The More I Sit Here @ Deck Again on a Good Hair Day – Bellingham

The only thing about the house here in Washington that is like a thing is that we are up high and can look over and down onto our neighbor’s backyard.

Gordina – a house back and over – has a lovely garden with an enviable rosemary bush raised up in the pnw sun and veggies all year round under tinted weathered prayer flags. She doesn’t live right behind us though.

A young family does.

I look over and see chairs in random spots, that their gymnasium was moved, toy miniature everything galore and actually I think like 3 slides. On nice nights when we are all living that pacific northwest life, eating outdoors or with windows open, we are within ear and eye shot of each other.

I write out here. Sit out here. Close my eyes out here. Work out here. And I have noticed lately that their baby is probably teething. Or growing. Lots of baby cries.

But the more I sit here, I am also noticing how extremely patient the mom is. Sigh.

Deep breath and smile.

I think she must be a really good mom.

She must be – I can tell by the lack of anxiety in the air that she doesn’t let the fact her neighbors can hear her child carrying on put pressure on her to “fix the child”. I think she knows deep down she simply has a baby and they – simply- are crying.

Unlike most mothers I know who hush their babies to the self detriment of their own sanity, I am pretty sure this mom is like cool with reality and knows she is not annoying me.

Additionally, I have been out on the deck a lot lately. August in Washington is like perfect satin jambinos after a salt bath soak and a face massage; so relaxing and happy stupor inducing. The more I have been here, the more I notice when they are not in their yard.

I wonder sometimes if it is nap time. Or if she is cooking.

I wonder if they went for an outing and I picture them at the bay or on a hike or at the market.

Maybe they went to Target and, if that is the case, I send prayers and helpers.

One of my favorite things about being a spiritual mom is remembering I can send helpers. A woman I studied with a couple of years ago in yoga teacher training told me I was a white witch. I thought nothing of it but then when I close my eyes and bring a person to the center of my mind (like my friend right now who is waiting to give birth) and send supreme love and guidance and comfort and help and support and strangers to offer pieces of gum or cashiers to smile in just that way – I think maybe I am magical.

Wouldn’t mind it :)

Sighhhhhh… the rental lady just left here and the papers are signed to list the house to rent. David looks handsome and is probably getting ready for me to fix dinner. I am super excited about progress on perfecting pizza dough. So we are doing greek pizza tonight. But with goat cheese and not feta. Yum. Can’t wait.

The breeze is so nice, I just want to stay in this cradle of an afternoon sun forever.

But. Kalamata olives are calling my name.

One more glance back and over the fence. Smiling. Hope she is doing good with her little ones… wherever that mama is…

Heaven @ Bellingham Breakfast Table – 7.4.20

Last night, I laid my tired body down next to my husband’s. I was tucked in close with my head on his chest, against his t shirt. He grabbed my shoulder with a squeeze and started to pull the last bit of energy out of my body. I sighed and he continued to squeeze around my shoulder blade. Squeeze, pull, squeeze, pull. Heaven.

Completely heaven.

We got married in the morning, took a walk and went to Whole Foods in the afternoon. Our youngest daughters, Kara and Lucy, made us a dinner of club sandwich split for two, raw veggies and ranch, watermelon and fried egg & potatoes.

They served us on plates we painted a few days before. We had our favorite beer (Bloke – from Twin Sisters here in Bellingham, WA.) We played Mario Cart with Aria, Ellen and Maddox. We were husband and wife even in Mario Cart, encouraging and supportive, sharing responsibility… like when he would steer with the joy stick and I would get to hold down A on the Wii controller and close my eyes.

We are sitting in our breakfast nook at the moment. He, across from me, on the electric guitar. I am on my last half cup of coffee.

The sun is out and the sky is blue. My hair is about dry from my shower and the candle smells of pomegranate and evergreen: a smell of Christmas.

We are relaxed and married.

Just like the squeeze pull of his hands on my shoulders, the guitar playing right now through these speakers (accompanied by the birds out the door behind me) is so soothing. So relaxing.

There are a lot of things I could say. A lot of story to tell and laugh about, to share. A lot of potential thinking about best ways to share and the meaning our marriage has – not only to us – but to those we invited to support us, who know what a treasure we are to each other.

But, you know, when I think about the best idea. The best way to announce. The best way to connect. The best way to invite. Well, I have learned and am learning the true best is to not pursue a best way, no more right way.

Without the fanfare of tradition and expectations, we witness the subtle shifts of our commitment against our status quo. This is refreshing and a gift in itself.

