11.11.16 A Double-Fisted Day

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This week I was in line for Starbucks … again.  I’d just been there two days before, but I needed it, and vindicated my drinking choices with my blonde-head held high.  I was that kind of girl … the Starbucks-toting, it-is-what-it-is “Gold Card Member,” drive-through frequenter that women like me are so typically pegged to be.  There’s a favorite verse of mine, Corinthians 15:10 that says, “But by the grace of God, I am what I am, and his grace within me is not without effect.”  I realized I would not be “effective” at all, without a Ventì.

While I might regret my Starbucks affliction at times, this week, (yes I’m talking about Wednesday morning) there was NOTHING that could keep me away from my perkalicious-pick-me-up.  The funniest thing was, as I made the necessary left, and quick right turn into the parking lot, my kids chorused, ” Again mom?”

“Don’t be judgmental,” I chided, “it’s not an attractive quality.

“Yeah,” my son said, “but weren’t you just here like – a day ago?”

Thankfully, right as we pulled into the line, I saw something beautiful … a man drinking a large porcelain cup of coffee, as he waited in the drive through line to order MORE coffee!  I laughed out loud and immediately diverted the conversation by throwing this amazing man right under the proverbial bus. “See,” I literally pointed,”now that guy has problems!  He’s the addict.”  My kids reluctantly agreed, and let me proceed with my order sans discrimination due to the double-fisted wonder ahead of me.  Still, if I hadn’t felt so “on-watch” I’d have loved to get another drink today … maybe two.

And while my pride won’t let me, I’ve decided to exonerate you … to absolve if you need to have a double-fisted day of three shots of espresso, or even something stronger.  So here’s a small list of reasons to allow you to be, “Off the Hook,” so-to-speak.   Relate to one, or ten … and enjoy a drink on me!

Official Double-Fisted Off the Hook List

  • If you’ve lost sleep because you’re looking into moving to Australia instead of staying in America … you’re off the hook.
  • If you’re balancing work, or kids, or school, or all of the above … you’re off the hook.
  • If you’re going on a television fast because you can’t stand to see another Black Friday commercial thus reminding you of the inevitability that you’re about to be broke in a month … you’re off the hook.
  • If your laundry is tracking you and the only way to avoid it is to leave the house … you’re off the hook.
  • If your inbox is filled to the digital brim with things you’re trying hard to ignore … you’re off the hook.
  • If you realized that the Halloween candy bowl is a lot lighter but you aren’t … you’re off the hook.
  • If you just want to go jump in the leaves but have to go to work instead … you’re off the hook.
  • If you needed to wear your winter coat for the first time this week … you’re off the hook.
  • If the only family member who hasn’t made you lose your temper this week is the cat or dog … you’re off the hook.
  • If you’ve already double booked (or triple-booked) for the holidays … you’re off the hook.
  • If you’ve spent any amount of time at all on Pinterest, thus making you feel like an epic failure … you’re off the hook.
  • If you had someone tell you, “You look tired,” this week …  you’re off the hook.
  • If you would do anything to stay in bed but the alarm is reminding you that the world expects you to show up … you’re off the hook.

You’re vindicated, you’re exonerated, you’re double-fist coffee worthy!

Carry on.

Elle

5.31.16 For Everyone Who Ever Loved Henry

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When I was a little girl,  my aunt had this beautiful picture in her house.  I remember telling her how much I loved it each and every time we came over.  Fast forward twenty-years, and I’m at my baby shower.  Imagine my shocked surprise when I opened the picture. “When I found out you were having a son,” she said, “I just knew I had to give it to you.” All these eight years, we’ve kept the picture … and I’ve admired it for the memory … for the nostalgia … and for the likeness of my own baby boy who is already quite grown.

“A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.” – Agatha Christie

I believe in this formidable love, because I’ve felt it.  Every time my son or daughter make me laugh, every time they make me cry, every time I am blessed by their presence alone – I feel it like a tangible string tugging between my heart and theirs.  Sometimes, as they grow, that line seems to stretch incredibly taught as I feel them stretching into their own sense of self and purpose in this world, and instinct draws me to follow them, but life gently reminds me they need to find their own way. The love I feel as a mother makes me believe more than I ever was able before, that love never fails … and a friend of mine recently reminded me, it also never ends.

