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Still There

October 12, 2011

The thick grey clouds hung in around the East Coast for weeks. Then, the sun began to shine again. After my doldrums of last week,  the sun reached into my windows and through my sunroof. The bright, warm rays nudged me,




Of course, I looked.  Around and around. And I was so pleased to see that the beauty in the everyday waited for me. On the way to the store:


On the drive through the woods, on a wonderfully curving, rolly-polly up-and-down road…

…that holds this certain one-lane bridge. I always hope that no cars will be behind me when I reach it so I can stop to photograph it. This day, I was able. I covet the quaint combination of white iron, cobble stone and forest:


The words tumbled out of my lips, into the sun-filled space around me. Tears tugged at my eyes as I heard myself whisper,

Thank you for being still being  here. Thank you for holding your beauty until I was able to truly see it again. 


Later that same day, I took these two photos:

I know, inherently, that the beauty surrounds me in all ways, at all times. But it’s difficult to see that resplendent grace when my eyes are cast inward. I am so grateful that I was able to look around, up and down at what awaited me through the dark. And once again, I learn the lesson that is forever reinventing itself for me: dark, then light. Dark, then light. My life, each life, contains both. Each is essential.


This morning, I walked Henry into school. As I do every morning, I parked in the street instead of the horse-shoe drive. I do this because Henry is a pokey puppy. He’s a noticer. A stopper. A purveyor of all things detailed. So we commenced our morning walk, this time of year through the goldenrod, cafe and burnt sienna leaves. We talked about what his morning would hold. We held each other’s hands.

We got all the way to his classroom door when he stopped suddenly, remembering that he doesn’t want me to walk with him anymore. I am to wait outside the white picket fence and watch from a distance as he walks in by himself.

Mommy, I want to go in by myself. 

Ok, Henry, ok.

I started to back down the brick sidewalk and smiled at another mom-friend. This mom-friend had parked after us, walked past us, delivered her daughters to the classroom and was on her way back down the brick sidewalk. I was still waiting for Henry to finish walking to his class door.  She smiled back at me and said,

He’s so sweet. He just notices things, doesn’t he? Just soaks it all up?

I nodded. Yes, I confirmed, that’s him.

She nodded approvingly. That will serve him so well in life. I wish I could be more like that.

Such a gift she extended to me through her words. As a long-time admirer of those who move fast (some of my very bestest friends are the quickest movers I know and I covet their productivity and speed), it helped to receive her perspective.

I long ago stopped fighting the urge to hurry-Henry-the-hell-up when I take him to school. Because, well, because that’s just the way he’s cut. And he’s cut




8 Comments leave one →
  1. October 12, 2011 12:15 pm

    My daughter likes to dally, and since I’m of the opposite nature, always rushing, always trying to get someplace quickly even when there is no deadline, I tend to hurry her along when in fact I really should learn from her (and you and your son) and take my time. So I can notice the life around me, clearly, appreciatively and not just see a constant blur in my attempt to move things along at a lightning pace.

  2. October 12, 2011 12:19 pm


    I am right there with you and Henry, looking, noticing, taking it in.

    And appreciating those who move much more quickly, too!

    Just lovely, my friend. Thanks for this gift today.

  3. October 12, 2011 4:24 pm

    then light.
    then light.
    I think this is the cycle. I see the Light because the dark places reveal it to me.

  4. October 12, 2011 4:25 pm

    Sorry. But I just also have to say: I ADORE the picture with the shadow on the floor of that wreath. It is hauntingly lovely. It announces autumn to my skin.

  5. October 12, 2011 8:39 pm

    so many things reverberated within me while I read this piece, so many.

  6. Elizabeth Clark permalink
    October 13, 2011 11:45 am

    Your line about not being able to “see resplendent grace when eyes are cast inward”. Hello!!! That kicked me in the rear!! Thank you, Denise!

  7. October 13, 2011 11:17 pm

    Oh I so needed this. Thank you!!! I thought I was the only one who has been a bit down with the weather. I LOVE this reminder that our lives are this darkness and this light. What a little teacher you have in Henry. Today he (and of course you) reminded me to stop, slow down, and notice.

    PS – I forgot you moved and I wondered what happened to you. Ha!! You were here all along. Love the new site!!


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