Tuesday, July 29, 2014

mindset of adventure

We woke this morning to crisp air. Not cold. But crisp, without a hit of humidity. Lucas was at a Red Sox game last night, and I might have stayed up way past my bedtime waiting for him to get home... so while I wanted a slow day lounging on the couch, the morning air beckoned and we found ourselves at the park across the river. 

We've walked the trails countless times, but today I suggested packing backpacks with snacks and field guides... "Adventure bags!" one cried out, running upstairs to tuck treasures into hidden pockets of a backpack. 

And so the adventure began. The first pairs of long pants worn in who knows how long... water bottles packed out of habit, not out of necessity due to the sweltering heat. We sauntered. Some cartwheeled. Some ran. We held hands and felt the breeze, and we had ourselves an adventure this morning. Just because of our mindset. Just because of a suggestion. Just because we could. 









Friday, July 25, 2014

blueberry pie


 Sweat drips down my forehead as I mix the dough. Shortening cut into flour drizzled with water. A crust for the pie filling that bubbles over on the stove. A lava of sticky blues and purples from the blueberries picked earlier in the day. The sweat drips and the dough comes together, all the while children dance in and out of the kitchen.
 “Where’s dad?”
“Is he upstairs?”
“Is he ready to play football?”
“Where did he go?”

 Brushing wisps of hair away from my face with the back of my dough covered hand I don’t look up as I calmly inform them that their father will be right with them. The screen door off the kitchen to the porch slams as my seven and nearly six year old stomp through any and all hard surfaces to find their father. He is upstairs finishing a few peaceful stolen moments on his work computer. I am elbow deep in my life work… flour and shortening and children and staying present.

 Moments later my husband appears and he gathers the children for games of catch in the sticky weather. Summer heat and sweat and grime is carried on the breeze that wafts through my kitchen window.

Heat from the warming oven starts to kiss my skin from across the kitchen. Rolling pin in hand I laugh at what I must look like. Braless, breasts sagging and swinging in a tank top, hair in messy pigtails, flour up to my elbows and smeared across my forehead. The oven buzzes to tell me it has preheated.

I can hear their laughter outside and all too soon the pie is prepared and is tossed in the oven. Sweaty heads come in for glasses of icy water, footballs thrown to the corner of the kitchen, bouncing lightly on the wide wooden floor boards.

He comes in last, tired eyes dancing. He comments on the heat, how it’s nicer outside. I tell him I know. But the pie…. and dinner… and…

With his large, gentle hand he reaches up and brushes away flour from my forehead.

“Thank you.” He says.

 And in this moment it is enough. In this moment the simple words and the gentle touch will suffice.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

announcing... writing naturally workshops


And now... I'd like to announce my offering to you... Writing Naturally Workshops. I am excited, and holding my breath, and saying yes to dreams... and I look forward to seeing a few of you there! The information is all on the Writing Naturally Workshop page {click on it just below the header at the top of the blog!} Feel free to contact me with any questions.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

beach living

"Perhaps this is the most important thing for me to take back from beach-living: 
simply the memory that each cycle of the tide is valid; each cycle of the wave is valid; 
each cycle of a relationship is valid. 
And my shells? I can sweep them all into my pocket. 
They are only there to remind me that the sea recedes and returns eternally." 
~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea







{not ours... but so typical Maine... the fisherman leaving his bucket and coffee behind to stand in the sea, casting his line...}

Monday, July 21, 2014

Old Orchard Beach

Tradition... the things we bring from our childhood to share with our own children... is what brings us back to Old Orchard Beach once a year. As soon as we exit the highway, I can see in his eyes life coming full circle. The stories start. He points out special places they went when he was a child. We eat the same foods - the pier fries, Bill's pizza... sometimes he laments how the pizza might not be as good, but the fries. Man, the fries are always as good as he remembers. The kids call it the festival. We go, and even though we are all blinded by sensory overload we play skee ball, ride the bumper cars {this year might have been my first time!}, and dance in the sand as the sun goes down and the lights on the ferris wheel illuminate the night. His memories fuel our tradition, and sometimes we create our own amid the nostalgia of years past.... my girl and I went on the ferris wheel, and her face was worth the trip entirely. Another thing added to the permanent summer bucket list. 

Here's to tradition... 





