Tag Archives: Gratitide Friday


1. Morning walks. Not as many pictures because we are mostly staying in our neighborhood, walking towards City Park where there’s a big peaceful cemetery and a lake with pelicans and herons and baby geese.

2. (& 3.) Our garden (and poetry/books). With the cold we had in the final days of winter and all the rain we’ve had since, everything is so green (Eric stands at the back door and says he can see our grass growing) and our irises have SO many blooms this year. We are slowly working to prepare the ground to plant more flowers and vegetables and berries, which always feels like a particular kind of hope, reckless and wild.

I spent last weekend cleaning out my office, which had been neglected for a bit because so many other things needed my attention. The open space here now, the clearing, calls to me when I’m in other rooms, invites me in, gives me a place to be myself. There’s a jar full of white lilacs on my desk from our bushes out front and birds coming to the feeder at my window and the maple tree just outside my window in the backyard is dressed in leaves attached to branches where the birds sit and sing, did even before the leaves came (or after they left?).

As I cleaned up my office, I kept finding packages of seeds — two different packs from my friend Chloé and her garden, one “save the bees” bee friendly wildflower mix I got for free from Honey Nut Cheerios, a card that includes a heart shaped piece of paper embedded with seeds from the place we had Sam cremated (“plant in your garden and wildflowers will blossom in memory of your beloved pet”), and a pack of sunflower seeds from my dear friend Chelsey’s mom’s memorial (“gone but not forgotten — please plant these seeds in loving memory”).

I’m not sure what most of the seeds are, or if they’ll even germinate, but I’m going to put them in some dirt, give them some water, and see what happens. That feels like a kind of hope. I’m also going to add a new peony to my “loved ones lost” section of the garden, a yellow one for my “aunt” Rita, another reminder that grief is love gone wild, love that can still bloom, that is rooted, that you continue to tend for as long as it continues to come back, to keep growing and flowering.

I saw in my Facebook memories the other day a post I wrote that said, “gardeners know what it means to plant their heart in the ground” and then this morning I read a poem from the book How to Love the World: Poems of Gratitude and Hope that started with the lines, “the heart of a farmer is made of muscle and clay that aches for return to the earth” (“Down to Earth” by James Crews), and then another that said “The first of a year’s abundance of dandelions is this single kernel of bright yellow dropped on our path by the sun, sensing that we might need some marker to help us find our way through life” (“Dandelion” by Ted Kooser), and finally “Couldn’t the yellowing leaves of the maple and their falling also be a sign of joy? Another kind of leaning into. A letting go of one thing to fall into another” (“Another Day Filled With Sleeves of Light” by Heather Swan).

4. The sky over our house. I will absolutely lie on my back in the grass watching the clouds drift — sometimes in delight, other times in despair.

5. My tiny family, tiny home, tiny life. The way that both Eric and Ringo make me laugh. The comfort of them resting nearby. Cooking together, (yes, Ringo does “involve” himself). Sitting in the backyard or on the couch together, doing nothing. The way we three are always watching out for each other because we know we belong to each other.

Bonus joy: crossing things off a list, flowers in the bathroom (Eric knew I was sad, so on his way back home from a walk the other day, he stopped and got me flowers), rain, sunshine, cooking for someone, dark chocolate covered walnuts, all the different smells and colors of lilacs, peony tulips and peony poppies (did you know these exist?!), “black” flower varieties which are actually just the darkest deepest purple, good books, good TV (or even sometimes “bad” is good), listening to podcasts, a warm shower, clean sheets, glue stick, writing in the morning with a hot cup of green tea, meditation, how good it feels to stretch, reaching out and having people reach back, other people’s dogs, health insurance, being able to make appointments online, libraries, Ross Gay, Elyse Myers, Andrea Gibson, a new documentary on HBO about Donna Summer, reading in bed at night while Eric and Ringo sleep.

Gratitude Friday

1. Farmer’s Market flowers in the bathroom. When I get a new bunch, I take what is still left alive from the week before, trim it down and put it on my writing desk.

2. Rain. It’s been over 90 degrees for days and days, so the big rainstorm yesterday afternoon was a nice break, and it was an extra bonus it didn’t include any hail.

3. Swimming. Y’all, I am learning so much! This week, while I was practicing, I swam in the lap lane. Let me say that one more time, make sure you really heard it — I SWAM in the lap lane! My favorite is wearing my fins and kicking across the pool on my back.

4. Practice. Sam helped me meditate a few times this week.

5. Peach and cherry season. When we go to the Farmer’s Market tomorrow, we are buying a whole box of Palisade peaches so we can cut them up and freeze them, still have them once the season is over.

6. Baby birds. We are a bit sad, because it seems there are only two left in the nest, not because they are big enough to fly away or be on their own, but because something not good happened to them (we don’t know exactly what, and found no evidence of anything, but there are only two left when there were four — and then three and now two).





7. Sam and Ringo. My best friends. It’s been hot, so there’s been a lot of lounging going on around here.

8. And this guy. He’s my very very very best friend. I love the pictures he sends me when he’s out with the dogs. Because of the heat, they drive around in an air-conditioned car in the afternoon more then they get out to walk, just to feel like they got to do something.

Bonus joy: teaching yoga, swimming lessons, aqua aerobics, Pilates, coffee with a friend, Instagram, good books (still reading Pachinko, a National Book Award Finalist, by Min Jin Lee but almost done, and I think I might get Children of Blood and Bone next, a young adult fantasy novel by Nigerian-American novelist Tomi Adeyemi), good TV (we started watching the beginning of the last season of The Great British Baking Show on PBS, and now I’m craving cake), good movies, going to the movies with Eric (we saw “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” and “Oceans 8” last week), sleeping in, a cold glass of clean water, a good yoga music mix, getting paid for doing something I love.