014. A summoning.

1. The way rain sounds as it beats down on the yard, the roof, the streets outside our window.

2. That stickiness that comes with roiling thunder and flashes of lightning.

3. It feels different this morning, the air does. As if the atmosphere, too, is waiting with bated breath for autumn to arrive.

4. Family meetings and laughing so hard my abs cramp and my eyes tear up.

Chonathan.

I hope these memories are the ones that stay.

5. Black paint and owning our dreams. Let’s paint the fireplace and the cabinets and drape the couches in sumptuous textures!

deliberate. languid. measured. steady.

I dig through the basket of unfolded but clean clothes for my favorite tee as he saunters down the dark hallway.

I can hear his ankles clicking.

What’s that bone called anyway?

. . . I googled it; it’s called a malleolus.

Yes, saunters. He’s in no rush.

We both move a little slower these days. Whether it’s our years catching up to us or the feeling of being settled—finally, blissfully settled—I’m not sure, but the saunter suits him.

So, I linger.

I stop searching for my beloved white tee and I watch him as the expanse of his back seemingly fills our hallway, drinking him in as the sun begins its ascent just outside our open windows.

Slow. It suits us.

013. A summoning. A homecoming.

Four months.

I’ve been away for four months, and in that time:

— we sold a house, and bought a house, and have begun to make the new house a home.

— graduated with an A.S. in Library Information & Technology, having maintained a 4.0 GPA, made the Dean’s List all three semesters, and was invited to apply for valedictorian (which I declined on account of not liking public speaking).

— my oldest finished her first year at university, my eldest son finished his first year of high school, and my youngest finished his second year of elementary.

— have read 12 books in the last two months after years of barely finding the time to read one a year.

— have held hands with my depression, made pacts with my demons, and remember what it is to thrive in the surviving.

— have fallen in love with my husband a thousand times over.

— spent time on the beach, in fae gardens, and under crisp sheets.

— watched the sunrise and marveled at the sunset.

— cried, and laughed, and laughed so hard I have cried.

— written, poems upon poems, finding my way home.

— desired a creative outlet, toyed with lettering, entertained the idea of a newsletter.

— lived life as wholly and wantonly as possible.

I cannot wait to see what the next four months bring. xo

012. a summoning.

01. A boy who towers over me, but still blushes when I count his freckles.


02. Coffee and a whole lot of creamer. Like half the cup.


03. The sound of birds chittering + chirping before the sun has fully risen. I, too, know what it is to be eager for the light.


04. Bergamot + pink Himalayan salt baths. Painted nails + candle light. Watching him struggle to relax.


05. Salty fries.

010.

When he was little, O refused to wear shorts.  

Refused

He was adamant that he would scrape up his legs if he ever wore shorts, so we never really pushed the issue. Even through humid summers, we let him dictate his clothes.

Until, finally, on a warm spring day, his dad convinced him to wear shorts. As his little toddler legs, newly exposed to the sunlight, carried him from our front door down the sidewalk to our car, he stumbled over his growing feet.

And scraped his legs.

He hasn’t worn shorts outside the house since. 

Moral of the story: your own knowing should never limit you because of your fears, but you shouldn’t rely on someone else’s knowing because it is not necessarily better than yours.

009.

I think about how it’s 13° somewhere, and wonder if breathing there hurts as much as it does here.  

Sometimes I think the lack of snow just highlights the way things change and we don’t even realize it.  

It all looks the same, verdant and sunny, but it feels different. 

I wish the outside reflected my insides.  

008.

The first things that fall away when I am under stress are any forms of self-care.

I forget to eat.

I forget to drink water.

I neglect to moisturize my skin.

I rush through showers and don’t luxuriate in baths.

The runes go unthrown and the decks go unshuffled.

Esbats are ignored and Sabbats are barely observed.

So, on this first day of the new solar year, I am choosing the word nourish as a guide. I am telling the great void that I am recommitting to new ways of coping with stress by first caring for myself through nourishing myself—emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. I am putting out into the universe my desire to nourish myself, even on the days it feels like the last thing I want to do.

I am committing to the work of nourishing my dreams, my goals, and myself.

Friends, hold me to it.

007.

