Instagram (Sandy Hook bayside)

enveloped in a blueberry haze
twenty minutes in 80-degree autumn
the bay shimmers pearlescent mulberry wine
like a steady ocean fever
the sun is a rouging grapefruit 
that fades into the horizon 


What does gratitude sound like?

Thanksgivings befall as autumn descends like another birth anniversary.  Grace sits next to me, and I harken . . . 

gratitude sounds like 
the bedsheets that ruffle 
as i turn over to snuggle with my partner
gratitude echoes in our conversations
right before dreamtime 
as we wait longingly 
to parent the faceless child in our hearts
gratitude croons a golden standard 
every moment i gaze in adoration 
of my most loved love


Not quite the end of summer

i salute the weekend's sun
as the bay breeze waves through my window
nothing in between Spirit and me
i radiate beyond
and cradle my heart in my hands
i gaze into hushed light
i stand in summer's lull 
and welcome autumn's equinox

We finally received our second approval (renewal) of our immigration application to adopt a child from the Philippines. It expires November next year. We hope (and hope and hope and hope . . . ) heartfully that we will not have to endure another renewal next year as that would mean updating our paperwork once again. The waiting continues . . .

In the meantime, I never tire of The Starfish Story, a tale common across adoption communities:


"One day, while walking along the shore,
the wise old man looked down the beach,
and saw a gracefully dancing human figure.
The wise old man wondered out loud,
“Who would be dancing all alone on the beach?”
He began to walk faster to catch up.
Getting closer, the wise man saw that the dancer
was a child, who was not dancing at all.
The child was reaching down to the sand to pick up
something, and was very gently throwing it into the sea.
The man called out to the child,
“Good Morning! What are you doing?”
The child paused, looked up and replied,
“Throwing Starfish into the sea.”
Surprised, the man said,
“Yes, I see that, but WHY are you throwing Starfish into the sea?”
The child smiled brightly, pointed upward and
with perfect simplicity replied,
“The sun is up, and the tide is going out.
If I don’t throw them in, they will die.”
“But, don’t you realize, “asked the man,
“that there are miles and miles of beach and Starfish all along it?
You can’t possibly make a difference!”
The child listened politely.
Then bent down, picked up another Starfish,
threw it gently into the sea, just beyond the breaking waves,
and joyfully declared,
“It made a difference for that one." 


Sheer exhaustion

For the past year and a half, the organization I work for (ESS) has been preparing for the EarlyLearn rfp.  As the grant writer on this application, I have had to read, live and breathe everything that is early childhood education and subsidized childcare along with being able to convey the stories of low income families in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx.  EarlyLearn was my best friend all summer long -- weekdays while I was at work, weeknights after my commute home, AND weekends as EarlyLearn and I stared at each other in ten-hour contests as I had my coffee with Bailey's not too far to keep me grounded.  

As of this past Friday, I was finally done as I too-exhausted-to-be-delirious(ly) submitted the 143-page, 323,578 character application.  This grant was, by far, my most challenging project in my career as I felt the tremendous weight of being responsible for winning funding for potentially a dozen early child education centers, seven of which are currently under our operation and five more ESS hopes to acquire.  (Yes, I am thankful to have a job.)  And 143 pages later, I can guarantee that I will know all of the learning outcomes that my maybe preschooler will be working towards.  

For the love of JC
One glass of pinot grigio later, A. & I loaded up the car in preparation for our painting party at our old apartment in JC, which we've rented out the past seven years. Originally, we'd hung onto the place as an investment.  In the past, I referred to it as our adoption endowment.  As we anticipate the arrival of our child, we feel strongly that the less stress, the better.  While it might not be the best time to sell, life is more complicated when one has to be a landlord in a city where we no longer live.  To think, I'd made the decision to buy the one-bedroom after paying rent in the same second-floor brownstone just eight blocks away for nine years and knowing that I would never marry. Two weeks after I moved into my own home, I met A. Go figure.  (Yes, I am thankful to have met A. so unexpectedly. . . . and that it wasn't just my English bulldog and me forever in my cozy 1BR.

A couple more weekends of cleaning up and touching up, we should be ready to put our old abode on the market.  A new coat of paint in antique white does wonders for brightening up a space.  Hopefully, some lucky gal or guy will be as charmed as I was when I bought the place.  A warm thank you to our dear friends, E. & E., for their painting enthusiasm as we were able to accomplish much in a weekend.  (Indeed we are truly blessed to have such wonderful confidantes in our lives.

It's Sunday night, and I am numb from sheer mental and physical exhaustion. I'd like to rest now and appreciate the art of doing absolutely nothing.

On 9.11
Before I got on the PATH train in downtown JC, I looked up and saw a gaping hole in the World Trade Center.  Stunned, I wondered, why is there a hole in the WTC?  The PATH trains were still operating, so I decided to still head into the city.  I worked at NYU then and figured, I'd support with any crisis management that needed to be done with NYU students and if it was bad, I'd head home by noon.  I ended up getting stranded in the city and stayed with friends in Innwood until the next morning.  The stench of smoke in the air lingered for days as dead pigeons lined the streets in downtown Manhattan along NYU's campus.

I can't help but tear up as I glimpse at a magazine cover of the children of 9/11, most of whom were born and never met their fathers or were too young to understand what had happened on what began as a beautiful, bluest sky, sun shining morning.  And for the women abroad who were suddenly left widowed or children orphaned, as well as entire villages of families dead after the United States retaliated for the terrorist act, I pray for peace . . .   

may peace abide in others
may blessings surround them
may Spirit illuminate their hearts
now and always
thank you, Spirit, for Life