Rainy Sidewalk Fireworks

Morning comes to the sidewalk. The long green grasses stretch their stalks in front of the grey cobblestone wall behind them. They tilt sideways, holding their pose in an elegant still-life ballet—perfectly confident—adorned with nothing but dewdrops.

The wildgrasses primly hold their brown tuft faces still, ignoring the rush of traffic on the wet pavement a few feet away as they perform their morning yoga.

People trudge by, clinging to their red Tim Horton’s coffee cups, their minds swirling with tasks and unaware of the zen moment occurring near their feet.

Amid the viridescent grasses, the dandelion puffs are tiny white fireworks, exploding with enthusiasm for the new day. Drunk on fresh rainwater, a perfectly organic energy source, the little lions laugh at the Starbucks across the road. No need for a cuppa joe here. They greet the world with bright-eyed grins.

The transformation of their blond manes to bursts of white worries them not a wit. They know nothing of paperwork, or headaches, or housework; nothing of gas prices, or housing markets, or wars. 

I want to lie down in the grass with them, the invigorating rain water soaking into my skin. If I shed enough worry, perhaps I’d become light enough to fly away with the dandelion seeds. Perhaps the little spinning helicopters and I could land somewhere softer than the harsh sidewalk under my feet.

Embracing the Waves

I feel like a ship on waving waters
tossed about and slightly seasick,
but all is not chaos
and I won’t be lost
if I keep firmly anchored in You, Lord,
my bedrock.

I can toss and tumble, 
but I won’t drift off course
so here in the jumble of waves
I’ll be happy.
The dry land with its steady stillness 
is not for me now.
Perhaps when I retire, 
I’ll dock at a nice sunny spot
near the shore.

But for now
the waves and sea storms for me—
the ups and downs,
the splashing crashing waves.
I’m surrounded by little rowboats and seagulls 
but anchored in hope Lord,
because I’m anchored in Your love.

Summer in Crazy Land

How I have missed blogging much this summer! I’m bursting with ideas but haven’t found enough quiet moments between camping, swimming, visiting friends, researching new homeschool programs for the fall and editing my new poetry book, unexpected blossoming: a journey of grief and hope. This has been a really good process, and quite time-consuming…going over each poem with a fine toothed comb and, on the advice of my big sister (beautiful poet and editor Dymphny Dronyk), making sure that each word, each line break, each bit of punctuation or lack thereof is intentional. The poems were written more as passionate cries from the heart, but it’s been good to read them slowly and try to make sure they express my feelings in the clearest way. 

I’m excited to say that that process is just about finalized and I’m going to place my first bulk order in a day or two. I have been telling lots of people about my book and already have about 125 pre-orders, which means that another 125 will also be ordered and donated to bereaved moms, hospitals, midwife or doctor’s offices, or any other place where families suffering from miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss could benefit from my poems. I’m also getting my Blurb bookshop set up for online orders, and hope that women around the world will be able to benefit from knowing they are not alone in their grief after losing a baby. 

On top of all this, my little Mr. Baby has combined late night teething and his newfound mobility to keep me on my toes night and day, and my trusted iPad mini conked out for a few weeks—leaving me a strange internet-less vacuum. Happily my sweet techie husband managed to restore it to life by cleaning up the excessive digital load it was storing…kind of like the Internet version of a home rescue. I had 1100 emails (combining inbox, sent, drafts, trash etc) and 1300 photos!! My iPad mini just couldn’t handle this kind of clutter—poor little beast! After loading the pics onto our Mac instead and deleting the insane amount of emails (gah, remind me to stop signing up for things online!), my iPad is purring away again, much to my relief. As my friend Julia put it when I told her it was out of commission: “What!? That’s your life!” 

Does make you wonder though…why this need to keep everything? To read everything? To document everything? To be present everywhere (omnipresent) and to know everything (omniscient)…doesn’t that sound like Someone else’s job? Reflecting on this makes me want to strive for more simplicity. To be fully present where I am, right now, and not feel the need to hang on to old things from the past. I’m just one tiny part of this vast creation, and all I need to do is play my little part with all my heart. The rest will be taken care of by Someone much wiser than me, who doesn’t get overwhelmed by trying to fit so much into one little head!

