A Necessary Good

About six weeks ago, I was in the middle of marketing for two or three really large projects. Working late, forgetting to eat lunch, still not enough hours in the day to finish everything. Nearing the end of the craziness, I had a moment where everything crystallized and I thought “I really hate this.” Not the stress, or the busy-ness. The work itself.

I’ve had moments in my life of such clarity–an insistent prompting from my heart that was impossible to ignore. A few times in college (one that led to a degree change mid-way through junior year), and twice in my adult life. Each time, it has been the truest desire surfacing: the thing I actually, really wanted–the hidden part of my heart begging for recognition. Each time that I’ve listened to it, I’ve been led to a place of deeper fulfillment.

So when I heard this Voice, i was a little taken aback. Sure, I don’t have a degree in Marketing, and I absolutely hate salesman and feeling even a tiny bit like one. I’ve known for a while I wasn’t very good at marketing and that I didn’t really want to do it, but I really enjoy the people I work with and the company I work for. I knew that if I didn’t buck up and try harder to like it AND be successful at it, I wouldn’t have a job for much longer. So to hear it so startlingly clear, so unapologetically forward, I cringed a bit. I HAD to like it. There wasn’t much of a choice.

I’ve been doing a lot of re-evaluating of my life and the choices I make lately, thanks in large part to several of the more severe blogs I read. One of them, Whole Larder Love, is written by a man who is passionate about the change Real Food can make in your life. He was a total consumer: overweight, seriously unhealthy, and dependent on medications, alcohol, and food products. Deciding he wanted to live a better life, he’s been raising, hunting, or foraging the food for his family, writing a cookbook, teaching workshops, and building a hefty blog following, all the while improving his health and finding peace.

One of the ways he changed his life was by walking away from his IT job to focus more on growing his own food, and doing odd jobs to support him and his family. He learned to garden, hunt, fish, and forage. He is insistent that his removal from the cycle of consumerism and insertion into the natural rhythms of the world is one of the ways he’s begun to heal, and that it’s also one of the most important ways we’ll be able to heal our planet. His message is unapologetic & clear: we should not be constantly taking but giving back as well, nurturing the cycle of life & death and acknowledging the impact we have on our communal home.

After my body-love breakthrough a few months ago, I’ve been steadily working at changing some basic things–rejecting grains & sugars in my diet, drinking enough water during the day, incorporating basic workouts into my week, using natural-based soaps & shampoos, and turning to essential oils & herbs for my medicine. It has been a slow, steady, and fruitful exercise in discipline.

I’ve long believed in eating organically & locally, using less and recycling more, making my own hygiene products, rejecting chemicals in my food/water/shampoo, etc. I just haven’t been as active about it as I can be, because convenience & laziness won out more and more. But I’ve been on a journey of recognition & renewal these last six months, working to align my actions with my beliefs. The realization that this body is TRULY the only one i get and that there is no “next time” has revitalized my efforts to be as kind to my body and world as I can be. If I want to be healthy and energetic and truly experience what is out there while I am here, then I am the only one who can make these things happen. No one else cares about my body the way I can. No one else will fight for my well-being the way I will. I am the sole decision-maker for my health.

I’ve read Rohan for a few years now, and it may be a cumulative effect, but after I heard my heart’s Pronouncement, I started to somewhat seriously mull over what it would look like in my own life if I started to live it the way I believed it should be lived in every facet, if I took the same brave steps he did. While I have been working on personal choices that affect my internal world, I started to wonder what it would look like if I started applying it externally, if I stopped doing things I hated and started doing things I loved.

And then the Boss’s niece started working as our “marketing intern” a few weeks ago, and she is 100% better at it than I was, even on my best day. It helps she has a business degree and that she actually enjoys a lot of what’s required here. When I realized that within two days of starting that she’d effectively taken over the marketing part of my job, I started to wonder if I could still do all our transcription (about 25 hours of work a week)….and quit the security of my full-time job.

A large part of this was motivated by the very real stress of commuting through Austin traffic five days a week, the aches & knots in my shoulders and neck from sitting in front of a computer for 40 hours a week, and feeling like my only contribution to the world was imaginary. I longed to use my body, to contribute in a real, healthy way to the world. I wished to do something that would have an impact, that wouldn’t be part of a mindset that says you should work towards your own personal solvency first & foremost. But the thought of no insurance and losing half my income weighed just as heavily as the burdens of stress and physical aches.

So I ignored that Voice. I tried to ignore the dreams planting themselves in my mind, pushing through the cracks into every moment of my life, demanding my attention even during sleep.