Our marriage right now is wide open – a blank canvas – open for connection and invitation. Its aerobic nature, its exuberance, is potent and palpable to the five people we most want to witness love.

When it is time to celebrate with others, we will celebrate gladly. If there is blessing to come, it will come.

If there is opportunity in our creative life, it will blossom from our time creating.

If there is adventure to come next, we will stumble upon it.

If ever I knew a taste of peace, I know it now.

// God, you are so good to me. Really really good to me. //

DavidandErinSocialMedia-6

Photograph by Stephanie Freels 

 

 

Aces, Trust & Remedied Lilies

UB40 is playing on my “Three Little Birds” Pandora Station and the mildly annoying chatter of two teenagers and my sweet Lucy rattles and laughs against the clank of dishes and commands of dogs (<< plural for poetic effect, though I am so preparing my heart for the right puppy number 2) from the kitchen. Ranger is not by my side, surprisingly, but is in the kitchen – hoping for an Alfredo noodle or some cheese or pretzel crackers to be dropped to him during the process of cleaning up.

I? Am in my writing studio, wanting to capture this week – this moment in time. My whole life, it seems, is coming together – tightening correctly, woven seams. And the reason I am confident in this is based on the fact that it is based on what I am seeing happening in *other people’s lives*.

But, this is the fun part of trying to find the threads in my own life. Let’s start here:

IMG_0200

So, when I bought my house (two summers ago), there was this big circle pod of day lillies right in the middle of my lot. Pretty, but odd. So last year, I dug them all up and put them in new corners, some in new rows and some in the trash :) And when I finally saw this crew in the one corner of my house bloom – this fleshy peach and ruby – I couldn’t help but feel some sense of validation in me doing what I wanted to my yard.

Sometimes, I don’t do what I want because it directly changes or opposes something somebody else intentionally did. The way my yard looks lately is proof to experiment with your own way.

IMG_0187

This is from Tuesday. That’s my oldest daughter, rounding home – listening to music – with a pack (complete with a full water bottle) – on her scooter. She was coming home from my brother’s house who lives up a few blocks east of me. This sight of independence was actually a reflection of my trust in her.

And let me tell you –

Seeing your trust in other people is a beautiful sight.

<insert prayer for the spiritual math on trust, giving trust, and building trust>

IMG_0176

So, the other day, I did not could not would not cut my grass. But it was uneven. And there were weeds. And some high spots. And it just “didn’t feel right”. So I poured a little bit of margarita and weeded. Checked it out. Wasn’t good enough. So I got my edger out and trimmed it up. Checked it out. Wasn’t good enough. Pulled out my mower and whipped through it. Blew off the clippings. Hosed off my porch. Wiped things down. Put everything way. And… twenty minutes later when it started to pour – I stood on my porch, in my Superwoman tank top (picked out for me by my daughter in a California Thrift Shop) and felt the power of doing things to your personal standards, even when you really don’t want to – and that relief, that satisfaction of having it done right when it’s complete.

IMG_0197

Wednesday night was an interesting one. It came with a dose of “personal conflict” as I decided where to spend my hour by hour over the course of logistics, farewells and seeing one of my best friends. As I was leaving the house where my daughters were swimming, I saw this on the host’s wall. And I love it. Because, at the end of the day, there is family, there are friends who love like family, there are friends, there are acquaintances and there are complete strangers. And I grew thankful I have family, of course, but especially aware of friends who love like family.

But you have to prioritize those friends who love like family. Those don’t grow overnight. Seasoned friendships deserve you, in your fullness.

This week has been really full of a lot of happiness. I almost can’t believe it. It hasn’t always been easy. But I can gladly say I am no longer learning from certain past mistakes but that I am actually a learned person. On our hike Thursday, Ellen started her inevitable complaints. But as soon as my agitation grew, I remembered I knew this was going to happen. And I also know not to get worked up. Go slow. Offer lots of support and encouragement. Validate everything she is feeling. Kick her in the butt when she needs it, but coach her through the experience. Then be quiet. Draw boundaries (ok no complaining now until we are half way). Let her get upset. Let her cry. Watch her frustration and pain and suffering chip away at the outside. Watch the process. Don’t battle it. Then, on the downhill side, watch her joy emerge. Watch her adrenaline kick in, see her gem. Watch her get excited. Wait for her to say it wasn’t that bad. And be thankful you didn’t lose it, because that would have really ruined the time.

Then, go get a milkshake.

Then, go jump in a pool.

Then, go home and take a shower.

Put on your favorite V Neck tee and go to dinner.

With a deck of cards.

PEACE.

IMG_0232