"Whatever you think you can do, or believe you can do, begin it, because action has magic, grace, and power in it." Goethe

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Palm Sunday 4/14/2019

A simple palm.

It’s not an object I think about much, but when this day rolls around each year, I have vivid and specific memories:

the man walking away in New Mexico last year, his back pocket filled with them…

the time several years ago my daughter quietly fashioned crosses out of them in the back pew of a church, to the delight of several people around her…

the reverent way my mom made sure every crucifix in the house was adorned with them…

…and today, my two granddaughters waving them at me as they greeted me at Mass. I was thinking I might hear en guard at any moment, but the novelty wore off quickly.

Small moments that last in the mind’s eye.

The realization that the small moments carry the sweetest stories.

There were successive small sweet moments at Mass today:

A slow hymn played and Emma began whimpering. She feels the music. She and her sister always have. This truth gives me insight into the kind of people they will grow to be…caring, aware, attuned.

Sofia spotted her beloved “Aunt Betty” on the way to communion and stopped to let her know. To greet her, smile at her, visibly be thrilled to see her. Then, tears when we were back in our seats…that last few minutes until she could see her again feeling like an eternity.

To love, to feel love like that. That.

Emma, age 2 1/2, leading me by the hand to light a candle. Waving to Jesus on the way, holding the long match and patiently (as possible…she’s 2) waiting for the flicker to become a flame. Sofia, 3 1/2, arrives just in time to assist.

Lots to think about on this day. It’s a day of anniversaries as well. My own life re-started thanks to skilled doctors and blood donors 28 years ago. I’ve witnessed an extra lifetime of small moments that I said thank you for again today. And… because life is this two sided coin… a life taken 7 years ago: my best friend lost to me and so many who loved her because a drunk made a terrible choice to get behind the wheel of a car and drive.

So, a Palm Sunday candle is flickering in a century old church tonight with prayers of thanksgiving for a life spared and prayers of not knowing what words to say when a life is taken, so a tiny flame takes the place of the words.

I don’t have to have the words. Like two little girls remind me, my feelings are enough.

Sometimes, like the people in the Gospel narrative today, we are witnesses. Seeing all the things. Storing them in our hearts. Knowing that we each have a role to play on and off the page.

We enter Holy Week today…a week that I hope to continue some Lenten promises, spend some extra time in silence, and reflect on a lot of things. And hopefully, learn from the small moments and little children that the smallest acts of love and presence still matter the most.

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Friday’s Five –April 12, 2019

It wasn’t all good, dear readers. I don’t want to leave the impression here that everything is hunky-dory every day. 😜

Because you know…life. 😳

HOWEVER, I can generally find at a bare minimum five good things from the previous few days to share here. And, I did! Here they are:

people to encourage and pray for; someone needs your prayers;

red clover swaying on roadsides—I really must stop and get a picture ASAP;

drive-thru with a special sale price for what I actually planned to eat;

a hairdresser who knows without description what to do–even though said hairdresser sees hundreds of people—she still remembers;

Little hands placing little seeds in little cups and little voices saying I so ess-ited! Me too, loves. Me, too.

However your week went, it is likely there were bumpy places. Maybe they were really bad. I’m sorry if they were. Maybe they were just medium bad. Or slightly. But in every day and every circumstance, there is room for a genuine good.

Maybe it’s a hand clasped in yours. Maybe it’s a smile or nod when you really needed it. Maybe it’s a patch of clover on a roadside, or how the moon waits for you to look at it. Keep looking.


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Friday’s Five 3/29/19: Good Stuff

We are heading into my birthday week, and so I end this week with five good things from my last year…because as a treasured friend reminded me today Just think what all you have experienced on this trip around the sun. She’s right.

1. Friends like the one above, who remind me of the abundance of life.

2. A trip with my daughter to see places that five years ago, I never dreamed I’d see: Rome, Paris, Austria, Prague.

3. A fun photo and joyful in person message from my son that grand-baby three is on the way.

4. The part time jobs I have now that seem tailor made for my talents and abilities…dream jobs and supportive bosses.

5. Art and writing accomplishments–this year saw some new showings and an award 🥈, some new teaching and workshop opportunities, some new things to want to learn.

Abundance, for sure. It is good to take stock. Sometimes it is easy to get bogged down in the routine and sameness of life. Looking back is instructive.

May many more “good stuff” moments be around the corner.

For all of us. ✅✅✅✅✅

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Lent 2019–Day4–3/9/2019 A Matter of TIME

Sometimes it’s good to take a look at our days. Make a new grid. Design a new way of looking at them. Write in the non-negotiables. You know: eating/sleeping/Netflix ☺️.

