This morning, I knew that when I left the house, I would be stopping at the coffee shop before work. I knew I would attempt to write something on my blog, and I knew that there was a book that I wanted to share before so much time went by, that the thought fell away. 

At this particular coffee shop, there is a waterfall in the background, trees, and large cement structures that hold bright pink and white flowers and other textured shrubbery. Usually, if I stop for coffee, it’s in and out, then off to work. It feels like my little piece of Zen–the soothing sound of the water swooshing out, bees buzzing here and there, and the canopy of trees that makes me feel like I’m in a tree house–these beauties get my day going in a peaceful direction.

This morning, as I sat at the table, before I opened my iPad, I stretched to the left to help alleviate some muscle stiffness and what did I spy, but a heart shape on one of the red bricks. This brought a great smile to my being; and it felt like that feeling you get when you feel like the Universe is speaking to you–as though the Universe is smiling or tickling your funny bone. Here I was sharing a heart yesterday, a heart that I had taken a photo of a long while ago; and here, this morning, another heart appears in the present moment. Such a wonderful feeling.

The book that I’d like to share that is written for young readers and the young at heart is The Poet’s Dog by Patricia MacLachlan. I was lucky enough to come across this when my mother-in-law came across it in one of her book catalogs. She passed it along to me and said how much she loved it. I happily accepted it and put it on a nearby shelf to be read when I felt in the mood. It’s a very short story that can easily be read in a short sitting. I chose to read half in July and was drawn to finish it recently. I was taken with its beauty, with the love on those pages. It’s a special book to be read and shared. For anyone that loves dog’s, children, poetry–they will especially appreciate this book.  

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As the day comes to an end and time for sleep is near, I think about the day, about the books, changes, obstacles–I think about an image that I want to put here and this one comes to mind. I saw it on one of my walking breaks, right there on the sidewalk, just as it’s seen here. I always love finding smiley faces and hearts. It’s like they wait for me to find them. 

When I see this image, I think of peace and love and send these feelings out into the world because we need more of both. 

Music blows by; wind sounds in my ears. Trees invite an instant tranquility and grounding that is inexplicable–take the trees away, take the patches of grass, the white umbrellas, tables, and chairs; leave only concrete and the scape feels far different. 

While Hubby is inside one of the stores, I take in the different people–there a couple holding hands; there two women walking their bikes, one with a basket for her obedient Shih Tzu. Cute babies, little girls in their summer dresses. 

I feel at peace in this moment. Hubby nearby, the trees, a napkin to catch my thoughts. 

Thursday proved to be an emotional day or I should say, the end of the day culminated in one much needed release.

It was about the desk, letting go, attachment, faith in humanity; and it was not really about the desk at all.

“I’ll be right back, I just need to pull my car up.” I walked out of the Goodwill store with a bounce in my step, a large smile across my face. I needed this lift in my spirit. I put my bag of Goodwill finds on the front seat, pushed down the back seats and laid out the sheet that I purchased to transport my new desk.

I walked into the store, the smile from my face now a downward crescent, the two customer service men that had carried my desk to the front, were gone. “Welcome to Goodwill, can I help you find anything.” The door greeter stood there with a smile.

“My desk! It was just here!” Tears starting welling up, my voice became strained, and then I couldn’t hold it in; I was sobbing and asked what happened to my desk, explaining that I had just gone to get my car to pick it up.

“A man just took it. He said he was your husband and was taking it home to you to see if it was what you wanted.”

I looked at the men in disbelief. “But, I’m here alone. I don’t understand. Someone took my desk!” I’m speaking through sobs, tears pouring out of my eyes. I just keep repeating, “My desk. I just want the desk.”

Finally, I give in to the situation and tell them I’ll be right back. I need to move my car back and that I’ll get the receipt for a refund.

I yell to no one in particular, “what is wrong with humanity! Why would someone do this!” I’m shaky and my driving is not steady.

By the time I come back, one of the customer service men comes outside to meet me; he says he thinks there’s been a misunderstanding. I listen. He thinks that the man took the wrong desk.

The woman that rang up my purchase explained that there was a woman that had put a desk on hold and her husband was supposed to pick it up. She thought there was a phone number on the call log. She said she could refund me and call me later. I asked if she could call right then, that I really didn’t want to come back, and I still wanted the desk.

