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


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.


She Would Know It Soon

cold hands held the seeds.
I among them.
it did not feel like celebration. . .
maybe once,
but these were clammy dreams,
lines in her hands going nowhere,
just holding me, holding seeds,

but isn’t it a wonder
that fragile beginnings
empty of vision
never determine
the vibrant awakening
of a garden.

and she would know it


photo of our garden entrance days before we brought our firstborn home to sunflowers and zinnias. what began in a grocery cart during the pain of infertility turned to this.❤

our firtborn a couple weeks old amidst the sunflowers
our firstborn a year old playing in the garden that he loves

I wonder what kind of garden we will bring our spring baby girl home to in a few days or so?❤ I’ll be sure to let you know.

Garden Lullaby

Plant Your Feet in Chaos & Change

Garden Lullaby, March 24, 2020

I keep a little book filled with one line prayers, new thought patterns I want to instill, and personal motivation. Before Covid_19, I wrote something to the effect of “I will plant my feet in chaos and change.” Even before this crisis, I was feeling as though life was upended and transitionary. It felt unstable…not in bad ways, but in ways that came with new needs & unknowns. It’s that place of being in the unsettled middle. You can’t go backward and you love going forward, but forward looks like nothing you’ve known before. . .

So I resolved to plant my feet.

Put my rosebush in the ground.

Settle into life.

Be right where I was.

Then all the worldwide chaos entered! And yet, my personal resolve withstands: I will plant my feet in chaos and change.

I’m going to plant a garden. I’m going to tend to my home. I’m going to dream. I’m going to envision plans. I’m going to work hard and well. I’m going to prepare for our baby. I’m going to feed treats to the goats and organize our bright yellow shed and carry on. And it IS chaotic. But we’re right here. This is real. This is our place for life, for living. This is the time to plant ourselves again. This is precisely when we carry on.

Lest I Forget, poem

Birth in Times Like These, poem

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Son, I Don’t Want to Forget

It was magic.

And poetry.

Everything lovely.

And though last year was wild in its change and surprises, this moment was so quiet and special.

We were in our newly renovated home. It was evening and nearing your bedtime. I was in your room, not even half-finished in decor, but I made sure to have your colorful pom-pom garland and handmade felt goat mobile hung as soon as possible.

You were playing with your dad’s old light saber while the garland hung above in your unfinished room awash with soft light. It was summertime, so we were nearing your first birthday having spent a year in a truly beautiful season. The moment felt encased in a sort of calm wonder. Magic. That was, in the moment, the only word for it. There was nothing monumental about this moment.

It just was.

You and me.

I a mother and you my son.

Reality was gold. And that was magic.

And there are so many things I don’t want to forget.

Like the way you say truck and rock and car.

How sometimes you say “Bye!” to our surroundings as we leave the house.

The way you scrunch your nose when you’re being silly and how quickly you run out of bed to grab a book or a toy and rush back with urgency. I don’t say anything, but I do sneak in and grab the recycling truck from your bed after you’ve played and fallen asleep with your head against it.

I love when you say Mommy. Drawing out the first syllable. Or when you say “Ba-bye Daddy, Ba-bye Daddy truck.” I love how much you love to cook with your play food and dishes. Your sound effects. How determined you are. All the times you want to sit close to me or force-feed me your snack. And how you yell-sing during church worship.

I’m a fan of how you say “cook” for cracker and that you put your hand flat over your food and say “hot! hot!” to get out of eating it. (At least that’s my guess and mothers are good at guessing.)

You make the color blue alive with laughter and excitement and life. I think you’ve made your mother’s blue eyes brighter too.

I’m having the time of my life with you. I think I’ll be saying that forever. Getting old and gray has never looked better. A lifetime of being your mother. I treasure every moment.

You are music, son.

I love getting to know you.

I just love you.

Let’s go play now.