Breathe It In

These are words I find myself saying multiple times a day: to my clients, to my sons, to myself. Breathe it in.

We see a prairie dog hit by a car lying on the side of the road. I turn to look at my son’s face to see if he sees it. As we live in a rural area, he’s learned over the years of seeing too many dead animals to look at the fields and mountains instead of at the side of the road while we’re driving, but sometimes his eyes veer to the telltale lump of fur.

“A prairie dog, Mommy.”

“I know, love. Breathe it in.”

We watch a snippet of news and see the devastation in Texas (or wherever the current devastation might be), and I see their faces fall. As I’ve shared in other posts, my sons try to avoid the sadness by asking, “Why?”, … Click here to continue reading...

Every Living Creature

“Mommy, come quick! Hurry! Run!” my six-year old yells one summer morning as we’re playing outside.

“What is it?”

“Just come! Run! There’s a dragonfly drowning in the pool!”

Upon hearing the reason for the alarm, my ten-year old runs over as well. “Mommy, hurry! Get the skimmer!”

I rush to get the skimmer and quickly pull the poor creature out of the water. I gently tap it onto the grass, but can see that it’s not moving. Slowly, after a few moments in the sun, it starts to clean its face with its antennae. But I can see that two of its wings are stuck together, and without those wings it won’t be able to fly. If it can’t fly, it can’t survive.

“Is it going to be okay, Mommy?” my boys ask, with true distress in their voice.

“I hope so. Hopefully the sun will dry out its … Click here to continue reading...

Death, Eventually

There it is, beneath the thoughts, the chatter, the doubt, the irritation, the barriers against love in all of its varied manifestations: the fear of loss, the fear of change, the excruciating awareness that we will, all of us, ultimately, be separated from the ones we love. At times it seems one of the cruelest realities of life on this planet: that we can love so deeply, but eventually we will separate. Yet as much as we can rail against life, beat our heads against the walls of the universe, argue, bargain, and rage, at some point we need to come into acceptance of death if we are to live our lives with any measure of peace. Death is what is, and to resist what is leads to suffering.

And yet… the more sensitive you are the more acutely aware you will be of death’s many faces, and the more … Click here to continue reading...

So Precious It Hurts

As my dear friend drove our two families up to Walker Ranch for their quarterly homestead day a few weeks ago, I looked in the backseat at our three sweet and precious boys. Their faces were alive with excitement at the prospect of “going back in time,” as my little one said. Three beautiful, kind, creative, alive boys. The angles of our hearts. And, knowing that we would be driving up a steep and winding road seven miles into the mountains (not my favorite kind of road), an awareness of their vulnerability pierced through me. An awareness that one wrong move, one random boulder, one unaware driver careening on the other side of the road…

“They’re so precious,” I said to my friend. “Why does anyone do this? To love them this much and to know that something could happen to them… sometimes it just feels like too much.”

“I … Click here to continue reading...

Broken Heart

My heart is broken. When I first heard the news, I had to suppress the torrent of tears so that my sons wouldn’t inquire. I couldn’t let them know. Given that we homeschool, it’s likely that they’ll never know. If the adults around me (including myself) can hardly process the event, there’s no way that my son could make sense of it. It would lead to years of nightmares and fears that would appear in the darkness while falling asleep at night. It could only show up as anxiety, as it’s too much for my young, highly sensitive son to assimilate in a healthy way. We choose to protect him because we can.

At dinner that night, my husband and I looked at each other knowingly across the table. Our eyes spoke what our mouths couldn’t say, the questions that seared through our hearts alongside the grief: “How could Click here to continue reading...