Moving into a New Season

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It’s the first day of autumn and I’m glad.  Glad for the turn of season and all that goes with it.  The sinking into rhythms with the kids, their schoolwork, their activities. The changing patterns of light in the sky and upon our tables and walls and hardwood floors.  The (intense) energy of summer days giving way to something quieter, something slower, something other.

At a time when growth outside my door is slowing, I feel something building within me.  It’s been building for some time (months, years) (a lifetime).  And I can’t quite put it into words for you.  But I feel it. It’s a vague sense of being on the edge of something.  On the edge of (some sort of) clarity.

Clarity on how to move in this world.  And, of course, I’m already moving in this world (gently, I hope).  But I feel a shift coming.  It won’t be groundbreaking to anyone but me.  But I will break ground.  I feel it.

On this first day of autumn, I write these words and look out at the autumn sedum. The autumn sedum is my herald of autumn, perhaps more so than the first falling leaves.  I’ve watched the sedum over the summer.  Watched their leaves form and their stalks grow tall.  Watched their clusters of tiny blooms form, green in their newness.  Watched and waited.  Waited for those dear little clusters to turn from green to a rusty, dusty, wine-colored pink.  And when they change, I feel my shoulders drop away from my ears.  I feel the release, the turn.  From one season to another, from one phase of growth to another.

Like the autumn sedum, I feel myself moving from that new and green growth to something different and slightly other.  It’s subtle, so subtle that it’s difficult to put into words.  Nothing is crystal clear (I’m not crystal clear), but there is some degree of focus, some quantity of surety.  And then…there’s a bit of blur at the edges.  And you know what?  I’m okay with the edges being a bit blurred.  Am, in fact, welcoming the softness of those edges and spaces.

Who says we have to have it All Figured Out?  Well, I know who says that.  But I choose not to listen, choose not to believe in that way of being.  Rather than figure things out, I choose simply to move through it.  I choose to make time to notice it.  I choose to make space to embrace and appreciate and surrender.  I choose to go with it, with intention.

It? This life, I mean.

Happy Autumn, my friends.
May you turn gently and go in the way that you need to go.

Sending a little love your way, m

 

 

Dear Sunday

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Dear Sunday,

I like the clouds and the quiet beginning.  My chai and their doughnuts, and the four of us together.  The email to a friend (a conversation about life and writing, about waves of movement and shades of living and moments of joy).

I like the blanket spread upon the floor, my daughter and pup lying side by side.  And the way my son curls his legs into the chair as he reads and how my husband falls asleep on the sofa.  I like the smell of pizza cooking, especially when someone else has made that happen.

I like the sun peeking through the clouds, though truthfully I’d prefer the cloud cover to hold.  Am, in fact, wishing for rain.  Steady rain (and the accompanying cozy that follows on a Sunday afternoon with nowhere to go).  I like the wind blowing and the birches dancing.  I like the yellowing leaves falling to the ground.

I like the satisfaction of a week lived fully.  A week of giving attention where needed. A week of releasing what might look like perfect on the outside in order to feel steadier on the inside.  I like the extra minutes found in a day like you, so I can think about this and More.

I like you, Sunday. I really, really do.

 

Sending a little love your way, m

 

 

On a Cool September Morning

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…and I’m back.

Back on a cool September morning, the sun rising and filling the corners of our home, the windows cracked and spreading coolness upon my toes.  Back with a cup of English Breakfast tea, sweetened with a touch of maple syrup (okay, a full tablespoon), a bit of milk.  Agnes Obel on Pandora.  A flickering candle on my desk. Back with patched jeans and a pale blue tee.  Two favorite rings, a circle pendant strung on leather cord, circle earrings, a band of beaded bracelets.  I’m having myself a moment.

I’m back from nowhere, really.  I’ve been here, just not here.  But this space and you dear readers have been on my mind.  I missed being here with you, but it was good too.  To press pause.  To grant myself a little space.

This morning, I woke up knowing that I wanted to share something here.  And as I came down the stairs, the house completely quiet, I was immediately seized with thoughts of what needed doing: start the laundry, empty the dishwasher, check the emails, make the grocery list, and All The Rest.  I did start the laundry, but then…I heated water in the kettle and squeezed fresh lemon juice into my mug.  And with hot lemon water in hand, I moved to my desk and lit the candle.  And I opened my journal and I moved my pen.  Across the page and through the tucks of my heart. First things first.

A little pause on this cool September morning.

And now I sit writing to you at my desk, and I hear the whirring of the washing machine in the background. There’s a crow cawing outside my window.  I’m watching for the juncos at the feeder.  The leaves of the birch trees sway ever so slightly.  Just a hint of movement.

It’s a cool September morning and I’m ready.  For today.  But first, a second cup of tea.

 

Sending a little love your way, m

 

Pressing Pause

656yellowHello to you.

I wish to let you know that I’m stepping away from this space for a bit.

A wee break.
A pause.

I have creative projects on which I’d like to work and need to free up some space for myself to do that work.  And my family…you know there’s my family.  And gazing at the birch trees out back.  They feed each other…and me.  Energy in, energy out.  I’m needing to shift.

I’ll continue writing my monthly newsletter which – if you don’t already subscribe – is simply a heartfelt letter from me to you on the first of each month.  If you’re not already on my list, you can sign up by clicking here.

You will still find me exploring what it means to be a mama at Makings of Motherhood and what it means to be a photographer at ViewFinders; you’ll also still find me playing with inspirational quotes and mobile photography at Tandem Echoes (wanna play along?!).  All of these spaces include the work of my wonderful co-contributors; the sharings are rich and layered.  Hop on over to any or all of these spaces, as inspired.

