Photo by Elizabeth Halt
Photo by Elizabeth Halt

luscious lemon lollipops

July 18, 2016 | luscious lemon lollipops

i am
into song. | luscious lemon lollipops

the night the stars sang

July 5, 2016 | the night the stars sang

it was 2am in the morning and i was outside with the pup. my friend orion had gone south for the summer; in his absence, i stood & marveled at the milky way.

days of rain had finally lifted. the now cloudless sky was the color of india ink and the stars were crisp + plentiful.

all of a sudden, i noticed the silence.

i live next to a swamp, so there is a constant din of crickets from dusk till dawn. that night, the crickets were silent.

all of a sudden, the silence was filled with a wordless melody. it was everywhere – above & around & within me.

as i listened closely, i realized that it was the stars, vibrating a song of joy + praise + thanksgiving.

i haven’t heard the grass speak – yet. but, i have heard the stars sing.

over two years ago, my friend relyn told me this. ever since, i’ve been watching, waiting, listening.

but until now, i’d been listening with my ears, when i should have been listening with my heart.

the small creatures are talking

July 3, 2016 | the small creatures are talking

Quiet, Quiet, The Small Creatures Are Talking

“It was calculated that if you yell
for 8 years, 7 months and 6 days,
you will generate enough energy
to heat a cup of coffee.

Yet an ostrich has an eye bigger
than its brain and starfish have no
brains at all and the silky butterflies
taste with their feet.

So we have these choices: We can
yell and heat up. Or be still till our
eye perceives more than our brain.
Or spread like a star and give over
to the deep. Or open our pain till
we discover that the inside of the
heart is a kind of butterfly.
Then, we too can
taste with our feet.

To still all thought into a
seeing, to be carried by the
deep, to taste with our feet –
these are fates the saints
of all traditions fell into.

In here, the tongue is our
strongest muscle and
is its yoga.”

Mark Nepo, reduced to joy

rest in peace, sweet atlas

June 22, 2016 | rest in peace, sweet atlas

{atlas: march 15, 2003 – june 15, 2016}

last wednesday, i said goodbye to my atlas pup.

when we came in from his middle-of-the-night potty run during the wee hours of tuesday morning, i sat on my bed in the dark & sobbed. somehow, i just knew.

my sweet pup was so tired, and in so much pain, and he couldn’t take care of me anymore, and it was time. | rest in peace, sweet atlas

i often hear things speak to me, including other dogs, but i’ve never once heard atlas.

until that moment.

in the moment when i knew, i heard his voice all around me. it was deep + wise + wonderful.

he said it’s ok.
he said i’m ready.
he said it’s time. | rest in peace, sweet atlas

his passage was hard + beautiful. his three favorite people – myself, my sister helen, and my mother – were in the room with him. when his legs couldn’t hold him up anymore, i laid on the floor next to him & gazed into his eyes & hugged him gently while i sang his favorite song over & over & over.

you are the puppy that i always dreamed of.
i knew it from the start.
i saw your face and that’s the last i’ve seen of my heart.

i love that song because it’s exactly true. i went to eureka to meet him and i saw his face through the screen door and i knew he was my beloved pup and he would come home with me and i would love him forever.

atlas healed my heart, and taught me about life + loyalty + love. and oh, was he loved in return.

it seems fitting, then, that we buried him in the back yard under a blanket of lilacs + forget-me-nots. (and that while i dug his grave, tears fell like rain from the heavens.) | rest in peace, sweet atlas

rest in peace, sweet atlas.
you were (are) my beloved pup.
i am kinder + more generous + more patient + more loving because of you.
and i will love you (more than all the stars in the sky & all the fish in the sea) forever.


June 10, 2016 | redolent

{an extremely irregular series comprised of visual definitions}

every time i see or smell lilacs, i decide i couldn’t find anything that better exemplifies the word redolent.


adjective red·o·lent \-lənt\

1 : exuding fragrance

2 : full of a specified fragrance

(definition courtesy of merriam-webster)

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my dear friend

May 28, 2016 | my dear friend

nature is my dear dear friend.

she is yours too, you know.

often, if you look closely, you will see her waving & smiling with delight at you.

i went swimming!

May 18, 2016 | i went swimming!

i waded into a plunge pool on a waterfall hike the other weekend. the water was so warm that i took my pictures, put my camera safely on a rock, and then went for a swim. oh, did it feel good to immerse myself in fresh water again. i felt refreshed & alive.

(by warm, i probably mean in comparison to lake superior. i’ve tried to get into the lake a few times now but it is just too cold.)

(this was two weekends ago. last weekend, it snowed. today, i might be sunburnt. spring weather is so unpredictable!)

i am a tree hugger

May 9, 2016 | i am a tree hugger

the day my grampa fell in the kitchen, i hugged a tree.

it wasn’t my first time.

the first time i hugged a tree, i felt a little silly.

i waited until i was sure no one was watching, and then i wrapped my arms around one. (i think i had read that hugging trees was a good grounding practice, and i lived primarily from my head at the time.)

as i let my body rest on the sturdy tree trunk, i felt my stress + anxiety fall away. after that, i went to the trees often.

the day my grampa fell, i really needed to hug one.

he couldn’t get up and my grama couldn’t get to the phone so he propped himself up with his arms and waited. my mom & sister & i stopped by their house on the way to a hike and found him there – a few hours later.

as i sat with them that afternoon, emotions roiled beneath the surface. i had been spending more & more time at my grandparents’ house, but that was the first time i realized that i felt sad + scared + completely out of my element.

when i was relieved, i drove directly to a favorite trail and walked into the woods.

“can i hug you?” i asked a tree.

silently, the tree said yes.

i wrapped my arms around the trunk, rested my cheek on its rough bark, and let the tears fall.

that day, something happened.

“there, there,” i heard the tree say, and i felt long thin arms wrap around me.

the day my grampa fell was the first time a tree hugged me back.

i remember the ontonagon river

April 29, 2016 | i remember the ontonagon river

i remember how the water slipped & slid & tumbled down the black rocks. when it reached the bottom of the falls, it raced along the river banks and careened around the bend as if it were late for a date with its beloved friend the sea.

the light that afternoon was like an indulgent smile bestowed on a dearly beloved child.

what i mean by that is: the light didn’t try to stop the river; the light didn’t admonish the river for hurrying; the light simply watched the river run and loved it more than anything.

walk on air

April 20, 2016 | walk on air

“Walk on air against your better judgement.”

~ Seamus Heaney