Be in each other's light

The holidays are upon us, and this year we've decided to lay low and enjoy the festivities without the crazy travel. These holidays are our first in our new home, and we want to take the time to cherish them. 

To our delight, we shared in two family visits back-to-back prior to Thanksgiving. Our pre-holiday celebrations allowed us to take the time to sit around the dining table, mulled cider candle lit, and catch up without all of the hooha. It was intimate enough to see and listen to each other while the kids had their run of the house, rocking out to their cousinly beats or toasting jumbo marshmallows in the fireplace. 

Amidst comfortable bedding and feast preparation and ensuring everyone has what they need for a successful visit, taking the time can get lost. 

Take the time. 

My cousin (whom I love like a sister) and I don't see each other regularly enough. She was hell bent on taking the time to share in partner yoga, and our daughters enthusiastically joined us too. My four-year-old cheered, Girls' Day! We took the time to share in each other, to honor our time together. 

That's what taking the time is, to be in each other's light. 

Our family visitors returned home, and the jangle dwindled to an exhausted slumber.

On a usual run through my personal Walden, I happened upon an older man who walked gingerly, thoughtfully. My run stalled to a walk. A rosary dangled from his right hand as his fingers grasped the black beads ever so humbly. These woods were his church too. I was thankful to have stumbled upon this devout churchgoer and his graceful light. 

May you treasure the rest of the holiday season and bask in the band of your loved ones. 


Let us go to the house of Spirit

Sunday morning
i went to the house of our collective Spirit
i eavesdropped on the slow drift of the falling leaves 
one by one
as they landed with a quiet brush on the ground
already a bed of crinkles and crackles
my ear bent to the gentle knock 
of a spotted black and white woodpecker above
i gazed at the Sun
and set an intention --
let every breath, 
all that i am, all that we are,
never cease to honor 
and find the wondrous light 
in each other


The days after

I have had no words. I have had to borrow others' words. Like so many, the U.S. election results have left me numb and headachey. Election PTSD, I've been told. While those around me sob hopelessly, I've been popping advil. 

My eyes welled up having to wake my four-year-old the day after and tell her, "No, we don't have the first woman president." Months and weeks before, she knew I'd been volunteering to make the world a better place. The day of the election, we were both dressed in white in honor of the suffragettes, so it was a bit of a women's history lesson -- as much as a four-year-old can grasp without it feeling like I'm indoctrinating her. 

My closest friends and family are spread across our country. I'd shared with one that all I wanted to do was be in a room with my loved ones and hold on tight. She then shared that she was going to hold a remote candlelight vigil in her home just like when we were in college. I agreed and sent texts to CA, GA, NH, NJ, NY, PA and WA to join me in a remote vigil, so we could lovingly embrace each other from afar. 

The days after, the surreal haze lifts. Our everyday lessons haven't changed. They are evermore fervent. 

We can continue to experience the world around us. I was indeed devastated the day after, and it was painful. Let's not shut down and be hopeless. It might feel like it, but the world hasn't ended.  Let's breathe -- one moment at a time. Our young ones deserve our optimism. 

We can contribute to our community. We can organize donations for those less fortunate. We can volunteer together for the concerns that touch our hearts. We can keep on meeting, keep on tabling, keep on knocking on doors, keep on educating ourselves and each other, and keep marching on. 

We can be brave, ask questions, and share our voice. As any curious four-year-old, there are neverending questions. I encourage her to be endlessly inquisitive because I don't want my daughter to feel stifled. Ever. Let's continue to ask questions of ourselves, of each other, of our representatives. 

We can show kindness to others. A loving word, a thoughtful gesture. Any act of kindness is appreciated. Love trumps hate. Always. 

An American flag continues to wave outside our home. Immediately after the election, I had mixed feelings about being an American. I was heartbroken and embarrassed to be one. But I am hopeful that those around us who are brave and sharing their voice -- like Kamala Harris, Pramila Jayapal, Tammy Duckworth, and Ilhan Omar -- will inspire us to take action . . . courageously . . . together.