35 things to be grateful for
it's my birthday and i'm very very lucky
It’s my 35 birthday and the clouds hang blessedly low in the sky today. Ashen light filters through and it’s the first cool morning in weeks.
I’ve lost my voice because of persnickety allergies and overuse from having absolutely way too much fun dancing and talking over the music at a wedding this weekend.
In the space without words, I find myself feeling melancholy and loudly grateful.
Here are 35 things I am grateful for:
Making a shiny, new beekeeping friend who helps me identify pollinators. She also introduced me to a softly liberating question when considering the space I share with Bugs and other creatures I formerly thought of as pests… “Is it causing a real problem?” The answer has mostly been a frank and honest “No.” This question has changed the way I see unsewn plants - the artists formerly known as Weeds - and caused me to joyfully sacrifice a few veggies and leafy greens to my insect neighbors for their enjoyment.
A green turn signal waiting for me to arrive so that I could get where I was going with a little more ease than I anticipated.
My new, indigo lavender plant and my new, blush pink lavender plant.
Enough trust with a childhood friend that we can hold each other’s heavy hearts when one of us is trying to unlearn old, painful family patterns.
New friends who bring bags - three to be specific - of baked goods to your yard sale for folks to snack on just because.
The second-hand economy and its thrifty, scrappy evangelicals.
Weddings for good people who give good love. Ain’t nothing like it.
Sleeping pets. Silly pets. Curious pets. And paws that smell like corn chips.
Braiding Sweetgrass + Robin Wall Kimmerer. The book and the teacher that have so entirely changed my life and given me my House of Worship.
Knitting. For the hereness it gives my hands, the peace it gives my mind, and how it draws me to cuddle up on the couch or the porch to listen to fantastical books on tape.
Flowering Trees. This morning on my walk with the dogs, I noticed that the Magnolia had tucked her blossoms in tighter overnight. I didn’t know Magnolia could do this and it made me smile to witness myself as someone who now notices the invisible, infinitely textured language of the botanical world.
Bees. In a different blossom on the same majestic Magnolia, I found a Bee taking a pollen bath with such fervor and abandon that in her zeal she fell right out of the petal bowl. Such indulgence!
Guerilla gardeners for the way they reject the privatization of plants, soil, and earth. None of whom belong to us anyway because we belong to them.
The Dogs - Fig and Harlow. Thank you for your unwavering adoration, your renewing playfulness, and the standing challenge to become a more patient, clear human so that I can better love you.
Taking my partner u-picking for the first time. His inner child is so richly part of who he is and I love how much he lets the little boy within lead his joy and fuel his adventurous spirit.
Writing Thank You cards. So few people do it anymore but it’s something wildly nostalgic for me. My mom was diligent in having me write them after opening each present. It’s a practice I lost for a few challenging years but recently reintroduced and feel more at home for rediscovering.
Overhearing my housemate talking about me and saying “The green thumb on that girl!” [cue my fat, ear-to-ear-grin]
My legs. Strong. Persevering. Often unloved by me and still faithfully supportive of all of my adventures.
Getting to have lived in and remember a world before cell phones.
The Naked Grocer - a plastic-free, waste-minimal grocery store in downtown Seattle. I never get to go because I don’t live nearby but I appreciate learning from the millennial owner who built and nurtures something so “inconvenient” in a world that has forgotten so much of what makes life subtle and worthwhile.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge. I’m obsessed. She spills into the room with life. “You can be anything you want as long as it’s outrageous.” Such a legend.
My swamp kid. Getting to be his Swamp Mom. When he tells me my wolf-shirt pajamas are “really cool”… or cackles and begs me to wiggle wiggle Swamp Hug him again and again… or when he strikes a pose beyond his years, shrugs, and brags that yeah, he loves me too… I would bury a dead body for that kid.
Grandma Ruth’s antique frogs. For my birthday my suegros gave me third-generation flower frogs from my partner’s grandmother’s collection alongside a poetic, and beautiful flower-arranging book. I didn’t know bouquets could be recipes.
The Bubble Bazooka that my dad gave me. It is bulky yet dinky and spews out hundreds of iridescent orbs of joy at a time. Turns out it doesn’t matter your age, bubbles are still very very fun.
Flaky, melt-in-your-mouth pie crusts full of summer blueberry and rhubarb deliciousness!
Banter with strangers.
Riding my motorcycle. While riding in the city makes me appropriately nervous, I don’t think I’ll ever get over the thrill of freedom I feel on my bike. I love the secret world that opens up to you as a rider - private moments of reverence when the mountain crests the horizon, VIP parking, favors from and conversations with strangers, the wave, the fraternity… IYKYK.
Pranify Yoga. This studio has helped me reclaim my physical health, restore my often-complicated relationship with my body, and been a regular haven for slowing down and returning to being human. I have made friends, shed tears, taught, and gotten locked out.
Estranged friends returning to my life. Two very important friendships that ended for the right reasons at the time, re-entered my life this year. I am grateful they have given me an opportunity to become their friend, that we leaned past the fears that made them hesitant to reconnect, and for the humility and sweetness we’ve each brought to the new incarnation of our relationship. I missed them a lot.
The thrifted, retro, purple shirt that has unapologetically become MY FAVORITE ARTICLE OF CLOTHING. I WANT TO WEAR IT EVERYDAY!
For my budding, caring, kind community in Seattle. One of my favorite things in the whole world is people I love falling in love with other people I love. It’s just my little flavor of compersion I guess.
For my father. Who despite many challenges and devastating losses in his life, has never lost the courage to love or to learn. For the prismatic way his unique mind finds unseen patterns in the world. For the way he marries his inner scientist and baker to make the most amazing gluten-free fruit pies!
For my mother. Somehow, beyond the grave, despite never getting to know her very well, she remains a guiding person in my world. The grief never abates but by its side, resides an unwavering reminder to live fiercely, deeply, playfully, and with exceptional abandon. Part of her legacy is that I do not take aliveness for granted. We never know how long we have.
For my other mother. For the countless hours, mental math, un-doings, and re-doings she’s spent knitting me incredible sweaters. For her generous laughter and no-nonsense love. For the way she enjoys simple living and simple pleasures.
For my partner. Instead of getting annoyed, he loves that I live life like it’s a neverending improv scene. Instead of begrudging me my ADHD and chronic inflammatory health issues, he seizes the space they make as opportunities to love me with his organizational superpowers and acts of service. Instead of loving me too little, he loves me relentlessly and sometimes even stubbornly. For his bottomless enthusiasm, his fierce loyalty, and his hunger to always learn and grow.
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