{Unedited} Twenty-One F**ks and Everything To Give

wpid-11427455_1871379959753967_1550002113_n.jpgI used to think I had no fucks left to give.  You know that’s a thing right?  No fucks to give.  Sometimes my generation makes my head hurt but in this instance I felt completely at home with the general consensus that life is just easier when you don’t care about the fucks.(Have I said fuck yet enough to be cool…because fuck makes you cool, that’s another thing that’s a thing).

Big girls saying “bad” words, further emphasizing that they have run out of the fucks and all of the pressures and concerns they bring.

I am independent.

Fuck you.

I am too smart for your boundaries.

Fuck you.

I am willful and brilliant and wild.

Fuuuuuuck you.

But it’s wrong. Beyond wrong it’s a fucking lie.

We are not built to give up the fucks.

We are built to have all the fucks in the world and never pretend otherwise.

I know that in general the intention of “I’m all out of fucks” is to empower the speaker.

A dynamic, ruthless, powerful statements of self.  To shout from the rooftops our acceptance of who we are and flip the bird to anyone who would dare challenge our right to be defined by our own mind and actions.

To be free of the narrow view of what is good and whole.

And that’s awesome.

But it draws a line where a door belongs.

It allows for thick skin and defiance, begging pardon for the gentle weeping of the tender.

The hurt and the notice and the grief.

Good Christ in heaven the grief.

The unfathomable surrender to all that is broken and wanting.

The injustice in our world.

The self-sacrifice and intercession.

What of that.

The beauty and rawness and hope of feeling.

ALL THE FUCKS.

Today a community will be burying a daughter.

Not a weathered, assertive woman with no fucks to give but the seed of a generation whose roots were just beginning to grow.

A child who looked for words to explain her fucks and found instead dismissive defiance of the overwhelming emotion she was carrying.

Be a warrior child.  Be fierce and brave.  Walk past the delicate trip and fall that is becoming a woman.  Where words and face can wound like knives and the overwhelming exhaustion of who we are meant to be overtakes the fragile reality of who we are.

Aware.  Open.  Gentle, and tender, and “needy” as fuck.

We do our girls a disservice when we teach them not to give a fuck.  It’s too general.  Too big.

It’s a breakdown in the feminine and ultimately a loss of power.

To be free.  To grow to accept, even understand another’s position without feeling responsible to it’s weight.

To carefully listen and gently know our ground.

To be raised up to stand the gap, to buckle under the emotion, to flow freely and sweetly.  Tender and unresolved towards awareness and love.

This is fierce.

To feel all the fucks.  To look them proudly in the face and allow them their moment.  To learn from them.  To grow in the shade of caring, and seeking, and wanting connection.

To give all the fucks.  Every last petty, bleeding, obnoxious, and suffocating fuck.

The bravery to do that is where our power lies.

We hobble the future when we teach it less.

(Unedited} Holding Ground

 

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This is a new idea.

Holding space.

A step outside an upbringing that roots my life whether I’m willing or not.

A gift of kind. Mercy and grace, the depths my soul feels comfort in.

Shining a light.

Common ground. Language that meets in the quiet fold of my heart. An understanding. Steady rhythm of gift and knowledge coming together.

To hold space.

Faith.

The steady hand that guides discovery and challenge.

Creating a place for wonder. Nature whispers words with ringing clarity.

This.

Knit in the womb to know.

Called.

Holding space. Holding ground. Intercession for a person, a people, a generation. Awake in the night. Painful knowing. Delight and fear. The weaving of self with the quiet understanding the Spirit brings in prayerful petition.

To sit in quiet. To meditate and pray. To open and empty for the heart of another. For the heart of the Father. The song of the Spirit. The triumph of the Son.

“And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me, that I should not destroy the land (but I found none).”

~ Ezekiel 22:30

{Unedited} ‘Till They Bloom’

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Recently I’ve been blessed to spend time sharing words with a new friend. A spiritual mama with her feet firmly planted in intention and love. She picks a book, I pick a book and we read it together.

Discussing twice a week over “coffee” our very different and somehow cohesive perspectives. Cultivation of a heartbeat. Growing. Learning. I have valued the time invested in reaching me, becoming a part of my days.
New month, new book…her choice. Highlighted and inscribed.

Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés

“I hope you will go out and let stories, that is life, happen to you, and that you will work with these stories… water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom.”

Burst into bloom.

I connect with those words on a base level. My spirit empty and overflowing at the same time.

Several years ago trauma forced a painful change, need overtaking necessity and the grounded life I’d been living slipped. I was grieving the loss of space. Livestock butchered or sold off to make city living possible. Herbs carefully carried from space to space left to bloom untended. Roots grown deep. I was too worn to fight for them. In a storm of ruthless abandon and survival I buried the magic of earth and rhythm on twenty-five rain-soaked acres. Defeat wrapped in grace. I surrendered self and have never quite taken me back.

What was pleasure and instinct has become struggle and duty. The delight of harvest having been put off so long that I begrudge the planting. Replacing the basic relationship of earth and seed with the strained interaction of compromise and duty.

I miss the weathered relationship with sky and wind. Face upturned and seeking. Nature. The soothing quiet. Feet touching intimately the ground I walk, those connected and powerful parts of self breathing carefully, deeply. I’m lonely for the relationship of hope and earth.

Ache and fullness colliding in a battle cry of faith.

I’m ready to plant. I’m ready to grow. I’m ready to release the harvest of expectation for the wholeness of practice.

Practice.

My intention the seed of understanding and growth. Will left to reap. Fueling a moment, a thousand moments and looking towards a new reward. Energy in motion. The rooted power of spirit and connection.

Words and stories woven like memories, watered in blood and tears. Laughter, reaching for hope like the sun. Sturdy. Rested. Knowing.

Self destroyed and found in simple choice.

The deep listening of a heartbeat bursting into bloom.

“I hope you will go out and let stories, that is life, happen to you, and that you will work with these stories… water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom.”

 

{Unedited} Just Because

blurred_lights-t2I’ve recently been reminded that I’m “supposed” to be writing and posting and publishing and doing all those moving forward things that lead to paying jobs and critical acclaim in the writers-sphere.
I get that, I do (and I love you for the support bea) but I also know that my world is changing and I’m not quite sure how I WANT to fit all of these beautiful nuggets into what’s emerging.
Our family moved, again. Washington. East side, West side, East side, Idaho, Florida. That’s a lot of transition. New climates (sharpen the farm mama learning curve). Start from scratch. Source the needs. Fight the man (and not just the one I’m married to).
We have started a new business, have you ever started a business? PAPERWORK. Worse, we started a business in a technical field that is all about paperwork. Any guesses what I spend most of my time doing? Paperwork.
I have a pool, I want to swim in that. And sit quiet in the evenings and soak up the sun in the mornings and maybe do all those things without the interference of electronic communication or a manuscript in my hand. I think maybe I don’t want to write. Or farm. Or do anything other than wake up, feed my home, feed my heart, go to work and sleep the uninterrupted sleep of a woman who has made her choice.
But I know that’s a lie. I know that I will eventually sit in front of a keyboard and spill my thoughts onto the screen. I know that I need to refine my focus and change my presence and do the purposeful things like marketing and name changes and business plans. I need to have my picture taken instead of hiding behind the camera taking the picture. I need to edit my catalog and deliver it to be measured. I need to do the networking, and educating, and learning. I need to find the time, choose the time and I need to act now because inaction is exhausting and waiting serves no purpose.
But maybe just a little bit less for just a little longer. Grace? Let someone else grow the food, grow the business, grow the plan while I rest. My heart is happy and my body is feels the weight of Washington to Idaho to Florida. 3,489.8 miles of change. Today my body is winning and challenging my attention to self-care. Today I’m going to let go of the details and expectations. I’m going to sit in front of a keyboard and spill my thoughts onto the screen. Then sink into the water and soak in the sun. Today I’m going to rest. Because. Just because.

{Unedited} Circles on the Water

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As a child growing up in the Christian church I struggled with an intuitive awareness that wasn’t understood.

The rocks sang and the earth moved beneath my feet.

Steeped in Native culture my skin made me an outsider to a deeper understanding that my heart somehow already knew.

I could see the wind and taste the storm. The smaller interweaving of life that defines a larger calling. Craving ritual. Drum and dance pulsing beneath my skin. Like a conductor the Spirit flowed through me. Off my tongue unbidden. Humming on my finger tips and coloring my sight.

