all the strong things of her heart

she had only to stand in the orchard, to put her hand on a little crab tree and look up at the apples, 
to make you feel the goodness of planting and tending and harvesting

-my antonia, willa cather

thanksgiving table setting: victoria thorne design
photo: rick e. martin for the mercury news

the soul selects her own society

emily dickinson

thanksgiving table setting: victoria thorne design
photo: rick e. martin for the mercury news



so many people keep talking about happiness. i love happiness. 

who doesn't? 

but what it is, perhaps, that we are all really talking about- i have begun to think it is really peace: that happiness is the upward part of peace, the clear and present joy part of peace. it's so measurable! the other kinds of peace seem less quantifiable. 

so when we think we are not happy enough, we can begin to think, instead: what peace am i missing? 

where is the bit of peace in this moment, or this hour, or this day? 

when we begin to be able to find that peace, happiness sits like a wisp upon it. 

try this, maybe.

happiness may already be right where you are. i think it is a strong possibility.

 thanksgiving table setting: victoria thorne design
photo: rick e. martin for the mercury news

trust yourself


rucksack: svpply



fairy tales

yesterday, kevin and i went for a walk at rancho. as we got to the top of the hill, there was a family -- two little girls, a mom, a dad -- and they paused, as we did -- they were a few feet away from us -- and the mother and her two daughters began to play, there was a tight knot of tall trees, branches starting far above our heads, and the mother said "oh, I am a fair maiden in the tower, who will come and find me? who is strong and brave and smart enough?" and immediately it was clear that the girls knew rapunzel, and began to enact the rest of the fairy tale. being strong and brave and smart, they could come to the rescue! and there were dragons and horses and rapunzel's long long hair flowing from the tower and in maybe three or four minutes the entire story became real and blossomed and was done. rapunzel was rescued, the girls were strong and sure; each member of the family easily acted one or two roles. and i thought just this: how we learn is living, and all the eons of myth that go before us, and all the centuries of history, and all the stories of love though the ages...they are simply supposed to be woven into our lives, and we, as parents, we are the weavers. teachers can help, and friends are essential, but isn't it up to us to teach our children that they are strong and brave and capable, resilient, full of promise? isn't it an every-day thing, letting them know this and then showing them how? this is what it means, love. it's not who they are and what they do. it's who they know they are, what they believe they can do. and it's knowing the world may be full of situations that seem overwhelming. and it is believing that even the impossible can be made possible with ingenuity and faith and strength. long long tresses can become rope, small girls can become brave knights, the bare trunks of tall trees can become a tower. and we can remember that our strength is in each other, in ourselves, and in the sharing of it. if we don't share, it becomes dormant and might very well wait at the top of every tower asleep and dusty and completely missing the brave ones who teach us new things: the children.

my hat is off to that mother. she knows what she is doing.