enveloped (things I noticed)

dear you:

I have something for you to do. a practice in slow living, in sweet living, and a practice to nurture your writing, too. find a street in your town that you can comfortably walk down. somewhere close to home, maybe, that feels familiar on the bottom of your shoes. now, walk a while, and notice. notice the things you've never noticed before. the small ones. the details. inhale. exhale. breathe through the desire to retreat into your mind, or your phone. now, turn around, and walk the same path again. notice more. the way rosemary bushes pour like water over the rim of a concrete wall. the scabs on a brick building where vines once held fiercely. a cat's two footprints in old cement. walk again, and again, down the same road, unfolding the layers around you, shaking off the dust, gently loosening your habitual thought patterns like an old pair of shoes. when you get home, write stories about the things you noticed. and then, with softened eyes, try to practice the same mindfulness with your heart, with your home, with your loved ones. you are enveloped by so much beauty, sweet love. you only have to notice.


one day, when we’ve both grown old in our bones and sun-stained from a dozen summers, you’ll ask me what it was like when you were new. 

in the beginning, I’ll say, you were very small and very still, and we didn’t realize the greatness of what we’d done. and then you grew. you opened your eyes and reached for the glasses on my nose, and just like that, you were the only thing we knew. 

it wasn’t easy to become a mother. the first year was another birth entirely, perhaps even more painful, in a different way, and there were a hundred hazy lamp-lit nights spent cradling you at my breast, rocking and humming and wondering what in the world I had done. 

but it was easy to love you. you were so velvety and veiled in fuzz, like an august peach. you smelled like milk and honey and i marveled at your purity, not only of your skin and bones and being, but of the air between us, so warm and colorless, not yet stained with any words or actions. 

you were new for such a short time, sweet love. and now, look at you. my god, how you bloom. when I think I’ve got a handle on your heart, you peel away and spill your spirit in a different direction entirely, always keeping me on my toes, forever unfolding and unfolding again. i can’t exactly drape words over this first year. it was milk stains and profoundly practiced patience and counting the coupled breaths you took as you were sleeping. but it was something else, too. it was the feeling of spring on the back of my neck, the feeling of something coming, something swelling somewhere between my skin and the air. a never-ending season of newness. of fumbling forward. of change. of grace.

and now, here we are. a year, to the day. we wake, we tangle, we collapse, we rise. when you ask me what it was like when you were new,  I’ll cup your soft hands in mine and say, “my dear, sweet love, it was the beginning of your life, and too, it was the beginning of mine.”

i want to know you

Dear Stranger:

I want to know who you are. You - marvelous, everyday you. I want to unfold you like a pair of new wings. To lift the corners, shake off the dust. I want to explore you the way someone gently moves through the paper pages of an old journal. 

I want to know the way your lips move when you’re lying. The way the bones in your fingers relax when he slips a hand between your thighs. I want to take note of the things that no one else sees - how you suck your bottom lip when you’re waiting, the way your anger reminds you of your mother, the scar on your wrist from the night that you couldn’t finish.

I want to know who you are. I want to watch you in the evening, stranger, when you’re alone and the television is on. When you fold your pants but throw your blouse on top of a pile in the corner. I want to study the shape of your spine and the gloss of your skin as you lean against an open fridge. You close the door, sing a little to yourself and sway your soft frame as if you were relieving an ache. I want to know who you ache for, stranger. I want to ache for them with you.

I want to know who you are, because I think you are beautiful, stranger. Marvelous, everyday you. And though you don’t believe it, between your palms you cradle stories worth telling. The little ones. The ones that tuck away and turn pale, camouflaged into commonplace. 

And if you won’t plant them onto paper, stranger, don't worry, they'll still be alright. That's what I'm here for, stranger. I'm ready. I'm listening. I will tend to them for you. 

- The Author