On not getting back up

About a week ago, I fell off my horse.  Or, my horse got out from under me.  Or, I really don’t know what it was, it all happened so fast.  She’s a young horse and really quick and she was as scared as I was, after it happened.

I have a sprained wrist and a bruised tailbone and a little bit of a black eye.

The old saying tells you that once you fall off a horse, you have to get back up.  Right back up.  In the moments after I fell, I couldn’t breathe.  I couldn’t move.  All I could do was check in with each of the parts of my body, arms, are you okay?  Legs?  Fingers?  Toes?  And then I had to get the horse settled.  And then Tom said, “Are you going to get back on?”

I thought about it, and then I said, “No.”

I didn’t get right back in the saddle.  I made a choice, I said no.  I didn’t think it was wise to get back in the saddle, right away.  She was scared, I was hurt, and it just wasn’t worth it to me to risk me, or her, having another bad experience.

I think the lesson learned that day was not for the horse, but for me:  sometimes, the old sayings are wrong.  I get to do what I decide is best, and sometimes you need to take a while to heal.

Surprise, surprise

Well those seeds I planted not so long ago, without much hope or expectation, have grown, and grown, and grown.  Now, there is kale to pick and spinach and chard.  Also chives (lots of chives!) and parsley, too.  And peas!  I almost cried when I saw all the peas, it felt like such a gift!  It all feels like such a gift.

Two things to remember:  even when you’re not sure, plant the seeds; and life is full of surprises.

Are you thirsty?

Lots of people I know enjoy IZZE drinks, because they are delicious.  But did you know that the drink is named after Isabel Woloson, daughter of one of the cofounders of the company?  And what’s more, Isabel has Down syndrome.

It’s a great story.  You can read more here, and here.

(Thanks to Elizabeth for the info!)

A lesson from the garden

We’re supposed to get a big rain soon, so I thought I’d try to get some seeds in the garden ahead of it.  I planted squash and pumpkins and chard, things I think the rabbits won’t eat.  And while I was digging in the lovely warm dirt, worrying that maybe the seeds were too old and that nothing would sprout, a thought occurred to me, one of gardening and a gardener’s hope:  The only seeds you know for certain won’t grow are the ones you don’t plant.

Book thoughts

I’ve been having this feeling again that I want to write a book about our life, since so many things have happened that I think would be helpful to other parents to know.  I have so many stories!  As I’m sure you all have, too.

So here’s a question:  what do you want most to know about?  What do you wish I’d share?

I know when I was a new mom to Avery the thing I wanted most to know was if we’d be okay.  And that’s easy to answer, now–we are okay.  We are even better than okay.  As Tom used to tell me a lot in the beginning, “Life is hard, but good.”

And I don’t really have anything I really wish I could know, now.  I know the future with Avery will be surprising, sometimes I’ll worry, sometimes I will laugh for reasons I never could have imagined, I am guaranteed to meet more fantastic people (Avery is a magnet for awesome people), so I don’t really know where this is all going.  Maybe I’ll write the book to find out!

Work

rain on fresh wet paint (at least it’s raining)

weeds growing faster than you can pull (but the lilacs are growing, too)

kitchen faucet drip drip dripping (dishes are done)

mud on the just-washed stairs (footprints of my boys)

dog nose prints on windows (a good dog)

the work of life

is finding beauty

in these ordinary

frustrating

moments

Rain, rainy rain

The rain started late last night, or very early this morning. I could hear it hitting the metal roof of the house. It’s a peaceful sound, one we don’t hear often in the arid West. When I awoke this morning, it was cloudy and cool, and still threatening rain. We’d planned lots of outdoor work today, but plans change! One thing rainy days are really good for is washing indoor windows. And also, reading books. And also, also, taking naps. I think I’ll do all three.

Happy Friday!

Wild Geese

I saw a flock of wild geese fly overhead, and it reminded me of two things:  winter must be over, if the birds are coming back!  And too, I remembered how much I love this poem by Mary Oliver:

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Heart wide open, Lisa Leonard style

I’ve been reading a blog by a wonderful woman named Lisa Leonard, do you know of her?  What’s not to love about this post?  She’s honest and brave and I find those qualities to be inspiring.  I particularly love this part:

My heart needed to grieve. Caring for two boys with such different needs was really, hard—and that was okay. I didn’t have to pretend it wasn’t hard. I could be honest. I could say it was hard. I could ask for help. I could take breaks. None of these things affected my love for David or Matthias. None of these made me a ‘bad mom’ or a failure. They simply made me human.

 

Some things I didn’t know…

I didn’t know that the actor, Ashton Kutcher, is a twin, or that his twin brother Michael was born with Cerebral Palsy.  I didn’t know that Kutcher, who is mostly known for his lighthearted acting roles, could be thoughtful and introspective, as he was when he said these words, as part of a speech he gave in Iowa on Saturday:

My brother was born with cerebral palsy and it taught me that loving people isn’t a choice and that people aren’t actually all created equal,” the actor said, fighting back tears. “The Constitution lies to us. We’re not all created equal. We’re all created incredibly unequal to one another, in our capabilities and what we can do and how we think and what we see. But we all have the equal capacity to love one another, and my brother taught me that.