Lush

The wet lush lands of the Pacific Northwest flow from mountain to valley and trickle and rush and rage and ride with water.  As an adolescent I thought I would only be a writer if rain often poured out my window.  I love this image of young me, the ultimate idealist.  And, a realist, it turns out.  I love this lush land!

The wildflowers flank the roads–fields of yarrow, balsam root, dandelion, chickweed, and as the morning dew dries and the sun glitters the papery petals of littered dandelion, or crisps the last bits of balsam root, I feel home here in this wild land.  IMG_5524

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Having just arrived home after a loop around Oregon and Washington (in the bus!), a calm settles over my home and I sense that I’ve come home in my body.  I focused my intention last dark moon: I plant the seed of being in my body, fully present.  Traveling in our bus opened my eyes to a new way of moving through our world.  I brought my home with me and visited special places.  With young children, this was invaluable.  I love our bus!  I love the simple nature of it.

Upon seeing the sea with the sand in my toes, my feet became buoyant and I flitted fast to the water.  Cool and calm, the tide swam in.  The sand squeaked under our feet, near-powder fine.  As I left the ocean last year I convinced myself that–with an affinity for the forest and river–I didn’t need the tides and vast salty water.  After visiting the northern pacific waters, I feel reborn!  The sea speaks to me: Combing the shore as I comb my own heart for treasures; the ebb and flow of the tides rhythmical and methodical as my own expansion and contraction; the smooth rocks, smoothed with time, with intention, with synchronicity mirror my own depths of surrender.

A sensuous and lush bath for deep groundedness:
:: 9 drops lavender essential oil
:: 3 drops ylang ylang essential oil
:: 1 drop patchouli essential oil
:: 1 cup epsom salt
:: a tub of water as hot as you can stand it
This bath heals me every single time.  Water nourishes me, cleanses me, heals me.
I love the small hint of the earthy patchouli, too.  Once after dinner I went to start the bath and drew this lush grounded bath, upon returning to the table where Cody was just finishing his last few bites.  I kept thinking I was eating bits of dirt, he laughed, until I realized it was you.  Paired with the lavender and the ylang ylang, the patchouli sends my roots deep, and I emerge from this bath feeling light, open, connected.  (Update: I typically don’t use essential oils because of how much plant matter needed for them, but every so often I am inspired for this bath and I indulge.)

On the reg, however, I choose herbal infusions like this one:
:: oats
:: rose petals
:: lavender
strain and pour quart of infusion into bathwater.  I’ll even use a cheesecloth or tea towel and capture the herbs and use them to exfoliate my skin as I wash.

A New Do

typewriterimageOh, the ever-evolving journal.  At age six I began a journey that would later prove to enrich my existence on the planet: I wrote my first diary entry.  My days have since harbored a consistent flow of words and ideas kept in this journal or that.  Pink and purple with a cartoon dog holding a pen, held closed by a very teeny lock opened only by those with the very teeny key; I went through a stage where I only wrote in three-subject college-ruled notebooks; I have dozens of poetry notebooks from sixth grade alone typed carefully and hole punched to fit into three-ring binders; ornate leather-bound and hand sewn journals which hold the key to my deepest desires; a slightly goofy spiral-bound notebook from a Japanese store in San Francisco on Judah Street next to my old grocer Sam, the pages are robin’s egg blue with a border and a girl eating a cupcake in the top outer corner of each page; and lately I use a simple extra-large plain black, ruled moleskin journal, it feels classic and natural.  I have evolved into a more simple space.

I found the blog’s evolution necessary, too, as everything.  Naturally, I’m still working on my “brand” whatever that means.  But it feels a little more open for us to just have a conversation about what it means to cultivate wellness and balance on the spectrum where we meet (what Glitter & Grit was all about, anyway).  I feel less tied to any particular subject, and more true to what my rhythm with life (and thus writing) actually is.

I muse about the image which brands this space, still.  Michael, my beloved dear old friend who designed the beautiful typewriter image, and all the other images that once guided to each different category I’ve covered, and I feel connection to his work and love his dedication to me and my family as we evolve.  I can imagine a moon, the moon phases, or something of the like, as the moon guides me so wholly.  And I am still always in love with the typewriter.  A reader for whom I babysat as an adolescent mentioned the words “the poet and the pioneer” in a comment last month, which are two hats I deliberately don.  Those words are also guiding a new image for me.  Even, a mission statement!  (Thank you!)

