for years, i’ve had a desire to be fluent in another language.
for just as many years, i’ve made exactly zero progress on it.
i tried to convince myself to learn japanese.
i tried to convince myself to become more proficient in german.
i tried to convince myself to learn italian.
i tried to convince myself to learn spanish.
i had practical reasons for – and, i thought, some level of interest in – learning all of those languages. still, nothing ever happened.
last week, in a moment of clarity, i realized why i was procrastinating.
the language i wanted to learn was french, and french seemed impractical.
when i spoke the reason out loud, it seemed so silly. why did i need a practical reason to learn french? why couldn’t i learn french simply because i wanted to?
and so i am. learning french, that is.
no convincing or forcing required.
for me, the act of learning french is an absolute pleasure. everything about it makes me happy.
it’s the best way to learn, really. i don’t know how i forgot this.
who whowhowho who who.
it is the hoot of a great horned owl, floating through the dark night and into my bedroom window at thirty second intervals.
like the rattling bugle call of the sandhill crane, the low, deep, full call of the owl touches me deeply, in the place that is always wordless.
who whowhowho who who.
all is well.
(and of course, that’s not really what the owl is saying, because the call is not directed toward me at all. but at the same time – i hear both the owl and my heart say – it really is.)
the sky was thick with clouds this morning so, instead of a rising sun, i saw a band of pale yellow at the horizon.
still, i was surrounded by beauty. a deer watched me quietly from the snowmobile trail before darting off into the woods, white tail held high; miniature waves lapped quietly at the shore; the sky & the lake were dressed in steely grey-blues; and the world was so still that it felt like nature was holding its breath in anticipation of the sun.
winter scenes from one of my favorite lake superior beaches ~ eagle river.
wherever there is snow, imagine crystal clear water. (now you know why my beloved lake is so chilly.)
i’m rattling the earth
from a cage without bars.
i’m silent as fury
in wars about wars.
i spit and i sputter –
snap crackle and scorn.
i wait and i wither –
beholden and torn.
surrounded yet lonely,
i’m chilled to the bone.
my spirit is weary.
my heart-strings are worn.
there’s chaos within
and destruction without.
down float feathers from angels;
a bomb took them out.
i can’t seem to find me
in darkness and night;
until i remember
i’m darkness and light.
i have a collection of lake superior stones in my bedroom that my tiny nephew-friend ben thinks of as his stones. one day in december, we spent hours in the bedroom playing with them. we put them in rows; we made cars & trucks out of them; and then we made them into snowmen.
there was this one moment where i got a little teary because i could tell how much he was enjoying having my undivided attention and i couldn’t help thinking that that’s all any of us want: for someone else to give us their time + attention + appreciation + focus.
we’re all constantly asking – without ever asking at all – whether we’re noticed, whether we matter, whether we’re worthy.
(which we are. of course we are. but sometimes we need to be reminded.)
it’s a tiny insect, skimming along the surface of the water.
go, little insect, go!
hello, new friend, and welcome.
may you include laughter + adventure + love + wonder.
for each & every one of us.
in about a week’s time, we received a winter’s worth of snow. along with it, an entrance to narnia.
needless to say, my snowshoes and i are delighted.