With no guidance the clamor of thought that pressed itself to me felt like insanity. Possession. A burden I was taught to rail against.

For thirty years I was wrong. My body was wrong. My spirit was wrong.

Drowning in anointing oil and running from myself I reached for logic disregarding the most basic explanation that my upbringing wouldn’t accept.

I was exactly as I was made to be by a creator who makes no mistakes.

The solution was surrender. The slow and intentional drowning of fear and survival. Circles etched on the water. Inescapable fire and the refining of self. I let go and learned to breathe beneath the depths. An ancient soul in a broken body. Healing began and the world became clear.

There is fear in the unknown and a human need to define it. Label and classify what is not able to be controlled. Even in a faith that demands no boundaries we define our submission.

Mastery a redemption for a wild and open heart.

We write scripts to glorify the calling. Romanticized images of power and spirit. Making something easy evil and what is evil light.

We miss the mark and side step responsibility with a fan like adoration.

Teaching fear of self. Abusing the vessel of hope and grace.

I am not the Spirit of my gifts. I am the vessel. Responsibility lies in my willingness to be, and yet I quietly struggle with a willingness to make a mark. To be seen.

Fear of my salvation. Fear of judgment. Old worries and ideas a daily struggle against what I know to be true.

That I am exactly as I was made to be by a creator that makes no mistakes.

Circles etched on the water.

To speak what I know. To live in my ritual, not as worship or religion but because my nature requires it. Because communion is an action found in the quiet folds of morning. Chosen in the humming dusk of a wide sky. The moon reminds me, time to release. Breath in a cleansing smoke. Prayer and mediation aligning will. Will submitted to calling.

In my growth I’ve found drum and dance. In the roots of highland ancestors, in the words of my text. A biblical truth that needs no accounting. The worship of movement and release. Sweet words spoken in understanding by those who would mother my heart. Nurture my nature and guide my knowledge. A spiritual connection without lines drawn to loyalties.

The Spirit in me recognizes the Spirit in you.

Ego surrendered to understanding.

Creation calls to us for surrender. The sea is pulled by the moon. The rocks rise up in worship.
Gently. Powerfully. Prayerfully. I know my truth and I grieve the loss of understanding by a church that requires it.

We hobble ourselves and the world sees. Our weakness bound in righteous dignity. Our representation of a son who bore all so we could move between the world and Spirit. Fearless of reprisal. Speaking boldly the truth.

That Grace is not found in the four walls of doctrine but in the broken heart of a reasoned mind.
Faith. Tended and grown. Compassion reigning. Choice a truth.

My choice. My truth. The indwelling of Spirit. Words taught and understood.

Circles etched on the water. Prophetic and wild. Not contained by religion. The only requirement for a redemption given freely. Surrender.

A request. The still voice of command.

See yourself through me. The beauty of calling. The power of love. Faith defined. Grace redeeming. Fearless in your hope. Triumphant in your understanding. Lay down your fight and breath in the deep so that you may know the peace that resides within it.

In the world, not of the world. Doctrine released for Spirit. Spirit resolving pain.

Shattering Rahab and finding peace.

Circles etched on the water and the rocks do sing.

{He replied, “I tell you that if these keep silent, the very stones will cry out in worship.” Luke 19:40}

{Unedited} Wildness Bled

wpid-wp-1433946319701.jpegI was born landlocked in Eastern Washington.
Desert with the exception of a river boldly claimed as gain.
We played in our river. Swam. Fished. Gloried in her intention as she wound through the sage and rock like the song of a mother heart, growing full at the obstacle of man’s will. Iron and cement thrust into landscape. Harnessing power and creating pleasure in the cradling arms of winter’s runoff. For duty she waited. Divided and dispensed before carrying herself tired to the sea.
Holding less with each demand but beautiful in her giving.
Both the river and what held her were a significant part of my growth. Emotionally and physically. I savored the release of connection. No words to describe floating in a cool embrace, fragile form slicing through ripples in methodical movement, so aware. Aware of contradiction. The feel of wet and the scent of dry. The wild and the caged.
Patience.
Wide and deep I have yet to find a more perfect place to waste a day.
As a child in the August heat I was powerful. Bronzed in the sun, sheltered and buffed in the shallows. Noise and sensation muted through the liquid walls of my play. Senses quiet. I dreamt of the feel and taste. The smell of skin after having soaked in the water and sand.
A waterfall of kinetic energy reaching for the depths.
Bolstering my spirit and cleansing pain.
Heart eased. Damage from a world’s misconceptions.
Nature’s remedy for a spirit on fire.
Turning fourteen I travelled south to the sea.
A heart on fire.
Innocence struggling with need. I had felt the first yearnings for freedom and self. Felt the binding ties of being woven in. My own wildness bled.
Feet on cement, chaos around me I stood watching my summer protector come home. Leave home.
Minutes passing in powerful clarity. Grieving her journey. Fearing my own. Diverted and used before fulfilling hope. A small tip towards knowledge as my spirit came alive, as if she knew I would need that faith.
A mother whose will forever changed me.

