#trending, Coping, flowers, Friendship, Healing, writing

#Trending: It’s personal.

[tren-ding]: emerging as a popular trend.

What is #trending for you personally this July, 2018? Because that is all that really matters. I was thinking about this as the birds sprayed all the fresh water out of my birdbath this morning, exuberantly enjoying their morning spa. Note that nothing about my list is trendy #trending — you would have to  jump over to twitter for that — instead, a short list of what I realize has unfolded as my compass this last month.

  1. #goodfriendsareshastadaisies:  Leucanthemum superbum are the most trustworthy summer perennial I know — standing tall despite heat or thunderstorms or neglect,  They stretch to the sky and tip their faces up to the sun and grow in the poorest patches of earth. I have friends that stand up to life this way, the same friends who continuously cultivate our friendship despite our differences or geography or challenges.  They are my #trending anchors, my soul soothers, I channel you daily. You know who you are. I am grateful.
  2. #WritingReadingThinking: If I can’t write, I read. If I can’t read, I think. Do not underestimate the power of sitting with morning tea and listening to what is happening around you and just thinking. Some of my best lines float into my brain this way. Some of the best answers come to me watching birds hop in and out of the birdbath. It has taken six decades to allow sitting into my life and to reap the benefits. One silver lining of health challenges I try to pay forward daily.
  3. #Family: As we grow up and old we change. I am all for this. For all of us. What is  #trending for me is the filament that holds us together, though my family grows and expands —  a tie so gossamer it seems invisible but so strong, like the single thread of a spider web. I am thankful.
  4. #Sadsacksofflesh: So I lost a couple of sad sacks of flesh last year and I am about to lose another. #trending for me is understanding what I can live without and remembering how I have healed, over and over. I am writing a to-do list for 2019 and checking it twice. Watch me go after this next surgery. Catch me if you can.
  5. #LettingStuffGo: The Nest, in Seattle, is three rooms and a bath. Enough said. We don’t need anything, really, but the essentials. And chocolate. What are yours?

So what is #trending for me personally? I am picking daisies and talking to friends far and near and staying in touch with my grown-up offspring and getting through another hospital gig and booking tickets and writing workshops and retreats and outlining my new manuscript and stripping the basement of stuff. I can’t wait for the year to come. And in the near future, I will be sitting down, watching the birds and thinking while my body catches up.

How about you? Whatever it is, make it yours, make it good.

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Filled to the Brim.

 

Yesterday I worked in the gardens for six hours, sinking my hands into the dirt, chatting with the cardinals, whisking compost off Olive’s beard, planting tightly-closed plants and tipping my face up to the warmth.  The sun, the birdsong and the simple tasks disconnected me from my head. I needed this.

In brief, a lot has happened in the last twenty-eight days, most of it unimaginable:  I kissed a friend good-bye for the last time. I received a call from a young man asking to marry my oldest daughter. I prepare to graduate my youngest from college. I attended my very last family lacrosse game after twenty years on the sidelines. Sometimes I felt I couldn’t catch my breath.

Have I taken this all in stride? On one hand, there is a hole in my heart the size of Kansas, the loss of my friend from ovarian cancer inconceivable. On the other hand, the love pouring into me from her family, friends and mere acquaintances has filled me to the brim. And while the sadness running out of me has left me wrung out, proposals and wedding plans smack me on the side of the head, reminding me that our lifelines go on, and on, and on, and I am full of joy and happiness AND sadness — a nest of words and emotions exploding in my head and heart.

So there I was, pruning roses and teary, illogically wishing I could call my mother, dead thirty years ago, to tell her all the amazing news and this popped up on my phone screen from a friend:

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And I realized, as the sparrows squabbled overhead and the earthworms wriggled below, that there is truly always more room in my heart, that hearts are made to expand —  to have and to hold, to hug and to cherish, to grieve and remember, to love and to lose.

How lucky am I to have all these memories and all this emotion. I am filled to the brim. And yet? There is room for more.

Bring it on.

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