King Fussypants, Teacher of Boundaries

It’s early morning and I’m walking to the woods with my chair and hot beverage to enjoy the trees and listen to the birds. I have hopes of hearing the hermit thrush, my favorite, while I relax and sip my cinnamon cardamom tea, starting my day in peace. I haven’t even sat down when it starts. King Fussypants has spotted me from his throne in the trees. His abrupt short chirps cut through the air. I can see his massive mound of cones some 50 yards away. I spot him up a tree, eyes fixed on me, fussing with all … Continue reading King Fussypants, Teacher of Boundaries

Trauma Recovery

Puzzles with missing pieces bother me. I want them all joined, connected, each playing it’s part in the bigger whole. I feel the same way about our souls. I like to imagine that inside our souls, all parts are present and accounted for, in their proper places doing their proper things. We know it isn’t always so. The human experience is one of fragments and fractures, overwhelm and breakage. No life escapes this. Pieces are lost within, separated from adjoining pieces, longing to find their place again, be joined, re-fitted. Trauma does this, breaking them off and sending them adrift. … Continue reading Trauma Recovery

Brazilian Street Kid

I met him at night on a crowded street in Belo Horizonte, Brazil many years ago. I thought he was a child but he could have been a young teen. Our interaction lasted less than five minutes. No words were spoken. I couldn’t got a good look at his face, just the back of his head. I sat on the sidewalk watching my teammates do a skit for the crowd. That’s when he came. I’m not sure how he knew he would be welcome in my lap. He didn’t ask permission. He just crawled in. Tentative and a bit rigid at … Continue reading Brazilian Street Kid

From Less Than to Equal

Learned I was less than from the lying school of life; hussling to fit into the more thans world, knowing I never could. Striving to prove my lovability, worth, belonging; living off scraps of validation and devouring stray words of kindness. An innate feeling of lower class, that people are doing me a favor to spend time with me. Circumstances taught me this falsehood and faulty conclusions in childhood reinforced it. Less than…not a good platform to build a life from; Less than…not a place of rest. Centered, calm, a feeling of wholeness, no need to prove, able to make … Continue reading From Less Than to Equal

Play Therapy

Children have always had a special place in my heart.  My mom used to say they followed me around like the Pied Piper. I knew they each carried something special for the world and that they saw and heard more than others credited them for. So when my graduate school advisor recommended I take a course on play therapy, I eagerly complied. “Play is a child’s work,” my professor explained. My classmates and I had several assignments where we were to observe children at play. We were to notice their interactions, the roles they took, the objects they used, and … Continue reading Play Therapy

The Summer of Awe and Wonder

Delight filled His mind as He thought of all she would discover about life, about Him, and about her place in the world. Would she follow His whispers? Would she receive His invitation? He led her into the forests, along seashores, through the thickets. She, with camera in hand, collecting samples to draw, awakened to wonder. He, beaming with joy, as her heart filled with life again. Days welcome now as she anticipates new discoveries and clues about who He is, His nature, and His ways.  Exploring and beholding His living gallery she sees more of the artist Himself. Joy … Continue reading The Summer of Awe and Wonder

Eight Squares of Pain

Eight squares of pain, measuring two feet by two feet, each a different shade of ceramic tile. The other shoppers at Home Depot would have never guessed it. She looked so normal, so rational, so calm. It didn’t show on the outside. Hers was an internal pain, an internal scream far beyond her ability to express or release. She inspected each tile looking for the most beautiful, the most decorative ones, for they would represent the beauty of her life and it was important to her that the tiles be valuable, as her life had been. She lifted one. It … Continue reading Eight Squares of Pain

Simple Gifts

I kick off my shoes and walk in the wet sand making my way along the shoreline. I meander through the woods breathing deeply of the crisp fresh air. I pick a small bouquet of wildflowers and place them in my kitchen window. Simple things you might say.  Yes, but not really. Did you know that as my bare feet touched the sand the electrical charge from the earth calmed my nervous system and improved my heart rate and blood flow? Just from walking barefoot? Did you know that as I meandered through the woods breathing the particles emitted from … Continue reading Simple Gifts