Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Plant the seeds


In Spring my mind turns to

Every year I add a bit to my gardens. When I first moved in to what used to be my grandparents house, I put all my grandmother's gardens back in. Then I pulled up raspberry bushes and planted additional gardens. At that time I had no interest in vegetables so flower gardens surround my home.

A few years ago for my birthday, my father built me these raised beds. They are FANTASTIC. Every year they fill up with tomatoes, beets, carrots, garlic, herbs, a few peas...The peas were my downfall. I adore fresh peas and my son loves to pick and eat them by the handful. So I began to think what I really needed was a bigger garden like the one my grandfather use to have on this property. I remember long rows of peas and beans and cucumbers and a beautiful pantry of canned goods...how romantic. This weekend the fantasy hit the shovel. I began turning the sod in my future vegetable garden. I began turning it because a previous attempt (pictured above left) to suffocate the grass proved to be only an incubator and frost protector for very large dandelions. I did not want to use pesticides and I did want to keep the organic material from the grass (minus the seeds) so I found an online solution that seems to be working. I cut and turn the sod upside down, cover it with cardboard or plywood, and in a few weeks I will rototill it all into a gorgeous vegetable garden. Albeit one much smaller than originally planned.

The thing I love most about making this garden is having Clayton's help. By this I mean both my grandfather Clayton who got this plot originally free from huge rocks, and my son who is wonderfully adept at worm relocation. The lessons my grandfather passed on to me, I now pass on to my son. For me this is what gardening is all about, linking generations, passing on knowledge, working with the earth and learning about faith and miracles.

Planting seeds and trusting that they will become plants and flowers is a work of faith. It is a miracle that a tiny seed can grow into a 9 ft sunflower. If the tiny seeds we plant in the earth can grow to become larger that we are, if they can burst forth with fruit and flower, what amazing things can grow in the gardens of our lives if we will but plant the seeds?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The nightlight that lit my way

I was going through a box yesterday and I was thrilled to find my nightlight! When Clayton was about two the bulb popped and I put it away thinking that I would change the bulb when I had a minute. Well, yesterday was the day (almost 2 years later). I took it apart and when I plugged it in it was like finding a long lost friend. This was the nightlight that changed it all.

I can not remember the name of the woman who gave me this light. She was someone that passed through my life when I was pregnant with Clayton. What I do remember is the night that I first plugged it in. Clayton was a few weeks old and still recovering from his time in the NICU. We were still trying to get nursing established and we were all exhausted. Clayton was trying to "get my milk up" by nursing almost all night. As I sat up to nurse I looked over and turned this little light on and it transformed my mothering. I realized that I was in the middle of the sacred.

I thought of all the other women who were up nursing or caring for their children. I felt the eternal thread that went back through me to my mother and grandmothers. I thought of the monks up praying and honoring the cannonical hours and I decided that I would look at the hours I was spending with my son as the divine hours of motherhood. I began to pray and I was lifted up. That nightlight lit my way through two years of sleepless nights, two moves and a hospital stay. I can not count the hours I have spent holding my precious boy by that light and praying.

What a gift. The woman who gave me this light could neve have known all that would come of it. She could never have known that such a seemingly small thing would be the catalyst for such change in my life. I believe that God did know. He had a plan and she was his hands.

May my hands be guided to give such gifts to others.
May I remember that no gift is too small if given with great love and an open heart.
May my hands be Your hands, Lord. Amen.

Has anyone given you a seemingly small gift that transformed your life in a positive way? I would love to hear your story!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

God Bless All Who Are Pushing Shopping Carts

There is a homeless couple in our town who I see walking up and down our busy highway most everyday. Yesterday I saw them holding hands as they pushed their cart. This morning I woke with this poem in my head.

God bless the homeless pushing shopping carts and holding hands.
For they shall inherit our returnable bottles and scraps.

God bless the man standing at the stop sign begging for change.
We offer only dollars.

God bless the homeless.
God bless all who are pushing shopping carts.
God bless all who are holding hands.
God bless all who are standing and begging for change.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

May All That is Sacred Return

The Rape Response Services Center of Bangor invited me to perform last night as part of a benefit to raise funds for their organization. I was honored to do so. Minutes before I left for Bangor I got an email about a woman named Marie who was interviewed on the Today show. Marie had been raped in the NY Subway. People witnessed the event and did nothing but push a button requesting the police. By the time the police got there she had been assaulted twice. She sued the NY transit authority and it was ruled that there was no law that would make it necessary for anyone to say or do anything more than what they did. Marie responded that she did not expect anyone else to do the work of the police but that she just wished someone had said something.

Last night I raised my voice in honor of Marie.

May we know the sacred that we are.
May we see the sacred in others.
May we never be tempted to trespass on the sacredness of any living being.
May we never stand silent when our voices need to be heard.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Proof!

Yay! The "proof" of my book came in the mail yesterday and after going through it extensively I approved it to be printed! So exciting!

It is interesting that they call this book the "proof." For me it is proof of many things in my life. It is proof that dreams come true and prayers are answered. It is proof that I have accomplished something. It is proof that good things come from hard work and persistence. It is proof that the love that I have for my family and for the community of mothers can be made visible and shared. It is proof that when I focus on sharing the gifts God gave me, He will open doors and make it all come together.

Thanks so much to all of you who read the beginnings of this book and who gave me such concise and loving feedback. This book is here because of your support.

I look forward to sharing it with all of you! Follow me and you will be the first to know when it is available!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Spring Cleaning

It is Spring! Time for new discoveries! I was cleaning out the garden to get ready to plant and what did I uncover? The cell phone I lost last fall. Oh, well. One mystery solved.

What do you do to keep track of your cell phone? Obviously I could use some help here.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Call me an April Fool

April 1 is one of my favorite days of the year. Perhaps it is because it is the beginning of my birthday month that it always feels like a new beginning. I don't do the practical joke thing, but good things always seem to happen to me on the day of the fool.

Five years ago today I was hanging posters for an upcoming performance. I walked into a small juice bar that I had never seen before and behind the counter was a very intriguing character. He chatted me up about the show, came to see my performance and we were unofficially engaged on our third date. We waited to tell people for 6 months so they wouldn't freak out. Although I have to say, it has become increasingly hard to surprise my family. They have grown accustomed to my "foolish" ways.

Perhaps what I love about the fool is that he lives by faith, not by sight. He sees the wonderful future in store for him while walking on the edge of a precipice. That feels familiar. There is profound wisdom in knowing that we do not know it all. There is power in faith and in knowing where our treasure lies. The happiness that the fool embodies is not folly but a kind of enlightened optimism.

Today I embrace my foolish nature and know that I am held in the hand of God.

P.S. Today I opened up my email to find that I had won a book from the Carpool Reader Blog I follow! http://carpoolreader.blogspot.com/ What a lucky fool am I!