{that moment when she said 
"Mom, what if we get stuck up here!" 
when they stopped for us to take in the view...}

{proof, he ate Bill's Pizza, sauce and all!}


Sunday, July 20, 2014

creating, wishing and tribes

In the background children laugh and giggle, load squirt guns with water and soak each other silly. We sit at a table which I have circled around many times now, a table that holds dreams and stories and wishes - all held gently by Mindy's hands and heart. She gathers us here, and we spill. We spill words and papers and glitter... we make a mess. And she embraces each one of us, as we do each other. 

A funny thing happens when you are ready to embrace a tribe. One comes to you. It took me a long time to be open to a group of creative souls. And the funny thing is that though the faces are often different at these gatherings, the feelings are the same. The kindred spirit that ties all of us together runs through each of us no matter if we are new, no matter if we can't give our full attention in each moment, no matter at all. As long as we show up, we are seen and heard and known. 

It is truly a gift. 

The gift of a tribe is empowering. Liberating. It means being able to dream big and bounce ideas off of others and receive honest feedback and insights... 

Last week I spoke out loud a dream I had not even 24 hours prior to our gathering. And with encouragement from my peers I felt empowered and on fire with a need to create.... so I'm diving in. Dreaming big. In the coming week I'll be writing up a description and getting a space ready for a new offering... Beginning in late August I'm going to offer in person creative writing workshops. We will gather outdoors in some of my favorite places, and write... inspired by our surroundings. We will come together and write and read aloud and hold space for each other. I am excited, and terrified! But I can't stop thinking about this idea, and so it must come alive. Stay tuned... 










Wednesday, July 16, 2014

trusting your inner wisdom


Every time I log onto the computer I'm bombarded with wisdom. How To's and You Must's and Secrets to Happiness and fitness and love and life and and and..... 

Items are shared right and left. How to get your children to listen. How to structure your day. How to loose ten pounds. How to homeschool. What to eat to feel and look a certain way. How to find inner peace. Secrets to a happy marriage. How to please people, yourself, your lover... 

I'm done reading them. All of them. 

The more we read about how to do all of the things, the less likely we are to listen to the inner wisdom that tells us what we need. Tells us what we want. Tells us exactly how to be true to ourselves. 

You can't get that from an article written by a person who doesn't know you. What makes the author come alive, what works for them, what has even worked for millions of others might not work for you. And you won't know that unless you become quiet and listen. 

And truly? Listening is only half the battle. You must learn to trust what you hear that wanders out from the depths of your soul. It has the answers. 

You have the answers. 
Stop waiting for someone to tell you five ways to find whatever it is you're looking for. 

Trust yourself. 
You can do this. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

living room stills

Three quarters of the year our living happens in our dining room. School books and projects, computers and meals and card games spill out over the coziness and closeness of our little table, close in proximity to the warmth of the kitchen. 

But during the summer, our living happens in the living room. Where we can stretch and lounge and feel the breeze on our legs. We knit, we read, we play, we do yoga, we plan and laugh and watch movies and endless episodes of My Little Pony and Transformers. We lounge. 'Tis the season... 









Thursday, July 10, 2014

water balloons...

The essence of childhood summer days, hours to fill dozens of balloons... burst within minutes. The giggles and screams of delight worth every moment spent at the sink...






Wednesday, July 9, 2014


We are letting these be the slow days. Slow like droplets puddling gently at the bottom of an icy cup... like the veil of a sheer curtain billowing from a slow summer breeze. Slow like eyelids after nap where you sweat while moving every so gently from one side to the other. Slow like the breeze you can almost put your arms around, a low force of air and movement and summer... so full you can almost touch. So full that if you close your eyes you can hop on and get carried away to Autumn.

These days are slow and hot... like rolled up tee shirt sleeves and lingering in front of mirrors... just because. Slow like finger tips tracing curves, leaving cool touches on hot skin... hot like snuggles against sweat... the heat of nightmares needing to be cooled. The days are slow like lazily sneaking ice cream from the freezer... grabbing stolen bites while trying to fit your whole head in the icy cold chamber of relief.

Slow like diving under ice cold Atlantic water... time slows... the arc of your body falls... and every inch of your skin feels the cold water stun like ice cubes being massaged into your being. Slow like shadows and uninvited company lingering at your doorstep. Slow like Sunday afternoons, and two in the morning. Slow and full... these summer days.

**This was written from a prompt given by Isabel Abbott and her 27 days of creative burn...