Photo description: Heirloom tomato with water droplets in my garden that is almost ripe enough to pick.

i. Cool mornings in Vermont, that turn into hot, steamy, summer days that turn back into cool nights. Summer is different here from my childhood home of Gary, Indiana on the shores of Lake Michigan. Summer was hot and humid all summer long with little relief. Here in Vermont, the morning are chilly enough to need a sweater when I sit on the front porch to watch the sunrise. There are so many more hours of daylight here, too. And the night is so dark, I can see the Milky Way in the sky every night. I saw two shooting stars last week when I took the dogs out around midnight. The Perseids meteor shower is coming up soon. I can’t wait to see more.

ii. My garden. Being in the dirt, smelling the earth, tending to the land. Watering the garden(s) is one of my favorite things to do. I lose myself in it. I watch the bees and bugs scatter and come back, I hear the plants thanking me, their roots reaching, reaching for the water and drinking it up, nourishing the plant, growing it taller, sending the nutrition to the buds to become vegetables. Watching the plants stand up during thunderstorms and marking their growth the next day. All of the magic that happens in a garden. Being in co-creation with the universe–the earth, the sun, the moon, the cycles.

iii. Bees. Story time. Very personal, very vulnerable share in this one. I had been pretty depressed for a couple weeks. I’ve been dipping in and out of depression since Patches died. I was having this horrible moment the other morning (and I journaled it. It was deeply depressive and dark.) oh and also, I’m giving up caffeine… so I’m drinking an Irish Breakfast tea in the early morning and I went to sit on the front porch on my rocking chair. I was in a FOUL mood. This honey bee came to me and went around my head, up and down my body, front and back, head to foot, both arms, and back to my head, both sides, and I could feel him saying, “this isn’t yours, let go.” And I kept getting chills when he would fly close to my skin and he’d say things like, “Ok, good here.” and “Trust me, you need this re-set.” And then he reminded me of the little broom my good friend made me for clearing my energy field and said, “Use it.” And honestly, since then I have felt SO much better mentally. Thank you bee friend, I can’t tell you in words how much I appreciate this gift you have given me. <3

iv. Carbonated water. All ice cold and lovely, the bubbles on my tongue, in my mouth…I love it! I made a choice about a decade ago not to drink soda (because of high fructose corn syrup.) I have a Coke imported from Mexico occasionally with real sugar, but not often, so to be able to have carbonation and some fun flavors in my water to binge on? Very much a pleasure in my life.

v. Twenty-eight years of marriage to Phil. Twenty-eight! I’m no longer thinking of everything we’ve endured and survived, but rather thinking of how much we love each other and the adventures we have coming. What a huge shift that is for me, to no longer feel the need to tell the stories of the past, but to instead live in this moment, right now, and enjoy it all, to enjoy our pure love, in our power together, knowing we make each other better people, and resting solidly in the fact that we are free to enjoy this life.

vi. Eating certain foods once again, after more than a decade. I’ve been keeping a secret, mostly because I wasn’t sure how it was going to go for me. I have been slowly and carefully eating gluteny foods again…not all the things, but some of the things. Not heavily process junk food, but organic and homemade stuff. After the big surgery, I had a message from the ethers that I could freely eat gluten again, but I didn’t trust it. I ate one little tiny bite of carrot cake at Angie’s holiday party while I was in Houston recovering and it was glorious. Then when we moved to Vermont, I started testing organic bread. After two years, I am cautiously saying that I can eat some gluten containing foods again. I try not to eat a lot of it, but homemade bread, homemade pizza, and zomg homemade pierogi are sooooooo good I almost can’t handle the goodness of them. I will never take for granted the ability to eat comfort foods. When I first was instructed by my doctor to go gluten free, she told me it might be temporary, but it might be forever and the only way I’d know was to test it out. I had a couple of accidental episodes where I got glutened and the reaction my body had was horrific, after that I was really diligent. I was not in a position to risk testing things until we moved to Vermont. Thank you to everyone who supported me and believed me in that long twelve year gluten free journey. I’m carefully enjoying a few things I’ve missed greatly and the pleasure of comfort food cannot be overlooked.

vii. Pleasures in my bedroom. Yes, those. 🙂 Twenty-eight years and still enjoying each other immensely. And also they physical space. We painted two walls a very deep and soothing color. We bought a new duvet cover, a new lightweight comforter for summer, and a new rug. We have some new decor to hang up on the walls. Phil changed all the outlets and their covers to match the new color scheme. I have always wanted a beautiful, luxurious bedroom and now we are making that a reality.

viii. Maple creemees from McNamara’s Dairy. IYKYK

ix. Going to sleep at night not worried about anything, not grieving, not dealing with PTSD of any kind, just peaceful rest. Well-deserved rest.

x. The feeling of absolute freedom I am experiencing for the first time (maybe ever) of not having an overwhelming amount of commitments to fulfil. My plate is now empty of all but like one commitment and instead is full of pleasure. <3

A little but kinda long note: I am intentionally pulling back, going within, doing less. I’m not making art for money, I’m not creating drums or rattles, I’m not doing any photo sessions. I’m also now working outside my home for the first time in decades. Fifty fucking hours a week. Yes, I agreed to it, I knew it when I accepted the position, but maybe I wasn’t prepared for just how many hours a week that is away from my home. I go to sleep at 7:30pm, I get up at 3:30am. I work from 6:30am-5pm daily, Monday – Friday. And I’m now swimming laps four days a week, an hour each day. Mercy. Things have changed a lot. One thing that hasn’t changed is I’ve spent the last six years living my life in 40 day cycles. Each cycle I choose power statements to write and ponder each day. I invite in energies I desire to have in my life. I spent my last 40 days differently. Instead of power statements, I’m asking two questions: “What is the least I can do today?” and “How can I strengthen my roots today?” When that 40 days ended, I started another 40 day cycle asking the same exact things. My blog posts, starting with this one, will likely be a reflection, a processing of what has been changing within me, what is growing, and most importantly, what is rooting. My word for 2022 is {root} so be prepared to go deep with me.
(That is, if anyone still reads blogs. LOL)

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