Letter to Baby

Dear Baby,

I just wanted to write and say that I am

Done sewing you an enormous purple diaper bag.

Done cutting up sweaters to make longies so you are toasty-warm here on the Outside.

Done with knitting possibly the most adorable things I have ever made. That’s right! For you.

Even, to my amazement, done with the quilt I started piecing by hand almost ten years ago.

You see, my baby, I’m done. Out of projects. Nothing left to do.

Now if you, my little baby, aren’t feeling quite done, that’s fine.

Take your time coming out.

I’ll savor this ripe stillness.

This pause before life speeds up again.

Sweet in-breath before your first breath.

You are coming. I know it. But if you take much longer, I’ll have to start another project.

And I’d rather be holding you.

Love,

Mama

ps sister is ready, too.

When living, just live: Moving towards inner simplicity

I was lying in bed nursing my little one, a book propped up in front of me as usual. This time it happened to be Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting by Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn. And I came to these words:

When sitting, just sit.

When eating, just eat.

When walking, just walk.

When talking, just talk.

When listening, just listen.

When looking, just look.

When touching, just touch.

When thinking, just think.

When playing, just play.

And enjoy the feeling of each moment and each day.

What can I say? I put the book down. The sun coming through the window felt warm on my back. My daughter fell asleep in my arms. The moment lasted a long, long time.

A little more wood grain


Remember my oil cloth? It’s adorned this table for some ten years, mostly because I was convinced the table was damaged beyond presentability on its inner panels. Then one day last week, I lifted the oil cloth and looked again. I got out the steel wool, and now find myself with a whole new table. We’ll bring the oil cloth out for any projects that involve dough and rolling pins. But for now I’m just enjoying the spaciousness left in its rather bright and busy wake.

And savoring the perfect balance between letting old things go and making do with what we have at the same time.

I feel so…grown up.

Just like that music-making little lady up top there, I imagine.

Cora Love

We’re celebrating Cora this weekend–she turns Two on Friday.

Today we had a small party with our dearest Mamas and Littles. Celebrating the arrival of spring as well as little Cora.

~We sang and circled and danced and spun.

~Little bundles of cloth hold calendula and rice grass seeds to spread on the land, that our friends’ lives may be filled with as much beauty as they bring to ours.

~We sort of made a springtime procession a la Mother Earth and Her Children, with daffodil wands and handfuls of rich compost to bless the new green growth we discovered and greeted.

(And then ran all over in a general ruckus of rambunctious fun.)

~The cake is carrot-applesauce from one of the Moosewoods. Cream cheese and maple syrup frosting.

::

Blessings, my daughter, on your next season of growth.

It is a joy to have you at my side.

Every day, every moment; I am so grateful.

Dark Nights, Getting Brighter

(Or, an update on last month’s small change–making room in our life to observe an eco-shabbat)

 

Take the day and give thanks–thanks for the work, the rush, the busy-ness and the gifts they bring.

(Life made rich and, truly, possible, by all that doing.)

Say thanks, and enough.

Mark the calendar with the evenings that are ours alone. Guard them as precious.

Let darkness fall unhampered. Full upon the home.

The heart –our dinner table!– lit by candles, oil lamps.

So much to say in that warm light

(Oh, my husband, how good it is to sit here with you, in the darkness that returns us easily to each other.

To ourselves. To the music we make.

To the love we discovered those many years ago in what could be another world,

but lives, renewed and fed by these quiet evenings.)

A night of watching the candles burn low, the oil run out, the wood turning to ash.

The source of our warmth and illumination no longer removed and intangible,

but here before us–solid and finite.

When the light goes, and the stars and moon come through,

and we find ourselves beneath the same night sky as our ancestors,

(My, the many dark nights we emerged from!)

we can take our time finding the words to that old, half-forgotten song.

Beginning Anew

Oh, friends, this life isn’t always easy, is it?

Here we are doing the best we can,

and then someone comes along and tells us to use less plastic.

Or to be a better mother.

Or   ____ .

Whew.

Maybe it’s ourselves doing the commanding, or maybe it comes from outside.

Maybe it’s an unwelcome burden.

Maybe it’s an opening and an opportunity.

Sometimes it’s both.

Either way, maybe this can help:

Beginning Anew means expressing our regret for mistakes we have made in the past coupled with a deep and transforming energy to act differently from now on. Because we know that we can act differently, we do not need to feel guilt.

The principle meaning of the practice of Beginning Anew is to bathe in the water of compassion.

–Thich Nhat Hanh Touching the Earth

::

May you –and I and we–know compassion for ourselves as we discover our capacity for Beginning Anew.

Again and again and again.


A Word of Thanks

To my daughter, first, as each day new words emerge

from that holy little mouth

half formed and persistent pieces of language.

In the moment before I recognize them

when in my denseness all I hear is babble,

they are stars falling, blossoms opening,

the horizon brightening before sunrise.

And then I “hear” her and we both lift from the ground.

::

Thanks also to you,

for sharing this space with me,

and for this conversation

about what it means to live well.