Dark Eden

This morning, in the first hours of dawn, my son Charlie woke up screaming. He does this periodically. He's not hurt or waking from a bad dream, he just wants out of his bed. He's almost five years old. Most kids his age are in a twin bed and when they want to get up and help themselves to cereal in the kitchen, they do.

But not Charlie. He's still in a crib and he cannot walk. And he cannot help himself to much of anything. So when I hear the early morning shriek, that's my cue to to stumble from my bed into the hallway and help him out of bed, into a clean diaper and into the kitchen for some breakfast, which I spoon feed him.

I am not telling you all this for attention or pity (God, I hate pity), but to illuminate my next thought: Serenity can exist anywhere. Yes. Anywhere. After Charlie is settled and fed and diapered and The Wiggles are streaming on the screen, I sneak away for a cup of coffee and a stroll, albeit a quick one, through my little back yard garden. Why? Because I'm seeking serenity. I need to hear that it's all going to be okay. And if you listen closely, that is what plants whisper when you walk by. "It's all going to be okay."

It is only 6:34am. I've been up for 15 minutes and I still have an entire day of childcare ahead of me. I also have lots of work calling my name. But for these next few minutes, I feed the chickens, snap a few beans off of the bean pole, fondle an almost ripe tomato and greet the morning with a deep breath.

This is my Eden. The almost ripe tomato, the coffee, the kid who can't walk, the one who is still asleep, the chicken scratching at the ground, the prickly cucumber stems, the rising sun, the power line, the clothesline, the camera hanging around my neck to snap photos for the blog, the slight smell of ammonia wafting from the coop that reminds me its time to change their bedding - all of it, my Eden.








Summer Musings | Disheveled Order

Today is officially the first day of summer for school kids all over the state of Texas. Both of my boys are out of school and ready for some down time. So am I. This week also marks the beginning of a three month stretch of solo parenting for me.

In addition to his work as a professor, my husband is also an actor. This week, he left Dallas for the west coast. He'll be playing the title role in Macbeth and Leonato in Much Ado About Nothing at the New Swan Shakespeare Festival in Irvine, California. When bucket list roles come calling, you say YES. It doesn't matter how far away or how long the run. Yes yes yes.

It's going to be a long summer. Solo parenting isn't easy. But it doesn't have to be a slog. This summer, I'm redefining what success looks like. I'm sweeping all expectations off the table. These three months will be measured not in days, but rather in calm breaths and cups of coffee. Sure, things will be accomplished. And sometimes they won't. Dishes will be washed or they'll sit in the sink. Compost will accumulate and turn, chickens will lay, diapers will fill the pail, demands will be made, tears will fall, bread will bake, friends will visit and all will be well. Release expectation and all will be well.

Here are two photographs of my home this morning. The first is of my bed at 8am. This photo embodies a sense of leisure, nourishment and a kind of disheveled order. I'm posting this photo here today so I can look back and remember my summer mantra, "Release expectation and all will be well."




This second photo is of the sofa in my living room. There is room to sit, room to read, room to hug and cuddle. There is space for reflection and rest. I love sitting here in the morning and looking out on my front yard. Unlike my bedroom, where disheveled order is more acceptable, this room is public. People pass through and guests see this immediately upon entering. This is the room that tries to put its best foot forward. But what of it? Still, I must remember my mantra. Dust will accumulate, children will spill their drinks, the dog may chew the corners. Do what you can. Care for all things with patience and love. Release expectation and all will be well.




The Case for Rest

Last week, I was in a cabin near Lake Tahoe. I was resting. For the first time in a few years, I slept. I really slept. Twelve, thirteen hours a night. I took naps. I plopped into bed in the middle of the day and fell easily and fast asleep for one, two, even three hours.

I'm a work-at-home mama. I have two young children, one of whom is a high energy special needs child. I am "on" all of the time. I'm in bed at midnight or 1am and I'm up at 5am to the sounds of children, dogs and a small urban homestead. Don't get me wrong - it's wildly rewarding. But I miss sleeping.

Rest. Restoration. Sleep. Quiet. Oxygen. Darkness. Comfort. 
It's more important now than at any other time in my life.
I must, somehow, get more rest.


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Life Lessons from my Son

Today is my son's sixth birthday, so I thought I'd share a little story about him. Two weeks ago, my husband and I attended a much anticipated wedding ceremony for our dear friend Kevin. Kevin and his partner Keith were hosting a ceremony to honor their wedding, which took place this summer in New York City. Here they are on their wedding day:




My son, Walker, wanted to make a picture for the happy couple and a marvelous conversation ensued:

Walker: I’d like to draw a picture for the couple getting married.
Sarah: Great! They’d love that.
Walker: Now is it a man and a man, a woman and a woman, or a man and a woman getting married?
Sarah: Good question. It’s a man and a man.
Walker: Good. Then I’ll draw two people with short hair. And I guess man clothes.
Sarah: Do you want to see a photo of them? (I show him the photo above.)
Walker: Oh, one is bald, that’s good to know. And look how smiley they are!


Walker's lesson:
Unconditional love, compassion and inclusion are our natural state. 
It really is that simple.


Kevin wrote a beautiful post about Walker, the picture, the conversation and the marriage ceremony on his blog, HERE.  I urge you to take a look and read Kevin's beautiful post. I'm so proud of my son and so happy to be his mama. Here is the picture:





Walker - happy birthday darling boy. 
You are a wonder and I love you so very much!



Bohemian Healer

It's Friday and I'm at home with a sick baby and a four-year-old who can't understand why we're home bound today.  What is my plan?  I don't really know, except to be in the moment, and create some space for a sick baby, a busy preschooler and a mama in the middle of a juice cleanse.  Today I'm invoking my inner healer - a modern day sorceress who can muster magic from a pile of laundry and heal the sick with cosmic kisses.


1. I will create sacred space.

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2. I will play and make magic with my imagination.

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3. I will wear comfy magical garb and hold my baby.

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4.  I will ingest magical potions.

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5.  And I will do what mothers have been doing since the dawn of time..
I will make it all better.

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