I climb out from under the warm pile of blankets to follow the desire for coffee, and am caught in the lingering mist of his cologne.

It’s sweet and spicy, and I’m immediately reminded of the nights I used his pillow instead of mine and, lying between our two young children, cried myself to sleep, praying to any god who would listen that I just wanted him back home safe and whole.

I’m reminded that I couldn’t watch the news all the way through for nine months.

And I’m reminded about those nights of worry, and then the nights I wondered if we would make it, just two kids with moon eyes and lofty dreams.

I’m reminded about the ways we’ve had to grow together and the ways we’ve had to grow separately, and the ways we’ve made room for both.

And I hear us whispering in the dark. All our fears. All our hurts. All our wishes. All our wants.

Twenty years of whispering to each other before we rest for the night.

I hear me asking across the expanse of our bed if, when he kissed me and made me his girl all those years ago, he expected to be where we are now.

And I hear him say “I didn’t know, but I hoped.”

006.

My Dad used to tell me “The worst they can say is ‘no’” whenever I would tell him I had a question or want that involved someone else. 

And, more often than not, he was right.  

But, the fear of asking is sometimes less about receiving a negative answer and more about the way asking makes us feel.  

When we ask for things—especially things that are important to us—it is not always the ‘no’ that makes us leery, but the anticipation,

the worry,

the churning in the gut,

the panic. 

Because while the ‘no’ could be innocent enough, it is what the asking and the potential of ‘no’ makes us feel that draws the fear.

Ignored.

Disrespected.

Unloved.

Lacking in some way.

Here’s the thing, though: ask anyway

If the worst someone can say is no, if you walk away feeling ignored or disrespected, unloved or not enough?

You should also feel brave. 

Courageous. 

Proud.

Strong. 

Because you knew that asking could make you feel a myriad of horrible ways . . . but, it was important enough to you to ask anyway, so you did.  You put yourself out there, knowing it could hurt.

And I’m pretty sure that’s what my Dad was trying to say.

 

* This is obviously not about consent, which you should always ask for and if it’s a ‘no’ or not freely given, you should accept readily and wholeheartedly. 

003.

We turn out the porch light and sort through the candy.

I see him picking pieces out of the cauldron.

My heart sort of sinks when I watch him. I feel . . . bad? Guilty?

Guilty.

I look at the teenager and say, “Maybe you should have gotten candy tonight, then the two of you could have traded like you and your sister used to.”

“What,” the littlest says, overhearing and grabbing a chair at the island, too.

“Yeah,” says the teenager, “Sis and I used to pour our candy on the floor, sort it, and trade for our favorites. Like, I’d give her a Snickers for two Milky Way.”

The littlest thinks for a moment and says, “Well, Sis isn’t here anymore* and you don’t Trick-or-Treat, so I don’t have anyone to do that with.”

Guilt. Definitely guilt.

*Sis is our college freshman.

002.

I startled myself awake. 

Do you ever do that?

You know, like when dream you is feeling so much, too much, the weight of emotions wakes you up?

That was me at 4:34AM. 

Well, sort of.  

Because dream me thought I was awake, but also saw itself pulling The Lovers, inverted, with their skeletal arms wrapped around each other and a pomegranate oracle card. Since I have neither of those cards in any of my decks, dream me knew I was still sleeping.

So, hello 4:34AM. 

I hope all of Scorpio season isn’t like this. 

001.

 I’ve missed it.  

The full moon, that is.

I always seem to these days.  

Honestly, I feel the new moon’s arrival more acutely. Isn’t that odd, I think. I wonder what it says about me that the absence of moonlight has a greater pull.

Of course, the dreams were all over the place. That’s the only marker I have for the full moon these days. Restlessness and dreams that are so disjointed sleep feels pointless.

Maybe the full moon missed me, too.  

A summoning. Twenty-three.

1. He makes enough coffee for the both of us so these 4AM wake ups hurt a little less.

Just a little.

2. We're finally getting around to her senior portraits today. I'm not sure either of us are ready.

3. Tomorrow is the last final of the semester. I'm so ready.

4. I want to be here more. I think I've said that before. I know I have. But it is still true. Is anyone else moving back to blogging?

5. This could be a five things sort of deal. Or three. Maybe even seven. Let's just see, okay? Okay.