So I hope you’ll be hearing from me more often as we settle into school this fall…wrapping ourselves in cosy scarves and sweaters and sipping cinnamon dolce latté’s as we watch the scarlet leaves tumbling against steely grey skies…oh, dear, sorry…slipping off into fantasy land! I meant as I juggle 4 homeschoolers and the baby chews my face while my toddler climbs the furniture…

Anyway,  here are a few posts I hope to write soon: 

  1. How to support a bereaved spouse
  2. Baby Burpin’Blues (a bluegrass poem)
  3. Scene Players: making hours of fun games out of stickers and junk mail 
  4. Things you don’t need to bring when camping with kids
  5. Teamwork, happiness and household chores 
  6. Online educational programs I’m excited about this fall

Any votes for which one to write first? Let me know! A huge hug to you all from us here in Crazy Land, and best wishes for a beautiful year of learning ahead!

    Love Incarnate


    I love this image of Mother and Child…the beautiful peace and serenity that emanates from their contented faces. It speaks to my own experience in these early days of snuggles and nursing after birth. The simple bliss of needing nothing else in the world but the closeness of the other…

    Through this image, as through the love between every mother and child, radiates the golden warmth of God’s love…affirming the goodness of the most ordinary and intimate relationships of our human lives. Confirming, in tiny bundles of love incarnate, that the essence of being human is indeed to love.

    Better by Candlelight

    Christmas is coming
    The lights are bright
    The houses are starting to sparkle

    The kids and I
    and Grandpa, too
    trek across town
    to see a Christmas concert
    expecting choral beauty
    and serene joy

    It is….



    We leave with ears ringing
    and heads spinning
    wowed but not wondered
    overwhelmed but a little empty

    Right now
    with my heart a little shaky
    I need a gentler kind of joy

    The sparkle of a star
    the flicker of a candle
    that quiet choral music
    that seems to be
    the breath of angels

    In that quiet stable
    with the smell of hay
    and the donkey
    steaming warm air
    through his soft nose
    I’m more at peace

    Away from all the hullabaloo
    I reach for that little baby’s hand
    the one who is vulnerable
    who shares my weakness
    who will know tears
    but never lose hope

    Away from all the bright lights
    I’m more ok
    Right now
    my heart sees better
    by candlelight


    Wash Me New


    I’ve come to sit in the quiet church
    to let it all go

    The statues and flowers keep me silent company
    while upstairs a group of children
    sings joyfully to a guitar


    There is a giant baptismal font
    still filled with holy water from Easter
    I want to climb in it and float on my back
    staring at the ceiling
    like I used to stare at the sky
    floating in the lake when I was young

    Until all the bitter colours are washed out of me
    the blaring colours of anger, fear, resentment, regret…
    bleeding out until I am pure white

    Empty of everything
    but an overwhelming gratitude
    for the present moment

    Remembering I am a creature
    a recipient of endless gifts
    my life–each day–a miracle


    I don’t need to grip the ropes so tightly
    to control the sails
    I don’t have to see everything
    from the crow’s nest
    and constantly consult the map

    The real map is in bigger hands
    better hands
    wiser hands


    I don’t need to understand everything

    I can lean back
    close my eyes and smile
    as the salt breeze mixes with my salty tears

    Let the sound of the waves
    lull me into a place of peace

    so I can see this voyage
    as a mysterious adventure
    and not a problem to be solved
    a gift and not a burden


    Images of Silence

    The still water reflects the beauty of the sky
    gorgeous billows of blue-tipped clouds
    The rippling water has a busy beauty of it’s own
    but takes all the attention for itself

    Sometimes the noise of so much chatter
    (mostly my own)
    becomes like a wind which

    blows out my interior candle

    I need some silence
    some still air
    to let the flame rekindle
    to warm the ember to a steady glow
    burn brightly enough to heat me
    from the inside out
    light streaming forth
    my eyes as stained glass


    The still morning lake
    sits silent
    grey and reflective
    full of slightly fuzzy trees
    solemnly upside down
    green but not laughing

    The majestic cedar trees
    wave their thin green hands
    ever so slightly
    like ancient queens
    acknowledging their people
    who celebrate with the sudden confetti
    of falling snow

    Down below, the dew-spangled moss twinkles
    and the ferns bow their heads shyly
    Slippery salaal leaves shine
    next to delicate huckleberry bushes
    not yet adorned with tiny red berries

    I’ll have to come back
    in the summer

    In the mean time
    all these pieces of beauty
    fill up the puzzle of my soul


    Sitting here in the quiet chapel with
    tall windows like eyes into the forest
    I watch the snow fall against the cedars
    like mercy from heaven
    a gentle steady blessing
    a constant message of beauty
    a gift from one greater
    ever reaching towards me
    I am here I am here I am here

    The snow falls
    and my sleeping baby
    breathes warmly on my chest
    The candles glow
    and the lake calmly receives
    the many kisses of snowflakes