The first day I met my friend Spring, I was delighted by her gentle spirit and pure heart. She giggled openly, she didn’t shelter or hold back genuine interest in our conversation, and she shared her life stories without the careful filter most people apply.  She was real … and it was refreshing.  Having only known her for a couple of months, I almost forgot – almost but not quite, just what she would be dealing with very soon.  Sure enough, it happened last week.  Spring sent out a prayer request for strength because it was going to be a tough day.  I instantly flashed back to that first day, and that first conversation. Because like any unassuming stranger, I’d made small talk, and asked what people our age asked, “Do you have any kids?”  She remarked that they had one boy, and his name was Henry – was.

One year ago, Spring uncovered her own definition of mother’s love.  And I imagine it was something like Uma Thurman’s description that said, “Before I had my child, I thought I knew all the boundaries of myself, that I understood the limits of my heart. It’s extraordinary to have all those limits thrown out, to realize your love is inexhaustible.” But where Spring is concerned, her love also needed to become ethereal, and the string that tethers her heart to her son’s needs to stretch from heaven to earth. Henry was born with a defect in his diaphragm which caused internal complications too large for his tiny, perfect heart to handle.

And my own heart, at this story, was anguished.  As I witnessed happy birthday wishes to their little prince, I struggled to even know what to say.  Even as a writer, what words can you offer that bring any semblance of peace? I found none. But suddenly … I remembered that picture, from all those years ago.  I wondered if it might be time to pass it on, if it could offer any comfort at all.  So I did.  And I hope that in the frozen embrace she can: feel the tiny hand that held hers ever-so-briefly, imagine the way his perfect head rested on her shoulder, picture the divine moment when she gets to hold him once again.  Sometimes, the love of God is fierce, so much so that it overpowers even a mother’s love.  And in that unquenchable moment of love, God chooses to not let go, because that child is just too special, too gentle, and too endeared to be gone from heaven so long.

I know this, and yet my mother’s heart breaks for her, and for everyone who ever loved Henry.

Please pray with me today,

Elle

 

 

 

4.19.16 Least of These

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“If you don’t take hold of the light, the darkness will take ahold of you.” Dave Brickey

People don’t typically gravitate toward teenagers. They’re seen as “the least” of society. Selfish. Egotistical. Moody. Lazy. I can think of a dozen more titles flippantly cast at the age. Mostly, it’s true, or it can be. So for the past few years, I’ve done a research project that asks my students to chose a charity to study, advocate for, and represent to the class. It has been an amazing journey of seeing teenagers learn to care about something bigger than their day, and invest in something that isn’t self-serving. While the initial draw is the $100.00 I promise to donate to the winner’s charity, there are always countless examples during presentations that prove it is so much more than a competition. This year was no different.

In the beginning of the unit, I tell the students that they may chose any charity, but to get my approval, they must first convince me that they are the right person to be an ambassador for this cause. They need to make a connection. I don’t always anticipate just how deep a chord this will strike. A few days ago, near the end of a week of feel-good presentations, it was her turn. Her. The beautiful girl who doesn’t know she’s beautiful … who hides behind the hair that falls in her face … who wears only black, or grey … who smiles, but speaks only in whispers. Her.

I tell the students that they need to dress up to present, and that hoodies and jeans aren’t allowed. She stood simply, removing her ever-present grey hoodie at the last minute to reveal a plain white t-shirt. Quietly, she walked to the front of the room, not choosing the digital format of a website or powerpoint, but an old fashioned poster to display her information. It was hand-written, but neatly … and there were only a few pictures. To Write Love on Her Arms was the name of her charity, and I remember being struck when she chose it, at the beauty in the name, and the beauty in the girl who found the charity dedicated to helping those who suffer from: depression, addiction, and self-harm. She’d told me, when she picked it, that a friend of hers needed support, and she was glad there were places, “like this,” to help her.

She began with the facts, displayed the mission and the purpose, and then paused. She was breathing heavily, placing her arms on her legs like someone who’d just run very far and needed a moment to compose themselves.  Then she raised her arms, those hidden, secret arms concealed daily in a hoodie, and shared her faint, criss-cross scars with the world. She exposed what was left of her dark choices, and went on to bravely implore her fellow classmates to get help, and offer help. She said she was better, but explained why she, and so many like her, hide. With tears shed and shared, I could not have been more proud of her … and for that moment … she was the class hero.

