what love looks like right now.

love right now greensThe Earth’s green skin is thickening up.  Sometimes, it looks like a green haze rising up from the ground.  Everyone is quickening.  Sometimes at night when I go out to lock up the chickens and look at the sky for a minute, I can hear the craw-dads working with the water and mud under the field.  The flashlight beam catching the shiny eyes of spiders on the move again, hunting their tiny prey in the dark.  In the mornings, the birds songs have changed. They have more to talk about now, I suppose.  It’s all very beautiful.  It’s Spring.

Winter looks like it is holding still – but it isn’t.  It’s like sleeping.  There’s lots of activity, just a different sort, under the surface.love right now pepper levon

We fall into bed at the end of these busy spring days.  Our skin radiates the warmth we collected all day in the sun.  We have the kind of inevitable blisters that come before the callouses shape up.  Our muscles are sore and our minds are tired.love right now running

But when we wake on a Spring morning, we are restored.  The rough patches on our skin have diminished.  We are hungry, for breakfast, and the day ahead.  The tick-tock of the to-do list comes back to mind and we are set into motion for another day.  Spring, unfolding its wings from its own winter’s sleep, is upon us.love right now onion

All this, the beauty, the sore muscles, the busy minds, the bees and birdsong, the seeds, the sun and rain, the changes, the transition – can be as exhausting as it is wonderful.  But our best hope is to embrace it.  This is what love looks like right now.love right now wowee

same planet, different world

lotus picture

out of my element, but having a fine time.

When saints speak, it’s good to listen.  Here’s one thing Mother Teresa said:

“If you judge people you have no time to love them.”

So I remembered this over and over as I moved through the airport with all the security upgrades that I haven’t been paying attention to in the past 11 years (since my last flight).

I am not a fish out of water.  I am just another person on an airplane.airplane

That was my other mantra, of sorts.  Realizing that, though life is precarious at 28,000 feet in the air, it is also perfectly mundane.

I had a catch in my throat when I saw a plane lift off the runway. But the crowds at the airport were reassuring.  We participate in this madness together.  Somehow, it works.  These things I say to myself, imagining a smooth landing in Miami.

It is immensely beautiful to see the world from nearly 6 miles up.  The tiny white crescent of sand on the coast, cast white by the sun.  The Gulf waters shiny and still, or so they look from up there.airplane 2

How remarkable, that we, the hairless, slow, defenseless specks of creatures born with so little protection, without even being able to hold our heads on straight – WE have manipulated our environment this much.  We fly without wings.  We fly from the power of our minds.

On the way to airport, I listened to NPR, tuning into the political circus taking place in the USA right now, and from 5 miles high, it really made me think about humanity and all our works.  What is it all for?

Airplanes don’t last.  Buildings don’t last.  Even great art lasts only for awhile, in geologic time.  Our lives are certainly short.  All I can think of that could possibly matter is love.airplane 1

Every candidate out there will claim to love this country, and that’s great.  Some will claim to love minorities or farmers or other segments of population characteristic of the working poor.  And they are probably telling the truth by their own standards.  But here’s what I’m observing – love begets love.  I’m not talking about romantic love here of course.  I’m talking about big LOVE, agape, or from the eastern side, bodhicitta – the up-welling of the heart with goodness toward ALL.

When that sort of LOVE is present in a person, it is reflected in their actions, and in the action of the people around them.  And LOVE isn’t always sweet and lovely.  Its forms are as variable and diverse as our fingerprints.  Parents all know this.  We scold our children and correct them, not even always gently, but our corrections are made with LOVE.  The fruit of this LOVE is recognizable as goodness, positivity, fairness and compassion.  Even in shows of great strength, there will be a basic goodness.home lulah

LOVE is an attractive force.  It’s something to watch for.

And THAT, my friends, is what this little farmwife was doing on an airplane to Miami.  I left my hearth and home, all that I have grown and cared for over the past decade, for the sake of love, and I was rewarded with the obvious – MORE love.

My dear friend of twenty years (or more) just weathered a big life transition.  As difficult as it was to observe, being there is part and parcel of true friendship, and the longer we live the more obvious that becomes.  I am grateful now to have borne witness to her process, as she has maintained such integrity, and now she is beginning to emerge in a glorious and graceful way.  And in her emergence from the thick of it, she invited a bunch of us, her friends of near and far, to be with her for a weekend in southern Florida.  How could I not go?

There were about a dozen women who carved out time for the get-away.  One of them was another close friend.  Another I had met before.  The others I had only heard about over the years.  It was such a wonderful event.  Totally worth the strangeness of the plane ride.

It was wonderful to spend such concentrated time loving our mutual friend.  We all shared a deep appreciation for her, as she is, and together, we were able to really give her that deep-woman-friend-love that is so necessary at certain turning points.  I hope you know what I mean, because it’s difficult to explain unless you have experienced it.

It was also completely astonishingly wonderful to meet so many GREAT women all in one place.  I could so easily have spent a day talking to each and every one of them.  Each so different, but each beautifully unique in intelligence and experience and that golden key – basic goodness.  It doesn’t happen every day to meet so many enjoyable people at one time, you know?  I am grateful to know these women, not just in my friend’s life, but in my own now, too.group picture

Oh, and the spa was pretty nice.  Lying by the water in a swimsuit was awesome.  Hot tubs and saunas are alright by me, too, once in awhile.  The quinoa banana avocado pineapple smoothie with pistachio nuts, dried cranberries, and coconut?  All I can say is WOW.

But the best part?  You know what I’m going to say.  You know it’s true.  LOVE.

The flight home was wretchedly bumpy.  Everyone was pale as the plane circled through the clouds and down onto the Nashville runway, but but it was good to look down and see the bare trees, the open fields.  So much space we have here.airplane tennessee

I was a tired mess by the time I got back to the house.  There were still little piles of snow along the road on the deepest parts of the hollow.  It only took a few minutes to change back into my old wool sweater, my stained and ripped camo pants.  I walked around with the goats and collected the eggs with the funny feeling that I had just stepped back home from another world.  Not a bad world, just a different one.  There is no bad world as long as there is love.home where i belong

savoring september

IMGP2079After breakfast this morning, I lingered at the table in the outdoor kitchen. There was a slight breeze blowing through the forest and a steady trickle of leaves fell to the ground. I watched, mesmerized. The days have still been hot this week, but we are expecting a drastic change in the weather in just a few days. Autumn is knocking on the door. True, it is my favorite season and I do not lament summer’s passing… but, truth be told, I am hanging on to each day right now. Savoring them. I am thoroughly enjoying the hours spent at the creek each afternoon, basking in the September sun and knitting a few rows on a project while the children swim and play. Or sitting in the flowing water and enjoying my extra buoyancy while the cool water removes excess heat from my body. I know that as soon as we have some cooler weather, the creek water will quickly become too cool for relaxed swimming and that will be that. We will move on to other activities and splashing in the creek will lose its appeal. I’ve not had enough creek-time this summer because of my broken leg and I suppose that right now I am making up for lost time.IMGP2070IMGP2058There’s something else, too. When this transitional month of September passes, the time will be ripe for us to welcome this new life that has been brewing in my belly these past eight months. While I am eager to finally meet this new soul, I am also in no hurry for my pregnancy to be over. I am one of those strange souls that really enjoy being pregnant. The mystery of it all is intoxicating. It leaves me in awe. So, I’m going to continue to savor these September days in whatever form they present themselves… and be thankful for these beautiful days that feel like a generous gift. IMGP2080