My Boss and my boss told me that they were giving me a few weeks, but that I would be moving into a part-time position, with the benefit of being able to work at home–a long-coveted dream come true. And instead of fright, instead of pain & bewilderment, I felt relief; immense relief. My heart lifted and wept with tears of gratitude. It seems dramatic to say so; let me tell you: it is nothing short of the truth. I felt like bowing down in gratitude. Not to them, but to the Creator of dreams & opportunities. This had been birthed regardless of my hesitation. My dreams were so powerful they pushed past my hesitancy to make them reality.

Of course, once I had moved past the initial joy, fear came creeping in, pad-footed like a cat. It stole up next to me, reminded me of a mortgage, utilities, student loan payments. I felt the zing of rejection from my company, started to question what my place had ever been in the fold. I had a few tears of self-pity, but soon enough I shook myself and reminded myself this would only be negative if I allowed it to be. I’m choosing to see the opportunity, the overwhelming gift that it truly is.

Boss told me, at the end of our conversation, that the best piece of advice he’d ever received was “Leap, and the net will appear”. Which is easy to say when you’ve got health insurance, but I’ve been trying to keep the mindset that what brought me to this precipice will see me over it. So here’s to a new adventure. I raise a steaming cup of tea on this cold soggy Sunday to the future, and all of its wonderful, terrifying possibilities.

Kitchen Updating

A month ago, I spent a few hours in my kitchen deep-cleaning. It hadn’t been that clean since before I moved in, and it felt so amazing to know how much cleaner the place was. BUT, in cleaning it, I realized how very out-dated and poorly-built some parts of it was. The cabinets, which had been (hastily) painted in order to sell the house, were painted an ugly shade of yellow-beige, with a strange matte paint that showed every single grease splatter or drop of liquid. The hardware was small & a horrible fake finish. The choice of wall color was uninspiring to the palate, to say the least–a cross between vomit & pea green. And of course, the infernal popcorn ceiling that permeated the house (i’m about 80% clear of it now though! Two more rooms to go!) was still darkening the kitchen & dining nook. I knew I wanted to update very soon, but if there is one word to describe my life right now, it’s “BUSY”. I didn’t think I had the time to fit in a kitchen remodel.

And then three weeks ago, Jon left for an extended motorcycle road trip. One night, in the few hours before practice, I decided that instead of playing my xbox, I would do something productive to my house. For some reason, I thought that I should probably pull all the contact paper off the shelves in the cabinet, you know, just because. And then somehow the putty knife was in my hand and I was scraping the popcorn from the soffits. And making a mess. So I emptied the counters, along with the cabinets. So then I figured while I was scraping the soffits and the kitchen was empty, the ceiling needed to go too. And that’s what started it. Because if I was going to scrape & repaint the ceiling, I might as well repaint the walls…and those cabinets too, right? So in the past few weeks, I’ve:

  • scraped, sanded, repaired, and painted the ceiling
  • updated the ceiling vent
  • replaced the kick boards under the sink & cabinets (a desperate need–that’s where the bugs were coming from!)
  • replaced the basic baseboards with more architecturally interesting baseboards
  • painted the walls a lovely lavender grey
  • primed & painted the cabinets Bistro White
  • replaced all the hardware on said cabinets (lowers & drawers–on the uppers I kept the doors off to keep it feeling light & airy)
  • Tiled a backslash of white subway tile (!!!)
  • Replaced the tiny light fixture above the sink
  • Replaced the stainless steel sink with a white cast-iron (with a ORBed faucet) [ok actually this is still on my to-do list but it's getting done this week]

It’s as light and airy as galley kitchen can be, and now i want to be in there all the time! The tile backsplash made the biggest difference–it bounces all the light around and is so glossy and beautiful, and is super easy to clean besides. Of course there are a few more things to be done–little touchups to the ceiling paint, the garage door cleaned & painted to match, a new round dining table to acquire. I need to strip the crappy contact paper from the bottom cabinets & replace it with white contact paper. I’m not going to paint the insides of these cabinets because they’re so dark & the doors are staying on them, so no one will really see the insides. Plus the pots & pans need to be organized better to reflect how I actually use this kitchen. I’d like to redo the pantry while I’m at it–there’s still this hideous 1975 brown shag carpet (that I’m positive is original to the house), as well as metal shelving covered in a brown plaid contact paper.

