“You’ve Got to Stand for Something or You’ll Fall for Anything.”

121 columns later and this is my final piece to appear in the now-closed Warroad Pioneer, a small-town newspaper that had survived for over a century. If read chronologically, they tell the winding story of loss and heartbreak, growth and hope.

I stood a good ways back watching the huge balm of gilead before she fell. Up here, where they grow like dandelions, it’s easy to dismiss these trees as junk wood or “trash trees” as I’ve heard them called. But this peaceful old dame has healing ointment in her veins, salves for human wounds if it’s processed right. And she’s surely seen twice as many summers as I. Perhaps Iris, the graduating kindergartener, and I will count the rings later to verify. Continue reading ““You’ve Got to Stand for Something or You’ll Fall for Anything.””

The Bidding of Love

Column 119 – As a new mother, trying to reconcile the existence of both infinite love and prevalent evil proves futile. Life right now is about my baby’s bright smile. Just as it should be.

The sound, soft and reminiscent, didn’t register at first. As wakefulness spread across my body like a good brandy warming the belly, I realized the novel sound was a first spring rain. The ground lay white with snow still, our woods gray and dreary. But to hear and see the rain from the vantage of first morning’s light felt delicious, almost exhilarating. Continue reading “The Bidding of Love”

What’s Next

It occurred to me as I was cleaning floors this past weekend that though I count myself as a compassionate progressive, I can be quite oblivious to the pain of others at times.

I wrote last week about doing “hard things”, like community projects and letting my natural hair color grow out. Can you hear the eye roll? These are NOT hard in the grand scheme of things, especially compared to what many people go through on a daily basis just to survive. The fact that I have hair to grow out or time for extracurricular ideas or even a forum to voice them publicly is a tremendous privilege for which I ought to express more gratitude.

I thought and I thought about it. My floors were sparkling.

It would have been easy to berate and hate myself, to see the cleaning as punishment for how I behave instead of worship for who I am and what I have, but I resisted. As Marianne Williamson says, “It is tempting to proceed without love; hatred is always looking for recruits.” Continue reading “What’s Next”

Periscope Down

This likely won’t be the place to get any sort of Angle update anytime soon, just as it hasn’t been for the past many months. My view is submerged. My season is hibernation. My mind is single-tracked.  And my cub is the reason.

Cubs.

Kids. Plural. Yes, I’m still jangling on that. Continue reading “Periscope Down”

This Precious Time

“Go sit down, Love,” he says, rubbing the small of my back as he passes me in the kitchen.

Baby Julian’s been asleep for half an hour. And after bath time, story time, last ditch run-around time, glass of water time, and two dozen loudly whispered “SHHHHHH’s” on our part, five-year old Iris is finally in bed too.

He tells me to go sit down every night on his way to go sit down. He takes his usual place on the couch, gets out his Kindle and settles in. “I will,” I say, looking at my comfortable blue reading chair. Continue reading “This Precious Time”

When Sleep Won’t Come

It seems as if the creating phase of any venture lends itself to both excitement and worry. Am I making the right decisions? Should I have done it this way? What if…? are all questions my head will flip and squish and analyze from every angle all night long.

And as the project nears completion, when there is less to be done but also less that can be changed, the stress builds. Continue reading “When Sleep Won’t Come”

November

Two months in and most days we still ride together as a family to drop the kindergartner off at The Angle’s one-room school house. She loves it, doesn’t want to leave afterward and calls every one of her classmates her friend. As we were getting into the truck on that first day back in early September, she was a bubbling mass of excitement and told us as she hefted her new backpack up onto the seat that it was “the importanest day” of her life.

Her papa’s eyes met mine and we both smiled. Continue reading “November”