{Unedited} There Is This

wpid-wp-1433513143193.jpegAt the end of the day you will find us.

Quiet.

Settled.

Wound together like two pieces of a living puzzle.

I sit writing. I lay reading. Tv mumbles muted in the background. Lights dimmed as household weaves through the space we are taking. In these expected moments my children offer gentle conversation. Content in understanding. Tomorrow I am theirs but tonight my heart will tend her home.

Grace. An unspoken need and I will stay.

Deep breath rising and falling, the man I build a life with sinks into the foundation of our understanding. Warm and waiting to be touched he pulls himself to me. Head in lap. Arms around hips. He presses his face into the softness of a body content to be used and sleeps.

As knowing hands sooth.

As familiar skin moves against strong shoulders, feeling the texture of his spine.

His body releases the day and finds peace. This is healing. No grasping positions or costly armor. A simple conquest of time and choice.

Faith.

Completely opened. Sure. Sometimes there are words. More often not. The music of a song written in the hours and days that have shown us our place is enough. He will trust completely to hold the memories of his pain. Laying himself in the arms of a taught champion and knowingly I keep my post until redemption is found.

Joy.

If nothing else there is this and we have changed the world.

{Unedited} This Was A Mistake

This was a mistake.

Standing in the busy store.

Watching the signs.

I realize this was a mistake.

Skin flushing, damp.

He runs his hand across his face commenting on the heat.

In my sweater I know that modulation is the issue, his body unable to regulate temperature.

A distant look in glassy eyes, there is thought of escape. Overwhelmed and over sensitized he is uncomfortable. Agitation unsuccessfully masked on familiar features.

My own body becomes hyper aware of the shift. Listening as his breath quickens, becoming shallow. Where there should be casual process there is struggle. Chest moving in an unsteady rhythm.

His head tilts side to side, self soothing. Trying to overcome the burning that is slowly lodging itself in his core.

He knows too.

We should have gone home.

We should leave before his body fails him. I pause to consider my words, consider suggesting I come back on my own. It’s not a problem. I’m happy to do it. For love and reason and logic let me help but I realize that will feel critical. The place where concern would be welcome is gone. Without seeing it go I know that it will not be back today.

The line moves slowly, we are still waiting.

I stand calculating the minutes it will take to leave the space, willing myself to relax. Reaction is no help. Compassion, find compassion and remember.

Next to me I hear an angry sigh.

The expected language mumbled under his breath as the interaction between customer and clerk is prolonged.

I shift my weight to run my hand down his back. Feeling the tension.

Moving closer I can smell the slightly bitter scent that I have come to accept, fear, despise?

We have stayed too long. This is taking too long. I struggle to let go of the defeat I want to wrap myself in knowing what will come next.

Agitation expands to anger as adrenaline begins to choke.

Heightened senses. Heightened emotion. Swollen muscle still expanding, panting in breath. I notice the dampness of his shirt, I stare as the dark V spreads and am quiet. Experience has taught that communication is not support. Support is not welcome. Move through the line. Move out of the store. Take the steps to home, into the quiet and safety he will accept. Understand. Remember.

Eyes closed he struggles with control. I know his system is overwhelmed. His stomach is ill, he may need a bathroom. I glance around, looking for options.

He hates me right now. He hates me because he needs me. He hates me for my healthy body. Quiet logic and rational concern. He hates me for every small annoyance that is magnetized and multiplied by the imbalance of hormones crushing his independence and self-control.