Lately I’ve heard so many, many problems others have been facing. Students I know, kids of friends, acquaintances, grown and child alike … they are hurting, or scared, or confused.  And they are literally waiting for any ear open enough to hear their call. I’ve always been attracted to the passage in the Bible from Matthew 25:40 which says,  “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” If that’s true … we cannot possibly be confused about our calling.

This poem is for them.  All of them who need us … whoever they are. Please share it.

Least of These

You are far from the least of these,

that harbor troubled hearts,

entangled with troubled minds.

You are not simply one in a million voices,

but rather one voice that is quiet …

but heard.

What I have come to realize,

dear one,

is that skating on eggshell thin self-esteem

cannot get you far enough,

fast enough

from where you’ve been traveling.

You’ve become a fragile creature,

too accustomed to the dark to remember how to feel comfortable in the light.

But you are not lost,

because the truly lost have none reaching out to them –

and I’m still reaching.

You need to trust that different 

really can be,

and that there is such a place

as better.

Leave worse to the shadows it came from.

Remember that no one gets it right all the time,

and that even those of us on the upside of down –

falter.

We’ve just been in the light long enough to know

that it’s always strong enough to pull us back.

So if you’re not there yet … if you’re not quite strong enough to handle it all …

I want you to know it’s okay.

Insecurities are not weakness,

they’re only fears unresolved.

And everyone has them,

it’s just time to untie their bind on you.

You aren’t alone –

you never were.

And it’s time you be properly introduced

back into the world you belong in …

mine.

And even if, for now,

(because it won’t always be so, I promise)

mine is the only world you’re comfortable rejoining,

it will be enough.

You will be safe, with me.

Little by little, you’ll find yourself –

the you we’ve all missed so dearly.

Moment by moment you won’t have to try quite so hard,

and your choices will be seen more clearly.

Day after day,

your eyes will adjust to the light …

until it is your turn,

to reach out,

and bring someone back too.

 

 

 

3.8.16 Just for the Sake of Lovely

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“I’m slowing down the tune, I never liked it fast. You want to get there soon, I want to get there last.” – Leonard Cohen

So I live my life mostly chasing time.  I think somewhere between college and marriage and career and kids somehow the remote control of my fate seems to have gotten stuck on fast-forward and I cannot (for all I might want to) get the pause button to work.  Even on days off, I am over-committed with “meetings” and “have-to’s” and “I can’t believe I almost forgot abouts.”  And it’s alright.  But sometimes, like the quote above, “I want to get there last.”  I want to intentionally dawdle … waste time … or just be in the midst of it all. 

You can ask my parents, I’ve never been in a hurry to grow up.  Even going through childhood I would sometimes pause and think to myself, “This is going too fast.” Foolishly I’d try to force myself to be young, but we cannot stop it … inevitably something happens to remind us of our place – of our time.  I can’t  lessen the speed of days, but that doesn’t mean I have to accept it.  Not really. 

Instead, I’ve found ways to cope, by surrounding myself with bits of choices that refuse to run along with the responsibilities of my schedule.  They tug at the corners of my day to make me play just a little.  These choices are my illusion of slow … of stillness, and I add them incrementally (so life can’t catch me).  

So today I wore a skirt of tule, and when I slid into the car, I needed to pause to scoop up the bunches of fabric carefully, reminding me of my wedding day, and I smiled.

I wore pink ballet flats with sparkles, and when someone told me I looked like a fairy, I shared that it is my utmost wish to be one.  

The wind tickled around me, pushing stray strands of blonde about my face, and I relished in nature’s tiny game of chase.  

And when no one was looking, I let myself twirl … just for the sake of lovely. 

Elle 

 

 

2.22.16 Sometimes Wishes Do

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There’s an unknown quote that says, “I was chasing my dreams but I tripped over reality.” I think that this has happened to me more in my life than I’d like to admit.  Because sometimes … dreams don’t come true.

When I was a girl, I was going to be an archaeologist. I was going to have adventures like Indiana Jones, and make grand discoveries that would mark my place in the world.  But yeah, that didn’t happen.

When I was a teenager, I was going to marry my first love.  We would be one of those couples who’d gush, with stars in our eyes, of the way that we had met in high school and defied all the odds.  Only – we didn’t.

