Poetry

Life Here Is Not Only Madness

For whatever reason after I finally posted, A Mother in Warfare, I could not write any new words. Not really. I read through old work and edited an old poem making it better. But truly new words? New ideas? Not a thing. Perhaps due to a few things. Who can really tell? I have my suspicions. No one thing the sole culprit.

You can push through writer’s block fine enough, but this particular time (these days in general) didn’t seem like a time for pushing through. It seemed like a time for waiting. Just letting that absence of creativity lie dormant. Of not forcing beautiful words on a page. I had none, anyway. I was blank space.

But then my husband and I were in the garden with our son. He turns two this August and I’m already getting excited. I’ve been thinking of his birthday since I was early pregnant with our daughter. Birthdays light up my soul, I suppose.

And his is so special.

I can remember the anticipation I felt leading up to his birth. I can feel those long days of labor. Picking zinnias before going to the hospital (the first time, heheee). The laughter. How he felt on my chest in those first minutes. Bringing him home to sunflowers and our first walks in the garden holding him tiny in my arms. I was thrown into this kind of magic that hasn’t stopped. I’m getting carried away. Like I said. . .birthdays.

And more specifically the birthdays belonging to my children.

Well, anyhow, he’s almost two and that evening in the garden, we picked him a snow pea and showed him he could actually eat it. I hope I never forget his face. It will always be one of the sweetest things I’ve experienced earth-side. A moment so small and so big and beautiful. . .his realization that some things grown in the garden can be picked and eaten too.

And for me? I felt I could write again after that. I didn’t know what the words would be just then, but they would come soon. The following poem feels like a way forward after my latest, Even Mothers, Even Here.

So here we go. . .the words that came that evening after June snow peas in the garden.

Snow in June

after too much death

much too soon,

after wrestling with the words,

after all the words ran out,

after the Psalms ran on audio,

after nursing my daughter in

the dark of morning

afraid of lights out, life out,

of bad news down like

lightening,

I’m in the garden with my son.

he’s standing, loved, between us.

and he’s full smiling, hint of grinning,

we’re picking snow peas in June.

now height of morning light in evening

watching him taste and see

the fruit of our hope,

that this fruit even exists

that it can be for him. . .

not untouchable like the roses

not to save like the daisies

not to spare like the pink blossoms

. . .but to pick and eat,

its beauty in the tasting

its joy in the process.

eyes alight, its snow in June,

us right there with him.

fresh delight and nightfall soon. . .

life here is not only madness.

for I have also tasted,

and I have also seen.

the Lord, indeed, is good.

I’m not sure what I’ll write next or when. . .?

I’m in the days I can’t really explain.

I can imagine a mixture of postpartum, mothering two, shifting into a new camp season, wrestling with my fear of loss, trusting God with my whole being, and experiencing my faith deepen has life demanding my full attention without margin or capacity to write. I may be a solid two months past giving birth to my bright-eyed, wonderful Heidi, but I’m only a solid two months past. So there’s a lot still happening.

But Shasta is on his Y Bike in the bathroom batting his toddler hand at the dust particles floating in the morning sunlight.

And Psalms 16:8-9 upholds me in the night.

I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.

Heidi smiles at the drop of a hat.

Words will come again. The days sure do. I’m grateful for every single one.

So while I wait, grow, heal, learn, deepen and surrender, I think I’ll enjoy another snow pea in the garden this evening.

Garden Lullaby

I’m Going to Be Here Too

Garden Lullaby, April 15, 2020

SO VERY WOW!!

I love that flowers have taught me how to anticipate life. It’s exciting to see the buds and watch them slowly expand. And it’s thrilling to look and suddenly see a flower in all its glory! I would go so far as to say it’s the 8th wonder of the world.

Flowers help me look forward, but they also teach me to sit still. This daisy won’t be here forever, but while it’s here, I’m going to be here too. I’m going to savor this beautiful thing, and I’m going to be excited for all the beautiful things coming next.

Plant your feet.


Two years later and that little daisy bush (originally purchased as a plastic pot of flowers from the grocery store) is going strong! It spreads and billows and multiplies. While this is the end our Garden Lullaby series, the garden journey, this billowing-out life of mine is far from over.

Pictured below is an ultrasound of our second child due any day this spring. I began gardening when my husband and I were in the deep end of infertility, and now as the garden grows, so does our family. God did the miracle of life in more ways than only giving us children (and you can read that journey in Hope Gives a Eulogy), but He has given us children as part of this life saga, and I savor the gift!

I am surrounded by miracles. I love that the garden is a picture of my soul, of what God has healed, made well, made beautiful in me and around me.

And so maybe it’s true. . .

Perhaps the best and most spectacular stories really do begin in the most unlikely of places.

Like a grocery cart.

Garden Lullaby

Picture of Life in a Broken, Grieving Woman

Garden Lullaby, April 3, 2020

WE FINALLY HAVE A GARDEN!

photo of our garden late summer 2020 // we brought our firstborn home to zinnias, sunflowers, rose bushes, and more! what life!

The tiny porch garden spread to the side of the house then spilled farther over into a rose bed which gave way to a vegetable raised bed which needed a flower bed for company and a fairy garden to boot and a patched together gate to get in and, of course, MORE PLANTS TO COME SOON! Small baby steps. . .that’s the way!

This has been 2 years in the making, a picture of healing, and a display of God doing life with a very broken, grieving woman!

WOW.

Gardening will always be one of my biggest & best life surprises and one of the most obvious places I can see the history of God’s very intimate care + love for me.


tomorrow holds our last post in the Garden Lullaby series! I am so glad to have transferred this journey of my garden beginnings from Instagram to my blog and a Google Docs. It’s important to me I keep it somewhere more settled and safe than the loud clanking of social media. The garden truly has been a place of healing, joy, and brightness. Yes, brightness! I have been held, seen, and known by God, and He has used flowers to show me that great love. Going forward, I’ll continue to post about the garden, share poetry, and invite you on this beautiful, surprising journey of my life amongst life.

Garden Lullaby

Our First (Hilarious) Garden Box

Garden Lullaby, March 26, 2020

I have not laughed so hard or long in awhile! My chest began to ache!

For Christmas, my husband bought me “Raised-Bed Gardening for Beginners.” Well, we proved there needed to be a prequel. Ben’s idea of “let’s look at the book” meant flipping quickly through the pages for less than a minute!

I read a couple things then we found scrap wood. . .well not just scrap wood. . .wood meant for the burn pile, but we made the pieces work.

The “box” ended up looking more like a trapezoid. We added logs to make up for gaps (it’ll be covered by soil anyway) and rocks at the corners to make up for more odd spaces. It looked pretty terrible in the process, but turned out rather lovely in the end! Ben is a magician when it comes to making things work.

We skipped all fancy fuss since this is our first attempt at raised bed gardening. Our porch garden began small and grew into a rose bed. I’ve no doubt our trapezoid box will grow into something bigger & better as time goes on, but bite size steps are always the best way for making things happen. One more garden “box” to build. We will see what kind of shape we manage.

Our garden is really beginning to come together in its own odd missy-matchty way. I love it! It’s all very nonlinear.

Like life!


it’s two years later now and we have two more flower boxes, a second rose bed, another flower bed, and more things in the works. Life truly does spread. I can’t believe all this began in a corner on porch. And here we are!!