Now I become myself. It's taken time, many years and places...

 - May Sarton


matilija poppies and easter eggs

Whimsical Matilija poppies resembling fried eggs, and vibrantly colored Easter gems (dyed with distilled vinegar) were a couple of things that speckled my weekend with cheer. I want to be outside taking advantage of every spring offering these days. Front yard picnics and convertible drives up the coast become necessities. The ocean is liquid lapis lazuli, complete with shimmers of gold. Rave's unwaning enthusiasm for sprinting out the back door to find the sunniest seat in the grass always brings a smile. We lost two trees in our Lilliputian backyard recently, rendering our hammock and favorite nap spot obsolete. However the sunshine is bountiful there now, and the star jasmine I planted along the rickety fence is suddenly stretching to its full potential. I'm pondering colorful additions to the flower beds and a trip to the nursery is imminent. The windows and doors are open and it's that soothing azure breeze, even more than the sunshine, that beckons me today.

What are your favorite springtime delights?

Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems.

- Rainer Maria Rilke 


dress rehearsal for a summer's day

Saturday I abandoned my chattering monkey mind on the shelf indoors and headed into the benevolent sunshine. It was an orange sundress, espadrilles, and straw hat wearing kind of day; the kind I especially don't like to miss. We excavated the faded blue canvas beach chairs from the basement and took in a street aglow with the ebullience of yellow daisies. Sleepy from an early morning run, I sat with hot sandy pages of e.e. cummings while Bud paddled out into the waves. We napped under shady umbrellas, ate salty french fries, and hitched the hours to the flowing sea breeze.

The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears or the sea.  - Isak Dinesen


tenderness is mighty

When I was very young I became separated from my mom in a Home Depot type store. I remember the acute anxiety I felt the minute I discovered I was lost. This was not alleviated by the loud beeping noises of the indoor fork lifts, bright lights, and endless aisles of vacancy and lumber. Finally a kind person who saw me sniveling led me up to the front, an announcement was made over the loudspeaker, and I was happily returned to my mother. When she later inquired why I hadn't asked someone for help, I said it was because I knew it was a do-it-yourself store so I thought I had to figure it out on my own.

True to the adage, old habits die hard.

I perambulated through the teenage years and young adulthood struggling to find the answer to what I thought was the first big question of life, "What should I major in?" The answers to the inner struggles were even more elusive. After flailing around on my own I consulted a therapist who didn't have the answers, and then became a therapist who didn't have the answers. Now I think we are here to learn the answers for ourselves but not by ourselves. There is maybe nothing more comforting or helpful than when after recounting your story to a friend, you hear the reassuring response of, "Yes, I know. I have that stamp to Crazytown in my passport." Our stories are a way to find that uniquely common thread that links us to humanity. But that thread remains invisible if we hide in fear or shame and do not reach out to one another with our vulnerabilities. I saw it written somewhere that tenderness is mighty. I am choosing to believe it's true.



Yesterday I had the absolute pleasure of attending my friend Tracie Hanson's book launch party for the release of Her: These Stories Are True...Even If They Aren't. Isn't that a wonderful title? Her is a collection of inspiring short stories about fabulous women that Tracie and her mother, Caroline Bell, collaborated on. Tracie and Caroline are artists who share a studio and both exude the kind of warmth, humor, and charm that make you want to pull up a chair with a cup of tea and sit enraptured for the afternoon. Peering into Tracie's sketchbooks is one of my favorite things (her work adorns the cover) and the briefest encounter with her leaves me inspired.


the extraordinary comfort of an ordinary day

Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure that you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you  depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. - Mary Jean Irion

* candle from Zena Moon and mala beads from Tiny Devotions