For now, I plan to continue with Instagram, though a pause there may be in order as well.  You can find me on Instagram @michelle_gd and I invite you to join me in using the hashtag #tinytinymoments anytime you feel especially present and want to connect creatively with kindreds.

Right now, I’m still planning on Gratitude Week in early November as well as another round of Just Five Things before the fall rounds into winter.  The best way to keep abreast of these offerings will be my newsletter.

I hope you enjoy your summer (or winter, depending on which corner of the world you live in).  Be kind and gentle…to yourself, as much as to others.  Show up and do the doing.  Shine your light.

And remember to pause now and then.
In the stillness you’ll find movement.
I’ll be dancing alongside you…

Sending a little lotta love your way, m

 

 

Current State of Affairs

current-1Dusting and vacuuming and scrubbing (which I hate to do) (but love once done) is the current state of affairs.  This coming weekend our home will be filled with family and I’m quite glad for that.  I won’t stress about the cleaning as I know my family doesn’t expect perfect (thank goodness). Still, the dust bunnies that re-appear one hour and five minutes after I’ve cleared them annoy the hell out of me.  But I’m looking forward to the eggplant and the salads and the grilled shrimp. The wine, the pretty napkins.  The conversation.  It’s not often that we’re together like this.

And so I’ll clean what I can and when my first sister arrives she’ll help me with the food shopping and we’ll hang balloons and streamers.  And my daughter and her first-arrived cousin will no doubt craft something beautiful.  And then everyone else will arrive and we’ll feast and we’ll chill and we’ll be the way we know how to be.

And that is, I think, a pretty good state of affairs.
 

Sending a little love your way, m

 

 

In Need of Porch Step Sitting

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Our schoolwork has wrapped up for the year (save a few additional weeks of math work for my son).  And while the winding down feels good, there’s a simultaneous gearing up.  Which is freaking me out.  Mildly.

Navigating our son’s high school years as a homeschooler means we’ll be enlisting the help of the community college as he begins his sophomore year in the fall.  Which means an application process and transcript preparation and placement testing.  It means overwhelm and holy-shit-on-repeat in my mind.

But, as I’ve written many times in this space, it’s a matter of doing things one at a time.  Yes? Yes.  And so I’ve been trying that.  One thing at a time. Transcript, check. Student account setup, check.  Steam clean the dining room carpet, check.  Pour another glass of iced tea, check.

If you have experience with homeschooling in the United States, you know that it’s growing.  You might also know that colleges and universities welcome homeschoolers.  So I know this.  But still, it freaks me out.  To hold my son and the shaping of his education in my hands is a daunting task. And it’s not like this is a new responsibility; we’ve been homeschooling him since kindergarten.

And those of you who have your children in a traditional school setting…you are shaping your child’s education as well.  Am I the only one freaking out? No, I’m sure not.

But when did college get so close?  How did community college classes land on our doorstep so soon?

He’s taller than I; a check-up at the doctor yesterday told us he’s one-quarter of an inch shy of six feet.  His feet are the same size as my husband’s. When I hug him, he’s solid.  Solid.  He’s funny and quick and smart. Athletic. Sometimes (yes, just the other day) he shows his tender side.

So I take things as they come. Which, really, is how I’ve always done it. You too?  Yes, I thought so.  Phone calls, appointments, tests.  Steam clean the carpets which needed cleaning ages ago but whose cleaning suddenly seems super urgent (um, procrastinate much?  why, yes, I do).  Glasses of iced tea. Glasses of something stiffer too.  And maybe a good sit on the porch steps. Yes, a good sit on the porch steps will do.

Care to join me??

Sending a little love your way, m

 

 

Avocado-Egg-Toast Thingie and a Metaphor

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I love avocado.  In all its forms.  And I’ve eaten it with eggs countless times but never the way my sister made it for me when she visited recently.  It seemed silly that I’d never thought to make it the way she did; it seemed silly that I’d gotten set in my tendency to dice the avocado and toss it with scrambled eggs, maybe some salsa. The way she made it…of course.  Silly me.

So.  Toast a slice of bread (I like sourdough).  Mash up avocado and slather it on your toast.  Add salt and pepper to taste (freshly ground is nice).  Cook an egg (I like mine sunny side up) (the runny yolk is so good).  Slide egg gently onto avocado-slathered toast.  The last step is optional, depending on your liking; but I very much like it:  hot sauce (this is my current favorite) (again, thanks to my sister) (how had I not tried this yet?  stuck again…this time in my Sriracha ways) (silly me).

It’s easy, delicious, satisfying.

This new-to-me way of eating avocado and eggs carries a metaphor for me.  And metaphors carry lessons.  The simple lesson (and you know that simple doesn’t mean easy) is that there are many ways of doing (in this case, eating) the same thing.  And, even when one way of doing something is especially good, there are often other ways to do the doing.  Sometimes a shake-up, a restructuring, a shifting and re-layering is just the thing.

I plan to make this avocado-egg-toast thingie for myself this morning.  And the metaphor I described above will be floating through my head…all day…and likely for days.weeks.months ahead.  I’m thinking about my place in the world and what it is I want to offer the world (and how)…the world at large, the world closer in (like within the walls of my home).  A little shake-up, perhaps some restructuring, definitely some shifting and re-layering.  I’ve got some work to do.

If you’ve got an avocado and an egg and some bread (and hopefully hot sauce), make this for yourself.  Soon.  Or else get yourself to the market, quick! Don’t like avocado? It’s okay, we can still be friends.  But give the metaphor a taste.

And season as desired.

Sending a little love your way, m