This wasn’t meant to be an itemized description–a “look at what i can do!” The whole point was to say this–this weekend I spent a LOT of time in my kitchen. I made bread & butter pickles, pickled onions, made some indonesian quick pickles (“quickles” if you’re Jon) and then the next day, made an indonesian fried rice dish to go with them that was awesome. I feel inspired, ready to bake & can & experiment to my heart’s content. I WANT to be in my kitchen, I actually don’t mind doing the dishes. I want to have friends over and make good food for them and stay up late drinking Dark & Stormy’s & playing Halo in teams.

It’s a nice change, to feel like I am inhabiting my house, to feel like I can utilize the best way. I am feeling like this cheap 1970′s cottage is turning into an outward expression of it’s owner, I am beginning to be proud of my home when people walk into it. I still have plenty of things i want to do (acquiring more furniture is on the list for sure!) but at this point–come on over. We’ll have tea and maybe make something fabulous. Or we’ll battle in Halo and you’ll probably win. Or we’ll light the fire pit and eat smores and drink beer and play the ukelele and swing in the hammock. It’ll be fabulous.

Fearfully, Wonderfully.

Thank you for my body. Thank you for my body. Thank you for my body. 

The other night, after a physically demanding weekend with not enough sleep and too much activity, I laid submerged in a steamy hot epsom salt bath, all but my nose and mouth underwater. I stilled my movements, quieted my breathing, and listened to the strong and regular thump-thump of my heartbeat. It seemed the song of an old friend. I felt such affection for it in that moment, and soon a sweeping wonder at my whole entire being. How many things that could go wrong, and yet did not. How many chemical reactions and balances and conversions must happen every moment of every day to keep me upright, mobile, sentient, and sane. I marveled that my blood stays its course, that my muscles move when i ask them to, that I eat food and it nourishes me and rebuilds me, that the timing on all of this is so perfect–the craftsmanship of a grandfather clock multiplied by infinity. Gratitude overwhelmed me–I wanted to say, ‘Thank you that I am alive when others are not, that I am healthy when others are not, that I am free, that it all works and is held together, when others are not” but all I could get out were those words. My body is a wholly wonderful, marvelous, beautiful thing.

It made me really reevaluate a lot of the things I think & say about it, put into it, put on top of it, and do to it. Viewing my body as a marvelous machine, even briefly, really made me stop wanting to call it ugly, fat, depressing. I may have more round than I’d like. I may not be as slim, a bit more pooch-bellied than I’d like, but I am still capable of everything i need to do (ok, unless you ask me for pull-ups). I have a new tenderness towards my body–I have not treated it as well as it deserves at all times, and I’m pledging to cut down on the wear & tear. I feel renewed, full of zeal–ready to rededicate myself to clean living & a healthy outlook on life. I have a lot of goals, some of them quite lofty, but just because it seems daunting is no reason to stop before I start! I’d like to go into more detail, but rather than get super wordy today, I’ll save those for another day. But here are the basic parameters i want to renew in my life. They feel a bit like resolutions, but perhaps that is because I am so resolute this time:

1. A fully committed Primal/Paleo diet supplemented with homegrown or farmer-grown vegetables
2. Daily movement/exercise
3. Daily gratitude/love/meditation
4. Essential Oils incorporated into my bathing routines, homemade cleaning products, pet care, and aromatherapy
5. Learning about & incorporating herbalism into my daily routines and for preventative care
6. Abstaining from as many unnatural or unpronounceable chemicals as possible, even when it means getting rid of a lot of makeup.

In the end, it is the only body I am going to get–it’s this or nothing. We’re on a journey together, and if I hate my companion then what a miserable trip it will be.



when i was in college, i had a crush on this one guy (one of many through the years). he wasn’t super popular, super cute, or super brainy. he was just a nice guy, a man girls felt at ease around, a man I suspect had had very few girls crush on him in his life. but still, a man i was comfortable admitting a crush on to my close friends.

on some random weekend trip to the nearest mall (an hour away) this guy told a mutual friend he suspected I liked him. That was it–he only told her he suspected it, without judgement or disgust. But I immediately stopped making eye contact, stopped smiling at him or making any sort of conversation. I was embarrassed that he knew, that he could pick up on it, that i had been so obvious. (which really, isn’t that what we want? to have someone know we’re interested and be interested back?) i don’t think i ever said another word to him, ever again.

it’s an all-too-familiar scene, albeit one more routinely conducted in middle or high schools. I just never really outgrew it. I suspect that even today, were something like this to happen, I would still blush and clam up. (it’s honestly a miracle Jon and I ever got together).

