Rhythm of Life…

Starting again…

I began a new sweater pattern, and I’ve already had to restart it five times due to misreading the instructions. Sometimes directions are as clear as mud… Or rather, what I understand isn’t what was intended — which inevitably makes a mess. Knitters know there are times you can simply work mistakes into the weave of a piece with a little creativity (this can give the final product a unique flair of its own), and then there are times when the only way to avoid a useless mess is to “frog” it back to where the mistake occurred, or simply drop the project entirely.

Life isn’t as straightforward as knitting — but knitting is good practice for the persistence we need to keep going. There’s powerful lessons about life in any creative process… Still, what do we do when circumstances occur that are out of our hands? When others make decisions that effect our options? When chaos intervenes and turns our life symphony into cacophony? What do we do when the next day just keeps coming… the sun sets at the end of one long day, and then rises again to dawn another — but we are forced to carry the night’s darkness with us no matter how many times the sun rises? Be gentle with your fellow earth-riders — you can’t always see the dark path they are walking.

Like knitting, life has a rhythm — the steady passing of moments running into each other, and yet always simply “now”. The changing of the calendar with the seasons — a blend of nature’s steady pace with humanity’s constant measuring of it… minutes, hours, days… months, years, decades. We number our moments while this globe we ride on just keeps spinning. We say our prayers, we do our best… we live through the chaos and catastrophe that comes, as well as the moments that hopefully make it all worthwhile — fingers of sunlight passing through the trees – shadows dancing with the wind, silken kitten fur beneath your hand, a babies sigh in their sleep, the soft sound of a gentle rain, the roaring breath of the sea and the silence of the river slipping towards her… Golden moments and “thin” spaces when our Now touches Eternity…

But life is hard — be tender with each other…


#thinplaces
#knittinglife

Twilight and Evening Song…

Twilit sky and evening cricket chorus…

Darkness is falling earlier and earlier in my corner of the globe.

My sister and I are now consistently sharing our evening walks with the songs of the crickets and the erratic flight of bats. Tonight, the evening breeze was gentle…. playing with our clothes and brushing our cheeks — it still carries the scent of summer’s-end blended with the river — even as it’s now bearing the first falling leaves, brown and crisp… Autumn is arriving soon, and already the trees are preparing to prepare for the coming winter. 

There is something healing in these evening walks — and yet, they are just natural occurrences — just two “bookend” sisters , the oldest and the youngest 13-years apart — walking a road they’ve know their entire lives. We visit a neighbor’s goats — feeding them if we have anything to share, even if that means laughing like schoolgirls as we try to reach apples on a nearby tree, or picking the giant blackberries in the bushes along the road. I am in my 40s but might as well be in my early teens on these evenings. :) The goats think we are there just to bring them treats, and object loudly if we happen to pass by with empty arms…
We point out rabbits and  instinctively duck if the bats swoop too close…The chorus of crickets waxes and wanes as we walk along, passing one group and moving on to the next — the river a constant presence just behind their tall-grass homes under the stand of old trees that border its cliffside-banks. The air is heavy with the fragrance of home…

My childhood and youth are everywhere here. After what seems like decades of chaos — my soul feels like it is standing on solid ground… I remember myself — my voice, my heart — pieces of me that only made their presence known when working in hospice, or stolen moments with written words in this little corner. Words here can bring ridicule from others, but they carry my voice in all its fullness… they are a window into who I am and where I’ve been. Perhaps they will weave for me their own healing spell to remind me of my soul-self after all this…

And perhaps these evening twilit walks are my peace-potion.


#twiliteveningsongwalks
#comingautumn
#peacewalk

Sunsets and Birdsong Dawns…

Clackamas River Sunset

Life has thrown another curve… It does that.

I’m not entirely sure what I’ll find after I turn the corner, but for now I’m walking slowly along the path in no real hurry to get around the bend. I have spent this last week or so in my childhood home while working on my Finals for this term — this curve in life forced me to fall way behind in my classwork and I needed some help with the boys so I could get everything caught up and finished before the term ended. Somehow I’ve managed to catch up with everything despite all my current life drama…

While here my “baby” sister and I have had the opportunity to go for evening walks together — the boys have grandparents to help if someone takes a fall — I can be away for an extended period of time without worrying. This means that there has been a period of unexpected Rest in the midst of this chaos. Being with family – it’s easier to get up in the morning, easier to remember to eat, easier to sleep… I’m not spending my nights right now dreading the waking of another day…