Oh, yeah, and I cut my bangs a lot shorter, too.

In what ways are you evolving as we approach the longest lightest day of the year?

A Fresh Start

Hi you.  It has been a long time.  I made Glitter & Grit private so I could take that time in solitude (there wasn’t a fancy password given to anyone in particular); and I’m back for a fresh start.

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Yesterday we received a copy of Tiny Homes on the Move by Lloyd Kahn.  It was so fitting, as next week marks three years since our bus purchase, and we are contributors to this project.  (I think this makes me published!)  Look out for a giveaway coming soon!

We have a new puppy named Maeve.  My children are robust.  My life is rich.  My husband has some very wonderful things in the works.  And I’m back for a fresh start.  I’ll be using this blog in a much different way.  I won’t be scouring the internet for any links for you, so the Today is for Lovers column is shifting big time; I won’t be posting stories and pictures that are of/about my children–the reason I took the site/time off in the first place was because I felt I was betraying my family by being so intimate with their stories, their details here in this public arena–I’m going to share my own stories with you; I won’t be posting nearly as much as I once did, but the content will be rich and quality.  I’m grounding into the reasons I began this platform. I want to share what my experience looks like in cultivating wellness based on the sweet and salty yin and yang of life; I want to inspire you, learn from you, teach you, experiment, and write.  And so, let’s have a fresh start, yes?

Today is for Lovers

Things I love today:

:: I love love.  I always have.  My earliest poetry is about love.  I am in love with the idea, the feeling, the commitment, everything!  It is a language we all speak.  From a place of love, anything is possible.  My facebook feed was filled with thought-provoking articles this week (a delightful surprise amongst the baby-this, or my-job-sucks-that), and this one gave me goosebumps from head to toe.
:: I adore the name Millie, and this birthday party is adorable.
:: I’m going to make a quilt!  Not that exact one, but I love that pattern.
:: Canning and putting up for the winter.  It’s hard work now, but winter will feel nice and relaxing.
:: Seeing all of my books out in this nook or that.  I love having space for my books!  Having to choose books for our teeny space was always a struggle, because I love having my library easily accessible!  (Pictures of our home are on the way!)

IMG_4536 IMG_4418 IMG_4419 IMG_4420 IMG_4423 IMG_4422:: We’ve been making lots of cards, Willa learned to use the scissors this summer and loves cutting crafts, and her papa thought this was just the one!  She cuts the tape and I arrange it on the paper.  Love mail art!

What do you love today, sweet reader?

the big dreams

I love West Virginia.  There’s a whole back story–which I may regale another time–but suffice it to say that I spent loving time in West Virginia, time that shaped the woman I am today.  It was there that many of my big dreams began to open in my heart.  And though it’s been years and though a heart-break or two occurred, my heart completely swells with gratitude for that time.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy mother-in-law sent this to my husband and I and told us she thought of us.

I’m moved as I watch the video.  We moved.  From the bus.  I wasn’t sure how to tell you, so I thought being blunt might be the best way.  The bus is now our best guest house!  We moved into an old farm-house.  The original farm-house for the thousand acres which surround.  It is fantastic.

Living with less in more space.  As this blog evolved, I realize many of you came to see our house bus.  I receive the most emails and comments about our bus.  This fact began to plague me before we made our move.  Late night talks with Cody about how I would write about something that anyone would want to read without living in our bus turned into a deep portal into myself.  I felt lost without the story of the bus.  Many many thoughts and journal entries and discussions have rotated around this notion, and I’m here to tell you it’s been a long journey.  The enlightenment which shook me, at the river one day, calmed my spirit–the bus is a tangible creation of our nature (our spirit), anything that the bus is and has become palpates Cody and my essence.   How awake I felt after I freed myself from the chains that we embody our spirit through our bus.  Quite the other way around.

And with this deep sense of calm and inspiration, I began to realize how big my dreams are, and how aligned with this couple they may be.  My mother-in-law knows us very well, because I felt reminded of myself, too as I watched this video and read their story.  I love being big dreamers.  I know we will continue to amaze ourselves with the way we tend to our soil, the way we can water ourselves and the very touchable way we bring our ideas to fruition.

What are your big dreams?  How do you build them?  How do you feed your dreams?  Has there been a major heartbreak or let-down leading you to the ripening of your dreams?

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