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 against your better judgement.”
~ Seamus Heaney
i was awful to atlas one day this past winter.
we were driving home from the ski trails & he had to poop. i couldn’t stop the car in time, so he pooped in the car.
i shouted at him & called him a bad dog & pulled him out of the car none-too-gently.
it was not my shiniest moment.
oh, did i hang onto it.
guilting, shaming, judging, weighing.
this dog saved me and these are the final years of his life and he can’t help that his body is failing him and this is probably the last straw and i’ll never be able to make it up to him and now all he’ll remember are the awful moments and i am clearly the worst person in the entire world.
i want to be my own best friend.
in these moments – the moments in which i behave in a way that is so far from how i want to behave – i am not my friend at all.
not because i behave badly – we all behave badly at times – but because of the way i speak to myself & look at myself afterward.
i’ve been learning to love myself for a long time now.
ten years, i think.
every time i think i’ve got it, something like this happens and it throws me.
but maybe that’s what loving myself deeply means.
facing – again & again – my deeply flawed broken human self and finding a way to love + forgive her.
i’m making cards again! it is so much fun that i thought i’d share a few of my new card sets with you. someday, i hope, they will make it into my little shoppe of wonder on etsy.
a swiftly tilting planet
under a snow goose moon
clearly i was not meant for mass production because i rarely have more than one of each set. probably because i like pairing each set with its name the most.
atlas is 13! as of march 15th.
can you believe it? (i can scarcely believe it myself.)
his special day included a double hamburger, a long nap with me, a hike by the lake, and lots (& lots) of kisses.
i’ve written a lot about atlas over the years – that’s why so many people love him – but lately, when it comes to my beloved pup, my heart grows & grows & grows until it fills my throat. there are no words left, only feelings.
atlas is a piece of my heart walking around outside of my body, and i so so so adore him.
the sun kisses everything it touches as it slowly pulls the covers of the horizon up over its head.
sometimes, when the wind blows just right, a crack in the world opens.
if you’re paying close attention in that moment, you might catch a glimpse of fairyland.
it’s one of the snowshoe trails at swedetown, a cross-country ski area about five minutes from my house. isn’t it lovely!
“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says ‘Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.’”
~ Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass
i am taking the pup on an early morning potty run before my barista shift.
the snow is falling softly and the snowflakes sparkle as they cross the boundary between sky & streetlight.
i open my mouth and catch a snowflake on my tongue.
hello, dear snowflakes.
i’ll call you snow that melts on your tongue.
i lean my head back and feel the snowflakes caress my face.
i’ll call you snow that feels like soft angel kisses.
the world is silent in this early morning hour and my heart is full of gladness.
hello snowflakes that sparkle in the light.
hello darkness that covers the world like a blanket.
hello winter that invigorates me.
hello beloved furry pup that comes out into the dark with me.
hello warm coat that grazes my knees.
hello skinny jeans that hug my legs.
hello boots that are tall & furry.
hello quiet neighborhood where i can let my pup walk off-leash.
hello neighbors who are sleeping.
hello sky that shifts from silver to grey to dark slate to black.
hello trees that border the road.
hello tire tracks that look like fairy paths in the snow.
with that, we reach the end of the road.
i turn toward home and let the swoosh-paw swoosh-paw of my aging pup’s tracks lead me into my morning.