you know there is no happy ending here for K and me: he started dating the woman who would become his wife just a few short weeks later. of course i think everything turned out the way it was supposed to, but there’s still a part of me that questions what that alternate reality would have looked like, if i had been brave enough to admit my attraction and own my feelings. It doesn’t matter who you are, really–whenever a person encounters a fork in the road, there is always going to be the question of what lay down the other path (you can, I’m sure, insert the appropriate Frost reference here). i know there are billions of stories like this throughout history–fear of rejection has shaped more lives than the bravery of love.

the reason I bring this somewhat painful memory up is to pose this question: what kind of difference would have been made in my life if I wasn’t so afraid of vulnerability? Because that’s what I was REALLY what I was afraid of–a sharp dart to a soft heart. but in stopping short i was defeated already. where would I, could I, have gone, if only I hadn’t determined early on to quit? Not only with this guy, but maybe with a few of the others? Or with jobs, schools, homes? What shaping would have taken place, if I had been unafraid to try, at the price of a little pride? Would i be more fully rounded? Or would parts of me have been broken off, to leave me jagged and sharp?

i have been told ‘no’ enough times in my life to be used to it by now. Not to say it isn’t painful every time, but rather–you learn that the pain doesn’t last, that you’ll live through it and it’s not as bad as you think it’ll be. the build-up is worse than the actuality. (though admittedly, my pride took quite a beating in college).

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the human experience–about how happiness is only one small component to our lives. We shouldn’t strive for happiness, but for completion. Not for consistent comfort, but for accomplishment and triumph (which will always necessitate getting a bit dirty). Discomfort not the enemy, sorrow only a darker friend. As i wrestle with the choices in my life, as I second-guess and reconsider, I have to remind myself that I am being grown and pruned and made ever more lovely by both the rain and the sun. Vulnerability cannot be shirked, it cannot be avoided simply because it is distasteful or uncomfortable. It must be confronted, endured, and triumphed over–an enemy made a friend. It’s only very difficult, I am finding.

it seems to be a theme in my life as of late, as i reach the age where you’re supposed to have more of an idea of what you want your life to look like. my problem is, i think i know what that is, but i’m not sure i’m on the right road to getting it. i’m old enough to realize everything my mother said is true: I will never be that young again. I don’t get a second chance at this life thing. all of the moments NOW are what count because I don’t get them back again. I “believed” her but not in the way that counted. it hits me all of a sudden–my precious early twenties, those golden moments in the sun, carefree of student loans and broken AC units, all the lost years of opportunity to have children young: they are gone and I will never have the chance at them again.

then i remind myself: i am living my precious late twenties, i have sunlit moments still, and I may look back on this time of freedom and selfish fulfillment with longing, that Right Now is the only time i will not mourn ever. i cannot trade these moments I DO have for the moments I CAN’T have, because then I am robbed of my whole life.

everything is awesome?

I always feel a little hesitation when I come back to this space. Questions bubble to the surface: Who am I writing for? Is anyone reading this? Is there a purpose to my ramblings, or should I write for the practice of writing? And then I hit “Add New Post” and things begin to flow, and I know within a few hours, I’ll have something I’m proud to share. Every time I read someone else’s blog and think “how can they possibly think writing a blog is a full-time job?” I remember how stressed I get about writing once a month or so, how it can consume time and thoughts and projects, and I know without a doubt anyone relying on this for a full-time income is putting in the full-time effort. I can’t imagine the pressure of writing two to three times a week, let alone once a day. So I content myself with what I can manage. After all, this space doesn’t seem to be much more than an occasional drop-off zone: unloading only. I drop off the things rolling around up top, clean out the attic, so to speak, then head out for more clutter.

I used to use this space as a way to track my derby journey. I documented every step, it was so exhilarating, so thrilling! Everything was new and intense and it was the mushy lovey-dovey honeymoon stage of a new relationship. When I finally got through New Girl and made it into the league, I thought “I should write about how this feels. This is important–the culmination of year of hard work”. But then I didn’t. And then when the season started, I thought “I should talk about how much hard work this is, because I want to remind myself of how much I’m putting into this and use it as a way to look back”. But then I was working so hard and there are so many internal politics that I have NO IDEA how to navigate so I decided sleeping was much more important. And now, almost halfway through my first season with TXRD and fresh off my first time actually skating in a bout, I tell myself it would be wise to write about all the things i am learning–the skills, the techniques, the personal breakthroughs and how to implement them, how my heart & mind are changed repeatedly and how the friendships I am forging are so fulfilling and SO instructive–but I am at practice ALL THE TIME. And when I’m not at practice, I’m trying very hard to live out my other dreams–many of which require almost as much effort as roller derby. So writing about it takes a backseat.

