The birdfeeder is empty, the suet gone.  Yesterday morning, a feathered friend—a woodpecker or chickadee, I can’t remember which—perched itself on the suet feeder, looking (to my eyes) forlorn.  I feel as if I’m letting the birds down.  I know they’ll find food elsewhere; still, I feel like I need to hold up my end of the bargain:  I feed you, you visit my feeders hanging from the birch tree.  There’s been no handshake (no hand-to-feather-shake) of any kind but the arrangement seems to work.  So long as I keep up my end of things.  The responsibility I feel is real.

My friend tells me about cyclamen.  It’s the first I’ve heard of this flowering plant. Days later, without looking for it, I find cyclamen at the entrance of the grocery store, a shelf full of white-red-pink-purple blooms.  I pick a plant, bright pink—though not fuchsia—a just-right-deep-pink—to bring home with me.  The Universe wants me to have this, yes?  I decide yes. When I get home, I look up cyclamen, read that it’s especially popular during the winter months when you can find it on grocery store shelves in full bloom. Apparently.

I plan too much for the week but take full responsibility for everything planned.  I take lots of deep breaths, write lots of to-do lists, drink lots of water, try to sleep.  The sleep is choppy, interrupted, hard won.  I don’t power through the week but I do move through.  What other way is there?  I go for walks, I practice a tiny bit of yoga and teach a few classes, I cook meals for my three.  I spend time with a group of women in a shared space of quiet and words.  It’s almost too much, but it’s also really good and, in the end, just about right.

I watch how I respond to people and situations.  I listen for cues from my body.  I know that I overwhelm more easily than some.  I hold the overwhelm tenderly, hold myself tenderly.  Harsh words and criticism only increase the heavy load when what I want is lightness, when what I want is fluidity and ease.  I can’t make ease happen, can’t force it to magically appear, but I can create the conditions for it.  I can call it in, make room for it.  I can pull up an extra chair, pour an extra cup of tea, so to speak.  I can say, Here, have a seat, tell me what’s on your heart today.

Responsibility, blooms, ease.
I see a thread.
I wonder what I might weave.

What we speak becomes the house we live in.
~ Hafiz ~

10 thoughts on “weaving

  1. I love cyclamens, well I love almost all flowers, but have a hard time keeping them alive. The house is too warm and they want water all the time. I try to put what is ‘left’ into the garden.

  2. I did the meditation today for the first time, and came out all lovely from it, and I’m trying to do the journalling, if nothing else it’s awash with posh sellotape and pretty stickers! You are such an inspiring person! I too cannot bear to see my bird feeders empty, they need all the help they can get as their numbers are declining here anyway. The cyclamen is a pretty colour, now I’ll be looking for one. :)

    1. J…that you came out of the mediation all lovely…I have a very big smile on my face.

      I’m quite sure whatever you’re doing with the journalling is as it needs to be. washi/sello tape and pretty stickers…how could you go wrong?!!!!

      I’m off to fill the bird feeder *right now*, for real! I like that you help your feathered friends too.

      do let me know if you discover any cyclamen in your shopping places…💗

  3. Dear Michelle, I’ve said it before but these weekly letters are a balm for my soul. Especially now, as I take on more of my mother’s needs. What was the prompt you had us use on Wednesday? It is a trial, feeling helpless as my mom grows more dependent on me but a comfort that she is in a community with a caring support staff.

    I hope that someday you gather all of your beautiful essays into a book so that others can benefit from your quiet and comforting thoughts.

    Grace xo

    Sent from my Smith Corona


    1. my dear Grace, if I could hug you I would.

      hands to heart, thank you for your kind words, for your presence in Wednesday’s TQP, for your mention of a book (I hope for this too).

      and the biggest, gentle-est yes to your trial/joy. so much in life goes hand-in-hand, eh? not easy, but I know your heart is FULL of love and I know this will carry you through all. xo


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