the reason for my being here, on this earth, at this time. And the divinely given art of dancing across levels of existence is something I need – and want – to practice.
I judge my own words through the eyes of others. So, to head you off at the pass, I’m not high or crazy or a hippie. I’m a wife, a mother, a sister, a friend, a cousin, an aunt, a homeowner, a writer, and I work three jobs to put my daughter through college without (fingers crossed) student loans. I’m the picture of responsibility. I pay my bills on time. I don’t wear make-up, except eyeliner as my work disguise. I don’t color and style my hair. I like jeans and yoga pants and dressing up and thrift stores. I like tuna salad sandwiches (warm, with cheddar, mustard, and hot peppers), rib-eye steaks, and butter pecan ice cream. I like Appalachian music and opera. I love flowers and mountains and especially the sea. I love to travel. I help tourists in Denver when they look lost, and like to smile at strangers, especially, these days, women in hijabs, because when they see the smile in my eyes, their eyes smile back and I can tell they feel welcome and trusted and a little bit safer. I’m not stunning, I’m not unusual. I don’t have any piercings or tattoos, because my mother drilled into me at an early age that there’s no sense in poking holes in yourself for the sake of fashion (and she was right) and the only thing I would ever like to have indelibly inked on my skin are the latitude and longitude of my favorite places on earth, perhaps as anklets or bracelets, but not now. Maybe someday, when I’m older.
If you were to see me walking from Union Station to my office in the morning, you probably wouldn’t give me a second glance. But at a glance, I can feel so much about you, and you’ll never know that. I can sometimes turn it off, but not this week. This week there were so many souls who wanted their energy and their words resurrected into the consciousness of now for just a few moments, and needed me to be a silent channel for them. And so, while it took me a few days to figure it out, I did. And we are all, for now, somewhat soothed.
Some beautiful beach, some beautiful where between worlds.
Quote of the day: “People underestimate the stars and the connectedness they bring between spirit and matter. More often than not, when lost, we seek solitude in staring into the darkness hoping something speaks back to us, usually through a feeling, a thought or a rare occurrence of a shooting star.” — Nikki Rowe
That my cricket has moved to the kitchen
A clean bedroom
That MKL loves me regardless
Truck stop coffee
That Kelsea called me from the grocery store, asking about spices for what I have taught her to be her “signature dish” to cook
Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Quote of the day: “Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there’s no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic.” — Laini Taylor
The man talking to his dog as they walked
The stars in Estes Par
Sleep and dreams
Biding my time until we are somewhere warm. And trying to get my shoulder to heal. That part is not going well. But the countdown to warm is moving right along.
Topsail Beach, North Carolina.
Quote of the day: “People are just as wonderful as sunsets if you let them be. When I look at a sunset, I don’t find myself saying, “Soften the orange a bit on the right hand corner.” I don’t try to control a sunset. I watch with awe as it unfolds.” — Carl R. Rogers
Messaging with my girls
I think the title of this post says it all.
Quote of the day: “I realise there’s something incredibly honest about trees in winter, how they’re experts at letting things go.” — Jeffrey McDaniel
The lights on the Christmas tree
A beach in sight
Having Kelsea home for a few more days
The grand tour of one of MKL’s Christmas presents (Connecticut, Rhode Island, Guam, Hawaii…I wonder where it will go next on its trip to Colorado?)
Because I was having sharp beach cravings today.
Quote of the day: “The scattering of light over a long distance creates a sunset. The crashing of ocean waves on a beach is created by tides, which are themselves the result of gravitational forces exerted by the sun and the moon and the rotation of the Earth. Those are causes.The mystery lies in how those things become beautiful.” — Matt Haig
That my daughter lives by a bay
Huge, character-filled old trees
Feeling summery even though it is autumn
The burly female security guard who passed me on the street today and murmured, “Be safe, Honey”
A couple of weeks ago, the smoke from the Washington State fires was blanketing the Colorado skies, causing MKL to cough, but giving us lovely sunsets. I watched the sun move down through the sky for almost an hour from the Aquarius Trailhead. I think the fires are still burning, and my prayers go with those battling them, as well as with firefighters in California. My daughter has a one-way ticket to Washington next Saturday, and firefighting is a path she is choosing, which is a bit of a challenge for a mother, but she has angels watching over her – and a very pragmatic attitude about where her chosen paths can lead.
Quote of the day: “It is the firefighter’s courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent’s willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.” — Barack Obama
Birds on a wire
Books you can’t wait to get back to reading
All pink and blue, unlike our swirling yet unfulfilled storm clouds here in Lafayette this afternoon. And speaking of babies – or those who are no longer babies – my darling daughter goes off to college orientation tomorrow. Then she comes back, which is good, but then she will go away again. I guess that is the way of it. As today’s quote says, we all leave a bit of ourselves behind when we leave a place. I have left much of myself at Topsail. My darling daughter will leave much of herself here. But we both have so much more to see and do and give, and an endless amount of ourselves to leave behind in the places we will love.
Quote of the day: “We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there.” — Pascal Mercier
Making it through a tough day
Sharing Kelsea’s excitement about college housing
Our two new wooden parrots