I also wanted to use this space to document my first year through home ownership. I want to show you before-and-after photos of all my projects, of the several coats of paints I’ve painted and the TWO new front doors I’ve been through and the popcorn ceilings I’ve scraped and the builtin bookshelves I added. But my photos aren’t nearly the quality of other home-improvement blogs, and besides, that’s not really my forte. I don’t WANT to be yet another “look at my DIY home” blog. I’m not really the “add pretty photos here” type, though I’ve occasionally tried my hand at it. Perhaps if I had a different layout, or more time to practice photography with Jon’s camera, i would try more often. But the reality of the situation is: it’s not a priority for me. My priorities are more along the lines of: go to practice a decent amount, not eat so much take-out, get enough sleep, see my boyfriend more than twice a week, buy groceries on a regular schedule, and get some reading in at the end of the day. So in my everyday life I try to make little adjustments, little improvements to my abode so that it truly is a sanctuary and not a stressor. I need the calm refuge from the rest of my whirlwind, not another box on the to-do list.

And also–something I’m sure thousands of bloggers wrestle with: I’m not sure how much of myself, of my heart, I want to put out there. i know I talk a lot in my real life (and I’m really sorry if you’re on the receiving end and I just won’t shut up–I know it’s a problem and I try to be mindful of it and I’m sorry if you’ve ever, EVER felt run over or unheard) but it’s different when you put a signpost out there that ANYONE can read, and not just the SOMEONE you’re talking to. It’s always been a fond dream of mine that I would be mysterious and intriguing and respectful of my own privacy, but I am an open book, constantly edited. Much like Anne of Green Gables, I just cannot help myself–I feel things so deeply and experience things in such an exhausting way that to try to contain it is nigh impossible. So with this space, I envisioned I would be able to show only the edited portion of my life–I don’t want you all to know about my personal disappointments, the bitter taste of things, the questions I ask myself regarding personal relationships. But then, I value authenticity above pretty much anything else–isn’t it deceiving to pretend these things don’t exist?

So I guess the whole point of this post was to say: I’m very busy in my life, which is true of nearly everyone the world over, and the thought of writing here hasn’t been a comfort to me, because if I were to say the things I was really thinking, if I laid open my heart, I’m afraid of what I might find. I am at a precarious place in my life where I’m unsure of most of the decisions I’ve made. I don’t see a clear path ahead of me, and I’m not sure if the path I’m on is the one I wanted to be on in the first place. There are so many inspirational Wilde & Emerson quotes floating through the internet that urge you to follow your dreams, to be unafraid to live the life you want, to just reach out and grab it, etc. My dilemma though, is that I’m just not sure what else it is I want. And besides, just because I WANT something, doesn’t mean it would be available. It would require more work, another start-over, and that, while possible, is highly unappealing. I also think I’m in the middle of the hard stuff right now–and I think what I want isn’t real–because snapshots of MY life are just as pretty and just as dreamy as the instagram lives I follow that make me ache a bit inside.

But I think I’ll start writing again. This was nice.

i’ll take the fairy tales

i came across something online not too long that said something along the lines of “love the girl who reads…because even though she knows the difference between books & reality…she will try to make her life like her fairy tales”.

and that could not have been truer as i sat on my back patio this weekend, hot tea in a favorite mug, next to my favorite person, reading up on herb gardens, the sky gray & rumbly. it was perfectly quiet, perfectly filling in that “I have no where to be” kind of way. Everything was slow–the turning of the page, the fall of the rain, the cat as he lazily stretched out, the sweet peas as they push further and further out into the world.

it’s bits of my life, these precious bits, that make all the work it took to get here, worth it. i tried to tell myself it would be, weeks ago, as I labored intensely all day breaking soil & mixing compost in the garden. Tying up the thorny bushes of the roses, now to see the almost-violent cascade of scarlet and burgundy flowers over the green, or to watch the lilac starts bud up and unfurl their greenery.

all the times i have to rush about, check things off my to-do list, hurry about lest I miss doing yet another “THING-THAT-MUST-BE-DONE-THIS-MINUTE”…well then when I DON’T need to, i savor it so fully. it makes me appreciate that i DID grab those two beautiful teacups at the thrift shoppe, or i took the time to craft a ‘little moment of beauty’ for a future sometime, only to have that sometime be today.

it can be difficult, to slow down, to just breathe and absorb the world in this very moment, instead of planning for the someday. i always have some plan, something that could be getting finished (although the truth of it is I never will finish it all) but on a rainy sunday, the only thing that needs doing is breathing, and all that’s automatic anyway.


