how to climb a mountain

make no mistake. this will be an exercise in staying vertical.
yes, there will be a view, later, a wide swath of open sky,
but in the meantime: tree and stone. if you're lucky, a hawk will
coast overhead, scanning the forest floor. if you're lucky,
a set of wildflowers will keep you cheerful. mostly, though,
a steady sweat, your heart fluttering indelicately, a solid ache
perforating your calves. this is called work, what you will come to know,
eventually and simply, as movement, as all the evidence you need to make
your way. forget where you were. that story is no longer true.
level your gaze to the trail you're on, and even the dark won't stop you.
maya stein


brightness of being alive.

"the brightness of being alive. it finds me in unexpected moments of calm, when my heart takes refuge from the ever growing to-do list, when my perfectionism gives way to feeling, to release. and when it arrives, the brightness feels deeply spacious and warm, like an intertwining celebration of all things brave in love. sometimes, i’ll admit, my mind cautions my heart not to trust the abundance...young memories of tragedy and loss can be hard to shake, i suppose. it can all be gone in a split second, the memory warns. it’s a warning that challenges me to feel disconnected from the present moment - the one that’s calling me to step in, stay awhile, and celebrate. we all have memories and life filters that haunt us, that creep in and try to steal the show even when we’ve done all the soul work to repair and heal. but i deeply believe that in our best moments, we can understand that our vulnerabilities are what connect us, that we can step into the power that is uniquely ours, play hard, love bravely, offer comfort to our younger, broken selves, and soar, always soar on the brightness of being alive."
- kelly rae


spring in iowa

it takes a long time to become young.
pablo picasso


from blossoms

from blossoms comes this brown paper bag of peaches we bought from the boy at the bend in the road where we turned toward signs painted peaches.

from laden boughs, from hands, from sweet fellowship in the bins, comes nectar at the roadside, succulent peaches we devour, dusty skin and all, comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.

O, to take what we love inside, to carry within us an orchard, to eat not only the skin, but the shade, not only the sugar, but the days, to hold the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into the round jubilance of peach.

there are days we live as if death were nowhere in the background; from joy to joy to joy, from wing to wing, from blossom to blossom to impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.

li-young lee



it's springbutalmostsummertime which means getting up early, lots of yoga, blue moons on the front porch, drum circle every sunday, long walks with the artichoke, riding bikes absolutely everywhere, freckles on my nose, harpers ferry, iced chais, pink toenails, fresh tomatoes and sunflowers at the farmers market, skirts and flip flops.

sun is shining, the weather is sweet now
make you want to move your dancing feet
to the rescue, here i am
want you to know just if you can
where i stand, know, know, know, where i stand.
bob marley


What Is There Beyond Knowing?
What is there beyond knowing that keeps
calling to me? I can't
turn in any direction
but it's there. I don't mean
the leaves' grip and shine or even the thrush's
silk song, but the far-off
fires, for example,
of the stars, heaven's slowly turning
theater of light, or the wind
playful with its breath;
or time that's always rushing forward,
or standing still
in the same -- what shall I say --
What I know
I could put into a pack
as if it were bread and cheese, and carry it
on one shoulder,
important and honorable, but so small!
While everything else continues, unexplained
and unexplainable. How wonderful it is
to follow a thought quietly
to its logical end.
I have done this a few times.
But mostly I just stand in the dark field,
in the middle of the world, breathing
in and out. Life so far doesn't have any other name
but breath and light, wind and rain.
If there's a temple, I haven't found it yet.
I simply go on drifting, in the heaven of the grass
and the weeds.
Mary Oliver

woo hoo - i get to be woman of the month:


thanks joan.