Headed into our first full week of our return in person to learning after our homeschool stint. N. is absolutely ecstatic to finally be with her fourth grade mates. All through our homeschooling adventures, N. would ask at bedtime, Why do the days go so fast? Thankfully, she still believes that the days go way too fast. An amazing sign that she is genuinely happy. Deep, relieved sigh.

Grateful to have kicked off our new year's transition, I recently facilitated a winter attunement mindfulness session with my good friend, Jenn, in Catalonia, and I am even more aware of how I have not paid enough attention to the emotions that the pandemic has pushed aside as we try to live -- in survival mode. Giving ourselves the opportunity to move through our emotions -- grief, anger, joy, and desire -- can be a most grounding gift of confidence. We danced our bodies as we felt called to do in the moment. Feeling my physical body let go in defeat, frustration, cheer and fancy was its own kind of much needed, non-judgmental freedom in year two of the pandemic.

As I work to find my new rhythm, delighting in the delicious quiet of my mid-morning coffee, I notice that it's taking me considerable time to settle down and settle in.

During my trek with the dog on the trail, I notice how the two recent snowfalls have

downed even the largest pine trees, so much so that there's a clearing through the woods. I busy myself hoping to get a glimpse of the deer family or the rusty fox who sometimes cross my path. Instead, part of the creek remains frozen, trunks collapsed, makeshift intermediate crossings for any wild turkeys.

What is exceptionally noticeable is the silence between the birds twittering and the clanking of the dog's harness against her leash, between each footstep that crushes on some patch of ice on the trail or the slightest whipping of the breeze as a runner sidesteps us in his way.

I notice the silence of this bearable winter morning as I try to delight in a moment of stillness without immersing myself in the drudgery of patiently/impatiently waiting for the under five vaccines, feeling for those in my circles with littlest ones or reading every obituary of every young person who has been killed by gun violence every month since the new year.

as i wait for the world 
to right itself
 let me weave in space 
for silent shavings
for truth to transude
that we might notice
the Light skim
through the thickset overcast
of bitter anguish


To endure our course

how do we move through
day after day
what assurance rises in me
like the starlings in flight 
the world continues to murmur
unending forever finding
some hint of hope 
in the days that come again and again
our spirits struggle to strengthen
beaten after beating
can we reflect back to the world
the power of compassion and healing
see how we are the brightest stars
connected to the limitless beyond
urging each other's gifts of
community and light


We can do hard things

Our homeschooling stint wraps up this week, and it's bittersweet. As we honor our promise to N. that she could return to her school once she is fully vaccinated, the bittersweetness of our default-homeschooling-due-to-the-pandemic causes me to take in a deep breath and remind myself, We can do hard things.

Aaahh, and a sigh of relief because I have done the hard thing, WE have done the hard thing. While I've always been curious about homeschooling (Supplement? Sure I can do that.) and work intentionally to parent mindfully, I never thought I had it in me to homeschool. But I've done it (with the support of my partner, outsourcing math and veteran homeschooling mom friends)! And we thrived. Sure, we had challenging moments here and there, but we've experienced the delight of homeschooling, including the learning freedom without the maddening pressures of time or testing. I've tried to follow my kid's genuine interests and stoke her learning flames so that schooling is not a race, but scenic wishfulness.

Like wishing I could see the much awaited Comet Leonard in the night's sky. And I did! Kept looking up at the stars, scanning the nightfall for a flash of something. And there it was . . . a silent swish across the sky. I wondered, Did I just see that?! 

I hope that we've met our homeschooling days with that same questioning surprise, and I trust that N. will continue to kindle that same amazement upon her return to the traditional classroom in the new year. 

may we stroll beneath the stars
samba across the jazzy scape
where beryl bursts across the sky
and we let our wishes dazzle our spirit