s u n

it’s not lost on me that i am a tried-and-true california baby. a product of citrus and waves, temperate seasons and sun.

but mostly, sun.

truth is, i didn’t realize how much i am dependent on that powerful energy source until fairly recently. while i appreciate this unusually wet winter (so long, drought!), i’m finding myself a little out of sorts without the consistency of our beloved sun. into this new year, we have experienced more rain in weeks than california has experienced in years, which when calculated, amounts to even fewer days of winter sun and its unique warmth.

in years past, i woke up to cold morning runs, ending with a shower and basking in the sun’s gentle heat. breakfast was eaten outside, a blanket wrapped around for warmth. we had beach days, albeit chilly, for the thrilling joy of crashing waves and crowd-empty shores. hikes were routine, as the mild winter sun allowed for a steady journey without heat fatigue or dehydration. and of course, my garden, filled with drought-friendly succulents, all fed off the universe’s nourishing light.

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in the absence of those moments, i have to look inward and find a new sense of myself – a self that can’t be so reliant on the sun. it’s a process, and i’m making way. this passage by Willa Cather from My Antonia certainly helps:

“it was as if Winter was

saying to us:

‘This is reality, whether you

like it or not.

All those frivolities of

summer,

the light and shadow, the

living mask of green that

trembled over everything,

they were lies.

This is what is underneath,

this is the truth.'”

if anything, i am discovering how grateful i am for the sun – what it does, how it feels, the energy it brings. before now, i don’t think i ever gave it that kind of respect. its presence was always expected. even at 32, i’m still growing, and sometimes i think even more so now – what fills me, what depletes me, what ultimately sets my soul on fire.

i don’t know how much longer these wet days will continue, but one thing this child of the sun can guarantee is that it’s going to be one lush spring ahead.

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reminders

things i’ve been reminded of this week, through looking inward and also engaging with this wide, wide world:

a smile goes a long way.

sleeping in is a form of recovery.

the heart was meant for beating, so make it pump (see The Class).

time with your parents is priceless. and necessary.

go to the market early if you want fully stocked shelves.

hand-writing a letter is ceremonial (if you want it to be).

rain gives way to the most incredible wild blooms.

money doesn’t guarantee happiness. or love.

we are living our legacies. no need to worry about that later.

keep garden clippers in the car. you might have a wildflower-foraging opportunity.

quiet. stillness. these feed me.

sit in the sun, wherever it is.

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walking as religion

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from elizabeth mccracken’s bowlaway, via austin kleon:

“in the mornings he would walk…at the start of the walk, alone or moving, the sun at his back or cold rain down his collar, he was more himself than under any other circumstance, until he had walked so far he was not himself, not a self, but joined to the world. invisibly joined. had a religion been founded on this, purely this, he would have converted…proof of God? proof was in the world, and the way you visited the world was on foot…your walking was a devotion.”

a beautiful reminder to be present while walking, for we are one with our surroundings, we are one in this life on earth.

 

about today

things i want to remember about today:

sleeping in (a rainstorm just outside).

a farmer’s market pommelo (the size of the sun).

a pilates class (and the strength i felt afterward).

dusting shelves (music played in the background).

reading (There There).

a grounding bowl (of sweet potato, romanesco, kale, and salmon).

a heat pad (for warming the legs).

wildflowers (bedside and ever so endearing).

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3 2

today is my 32nd trip around the sun. thirty-two. it’s interesting to view myself at this age, an age that seemed so far away, nearly impossible to reach when i was a child. and now here i am, living it, feeling wholly grateful for every year i’ve had the opportunity to experience.

i can’t say this is where i expected to be in my life at this age. to be honest, i never really put too much thought into it. married? yes. and that’s about it. my present self is relieved that my past self didn’t have too many expectations for her future self. the freedom has allowed me to evolve naturally, to discover things as i go, without any pretensions. and for that, i feel like i’ve become me.

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in honor of the first day of this new year, i celebrate everything it was and continues to be for the next few hours:

waking to my own rhythm, in the mountains, next to g.

solo breakfast, reading.

long walk on the trail along the Merced river with g and the pup.

an outdoor snack under a canopy of trees.

sitting by the fireplace, warm.

reading, again.

and later, dinner and champagne. bubbles, always.

a frigid walk to the cabin, down comforter prepared.

a good night’s sleep, rested and heart-filled.

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here’s to what’s to come, whatever that is, wherever it may be. here’s to even more becoming.

with abandon

“what do you love? now, love it fiercely and do not ever apologize.”

i came across this quote by Liam Ryan recently. it was one of those surreal moments, when the exact words i needed to read were placed in front of me at the exact time i needed them most.

i sometimes fall into this trap of hesitating to display my love for something. an internal monologue of questioning evolves: do i share too much? how can i love/enjoy something so much when there are others who are seemingly indifferent? should i just keep it to myself? it’s not until i recognize the weight of this doubt that i realize how none of that matters. my life is my life is my life, is my heart.

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flowers and gardens. loose leaf tea. dinner parties and candlelight and ambience. quiet. these are just a few of the things that characterize me. who would i be to deny such brilliance in the beautiful things that fill my soul? i’m tired of hesitating and asking the questions. i wear my heart on my sleeve and if that means loving fiercely, then i will do so with abandon.

…because in the end, what are we doing in this world anyway?

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more/less

the first week into 2019, and i love the thought behind setting intentions for more of and less of in the new year. resolutions were never a priority of mine because they always seemed to set us up for fail. too much rigidity. too concrete.

this more/less mentality instead gives us grace – increasing the things that fill us and limiting the things that do otherwise. i see it as a complementary element to how i choose to live anyway: with intention, embracing imperfection in the every day, focusing on things that bring wholeness, simplifying as we go. i liken it to a wabi-sabi way of life.

here is my more/less list for 2019, ever flexible as the seasons change:

more:

walks

reading

snail mail

dinner parties

seeking and dwelling on beauty in the everyday

intimacy with gino

gardening

gratitude

smiles

less:

judgment

gossip

screen time

apology

over-thinking

impatience

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here’s to living well and full!