Chocolate coins trailing down the stairs,
green juice and green pancakes,
waiting on the breakfast table,
I Love You shamrock
"You've made my day
a happy morning, Mom!"
he says with a hug.
It's been hit and miss with me
over these many years.
Happy to have made the mark
with this last little guy
"We can only be said to be alive in
when our hearts are conscious
of our treasures."
Hello March. Hello to the awakenings of new life and longer, sunshiny days.
It comes with a quiet hope, as well as a sense of gratitude and anticipation (relief, honestly!) that I welcome this arrival of springtime, And following nature's transition, this month will also be a time of renewal for me, as well. Renewal and restoration and transition, both emotionally and physically, as I rest and recover from last Wednesday's hysterectomy.
As expected, I'm tender and jostled and slow. Things a little more complicated (and extra time spent at the hospital) by fevers every day since and a pneumonia-like respiratory infection that is not responding to the antibiotic, But I'm resting deeply, reading lots, entertained by BBC dramas, cheered and supported by many kindnesses that have been extended our way.
My little bud of Healing is slowly, but surely opening to blossom.
I am trying my best to physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually prepare for my hysterectomy one week from today. I've been taking long walks, journaling my feelings, talking to and reading other women's stories, talking to my kind and supportive husband, talking to God. It's a lot to process.
Finding my own, unique path forward. Balancing the inner work of self-nurturing and contemplation with the outer work of readiness and preparation. Easing the days of rest and recovery by using these next few days to stocking the freezer with ready-to-grab-and-heat meals. I think my guys are going to absolutely flip over these breakfast burritos I put together this afternoon. (Tofu scramble usually winning out over eggs, sausage, and cheese!)
Preparation, in all its forms, is always a good, good thing.
We all could use a little more comfort these days. I sure know I do. These last few weeks have been pretty difficult for me with my daughter's cross-country move, days and days of smoggy sunless skies, all three of us here at home sick with flu, the possible hysterectomy that looms right before me (and all that has led up to it), the profound sadness, anger, fear, and helplessness I feel about this current (and future) nightmare happening in my country right now. Quiely trying to process it all through awareness, silence, and even surrender. Grateful for the simple comforts of home with my books, my bakes, and my loves. Holding onto the hope that goodness and love will always, always trump fear and hate. Sending peace, comfort, hugs, and a warm cinnamon roll to you all! xo
feeling:: a sorting and a settling, I'm slowly learning to embrace this season; nature's perfect pattern of quiet, stillness, introspection, hibernation, and deep rest. Leaning into and coming to appreciate what winter has to give and teach me. Intrigued with the idea of "hygge" (recently finished reading The Cozy Life: Rediscover the Joy of Simple Things Through the Danish Concept of Hygge (Edberg), I've recently come up with a plan and list of ideas to make this winter a happier and cozier one. There are times, though, when it's hard not to slip into meloncholy ("What now??") or those dreaded and dreary doldrums, especially with the lack of sunshine, blue sky, and warmth.
thanking:: that our hero Keith was able to repair yesterday's broken water pipe. That it wasn't worse than it was.
longing:: I really am missing my morning runs and walks, I loath the treadmill.
viewing:: While You Were Sleeping was darling. Can't believe I missed that one until now.
reading:: I've decided that I want to focus much of my attention on the classics this year. That timeless literature, both novels and poetry, that I didn't get to in own education/reading, as well as those that we missed during the homeschooling years. Trying to be on the lookout when I visit the local thrift store for new titles/copies I don't already have in our home library. (I've scored a few good ones, so far.) Keith gifted me a beautiful copy of some Louisa May Alcott that I hadn't yet read, including Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom which I'm currently reading. He also gave me a copy of Alessandro Manzoni's The Betrothed. Already in 265 pages of the 719, and not sure if I can hold out 'til the end. A lovely collection/commentary of Robert Frost's poetry was happily received last night from my dear friend, and I'm very much enjoying these. Excited for all that's in store this year.
cooking:: I've had fun trying out some recipes from of another Christmas book I was given: The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook (Moskowitz). Already, I've made some vegan cheezy sauce to top my pizza, potato latkes (a December/Hanukkah tradition for our family.), challah loaves (pictured above. Interesting take on this bread normally made with eggs and milk.), some Buffalo Caulifower "wings" on New Year's Eve, and a delicious pistachio lentil biryani (Persian inspired rice dish). Each yum-o.
eating:: just now, a slice of Jane's scrumptious (GF) banana bread. We sure are eating GOOD with her around! (They'll depart for Virginia next Monday.)
enjoying:: time with the kids home these last few weeks, especially those one-on-one times and talks we've shared. Eliza and I had fun shopping for her first-ever oil painting supplies last week, as well as chowing down on the best Ban Minh sandwiches. Enjoying seeing them having their own special times with each other, too.
creating:: With the birthday gift cards/money I received from my kids + an awesome 40% discount coupon, I was able to purchase a new easel for my little art studio. It was needed as Eliza decided it was time to take hers (the one I'd been using) back to the dorms. I'm sure grateful to have this new one for its size and stability. I spent a couple hours at it on Friday, but the resulting drawing was only fit for the trash. "It's all practice though, and not precious," I need to keep reminding myself. I'll slowly get back into gear one of these days... hopefully soon!.
This was to be my year of trust. To understand it and live it, deeper. I won't lie when I say that 2016 was intense, difficult, even, All this, and at the same time, beautiful and rich with
much goodness and growth.
I have been stretched and I have trusted in ways I didn't anticipate or even think was possible. And looking back at all these moments, this season of my life, all I'm left with, once again, is gratitude.
For miracles and mercies, opportunites and relationships that have nourished my soul with
hope and joy. With peace and love. And with arms wide open, I embrace new beginnings and fresh starts.
I am very drawn to the German artist Kathe Kollwitz (1867-1945). I thought I'd ease my way tonight into a new Christmas sketchbook with some graphite drawings inspired by a few of her self-portraits. Her words inspire me, too:
"To this day I do not know whether the power which has inspired my works is something related to religion or is indeed religion itself."
"I do not want to die... until I have faithfully made the most of my talent and activated the seed that was placed in me until the last small twig has grown."
" The job of an artist is to offer a sanctuary of beauty to an ugly world. I am in the world to change the world."
Hi, I'm Emily!
I welcome and thank you for visiting. Through this blog, I invite you, friends or strangers, to come and abide with me as I open my heart and home to you in understanding, honesty, discovery, and reflection. It is my hope that you will join me in my quest for a simple, joyful, meaningful life.