This morning I was lounging in bed for a few extra minutes while the kids got themselves breakfast. I was reading my phone, blogs and facebook updates. My seven year old came upstairs and said "Mom, do you ever feel ominous about anything?"

When he was five his favorite word was ominous. Thank you Martha Speaks!

I answered that sometimes I do, and asked if he did today. He said not really. He was just curious.

The day moved along. Hot tea and showers and school and laundry. The normal activities. All through the morning I felt the unsettled, excited and anxious feeling that happens now and then. Finally I looked at my phone, though I didn't really need to. I already knew. But the app on my phone told me what I was guessing - the moon is 100% illuminated. Full moon. Some people think I'm crazy, but I can sense the moons fullness. I walk through the world and feel slowed down by a sort of electricity, an energy. Just around the full moon. I get excited. There are endless possibilities at every turn and a surge of making plans and organizing and energy that won't let me sit still for too long. I feel all of that.

Later in the day we headed out to the library to pick up a few books for an idea I have floating in my head. I briefly explained the Dewey decimal system to the kids, referencing notes on a sheet of paper that I had jotted down call numbers onto before leaving the house. We picked up applications for children's library cards.

I'm excited by this idea for a new story. I need a break from the one I started back in November. Truthfully, I'm not in love with it. I can envision where the story could go, but I'm not ready to force myself through it right now. So I'll follow this other idea for a bit, see where it takes me. I'm jotting notes and paragraphs and I'm writing, just not linearly or coherently yet. Fragments and outlines and even just singular words. Eventually I might go back to the other manuscript. I know what it needs, I'm just not willing to bring it to fruition yet. Though I might feel differently tomorrow.

I've been thinking about how in this day and age it's almost uncomfortable to not share writing.  Almost like "if a writer writes something, but doesn't share it, does the writing exists?"

Does it?

Indeed it does.

And it's not just with writing that I've been struggling with this concept. It's our school days. This term we're reading and learning and diving into all sorts of subjects - but we don't have much to show for it. The kids are practicing their writing, and we do math equations on scratch paper, but at the end of the day not a single work book has been used. Their knowledge is in their heads, and it comes out in conversation and play and life.

But where is anything that we could share? That we can show for ourselves and our time?

Do we learn anything if we don't have worksheets to prove it?

Indeed we do.

Our last stop today was the beach. We drove down the road, marsh on either side, and we saw countless cars pulled over on the side of the road. There were a dozen people standing in the marsh grasses, gigantic telephoto lenses out snapping pictures. We searched with our eyes and finally found the creatures they were hounding. Snowy Owls. Within the course of the afternoon the kids and I saw three of the majestic creatures. They were quiet. Calm. Stoic. Barely moved. We watched one ready itself for flight. The wingspan grew and though it moved swiftly, the owl stayed close to the ground and found a new place to stand. Still in the marsh. Still stoic.

Within a few moments the crowd turned over and the owl and the three of us were the only ones who knew that it had moved recently, that it had changed his or her perspective and took the world in from a new place.

I took a blurry picture with my camera phone and blew it up and posted it to instagram. A white blob amid marshy greens and browns. Tonight I'm left full with the knowledge that even if I hadn't shared the photo, the snowy white owl would still have been there. Breathing and nestling in with its feathers and doing whatever it is that owls do... for their own survival and maybe even enjoyment.


  1. In an odd way, this reminds me of my "Facebook diet". If we don't post pictures of our busy, happy lives and the fun things we do together, does that mean our lives are dull and that we're just not doing anything "status worthy"? After my decision to go light on Facebook diet, it felt that way to me, until I re-trained my brain to think the opposite.

    All this to say, I'm right there with you. We may not have anything to show for it, but it doesn't mean that there isn't momentum, that something isn't there.

  2. I really really connected to this post, for many reasons. I recently had some very good support when someone said "start a new thread." That idea has so much potential. I might have to start several new threads before I get excited about writing. I love that you are so in tune with the moon. I think when we did our moon journals, I got closer to a feeling that I actually have a relationship with it. The moon comforts me. Elliot is carrying around his learning and we haven barely touched our workbooks. I loved workbooks so much when I was a kid that I did them through the summer, and wished I had more. But Elliot is learning from so many sources, from books and audio books and electronic books and movies and games and so so many other things that I did not have access to. I have to sometimes put down the tendency to control the material. Like the light, it comes in all directions. I'm happy you are writing again and the fog blew away.

  3. Loved this post. One thing I've noticed myself is I used to document my kids more (with my big camera). Now I feel like I do it less. Not so much because of IG, I don't think, but because I want to LIVE in the moment. Since I document so much for others doing photography, I almost DON'T want to document our own moments like I used to. And sometimes, we can experience something more fully by not documenting it, but just living in the moment.

    We don't do much work books either. Handwriting and math and that's it. A lot of library book reading and audio. Funny we were reading something the other day about Julius Caesar and my son suddenly shouted "Julius Caesar and the Pax Romana!" I was like, "Wha??" And then I realized he was referencing something we learned last fall. How cool to see these connections our kids are making! :)

  4. I can fully relate to where you are with your writing. I started a manuscript a while ago, picked it up again in November with the intention of chiseling away at it but finally came to the conclusion that I'm just not ready to pour myself into this one. I've started something else -- another story idea that I'm excited about, something unlike I've ever tried to write. I know I'll eventually return to the other manuscript but for now I need to see where I can take this new idea.

    I saw your owl pic on Instagram. Even blurry, there was something majestic about that snowy owl. How cool that you stumbled upon them.


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