As sunlight through stained glass…
I am sure you are feeling the same deep sadness over the terrible tragedy that took the lives of twenty-six beautiful people. Having been a teacher and the fact that my own children are the same ages as those lost, it has affected me profoundly. As news reports are surfacing that the shooter had autism, there has been a plethora of misinformation, namely that autism is a “mental illness.” I see this as an opportunity for awareness—to educate people on the facts and create a more compassionate and civilized society in which all people have a place. Below is a link to a wonderful op-ed—I am asking that you take a few minutes to read it (it is not long) and share it with others:
I wish you all the happiest of holidays and, most importantly, a safe and peaceful new year.
Is this a portrait of wide-eyed optimism, new cheetah hat contentment, or just a sign of over-indulgence in the leftover Halloween chocolate?
Only Jess can say for sure, but a little smile on a pretty face never hurts in times of stress and struggle.
Prayers and blessings on each and every American today as we vote in our president for the next four years. Prayers and blessings, too, as we prepare in the Northeast for the next storm.
The darkness can be turned back into light. Silence becomes many voices. The cold, warmth. And the scent of a simmering pot on the stove is a perfume that once again blesses the house.
Let me always be grateful for what I learned during the storm: that I am always a tiny piece of something much bigger than I could ever imagine, so let go. Let it go.
Let me always have a hand to lend, even during times of hardship. Empty is open.
Let me remember, too, the goodness of that silence and darkness, because it brought us together from many rooms in the house and from many houses on the street, expanding outward. Shut down is opened up.
Enough is more than plenty. There’s room enough for everyone at the table. Open closets, open coffers are milk and honey goodness multiplied.
Each of us is a small piece in the mosaic. We can be shattered, but we will always rebuild, and shine.
This is an apple pie.
I’m proud of the kid who made this pie, my stepdaughter, who’s come a long way, baby, the past few years.
My husband is known to say that when a dish tastes particularly good it’s because Mom put love into it.
We put love into many things, actually, from pies to people, all the while hoping, planning, and dreaming that it will all work out for the best. Will the outcome be a perfectly balanced life that’s just spicy sweet enough, or will we end up sour and soupy with a burnt crust?
We can’t predict outcomes, really. All we can do is care and prepare.
And share. It means a lot to me that Jess took the time to send me this photo. It means even more that she thanked me for teaching her how to make apple pie. Part of achieving adulthood is awakening to and then appreciating what our elders have taught us. But everyone feels the warmth when that new adult makes the extra effort to acknowledge it.
I didn’t taste the apple pie. Jess sent a follow-up email to say that it disappeared—that there wasn’t “a crumb left.” But that’s just fine. I still feel like I had the sweetest bite.
If I had any marbles left they’d be rolling away right about now. It’s been incredibly busy, so busy I’ve barely had time to breathe, let alone pen something I’d like to be coherent and somewhat meaningful.
This fall hurtled from the starting gate, and at the risk of adding yet another cliché to a Swiss cheesy start to this post, you really do have to be careful what you wish for…
I am a person who likes to keep and be busy, but enough’s enough!
I’m sure everyone’s heard stories about lottery winners who say that it turned out to be the worst thing that ever happened to them. The end of the rainbow may not be all that it’s cracked up to be. And so, when you get what you want, what you thunk and thunk and thunk about and were so sure you wanted, well, why is it that it isn’t quite what you wanted?
The truth is, I want less.
No, that isn’t quite right either. I would like enough—enough money to live without concern, enough work to keep motivation and satisfaction in balance, and enough time to do what I like and spend with loved ones and not always feel pressed for more time.
But because I have no marbles left, or, as my husband says, no hands free because we are so busy trying to stuff ten pounds of you know what into that splitting five-pound bag (i.e, our grade-schooler has four concurrent commitments tomorrow evening: four!), I don’t have the time or the energy to grab onto something and STOP THE WORLD and sit still for a moment.
If I did, I would recognize that like Dorothy I am already wearing the red slippers that have all the power to take me where I want to be. (Paradoxically, it has to do with saying no.)
Once there, I would close my eyes and be thankful, because I already have enough.
The end of the rainbow is a spectrum of white. It’s warm and bright and empty—and like a heart full of light and love, it goes on forever.
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