As the weather begins to turn and rain begins to fall and the ground softens under my shovel, my thoughts, quite naturally, turn towards renewal. Towards rebirth, life. I leave behind me the shadows and darkness of winter, I crave a new beginning. I want to leave behind the sadness of February and celebrate this new season (quite literally) in my life–one I hope is full of dedication and cleansing and flushing out.

This month has been spent cleaning, reorganizing, re-prioritizing. The garage cleaned out and sorted. Old projects finished. New projects started. The stack of books on my nightstand, the ‘to-read’ pile, is slowly dwindling. The garden, once a fantasy, is consuming my free time and the smell of earth & compost mixes with the basil, oregano, lavender, and sweet mint. The woody rosemary comes out, the onions have gone in. The grow light situation, once a mere idea, fit like a glove right into the place I needed it to, all good things coming together to create the perfect place for germination. A whole tray of tomatoes started.

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It is almost time for the clotheslines to be tightened and once again called into service. We pulled the hammock out and set it up again this weekend, although it was blown over in the night, so maybe I didn’t calculate the timing on that quite right. The hydrangeas took root, and all the little yellow-green flowers have blossomed into giant pink globes of beauty. I plant the lilacs across from them–I imagine next spring walking through a corridor of intense color and smell, a welcome welcome to the backyard and my own slice of paradise. The grass alongside the house is thick and lush, so green and lovely I cannot bring myself to mow. Surely, I think, there is a use for it. My mind drifts towards goats.

I bought a duck on Friday. ‘But”, you protest, ‘you already have two!’ Let me tell you a story.

I went to my favorite feed shop for a fifty-pound bag (I cannot bear to buy a smaller bag, even with my flock less than half) and thought perhaps i would simply LOOK to see what breeds of chicks they were selling. ‘I won’t buy any’, I thought. ‘I just want to look’. We all know how that goes–I pulled out the brooder last weekend.

There was a stock tank full of ducklings, some a week or two older, some newly hatched, and i could barely bear the cute. I reminded myself that two ducks was enough, MORE than enough, and ducklings poop more than anything in this world.

Vickie is the sweet lady who helps those of us seeking a touch of adorableness on a Friday afternoon. When I asked her why my 10-month old ducks had yet to lay an egg, she asked me a simple question that confirmed the sneaking & growing suspicion that I had ended up, against all the odds, with two MALES. (In case you aren’t aware, boys do NOT lay eggs. Which is the ENTIRE REASON I have ducks).

‘But’, she says, ‘we do have adult ducks in the back’. Magic. Magic words.

I left with a beautiful, elegant, heavy-breasted, slappy-footed duck, and a dozen duck eggs from the kind warehouse guy. She is so…gentle? Wholesome? She is the girl next door of ducks, and my dumb little drakes have no clue what to make of her, so they run around the pen as she quietly waddles after them, trying to find companionship and a place to belong.

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She is helping this place feel new, a reminder that this backyard is not a place of death anymore. Or if it is, rather that it is all part of the Great Story. I am sad about my lost chickens, but I rejoice in the large warm egg that covers my palm (and if you have never held, then eaten, a duck egg, I invite you over to my house for a feast). I remember that it is all only a circle, that renewal always comes.

Feeling all these things, learning and relearning the feeling of the world in cycle and the past repeating itself, reminds me that people have always known this, knew this better than our world knows it today. Humans, pagan and Christian alike, have always celebrated the end of the long winter with feasts, festivals, and rituals of birth, spring, and renewal.

To tap into this new understanding of the meaning of seasons brings a sense of connection, of my humanity, of having a settled place in this world. A place I make plans in and for. The poppies go here, I’ll plant the jasmine there. Once the fence is up, I’ll plant something that vines. A new melon patch dug, and an experimental tomato plot. Should the bougainvillea be dug up, or did any part of it survive those frosts? That room becomes an office to work from home from, the photos need to be put back up on the wall. This hutch isn’t working, so let’s put this thrifted one in it’s place. Remember to empty the compost bucket. Go through the dresser and donate those clothes you REALLY don’t wear anymore. It’s the feeling of emptying and recycling and renewal and shaking off the all the extras you’ve accumulated during the winter when it was too cold to do anything (ten pounds included).

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