It was a perfect summer day. We started out letterboxing, and found a hand-carved stamp of Horace Greeley right here in town. “Let’s do one every day!” he chirped from the backseat. So that’s the new plan. The rest of the day was spent letting the creative juices flow. They edited photos for their albums, I painted and sketched, and together we made dinner and cookies. Perfect weather, perfect activities, all evening on the porch. Perfect.



Took them on a photo toot yesterday. Teaching them that there is beauty to be found in every shot-you need only look carefully.



Simplifying my life has been my goal for a while now. I have purged and given away things, used the library rather than buy books, and I’ve unsubscribed from email newsletters. This forced simplification of the past week has accomplished more than any of my previous efforts. Feeling too tired to knit, my Christmas preparations have been put on hold. Needing to nap a lot, I’m not sure I’ll be ready for book group on Sunday. Not having the strength to wield the vacuum cleaner, I have lowered my housekeeping standards. The best part is that I am not worried or concerned about any of it.

One can read admonitions, quotes about new ways to think, or listen to advice from others, but there’s nothing like experience to change your course.



Disappointment has two sides, doesn’t it? I wanted to go with them but knew it would be too much for me. I had been looking forward to the smell of the ocean as we explored the island’s windy scape. I wanted to see the mainland from miles at sea, accompanied by gulls screaming overhead. I just wasn’t ready to be away from home for an entire day.

While they were gone I drew in my sketchbook, read a book about knitting socks while walking through the Scottish Highlands, took a nap with Sammy, and sat on the porch  watching a downpour. Each moment glistens in its own way, and I saw. The quiet helped me see that each moment is worthy of cherishing whether something spectacular is happening, or something simple is unfolding in front of me in its own time. Simple pleasures.



My creative time has fallen by the wayside this past week, so after lunch we took our cameras to the backyard. I think it’s possible to make every shot beautiful, or interesting at least, and one of my favorite ways to do so is to shoot at ground level. The light is more complex there, and the shadow more profound. Close to the Earth from which we spring, from which we receive all things, I find her beauty almost unimaginable.



I’m reveling in these cool summer mornings. Seeming unusual after years of blistering hot summers, they refresh every cell with optimism and pleasure. I stand on the patio surrounded by green hope and faithful blossoms. Another day has come for me, and I feel deeply grateful. Peace is mine. It always was.



My little nurses rode their bikes to the library, so Sammy and I luxuriated in the quiet time. The unusually cool summer day was perfect for a short snooze and a few reflective moments all alone. Life has slowed to a snail’s pace, but I find that I don’t mind. I think illness has been my reset button, and, I’m all for that!



I am not a good patient. I am impatient. I am annoyed that my plans have been changed. I am angry with my body for betraying me. I am worried that I won’t accomplish what I think I must. I can’t escape the feeling that I have failed. These last four days I am learning that these times when my body’s systems go awry that I have an exquisite opportunity to practice self-love and self-care.

It is my wish that all people need not suffer in order to love themselves.

The News


Hearing the news lately, I am at a loss for words, literally. Last night I heard from almost all my AFSers in Turkey, and hope to hear from the last one, in Ankara, today. These kids have been the greatest teachers over the years-they are optimistic, forward-thinking, and open-hearted, and I wonder what they will do with the world they have inherited. Bless them this day and every day of their lives.



When life is new again.

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