I stood up front near the cash registers in a corner, feeling exhausted, with puffy eyes, runny nose. I was just thankful that I hadn’t yelled; I didn’t swear; I didn’t say anything mean.

The customer service woman came back with good news. The wife was calling the husband about the mixup to tell him to turnaround to take back the wrong desk and get the right desk.

On this day it had been a week since my uncle passed away. For the past four month’s I would understand how difficult the caregiving process is, especially with such an independent spirit, as my dear uncle. We knew that his health was compromised, that his 87 year-old body had caught up to him, his heart was weak, that somehow, his days were growing closer.

As difficult as it was, I am grateful that I was there during his last stage of life, that I was able to help him speak to the right people in the hospital to make his pain go away and administer morphine, so that he could have his wish for the end of the chapter of his life and to do so with dignity and comfort. There are so many details that play out in my mind. But what stands out is how important it was to be there in the hospital during the last days of his life and to just be there for him in general. There were many quick decisions, quick actions in order to make sure he was without pain, and making sure the family was there so that he would be able to say goodby before the morphine slowed his heart rate to a point where he woudln’t be able to respond or open his eyes.

As difficult as this experience–this journey was, I have gained more from it than words could possibly convey.

I am honored that I was able to participate in my uncle’s care, that although we had our moments, because we always did when we didn’t agree, I felt that I contributed to his well-being. I know that each of us interacted with my uncle in different ways. I saw different sides of my brother’s–not always good; and I’m glad to have seen a side of myself that I knew was there, but that I had not had the opportunity to see in this particular juncture of life.

Goodnight, dear Uncle. I know that you are in peace now.

Breeze blows by, cars zoom. Tummy is satisfied. Small, quick sketch of what sits across from me as I eat my lunch. 

A few moments everyday to do things that balance, calm, relax–things that matter. Little important moments that carry us through the days–days that are filled with too much of what we don’t need. 

Take many little breaks to soak in the moments while we still can. 

Today the body feels like it’s bein pulled down. Energy is low. I breathe in and out deeply–soaking in the bright spots of flowers and blue sky, reaching for the wind to pull me up, to soar high above the tree tops with the chirpers and blackbirds. 

I’ve actually had fun attempting self-portraits in the past, and I still enjoy trying to draw myself from time to time. 

The urge most recently came about a few months ago when I decided to do a quick sketch from a photo to use instead of a photo of myself as my Avitar for a class I was taking. I liked how it turned out. 

This is a recent attempt that I decided to sketch because of two new things: my perm and new glasses. 

The glasses are inevitable. It was time, but the cost always hurts.

I’ve been wanting so much to come to the page, so I’m writing myself through it. I need to get back to my writing practice. Maybe I feel freer today because a class has ended, because the warm sunshine on my face as I walk to lunch energizes me, and because there is an end in sight to the busy season. 

It’s been at least 10 years since I last got a perm and I swore that I would not get another. I needed a change, a lift to my step. I plunged forward. The hair stylist, also owner of the salon, did a great job. She had done enough perms over the years, that I knew I was in good hands. 

Self-portraits have a tendency to reveal something we may have not noticed about ourselves in that moment that a regular photograph may not catch. Adding the color by mood and feeling adds another element. I love the process. 

This morning I saw a woman kneeling down with her phone camera in hand, honing in on something in the crevices of one of those large metal grates that you often run into on the sidewalks. I tried to sneak a glance as I walked by. I think she was capturing some sort of greenery that was growing, unnoticed. 

It was nice seeing someone doing that. I know there are many others out there capturing these small moments, things that are hidden from us until we stop to look. I know I’m not the only one; and that’s why it’s nice to see someone else in action, as I might be on a day I’m leaning over some small beauty that’s growing through the cracks of the world. 

An autumn day gives way to the feeling of winter. In the air the scent of someone cozy next to a warm fire. 

I look out the window waiting for my lunch, taking in the orange and yellow leaves against a perfectly grey sky. 

Rain shall come soon to wash away the impurities, wipe the slate clean to begin anew. 


Sitting amongst the birch trees,
I listen to the day fade in and out, as I put markings down on the page, coax an image that is enough for me to recognize this moment, eager to continue marking the days–marking the pages with, not only words, but real images.