right now: summer!

As these weeks of summer continue to move us slowly and surely toward the first cooler breezes of fall, I am trying my best to stay present with what is happening, right here, right now. For, though summer is, of course, luscious, delightful and full of juicy goodness, by mid-August, I usually find myself daydreaming about crisper air, turning leaves, the unpacking of colorful woolens, apples fresh from the tree… but wait! It is still summer, after all… and rushing it away by moving into autumn in my mind, well, that’s not what I want to be doing right now. The sooner autumn starts, the sooner winter will follow, and while autumn is my favorite season, well, winter is not. So, right now, I am loving:

Playing in water: at the beach, in the backyard, and under raindrops… (It rains here! A lot! I love it!)

Looking for shells on the beach on Orr's Island.

"Look Mama! I'm surfing!"

Beans, our silly dog, waits patiently for Quinn to throw water at her. She loves it!

Berries! Picked and eaten fresh, by the handful; made, by Joe, into incredible toppings for cheesecake and ice cream; baked into muffins; and whatever is left over, tucked into the freezer for those cold days to come… We’ve gone strawberry and raspberry picking this summer, and plan to go blueberry picking this week, this time picking enough for more eating and baking, but also, I hope, making some jam!

We found an amazing organic strawberry patch within a half hour’s drive from our house. Acres of ripe, luscious berries… I only wish we had made it back a second time before they closed for the season. The jam we could have made! Next year…

Morning muffin making boys

On my birthday, I took the boys raspberry picking.

Isaiah picked raspberries with me for a while, until he discovered a huge sandbox at the end of one of the rows of berry bushes… and that was the end of my help with picking! He did help me eat lots on the way home, though.

Quinn wandered around underfoot, picking and eating berries, until he too saw the sandbox. The next night during a diaper change, Papa discovered that Quinn had eaten a green beetle along with his raspberries! Hmm… natural immune-builder, perhaps? Words cannot express how happy I am that the beetle made his appearance in the one diaper I didn’t change that day!

But I digress… Moving on to more of what I’m loving about summer:

Sharing some good old fashioned, small town New England summer fun with my boys…

Isaiah was so intrigued by the cotton candy, and sounded so wistful, asking if we could buy him some, "for a very special treat?" It's summertime, it's the fair, I loved it when I was four... yes!

Visiting with my parents and other beloved family members down in Rhode Island, a mere three hours drive away! This year we were present at my dad’s birthday in late May, and my mom’s in early August, with lots of visits from them (and help with childcare during our two moves!) in between! Such a gift, to live close to my family of origin once again. The boys are soaking up the grandparent-love…

Gramma has two helpers for breakfast-making!

Happy Birthday PePere!

Frosting Gramma's cake...

Happy Birthday Gramma! (Quinn, very concerned, is signing that the candle flames are "hot!")

I didn’t serve Quinn any of the chocolate cake, but he really enjoyed his first bowl of ice cream!

Summertime may be short, but it sure is sweet, don’t you think?

What are you loving right now?

gratitude for what has been

Goodbye, Colorado… I’ll miss so much about you…

I will miss the mountains, and the energy they impart into the landscape, and into the people living near them. For ten years I’ve lived in Boulder, a unique little city nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. At some point during each day, I’ve found myself gazing toward the western horizon, drinking in the view of those mountains, and every time I’ve looked at them, often without even thinking about it, I’ve taken a deeper breath. Now, as we move our little family from those majestic Rockies toward the ocean, I’m hoping that looking eastward, toward the sea, will give me that same unconscious nudge to pause, take a long, deep drink of the ocean-soaked air, and be grateful for it. I think it will. Goodbye, Rocky Mountains! Thank you for all the lessons you’ve taught me, for inviting me to hike along so many dusty trails amidst red rocks and silvery sagebrush, butterscotch-scented pine trees, and mountain wildflowers. Sigh. I will miss those hikes.

I will miss our beloved Boulder Creek, and the paths we’ve followed along it, all over town. I will miss sitting by the creek outside the library on hot, hot, sunny summer days, watching my boys wade around in the chilly water, dig in the mud, fill buckets with pebbles, stones, and mud, and rest in the welcome shade of the trees growing nearby. When I first moved from the East Coast to Colorado, I was a bit concerned about the lack of proximity to the coast, and wondered how I would manage without that water energy close by. Soon, however, I discovered the magical effects of this lovely creek, an almost-constantly moving source of water… the glacial ice and snow melts, rushing down the mountains, flowing through town, clearing the energy as it moves. In the warmer months, the cold water cools the air around the creek as it flows, creating the perfect respite from the intense sun, which can feel a bit punishing, sometimes, at a higher altitude. Boulder would not be the amazing place it is, I don’t think, without this creek, and the impressive network of paths –and inviting resting places– that run alongside it. Goodbye, Boulder Creek! Thank you.

Most of all, I will miss the people. The amazing, inspired, inspiring, conscious, creative, loving, kind and generous people that I have been fortunate enough to know and love, and have in my life, during the decade I lived in Boulder. Too numerous to mention individually, they know who they are, and they know how grateful I am to have had the opportunity to be in relationship with each of them. They have taught me so much: to slow down, and notice; to feel, deeply; to open up my heart and let the world in, even though it hurts, and even though it’s scary; to look within, and excavate that which no longer serves me, and figure out how to let it go, and keep letting go, and letting go, over and over, until I’ve started to become healthy, and so much more authentic than I ever was before. I have learned so much from my friends and family, teachers, co-teachers, midwives, and energy workers over these years I’ve been living “out West.” And I am still learning, still excavating, still being reminded, daily, to breathe and let go, breathe… and let go. I will miss all of these beloved people. They really know how to live, to embrace life in all its gifts and suffering, to not just float through their days, inattentive and busy. I appreciate that about so many people I’ve known in Colorado — some born there, but most brought there by choice, by their desire to plant themselves intentionally in that rocky soil… and bloom!

In particular, I will miss “my Naropa people,” some of whom have already blazed trails away from Boulder, and all of whom know how to breathe consciously, bear witness, hold space, laugh and cry simultaneously –even gracefully– and, perhaps most importantly, give the best hugs. (My husband loves to joke about what he calls my “Naropa –ahhh– hugs,” which are long, soulful, and punctuated by deep, satisfied sighs. Ahhh… love.)

And I will so miss my mama friends, whose presence, guidance, and support I have been so very blessed with during these early years of being a mother. These women are so honest, so brave, loving, and funny, and so, so devoted to their little ones… their children are blessed to be in the care of such compassionate, generous, intelligent and self-aware women. Mamas, I am honored to have had the privilege to mother alongside of you, to watch our babies explore and play, and (so quickly!) grow into such unique, strong, sensitive little people. Dear friends, I will miss you each, so very, very much. Thank you. Thank you.

I moved out to Boulder, to attend graduate school at Naropa University, ten years ago this May, in my 1986 Oldsmobile, packed full of all my worldly belongings… and now I’m moving back east, to a place a few hours north of my birthplace, with a much more reliable car, (and with a whole moving truck full of furniture and “stuff”!) and one dear husband, two small, beloved children, and two dogs. Boulder has been good to me, and my cup surely runneth over. Onward, Eastward… my boys and I are off! (Yes, we’re really doing this!) Please visit us in Maine, by the enchanted sea, and the elf- and gnome-laden woods! You’re always welcome. Farewell, my friends… the circle is open, but unbroken. Merry we’ve met, merry part, and merry may we meet again!