In college I was going to meet a handsome stranger with a sexy accent … and my husband is handsome, but his Midwest accent isn’t quite what I’d had in mind.

I have over fourteen children’s book manuscripts, one middle grade novel and a young adult piece just waiting to be discovered.  I’ve sent query letter after query letter, and have yet to publish most of them.

The ever-brutally honest yourecards.com reminds us that,”According to astronomy, when you wish on a star, you’re actually a few million years late.”  That explains a lot actually, and yet I keep on wishing, and dreaming, and hoping, and writing, because as Paulo Coelho once said, “It is the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”

I’m not an archaeologist … I’m a teacher, a writer, and a speaker, and it’s good.

I didn’t marry my first love, but I’m totally in love with my last.

I’m not a world-renown author … but today, I got this letter in the mail, under which was my complimentary copy of Bella Grace magazine, since I am published in it!  My favorite magazine in the entire world, and I’m in it!

So many times, most times even, dreams don’t necessarily come true the way you think they will … but then again … sometimes wishes do.

I hope you’ll find time to pick up Bella Grace, Issue 7 (my favorite number I might add), and breathe in the possibility that life has beautiful things in store for us all.

With joy,

Elle

2.15.16 My Unlikely Valentine

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I know that much of the world doesn’t appreciate Valentine’s Day, they tout it as nothing more than a “Hallmark Holiday,” but I’ve always had faith that a day dedicated to love would never disappoint.  And this year, it came through. 

You might suppose, as I did, that my Valentine would be my husband of over eleven years – and while I’m certain he thought the same, it simply isn’t so, because the day before Valentine’s Day, I’d already given my heart out on loan to someone else entirely.

Starting out as a solo mission to the Post Office, I was armed with fourteen Valentines to ship and a few errands to run.  Making a station for myself to address the envelopes, an older gentleman took up standing next to me to mark his single box.  Shuffling around for something to write with, I smiled and showed him where the pen was attached to the desk.  He laughed gently and we got to small talking.  He shared that he was a metal-worker, we discussed the weather, and after a few more pleasantries, realized the line was moving on.  He smiled, his eyes hesitant to end the conversation, thanked me for talking with him, and began to carry himself to the front of the line.    In that moment, there was only one thing to do.  

“I’m sorry to bother you again,” I said, “but do you have a Valentine this year?”  He smiled, questioning, but laughed a bit sadly, responding that he did not.  I couldn’t know whether he had always been alone, or whether loneliness was new to him, but it really didn’t matter.  “Well, you’ll have to be my Valentine then,” I said, and proceeded to give him the final Valentine card of my stack.  I explained who the picture was of, (my son and daughter) and said he now had a bit of love from my family to hang on his refrigerator.  

“Thank you,” he said, eyes shining.  “I love it.”  

Eventually our line moved on, as did the both of us, but before leaving, the man walked back in line to where I stood, and hugged me. “I’ll never forget this,” he said, patting his chest pocket where he stored the picture. “It made my day – thank you.”  I told him it was my pleasure, and that was all. 

Until it wasn’t.  Because two aisles into my trip to Walmart … there he was.  “Well hello Valentine,” I said.  

“Hello!” he said, smiling broadly.  “You must’ve known I was thinking about you and your family!  I just looked at my picture again!” he said.  We proceeded to run into one another every few aisles and laughed like we had our own private joke each time.  On the last aisle, I gave him another hug, and told him I would be praying for him.  He reassured me he’d do the same … and we parted as unlikely Valentines. 

Some might think me odd – investing all this time and conversation on a stranger … but isn’t that the point?  I’m fairly certain, after all, that the greatest commandment we were ever given (John 13:34) was to, “Love one another.”  Galatians 5:6 also says that, “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”  I cannot pretend to know this man’s story, or why we happened to cross paths so many times that day, but I do have faith that it was for a reason.  And by giving away my heart for just one hour … it may have given him the hope to carry on through one more Valentine’s Day. 

Go love someone … wherever you are,

Elle

 

 

 

2.8.16 To Live

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“To live will be an awfully big adventure.” -J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

Daddy, you are turning sixty, and my but that seems like an extraordinary number.  Take a minute, one set of sixty-seconds to just imagine the scope of what you’ve done in this life.

You have lived 21,900 days.