I take a breath, body loose, face passive. Kindness is not welcome. Tenderness too much to accept in battle.

And it begins.

Like a script that I would happily burn, the onslaught of words grasping for control. The cry for compassion. The demand for ignorance.

My husband forgets himself. The kind, loving and supportive man I have known since childhood forgets his character and in the face of his struggle froths a bitter, ugly heart.

A tired heart.

The line around us grows uncomfortable as we reach the register. Watching in confusion as he throws items from basket to counter, from counter to basket. Aggressively stating his case.

What I am. What I should be. What is wrong. What should be different.

He uses words I have become hardened to.

Words that cut me to bleeding the first time I heard them.

The first time was not all that long ago.

He takes my space. A form of aggression and disrespect. I know that is his limit, he will break himself finding that boundary. He has and it broke my heart. I also know that behind the aggression there is need. He’s pressing in. Feeling himself spinning he needs my will. My reassurance. My stability.

In that there is a humbling trust.

He needs me to know.

He needs me to see it’s beyond his grasp to stop. He wants me to help him stop.

He hates that he needs me. He holds onto his behavior like a lifeline resenting the lack of control, twisting his need into my expectations and resetting the conversation again.

Management is paying attention.

An angry man. A large man. An unpredictable man. I’m not uncomfortable with the intrusion. I understand.

Another customer catches my eye. Unhappy. Disturbed. Not understanding my measured calm and quiet replies in the midst of a pressured storm. Well worn responses countering expected outbursts. My confidence is out of place. My steady reassurances an odd response to the vile words being thrown like weapons.

No one watching the belligerent face of my attacker would guess he’s a poet, gifted in life. No one would guess that he has loved me well for twenty-five years. That he loves his children. That our life, on a normal day is sweet.

I smile my appreciation to the would be saviors and quietly shake my head.

I am okay. There is no danger. My heart is equipped. In the aftermath I will struggle. Staring at myself in the mirror, accessing the words. Weighing and judging myself, perhaps to harshly but in the moment this isn’t beyond me. I will not bruise and bleed. I am not the victim of this exchange.

Something is wrong. It’s hard to miss but without experience it’s hard to see.

Occasionally there is in the crowd a look of compassion. A fellow warrior. Another wailing wall for a loved one’s confusion and pain. But today there is just us. In a busy store. With a cart full of groceries and the discomfort of a public scene.

The shaking heads of judgment.

Judging his actions. Judging mine.

Men want to intervene. Impose control where they see a lack of control. Women look away. Uncomfortable. Sometimes anxious in the face of masculine rage. Often disgust settling on their faces.

I am weak. Permissive. Trapped.

The assumption is a boulder thrown into the privacy of our labor. That there will be violence. That I am appeasing as we dance through finishing our chore.

I don’t resent it. It is logic. A logical response in a logical world to an illogical situation.

Here is what I have learned.

Disease has no logic.

It has no compassion. It considers no feelings. The right or wrong of behavior.

It is simply burdensome.

Taking prisoners without concern.

What the world doesn’t see in the awkward raging of a powerful man is the fear and pain that come with loss of control. Blood sugar crashing. His body shutting down, they overlook the shaking of his limbs as anger. The grey around his lips well disguised by his words.

They don’t recognize the embarrassment of loosing motor function as he begins to slur his words. They will not witness the grief that will come when he relives in humiliation his uncharacteristic actions.

He is a man who has chosen kindness.

Disease is unkind.

Removing inhibition and logic it reverts him to a less chosen state.

Replacing a hard won voice with words from the past. From a childhood that left him for less.

His conversation in these moments a compulsive recital of long held wounds.

I am not the cause. I am not the voice. I hate the voice. I love him.

I love him and I can’t help him. I can’t help him and I hate that.

I hate his disease. I understand his disease.

Diagnosis is a tyrant, a mistress. Taking minutes and affection unjustly claimed.

It twists his commitments and pillages his energy. Wielding pain and grief.

Destroying a marriage. Stripping it naked and leaving it bare and exposed.

Only in rooted strength does relationship survive but it is forever changed.

I am committed in life with two men.

One capable, kind and generous. A well spoken giant with strength of character and a clearly focused mind.

