On The Road Again


Urban Grace is moving to Florida.

I have been waiting for more dynamic words to come, you know the kind that set the soul on fire and make the angels sing but this mama is tired and transition is happening in a quiet, lonely sort of way.

Hubby’s been gone a month, leaving the kids and I to follow as soon as business and the realistic details in life collide with the perfect opportunity for chaos.

One truck.

6 x 12 feet of cargo space.

A gypsy heart.

Four teenagers.

Two dogs.

Two cats and the 16-year-old African grey.

2415 miles.

Thirty five hours and twenty-five minutes.

Stay tuned for one long ass trip home.

{Unedited} Who I Am, Who I Was


I ran across the words quoted below this morning.  A writing exercise from about ten years ago when words were pouring out of me in a desperate pressure.

I think the focus was self-definition, something I have always hated.  You are supposed to write a biography as you begin developing an online presence.  It’s the baseline of your brand.  Your introduction to the world, your readers.  A kind of snap shot of personality and life. 

What you have to offer. 

I’m not really any better at knowing what to say today than I was those years ago but I found this interesting.  It’s revealing to look back at the person you were, or who you thought you were and at the same time a little humbling to wonder if you are more or less yourself these days.

I remember knowing I was a mom, the six kids controlling my every resource made that reality impossible to escape.  I was still having a rose colored love affair with my husband.  We had yet to recognize the unusual strengths of our relationship, instead spending countless painful hours trying to mirror unions fashioned in cooler fires.  Honestly, everything was overshadowed by the unhealed wounds of childhood and the exhaustion of everyday life.  We were frantically fixated on the wrong details.  Comparison stealing the security of what we know now.

That we were fierce and fallible.  Steady and sure.

These words were the beginning for me.  Of self-awareness.  Self respect.  Self love.

I’ve grown more than ten years in the past decade but I still don’t have the words to sell myself to the world.
Maybe that’s the point?

“My hair is always a mess. I don’t leave the house without sunglasses and a coffee cup, rarely bother with makeup and will wear a cami and jeans anywhere.  I prefer to be barefoot, can never find my driver’s license, and my credit cards are always breaking because I carry them in my back pocket.  A purse is just more responsibility than I can handle. 
I touch everything.  Function completely on intuition and pattern.  Am completely driven and almost totally without internal discipline.  My soul is empathetic to the point of discomfort and no matter how incredible it is, my jewelry always ends up in my pocket because my skin screams to breathe.
I am positive that there is nothing in the world that smells better than my husband.  I can find the humor in my worst fear, function through the worst of my pain and by all accounts am a force of nature but my heart shatters when he touches my hair.
I am prone to ignoring my phone, never fold my socks and regularly forget that other people can see me.  Cut my hair when I’m sad, am often distracted by details, and will compulsively have the last word.
I only see the broad strokes of my environment and yet find the time to fixate on small details.  I drive too fast to be reasonable and can’t stand things that are “peely”.
I hate crowds, but hate to be alone.  Make each choice carefully, but tend to say everything that runs through my head.
I’ve been a mother for half of my life, am loyal to the point of tragedy and have an unfortunate lack of boundaries when it comes to ‘my people’.
I’ve learned to be still so as not to overwhelm my world.  Always have ten things going on at the same time and fall into bed each night completely emptied because I simply don’t seem to be able to accomplish any less.
I am…me.”

{Unedited} The Labor of Change


Labor is a concept that I can relate to as a mother.

Hard work.

Pain for reward.

The completion of a cycle.

The price of a future generation.

Sometimes the release of hope from self takes minutes.  Body and nature come together in efficiency and power to bring new beginnings.

Other times hours blur, gasping and strained.  We struggle to overcome the obstacle of our pain.  Reaching for a rhythm honed in a lifetime of waiting.  Finding patience to battle fear and exhaustion for the joy we crave. Brought low by our nature, made bold by our nature knowing that regardless of the method there is an inevitable result.

A child will be born, hope will be transformed and life will have grown.

We accept this reality, that for the hope of a future there will be pain. That we will overcome fear by surrendering our bodies to instinct. Knowing that should instinct fail there will be intervention and should intervention fail there will be grief.

A risk we take. A reality we accept. Finding the possibility of a future worth both.

The same truth of struggle can be found in any reach we make in life.

So why do we fight the labor of change that will bring us growth?

Rather than strive for a future we own, we position the weight of our fear to drag behind the momentum that changing our stars would bring.  A fear that doesn’t serve us. A fear that would rule us if we give it reign.

Why do we surrender when our nature is to rise.  To struggle for the light and ask for what we already know. That we ,were meant for more.

More joy.

More peace.

More love.

More life.

All of these things come with change.

All of these things come with time.

All of these things come with surrender to instinct.  The knowledge that our soul, just like our body, will tend our hope if we are brave enough to let it.

{Unedited} The Fish and The Bird

oceanMy husband and I are an odd pair, at least we were considered an odd pair when we chose each other.

And choose is what we did.  Or maybe it was natural selection?  I don’t know.  I do know it wasn’t fate, or romance or even stupid teenage love.  There was a recognition.

I saw myself, and he saw who he could be.

A reckless intuition that has suited us.  Each wanting what the other represented.

I longed for the clarity of the sky, and he valued the depths of the sea.

A fish and a bird.  A love that leaves no home?

In reality, we are so much alike that I can’t say with any certainty where one draws breath away from the other.  Who soars like a bird and who anchors us in the depths.  It took us years to untangle our individual development.  Like conjoined twins we learned to function in the world together, each developing their strengths in the other’s weaknesses.

Not co-dependence.  A tool.

Right brain, left brain.

Right hand, left hand.

We spoke the same language and that language was more than survival.

Our nature screamed to overcome, so we did.

I’ve never met a marriage that resembles ours.

I love him.  That’s a given.

I value him and the freedom he’s given me to fly.

I value him and the strength it’s taken to adapt to the murky waters that he thrives in.

Deep below the surface.

Sheltered from the fluttering of my natural tendencies.

Quieted.  Balanced.

Not changed.

Just at home.