Your heart has beat more than 44,150,400 times.

You’ve taken more than 438,000,000 breaths.

By now, you would have dreamed at least 65,700 dreams if you were average … but I know you … and as a dreamer, you’re more likely in the 131,400 range.

Over the years, you’ve traveled past 3,120 sets of seven days in a week.

You have witnessed sixty sets of four seasons parading, one after another for you to enjoy.

You’ve been married 39 years, which means that for 14,235 days and nights, you’ve never been alone.

A workaholic in the most honorable way, you’ve worked nearly 12,000 days, and clocked in likely more than 120,000 hours.

Sources say that most men drive nearly 16,000 miles a year, which, if correct, puts you right near a million miles traveled.

You’ve been a father for 13,870 days, (which accounts for many sleepless nights, I now know, but who wants to count those).

More than 76,650 hours of music have filled your days as you taught me how to appreciate only the really good songs.

On estimation, you have taken over 109,500,000 steps in your life … and I love how you’ve never looked back once.

You’ve lived more in sixty years than some people do in a whole lifetime daddy, and I’m sure it gets tiring sometimes, but I want you to know this isn’t an end – like Avi says, it is just, “The end of the beginning.”

And I wish I could be there to help you celebrate … to ring in this new year the way only  you and I can, with lots of room for childishness and dreaming – but all those miles you’ve traveled have sadly settled about 660 between us, and it’s hard. So instead I’ve decided to give you a piece of what you and I do best … imagination, and pretend.

Daddy I want you to imagine that I’m painting you a picture … just like the ones you taped to the fridge when I was little.  And pretend that somehow, I was able to join together our most precious memories in one watercolored-blend of construction paper. In the center, I’m brand new, wrapped snugly in the soft blue blanket you and mom bought in anticipation of the boy I didn’t turn out to be after all, your gentle lips curl in the silent paper lullaby you’d have sung. The upper left-hand corner, shows me curled asleep in your lap at a concert, completely oblivious in the comfort of my dreams.  Then below it, following the line of a fishing pole you’re casting, you see my delighted, double-pigtailed head, bobbing with the weight of anticipation for my first catch.

Drifting to the right, your strong arms wind around mine as I take my first swing, rounding the edges that blur onto the sidewalk, with you chasing behind me after I made you promise not to let go. In the center, you stand behind mom taking pictures of me, all dressed up with a boy at my side, resigning yourself to the periphery with a sad, but knowing smile. Trailing the veil of paint, I now stand, with you on my arm for the last time, before you give me to a different boy, this time … forever. But in a curl, at the bottom left corner, you bend to kiss my forehead, and then his, your first grandson nestled in my arms. As the picture advances on, there are now two children to call you Papa … the granddaughter looking surreally similar to your own baby girl from years ago.

And on the bottom right?  That piece is unpainted – the story yet to be, as we have many adventures still in wait for us to live.

Can you see it daddy? I painted with the best words I could … just for you.

To Neverland and Back,

Your Elle

2.1.16 See People

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 I think the world is blind sometimes.  Truly.  We live and work and shift in and around one another constantly, but how often can we actually say that we, “see” people?  Not often enough is my perception.  Children’s book author Dodie Smith once said, “I like seeing people when they can’t see me.”  And I would argue that most often, that is the case because not many bother to look.  This isn’t a slam or a tirade, just an observation of the sightlessness of society.  I’m certainly a part of this – of overlooking, or simply looking past that which I don’t always take the time to notice.  But then there’s sometimes … and I am a better me when I am looking then.

When I’m really observant, I see him.  A man shuffling his way down the street, bent in half with the weight of years sagging down his once-strong shoulders.  He is a time capsule, living history … but with no one to tell his stories to, he’s simply lost in an age that forgets his value.

When I take the time to notice, I see her.  A woman sitting alone at a cafe table filled with empty places.  Guests filter in and fill the tight space with the friends and lovers they brought along, and one by one they ask her if they can borrow a seat.  She smiles tightly, a new intensity focused on her newspaper, as she perpetually loses chairs from a table she wishes was full.

When I scan the noise I see him.  A boy, inking letters onto his forearm during class, marking himself with words and symbols the world expects to see.  He bears true the reality that people will always live down to your expectations, and since no one ever takes the time to set the bar higher for him – he’s got nowhere to try to climb.

