Friday, December 2, 2016

don't forget...

...that sometimes in the midst of change and upheaval
it's healthy to take a break.
skip the news,
take a walk,
light a candle,
take deep, long breathes,

and exhale.


let things go for a bit.


Thursday, December 1, 2016

world aids day 2016

Today I am remembering all the young men we lost when I worked as a volunteer in the mid-80's. AIDS was rampant and scary back then. I learned so much about compassion and grace from those guys. And courage. 

I still remember each of them. 

Progress has been made, for sure, but a cure is still elusive. 

There are so many things that can get in the way of a long and healthy life.  I see this every time I walk into the hospital as a volunteer chaplain. Truly, sometimes life can seem like a crap shoot.

The one thing I am sure of is the power of love. It's a powerful force and perhaps our greatest hope.

I invite you to walk into the month of December with me...filled with intention to greet each day, each person, each situation as the sacred gift that it is. 


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

hope in the darkness

The sky is heavy with clouds and freezing rain. The roads are treacherous. But my heart is bursting with hope and love. The good news I received over the weekend has become official. Earlhamite Hashem Abu Sham'a has been selected as a Rhodes Scholar! When I met Hashem a few years back I felt his shining light  and wondered if there might be great things in his future. I am delighted that this young man has been recognized for his enlightened leadership. If you are yearning for an inspiring story, please read about Hashem here. Congratulations to Hashem!!!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

time flies...

The kitchen has finally quieted down.
 The first cuts of the season were made.
Two wee trees headed south...
one with Hannah and one with Lindsey and her Scott.
I love to think of their apartments filled 
with the scent of balsams from our
bit of earth.
 See that trail headed over the brink?
The beginnings of a snow person rolled down that hill...
 This is the transition time from harvest bounty 
to the darkest days of December.
The paper white narcissus parade has begun!
Pots are nestled under the bed in the chilly room of requirement,
ready to be brought out, bit by bit, through the winter.
 This very special quilt came up from NYC for some careful mending.
 Stitched by many hands with love and intention, 
it was won in a raffle in 2012 and was in need of some TLC. 
Honored to have it under my needle, 
I repaired its seams, and its headed back home now, 
filled with even more love than when it arrived. 
Dearest readers, I hope you had a peace-filled 
Thanksgiving if you are here in the US. 

If you live elsewhere, know that this was an especially
introspective time of gratitude for many of us here,
still trying to get our feet back under ourselves.

I am grateful for your visits here at
sew and sow life.


Monday, November 21, 2016

my favorite week of the year

The pie pumpkins are roasting in the oven. The bird feeders are hanging in the crabapple trees outside the kitchen window. The soft white table linens and my grandmother's turkey platter have been brought out of storage. The woodshed has been tidied up and the snow shovel is propped in the breezeway...

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

walk with me?

we'll head out past one of the birdhouses...
and follow the path through the balsams...
down to the beech grove,
carpeted in soft and silent leaves.
the sky is heavy with moisture...
that hangs in sparkling droplets from the branches.
 some of the birchbark is curling on the trunks...
 battered by the fierce winds, stripped free from their moorings
and floating on the breeze.
this bit was caught, mid-flight, on the needles of a balsam,
waving its subtle beauty as i walked by.

i had my gathering basket with me.
acorn caps, birchbark and bits of lichen
have been tucked into my sewing studio.

on monday night batman called me on his way home from work.
(he doesn't usually do that.)
"i've stopped on the ridge, you've got to come see the moon!"
i drove down that way and pulled off the road at the meeting house.
the sky around the moon had turned orange behind the bare branches.
the last few leaves rattled in the mild breeze.
oh friends,
do not doubt that there is still much 
holiness in this world.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

caught in between

On Sunday I caught wind of a trend...wear a safety pin to let folks know that you are a safe and compassionate person, who will step up to be an ally to anyone feeling marginalized by the whirlwind of change we find ourselves in the midst of. 

Patented On April 10, 1849, safety pins have been around for a long time. Safety pins are an ingenious solution to temporarily mend a tear, attach two things, hold things together. 

Well, give me a sewing metaphor and I'm in!

But, as usual, there are two sides to every story.


Sometimes I just want to crawl in a hole.


That is not going to help anyone. I want to be a helper.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” -Fred Rogers

So, despite the confusion, for now, I will keep wearing my safety pin. I'm a maker, I'm an activist in my own way, I'm a ferocious ally and I try to be a helper.

As long as wearing a safety pin is done hand in hand with concrete action...

What's your take on the safety pin trend?