One petty and resentful. Counting the cost and delighting in my pain. Shifting the blame of confused choices and simple mistakes in his own embarrassment. No sense of responsibility. Accountability an unaccepted word.

I choose to love both.

Not to live in fear, or be made small by my choice but to fight.

For my husband. For my friend. For the hope of the life that we are creating and a future lived with less pain, more kindness and an abundance of joy.

Because. Love.

{Unedited} Moments

258a5f973e4cc0296ec28b1c72321ebfThere are words that sit in my bones waiting to be heard.

I’m not apathetic.

I practice.

I work, setting aside time before the world is awake to live in my skin and feel it’s rhythm.

Beating like a war drum, waning with the moon.

And there are moments.

Beautiful clarity, purpose flowing from me like light.

A thousand small moments perfectly aligned.

Aware and torn, I find myself engaged.

Living and breathing and being. Just being in that moment.

Present.

Fully, and wonderfully, and heartbreakingly present.

And it’s beautiful.

More words to share? Except these words aren’t mine.

They are borrowed.

Tender gifts of life and love.

Taught and grown in the happening, an unsought connection.

A thousand moments spent listening to the heart of lonely. The voice of experience. A mother set aside. A daughter grieving.

Ebony skin and warm brown eyes.

Sitting in a dusty chair surrounded by the consigned collections of a thousand cast off lives. Tending a heart. Making a friend. Spirit being watered by a honey voice I can’t expect to hear again.

I know love. I know pain. I feel fear and joy and the newness of change.

Beautiful. Lovely. Home.

A thousand homes, pieces of heart woven into mine.

A thousand moments freely shared.

A thousand words weighing on my bones and still, in the shadows of my undeveloped life I keep them for myself. Undiluted. Unscarred.

Sacred and whole.

{Unedited} Sweet Nothing

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I woke this morning with an arm hooked around my waist, pulling me close into a comfortable shelter that is mine to enjoy.  Tucked safely away from expectation and the bite of morning.

A soft heart beating gentle monosyllables.

Eyelids brushed with a stubbled chin.

A wet towel left on the hook rather than the floor.

Coffee in hand I’ve been kissed goodbye.  A clear I love you spoken with the sharp aroma of breakfast nectar steaming in the pleasing glow of a new kitchen.

Always the heart of our home.

Thirty eight years on this earth and this will be my favorite celebration of the day.

Half a dozen words spoken in the span of an hour.

The quiet nothing that anchors the rhythm.

As my household starts to rumble I will be enveloped into another man-sized chest, this one I birthed.  That little catch in my heart fascinated by the miracles of will and body.  This will be the first time I hear the words.

“Happy birthday”.

Spoken in a deep voice from a tender place.

My eldest son, the emotionally naked one.  So much like his mama.

The man-child who healed my heart.

Later there will be cake.

Female children pay attention to those details.

The inevitable squabbles of living close hushed by a reminding voice that today is my day.

My first-born seeking to protect.

These hours are meant for peace and content.

It won’t last, but the idea is a kind one and I will enjoy it.

Evening will come, bringing rooted gifts.

It is tradition.

No dead flowers for me.  Something with the will to grow.

Orchids and lilies. Lavender and sage.

There will be other gifts.  Baubles and mementos but my heart loves the spicy, clean scent of the green and bloom that will sit on my counter while I cook dinner.

And yes, I cook my own dinner.

After all it is my day, and I enjoy the texture and ritual.

Comfort food prepared in the happy buzz of my life.

A table carefully set in the nicest of ways, a gift from my youngest in a love language I happen to speak.

The conversation over knives and forks is predictable.

My tiny warrior intent on making sure I am seen.

To my husband “Today is mother’s birthday.”

“Yes, I know.”

“Did you tell her happy birthday?”

With a quiet look my long time friend will enquire from across the table.  Smile in place, understanding the ritual. “I don’t remember…did I tell you happy birthday?”

And as always the answer will be

“Daddy always tells me happy birthday.” And in his own meaningful way it’s true.

They each do.

I know I am loved.  Celebrated.

Through rhythm and heart.  Care and attention.  In the challenge of remembrance.

All the beautiful, sweet nothing that makes life worth living.

Today I am thirty-eight years old.  Full of heart and younger than I have ever been.