When I watch the chaos I see her.  She is the only thing still.  Beautiful like a chameleon, she camouflages herself into the fade of background noise.  She glances with tired eyes at the overly-enthusiastic masks around her, wishing she was a better actress so that she could pretend to fit in … but she’s too different.  A butterfly among moths doesn’t change the fact that she’s the outlier, no matter how lovely her wings.

And I wish that everyone saw them.  I wish most of all that there were something to say.  Norwegian poet and novelist Tarjei Vesaas said, “Almost nothing need be said when you have eyes.”  But I think I’d amend it to say, “When you have eyes that are open.”

What we see may not change what is … but it just may incite a prayer, a conversation, or the smile that says, “Carry on gentle spirit, until we see one another again.”

Take it in.  Look around you.  And please, see people.

Elle

12.7.15 Scars and Stories

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“Never be ashamed of your scars. It simply means you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you.” -Unknown

So I have this scar, right across my chest. It is about two inches long and one inch wide.  In retrospect, it’s fairly new … only about four-years-old, but it’s there, and after people know me for an “allowable” amount of time for it not to be awkward, they ask me about it.  I tell them that it was just a little irregular birthmark that the dermatologist offered to leave and watch or take off.  I said take it off without question.  I’ll never forget, the doctor said, “But you’ll have a scar.”

“Yeah, but I won’t have cancer,” I replied incredulously.

At first I was self-conscious about it, I tried to cover it.  I used make-up and tried to strategically place scarves across it.  A few years later my cousin, a year older than me, developed thyroid cancer.  I’m thankful to say that she is in total remission, but the surgery left its scar, long and thin on the side of her neck.  The thing is … she wore it like a mark of courage, a branding of what she’d been through, and overcome.  I was so proud of her; she understood something it takes most of us a lot longer to figure out.  Scars are stories.  They’re badges of honor, and paint us with proof of a life being lived.

It is an easy thing to forget, however, that most scars can’t be seen.  This fact reveals itself to me every day with my students.  Rumored to be a “difficult” bunch, the hearsay’s were definitely true, and most days are some form of exhausting.  Recently, I told my son that my class was tough, and when he asked how, I tried to remain positive, but honestly said they had some challenging behavior.  He looked at me with wide, clear perspective and said, “Maybe they’re only bad because someone was bad to them.”

He was right.  In the few months since that conversation I’ve gotten to see glimpses of their scars.  They’re the hidden kind … the kind that don’t show unless they’re willing to share, but every time they feel safe enough to talk, I imagine their scars fading just a little bit.  I feel like I’m learning that coming to the end of your own insecurity allows you to meet someone at the beginning of theirs. And that’s the whole point.  It’s what we’re here for.  To love, to listen, and to share stories that help us all heal just a little bit more.

A few weeks ago I had my physical, and my doctor offered me a few products to help minimize the size and color of the scar across my chest.  But what he couldn’t possibly know, is that outward imperfection truly helps remind me to be aware of the scars we can’t see that others depend on us to find.

So here’s to not covering scars.  Here’s to being proud of the blemished roadmap that brought us to who we are today.  Here’s to embracing that beautiful and broken aren’t mutually exclusive qualities.  And here’s to letting the flawless love of God be the only cover you need.

Elle

11.23.15 Hello Lovely

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“The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event.  You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if that is not enchantment then where is it to be found?” J.B. Priestly

Hello Lovely,

And might I say you could not have chosen a better time to fall upon this lately, too-dark place.  Just when it felt as though nothing could be clear or beautiful again, there you were.  Speaking in quiet whispers, falling in lullabies to tuck in the world with white … you never disappoint because wonder travels with you.

Is there truly a heart that does not quicken at the sight of you?  Enchanting the air with sparkles the same way the stars decorate the night sky … you leave no a path unloved, no hill un-glittered.  So beguiling, it stops me in my tracks when I see no tracks in you at all.

So I thank you …

… for hanging on boughs, with a weight that replaces the burdens we carry …

… for encapsulating branches in enamel glazes that click upon themselves, becoming the wind-chimes of winter …

… for creating a space to make the imprints of angels visible …

… for enlivening the awe of children in even the most aged of hearts …

… for coming without fail …

… for simply being simple …

You awaken the hope of the season First Snow, and this was just to let you know –

I love you.

Elle