I helped a friend yesterday with a bit of yard work. Helped to plant a few flowers. Trimmed a tree. Pulled a few weeds. Burried a bird. Enjoyed these existing flowers coming to life in spring. I’ve always loved the persistence, and perhaps creativity, of flowers that grow among rocks. The yard care, and the company, were very renewing.

Four weeks ago I took a rest from posting in this blog. Though writing remains tremendously edifying to me, and is one of my offerings, I followed my instincts, to surrender even that. We were all in some surrender those days. And are in these days. I needed to be in the space of “no words” to follow some grief. To go further with the surrender. To rest in a slowed and emptied landscape.

Well, in the surrender and the renewal I found myself in an unplanned website redesign. The platform I was using was about to expire. I have to say it was fun to upgrade a few skills (after my giant gulp of “oh no”). It was fun to tend to my website, migrating a few materials, removing some, playing with look and feel. I loved selecting a few recent photos to highlight this site, scrolling through my phone from a few recent important gatherings.

In the last four weeks I spent a fair amount of time writing in a different way — on flip charts and grouping post-it notes. I think I needed to revisit in a very visual way what I was learning and what I was loving. I loved having those visuals on my wall, much like I love these spring flowers growing amidst rocks. Some of that will likely come out in the coming days and weeks of posts.

In one part of the conversation yesterday, my friend and I shared that we’d been going through what feels a full spectrum of CoVid related emotions every day and sometimes every hour. Grief. Fear. Surrender. Mesmerized appreciation. Joy. Panic. I’ve heard this from a lot of people I’ve been in touch with.

Such it is. We live in the times we live in. Until we don’t. I’m grateful for renewal. And tending with friends.

Taking Care, And a Few CoVid Resources

Where I live, like it is in many places, there is a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Directive. I’m glad for leadership offered by those tracking the bigger picture of CoVid, and it’s impact on systems failure — be they health care resources, unemployment support, manufacturing and distribution challenges, or a whole host of other things that are likely to be everything from wobbled to collapsed. Where I live, it feels like waiting for a CoVid storm, and watching it play out with huge heartbreak in other cities within this country and in other countries.

So, I remain, like many others, trying to make sense of things. Trying to pay attention. Trying to grow the limits of what I can pay attention to. Trying to be present. Trying to be helpful. With self, other, and this place (both my virtual communities and my local geography).

I’m reminded of a story Meg Wheatley told years ago that anchors some simple todos that I find myself reaching for in these times. Meg tells of working at a school, I think it was for elementary kids. On the day that she was there, there was a fire alarm. All the kids and staff proceeded outside in pretty structured ways. On that day it had rained a bit outside. The school yard was muddy. It meant that when the kids came in, it was a lot of muddy shoes. By the time Meg made it back in, what she saw was rows of shoes left at the door. Not muddy hallways with janitor racing for mop.

As Meg shared this story, she highlighted three practices that she saw in the experience with shoes, and three practices that are good grounding for these times.

  1. Take care of yourself.
  2. Take care of each other.
  3. Take care of this place.

I find myself needing to remember these kind of stories right now. I find myself grateful for a simplicity that creates values-based actions within complicated, complex, and chaotic times.

There are a few CoVid resources I’ve particularly appreciated lately. I’ll just list them, and a reason they’ve felt important. 

Charles Eisenstein, The Coronation — this is a long one, 9,000 words, but I find Charles to be wonderfully honest and thoughtful. He can refreshingly stay in the questions.

The Point Magazine, Quarantine Journal — because I need something that is not just statistics. They just started this within the last couple of weeks. Because, it’s good to know data. It’s also good to know human interest stories.

Shawna Lemay’s Blog, Transactions with Beauty — I love her humanness, her sharing outloud ability to witness her journey and what she sees in others. Her recent post, “And Yes” was the one that caught my attention in a CoVid way. 

So, wishing each of us the best we can in taking care. And in perusing resources. But also in just leaning in to this remarkable time of redirected urgency. For some — in my circles it’s health care professionals, teachers, and faith community leaders that are so on the front line. Urgency is mass effort and fatigue and worry and presence.

Thank you. Self. Each other. This place. Thank you.

For others, this urgency needs to be steered to a much more surrendering willingness to go to the deepest pools within one’s psyche. To the emptiness. To the loneliness. To the fatigue and worry that is so present in many. It would be crazy to miss this urgency also. I know, which probably ought not to be called “urgency” but rather “surrender” to what is I hope in me, others, this place, an evolution of who we can be as people together — not just waiting it out, hoping not to die, and then chasing the old ways.

Thank you. Self. Each other. This place. Thank you.


Flow & Can’t Not


It’s a common theme for me. Seeking flow. Seeking relationship with flow. Seeking surrender. Seeking contribution. There’s a certain feeling that goes with it, I notice. And joy. And sometimes, the kind of “oh dear” that comes with even a half-raised eyelid of awakeness that knows things are about to change. It’s a common theme for many of us.

With that in mind, I found a few words writing me this morning. For inspiration.


Can’t Not?

In this life
I seek flow.
It is flow
with life itself.

Flow with life as river
that ineffably
finds its way to sea or sky
because it can’t not.

Flow with life as fire
that flickers or bursts
its way upward
because it can’t not.

Flow with life that is growth in spring
that persists through
rock, dirt, field, and even paved parking lot
because it can’t not.

I wonder if there is a flow
that perhaps takes decades,
and perhaps enough challenging circumstance,
to reach the point at which it can’t not be surrendered to?

That’s funny, right.
Because death will come
just as surely as birth,
when again, flow, simply, can’t not.

Things That Might Be True

These words below from American Author, Elizabeth Lesser sound true. I suppose I hope that they are true, for all of us. I notice that it’s just harder to remember such words when in the full descent, which I suppose is why it’s good to have them written!

I’ve come to learn that the full descent, though it can’t be taken for us by friends, it can be witnessed. The ups. The downs. The surprise prolonged dwellings. The “thought I was through but gotcha’s.” The witnessing does help, I think. Over tea. Across from each other on a couch. Or through a computer screen. Or through a burried face into a shoulder that catches tears.

Sometimes, however, I wonder if at the bottom of such surrender, is even the removed need to be witnessed. And that helps us find our way.


From Elizabeth Lesser…

When we descend all the way down to the bottom of a loss,
and dwell patiently with an open heart,
in darkness and pain,
we bring back up with us the sweetness of life
and the exhilaration of inner growth.
When there is nothing left to lose, we find the true self —
the self that is whole, the self that is enough,
the self that no longer looks to others
for definition, or completion, or anything
but companionship on the journey.
This is the way to live a meaningful and hopeful life —
a life of real happiness and inner peace.