“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


Sweet Nothings - A Bella Grace Giveaway

i've said for years that the universe tosses you gifts daily, that you just have to hold out your hands and catch them.  most of those gifts are overlooked moments; we get busy or tired and we just miss them. we expect them to be big and wrapped in silver paper, a red bow on top, and i'm as guilty as everyone else; i get lazy and don't want to peek into the shadows or even under my pillow, but that's where they live, these gifts.  the sweet nothings of the everyday.


the first day you spy cherries at the grocery store.
ditto clementines.
sweet sweet ordinary magic.
both days.

full moons.
crescent moons.
all the moons in between, even the ones on stormy nights, hiding behind nighttime clouds.
magic, each and every one of them, without costing you a dime.

outside tonight is hot and still,
and as always i have a door open and bare feet propped in front of the fan.
that cool air is a sweet nothing.
a small magic.
just ask my toes.

ordinary magic comes with good times and it comes with the hard. when my mother was dying, i mentioned on this blog that my phone never stopped ringing with bad news, or with relatives checking in, and suddenly into my open hand a gift was dropped - an online friend began to call every day and leave a voice mail for me, the small and ordinary stories of her day.  sweet nothings to which i never had to respond.  another online friend messaged if i needed anything, she was only 3 hours away.  another gift.  more small magic.

heart shaped leaves and newly painted walls, white linens, lazy pink tulips.
the flight of owls through the darkness. crows on fence posts. early morning robins.
dark chocolate. well done steaks.
back porches and candlelight and friendships with no need for conversation.
gifts, each and every one.  ordinary magics.
just hold out your hand and catch them.

movies watched for the hundredth time, books falling apart for the very same reason.
stripes and polka dots and pale blue cotton.
campfires. starlight. cowboy boots.
cello music.
the sound of sleet against the windows.
fallen flower petals.
granny smith apples and auld lang syne.

it's about building your life where you are.  it's about at last using the tablecloth you bought on that trip to florida, the one that said ignore the winter cold, take me - the one you've never used no matter how much you love it, the color saying summersummersummer ocean beach heat.  it's new shoes and old shoes and pink rainboots that keep your feet dry when the creek overflows and you are knee high in water fast flooding your yard.  even the almost annual flooding becomes a magic.  an adventure. will the house flood or won't it?  no matter.  watching the creek rise brings a smile to your face. mother nature kicking up her heels.


And now Bella Grace.  A new magazine by Stampington that believes in all those things, embraces all those things and magics and moments and sweet nothings.  It is unlike any ordinary magazine you've seen before: ½" thick, full of images and poetry and stories and interactive spaces and places.  I am honored to be a part of this new venture, celebrating life and adventure and the magic in the ordinary, and honored to be among many of my favorite writers and photographers. As part of the Bella Grace blog hop/magazine giveaway, I've been given a copy to give away to one of you. Just leave a comment below - I'd love if you told me one of your sweet nothings, but it's not required.  With the magazine, I'm also including a canvas print of that painting up at the top, in the hopes it will remind you to just open your hands and catch that everyday magic.

Remember, just whisper a sweet nothing in my ear down below in the comments.
I'll draw a name on Sunday, August 31, and announce the winner on Monday, September 1.

You can keep up with the blog hop,
with even more magazine giveaways, and wonderful people to meet,
with this link right here.
Stampington will be updating the page daily.

above painting: when emma still believed in magic / d smith kaich jones
flood image: robert langham



saturday morning with summer

the downward part of summer is here, the august light blasting. harsh.  every flaw in the landscape is magnified all the way till the stars come out.  it is at last hot hot hot, a month still to go before autumn arrives.  breezes blow and it is even hotter.  the birds this morning are silent, but the rose of sharon trees are full of bees and draw me near, pull me in.

a reader tells me that where she lives "all august it has been october".  we have only been august, and even then, only now.  we may reach 100° by tomorrow, and if so, it will be our first.  summer comes late this year.  we may not reach october until the end of the year, our seasons sliding slowly one into another.  i am already planning - there will be a pumpkin under the christmas tree.



barefoot with the tv off

the open door, the outside, the spinning of the world.

i searched for christmas novels yesterday, wanting something with snow and angels and silent nights, with candlelight and old fashioned trees, a house in the woods or maybe city streets draped with lights, people on the sidewalks, their arms piled high with packages wrapped in red. carols in the background. comfort and cocoa and the smells of cinnamon and peppermint. i ended up with something; i don't remember the title, only that it is something to take me away from the real world outside the door.