From Self Care

White space

Last year’s winter had me on the cusp of a third trimester waddle. The house was snug under candlelight and what could only be termed an explosion of blankets. My hands rested on a foreign, stretched body to feel movement of life within. It was hard to breathe, but I could. It was harder to…

Cozy without comfort?

Hygge is the posture of the Danes in the long dark months of a northern winter.  They create environments of beauty and pleasure, safe from the harsh elements outside. Candlelight in the windows, wood piled high for the hearth, knitted blankets, hot tea, and good books. Everything this hobbit of a girl could ask for.…

Last light

It’s late afternoon on a winter Saturday, and I’ve taken my children to the beach for an hour of fresh air, an hour of running around and tossing beach stones into the water before the day is gone. What light we’ll get today in the northwestern corner of the country has already crested and is…

The abundant now

My phone alarm wakes me. As I silence it, groggy and half-blind, I see a notification that someone has commented on my post. I swipe to see it. And there I am, phone already in my face, inundated by images and words through a luminous screen. Before I’ve even taken stock of my body, said…

Trains on their tracks

I can hear it from our bedroom, that low heavy rumble of a train on its tracks. There is a faint whistle, but we are many streets up and there are rows of trees and a river between us, soaking up its sound. Often only the heaviness of movement is what I can hear, a…

New mercies

I am typing this on a borrowed laptop. The ceiling paint above me is cracked and peeling, tainted with yellow stains. The bedroom door won’t shut into a door frame deformed from years of settling. I can see out the window because several of the blinds are cracked or missing, but the view is incredible.…

Snap peas

Reject the notion that you are not enough. Or that you are too much. Or that you don’t have what it takes. Reject all the lies that you are tempted to believe, and begin the adventure of knowing that it’s okay to be you, exactly as you are now, in your shoes, in your skin,…

Surprise ending

When my boy was born, I could not nurse him. No matter how much Mother’s Milk tea I drank or lactation consultants I visited, I was bone dry. The fancy pump? It could not extract what my body refused to produce. I felt on par with Lady Macbeth’s maternal capabilities every time I went to…

Play

Hands poised, I felt brave and silly. How could I have not played before? All those moments I’d spent walking by, watching my kids and husband, I had not even once considered that I needed to play, too. She stands proud in my living room, daily offering her love to me, and I hadn’t realized…

Mothers, makers, miracles, part two

This article is part one of a two-part series on parenting and pursuing a creative vocation. Last month I shared about my journey as a young mom to find my creative life within the limitations and challenges of parenting. Creative parents are in a time-resource bind that can feel unbreakable: not enough money for childcare…

House plant barometer

Rhythms of work and rest are vital to our physical, mental, and spiritual health, but when you’re a parent there’s no break from the day-to-day care required. Parenting is a demanding job. You have to keep tiny humans alive every day while being nurturing and providing educational enrichment. There’s a lot of pressure on parents…

In which we chase meadows

The most magical moments of my childhood were spent alone. I would lay amongst the prickly spears of grass in the meadow near my home—never able to escape the heat of the midday sun—and always in an imaginative world of my own. Laying flat, pressed against the bosom of the earth, I would roll in…

Mothers, makers, miracles

This article is part one of a two-part series on parenting and pursuing a creative vocation. Part two will appear next month, June 2017: Retreat. Being both a mother and a creative is a catch-22. Unless you are one of those rare and mythical creatures who can make a living from your creative work in…

Wild mind

“The more civilized man becomes, the more he needs and craves a great background of forest wildness, to which he may return like a contrite prodigal from the husks of an artificial life.” —Ellen Burns Sherman This summer I did three backpacking trips in five weeks. I keep wondering what it is that propels me…

Expecting the Unexpected

“And if we ever leave a legacy It’s that we loved each other well.” – Indigo Girls, Power of Two It was the picture I was dreading to see. At first, I forgot it was even there. Tucked in with the images of my handsome husband and the smiling faces of our two beautiful children, and…

Directions for Delight

Go to the nearest body of water. Stand on the furthest point of land–the end of the dock, the bow of the boat, the lip of the shore. Take your shoes and socks off. Squelch mud or sift sand between your toes. Feel the earth beneath the hills and valleys of your feet. Feel how…

Creating an intention for your year

“…isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” -L.M. Montgomery from Anne of Green Gables So often when we come upon a new year, we think about what we dislike about ourselves, our habits, and our lives, and create resolutions to address them. Bettering ourselves is a…