Out walking with my sister in the evenings gives me the chance to just breathe, and hiking along the river in all its familiarity, it’s easy to remember who I am. The beauty that shaped me is still here — sunset skies above the river and birdsong filling the dawn. The air here at my childhood home by the river I know so well – it still smells like the late summers of my girlhood — like sun-warmed berries and dry grass, heavy with the weight of the heat and the scent of the river… Summer’s end hangs in the air as the days shorten and we all feel the coming autumn looming despite the present heatwave. I miss the sea – the sound of her breathing tides and her scent in the air – but I am so grateful to be here right now…

Life is hard — I hope you all can find Beauty when you’re travelling your own rocky path… Remember we’re all on this journey together – stay soft with each other…

  • #rememberingme
  • #childhoodforests
  • #viewfromthewaterfall
  • #clackamasriver
  • #sunsetsandbirdsongdawns

Sea-Songs and Silence…

John O’Donahue’s To Bless the Space Between Us – “Before Sleep”

John O’Donahue… “As I lay down to sleep…”

It’s been a long day – most of it spent writing a Shakespeare paper and cleaning the house a bit. I’ll admit one of those things was given more of my attention than the other… (Don’t look too closely at the state of the house!)  :)
I am ready to let my eyes be “freed from the weight of light” soon. They are heavy and weary – tomorrow will be too soon to open them, I can already tell. But they will open to a brand new Sunday, and I will be off to play for Mass — to hear a room full of voices raised in song together… Not trained voices meant to impress, but voices raised for the joy of it — everyday people with everyday struggles… together to sing and pray and share Eucharist together. Eucharisteo – the Thanksgiving. So much to be grateful for…

The sea is waiting to greet me when I get to St. Mary’s tomorrow. I can hear her from my bed tonight — the low rumbling in and out of her tides — breathing, dancing with the shore to the rhythm of the moon.  She will continue her gentle song while I lie in bed tonight – surrounded by my current books, a cat on guard on either side. I will hear her constant presence behind my prayers as my mind wanders the shadows of night… when the way within becomes too loud, I will stop and silence the inner noise with the sound of her presence in the world beyond myself. She brings me back to solid ground when my mind trips into the chaos of worry — those three o’clock in the morning thoughts which are more asleep than awake. It’s hard to quiet my mind when it is tired… But the sound of the sea easily drowns the thoughts that visit without permission. She fills my prayers with her song…

So grateful for the sea-song and my little home here.

#seasongs
#nightsongs
#prayersandpresence

Reasons to Smile…

Jasper and Dante

These two make me smile…

There aren’t enough reasons to smile right now. I will admit this weekend has gone by too quickly – I still don’t feel recovered from last week… Phone calls with people in tears… their loved ones in separate hospitals across the metro area because we never know what hospital will have room when they leave in the ambulance – hospitals contact loved ones at home later to let them know where their family members are… it’s a family’s worst nightmare. They watch their loved ones be driven away with plummetting oxygen levels, scared, and alone amid the EMTs and medical equipment. They are isolated at home to try to limit the spread.

We do what we can… But it doesn’t feel like enough.

At Mass this morning, sitting at the piano as the pews filled — you could feel the heavy hearts we all carried. Every face masked in solidarity and compassion for all those around us… This world needs more of the love those faces surrounding me showed. We are all doing what we can…

I will wake up and begin the week all over again tomorrow. So tonight I am sitting in the quiet pretending these moments before bed won’t end. I am escaping with stories and knitting… listening to the sound of the sea through the open window… sipping decaf coffee curled up with a snuggly blanket and admiring the peaceful sleep of these cats who help make this house a home.

In the darkness of this world, I am so grateful for the light of Home…

Gratitude and Graces…

  • Cats with nine lives – still making me smile (and the vets who saved them)…
  • Waves crashing in rhythm and roar…
  • The Professor and The Philosopher laughing together like when they were young boys…
  • My Mister and I fixing the washing machine (yay for YouTube!)…
  • Sea air on a summer night – windows open wide…
  • Early morning drives to Mass…
  • Silent prayers on Sunday mornings…
  • Sourdough bread and baked chicken…
  • Library books and warm coffee mugs…

It’s all Grace.

#coastalcats
#homeiswherethelightis
#publichealthnurse
#heavyhearts
#maskinginlove
#reasonstosmile