See how much time we really have to do something new…or something we used to enjoy. See how much time we (dare I say it) waste.

Look at that new grid and live with it for a week or so. Decide where we can eliminate something for just an hour a day. Just 30 minutes. Then adjust. Again and again until we are living a more (fill in your own blank) life.

That’s where I am this first week of Lent. Deciding. Trying. And admitting it is not easy, so I must be on a good track for me.

No one should dictate our free time activities, but now and then it might help to see if what we choose is benefiting us or holding us back.

Today’s “new found” time is leading me into a scary art studio space. You think I’m joking. I am not. I may have to pray for time to stand still in there for a little while. I expect to learn and re-learn some lessons about order in there.

Good luck on whatever your time is telling you to do. 🌟🌟


Lent 2019–Day 3–3/8/2019 plus Friday’s Five

It’s the International Day of Women. I am glad there is another marker of this day that I can look to because it is also the anniversary of my husband’s death.

And even though the days pass (Google informs me it’s been 1826/these five years), there is still not a day that passes that Sam isn’t on my mind. The days are easier though. For any mourner who reads these words, the days do get easier.

I am still writing about the process of grief, of loss, of all the things that are connected to it.

But today I am also looking out with a firmer resolve to take care of the days I might still see.

So, in honor of women today, my Friday’s Five asks you to do this small thing:

Think of five females who have made your life better. Call them, text them, write to them. Let them know.

And as we journey on in this weird and wacky world, may we make it easier in some way for someone. Today.

Peace. ❤️

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Friday’s Five…Plus Five

I missed posting last week, but it was not for a lack of good things. So here are ten…some big, some small…all good.

Grand-Baby #3 is due in September. ❤️ I’ve known for a little while, and it was a sweet secret to keep. My heart keeps making room. Isn’t it lovely how that works out? That’s probably three things right there…

Wool socks. Hand knit by my sister.

Skype sessions with my daughter.

Hugs from my son.

The random I love yous from people old and young.

Geraniums in grocery stores. Finally.

Real mail. And a special gift of a new sketchbook that a friend and I plan to make use of soon.

Plans big and small. Things to look forward to…

Wow. That was ten good things before I even thought too hard. I call that winning.

Make some plans this week, friends. Something as simple as time for yourself to be still. Or as large as a big adventure. Whatever brings you joy.

I am thinking about my plans for Lent … what my goal might be for this season. We will see…

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Sunday’s Song: Suffice it to Say…Palm Sunday in Taos

I am at one of those places where I have so much to say, but I cannot say it all today. The specifics have to arrange themselves in the shape they want to be, but I am honoring the commitment I made to blog each Sunday of Lent. So, here I am on sketchy WiFi, typing on my phone, my dear friend Care across from me in a lodge room at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House.

I read over my journal entry from yesterday morning. Start today’s entry. Wonder how on earth a day can hold so much. Today held so much. It is one of those times you think How could all of this happen in one day? Abundance. Total abundance.

I am spending this Holy Week in Taos. It is a marker of time that keeps ticking…keeps saying yeah this is the week you were supposed to be in this place at this time.

If I told you everything so far, you might not believe me. Or you might think I’m a bit crazy. Or you might be glad. Choose glad.

The people in my path have been from every end of the pendulum. A wide arc. We are not all kindreds here…believers and unbelievers and all in between abound…but I have decided sometimes we need the disparity to recognize how much good there is. Or how far we might have to go. How much we still have to do. How much one’s presence matters in this world for so many reasons.

Today I saw parishioners process around a town square, people waving palm branches, singing, marking a moment. I saw a policeman far far down the square holding a palm branch. Waving it. And then a child, an armful of branches at the edge of the crowd bringing us lucky bystanders palms. He was in the frame of my lens and a second later his sweet voice Here. Just that.

Here. As in take it, Woman. Or as in the message be here, present right now. Or as in I see you. Or as in you need this.

Later, I see a family walking. The man (son/brother/father?) had his back pocket filled with palms. He was probably the designated carrier for the family. Maybe they were all out for lunch like we were, enjoying the New Mexico sunshine on a crisp bright day. Maybe they were filled with hope. Something about that pocketful of palms. Something that said see this.

I am seeing a lot these days. Knowing every image is leading me to a place I cannot quite see but know it’s worth walking toward…but remembering to worship the moment I am in. The deep moment of place and time…and suffice it to say I am grateful.

I am watching. Listening.