Cloud-Watching

When was the last time I took a minute to watch a cloud move? I ask myself as I watch a white shadow scoot across its wide ocean of sky. A few years ago, even a few months ago, this thought would have spiraled into some fierce self-condemnation, into frustration and anger at myself for not noticing the clouds every day, as I added one more thing to a vast list of everything I’m supposed to remember and accomplish that filled my head. I realize now how much has changed as I watch this cloud, just glad I took 20 seconds to notice it as I moved through my day. Continue reading

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Summer Glory

From my balcony right now, I find myself surrounded by growth and life, from the buzz of a fly to the cheep of a blackbird across the fields. Summer is here in all of her fullness, swollen with heat and rain, bursting with plants, food, and life. My cat keeps me company out here, stretched out on a chair in the semi-humid breeze of a July afternoon. I do my homework, sporadically looking up to watch the leaves of thousands of corn stalks sway and flutter, like a vast undulating sea of green water, never still, always moving. It’s July already. Continue reading

June Light

June sunsets are one of my favorite parts of the month. Long days, hours of twilight, culminating in peaceful evenings full of lightning bugs in the ditches and fields, blinking on and off like synchronized swimmers as I drive past. After the sun has gone down, the light hugs the horizon, brilliant horizontal bars of the fiercest oranges and reds, like bright bolts of fabric on a shelf of sky. This time of year, I fall in love with the world all over again every time I step outside my door. Continue reading

God On A Bike

It was windy this morning. Really windy. On an 80 degree day like today, the wind probably feels like sweet angel breath to someone digging in their garden or sitting on their patio, sipping iced tea. But to an out-of-shape 20-something pedaling a bike uphill, facing into the wind with the sun beating down, it felt more like the scene from Twister where the cow got swept into the storm. In that moment, I felt like the cow. In more ways than one. Continue reading

Lunch Break

I took my lunch into the community garden behind the library and plunked into the grass, my back resting against a bed full of newborn greens. I stretched my feet out in the warm sun. I am still in awe that summer is here, still surprised every morning to be greeted with green rather than white, still marveling at the miracle of leaves twirling like ribbons on the tree branches above me. Continue reading

Hold the Morning

I’m just going to start typing. This week I have felt full of nothing but words that can’t get out and it hurts, each word pricking me like a pin as they try to find a way to leave. So I’m just going to open the floodgates and let them fall. School is almost over and the world is waking up with warmth and green. My soul is so full that it should be pouring out all over the place but I’m buried in a fort of books, stretched on the couch, reading five at a time because I can’t get enough. I sit in the kitchen sink with Cassandra Mortmain, then I march in a vigil with Anne Lamott. The evening stretches before me to go where I want- to have time is one of the best feelings in the world. Continue reading

Whimsy and Water

I was in Kansas City, Missouri on Friday, several states away from the cold and gloom of the northern Midwest. I was there for a conference that turned out to be inspiring and exhilarating, a chance to network and score free coffee. The days were 80 degree ones, full of green and sun and the smell of hot tarmac. Several of us left the conference center for an exploratory walk through a park and down busy streets, into a beautiful old train station that held the sunlight and reflected it from marble floor to gilded ceiling. I felt as if I was in a sacred space, the echoes of hellos and goodbyes murmuring from the walls. Continue reading

Coffee Shop Inspiration

This coffee shop is full of noise, a pulsing potpourri of voices and laughs and typing. Inspiration is so easy for me to find in this world and it varies with the day and my mood and the work I’m trying to do. Sometimes I find it under a tree or burrowed in the quilt on my bed. On Saturday, I heard it call me as I drove into the town on the Mississippi River in which I used to live for four years with all of my soulmates. Continue reading

Holy Week Holy Life

Beginning of Holy Week. Bread in my mouth, wine on my tongue. Hymn song, stained glass light, walking through a cloud-spattered morning waving palm branches and calling my Hosanna to the crows above. I pray in the shower, the steam rising from my skin. Besides driving in the car, it is one of my favorite places to pray, where I am naked and vulnerable before my God, without armor and distractions, cut off from the things of this world. Just me. Continue reading