Life in Photos, Poetry & Words

POETRY & WORDS :: After the Deluge

30 April 2014- Daydreaming Afternoon Rain

Monday’s post about choosing joy in the rain was barely posted when I had the opportunity to live it. That’s the way it works, isn’t it? It’s like telling God you’d like to be a more patient person — and then ::wham!:: many opportunities to practice patience appear before your eyes.

April went out with a monsoon, inside and outside. Outside, a diluvial sheet of water bent and twisted and contorted, darkening the sky, punctuated with electric bursts of thunder. Inside, an email quietly said no to something we all had hoped for.

Inside, outside, inside, outside.

It wasn’t until after the Flood that hope arrived. It wasn’t until everything drowned and the rains stopped and the earth heaved under the weight of the water that the rainbow appeared. It wasn’t until then that the olive branch soared across the horizon and into view.

“Now let the music keep
our spirits high
And let the buildings keep
our children dry
Let creation reveal its secrets
by and by, by and by
When the light that’s lost within us
reaches the sky

…And when the sand was gone
and the time arrived…
And in attempts to understand a thing
so simple and so huge
believed that they were meant to live
after the deluge.
” -Jackson Browne

Life in Photos, Poetry & Words

POETRY & WORDS :: Inside Outside

LIFE IN PHOTOS :: Inside Outside, a post on the Oaxacaborn blog

LIFE IN PHOTOS :: Inside Outside, a post on the Oaxacaborn blog

LIFE IN PHOTOS :: Inside Outside, a post on the Oaxacaborn blog

LIFE IN PHOTOS :: Inside Outside, a post on the Oaxacaborn blog

LIFE IN PHOTOS :: Inside Outside, a post on the Oaxacaborn blog

Spring here doesn’t approach slowly with neon green buds or opening blossoms. There is no fading ice, no crocuses or daffodils. Spring here is akin to a lobster in a pot of water, temperature unconsciously leaping upward, a baptism by immersion of drenched air and torrential rain until the whole wet world is submerged.

There is one month left between us and hurricane season, between us and and daily electrical storms. One month left until the six-month stretch of tropical storms begin and the canned goods stack up  under the countertop and the gallons of water in the closet are restocked and clocks are reset by the rhythm of cyclical thunder and the afternoons are spent inside.

Inside, outside, inside, outside, inside.

One month left until the sidewalks are rivers and the windows are our constant view to the outside deluge.

I want to see beauty in it this year. I want to see beauty in the spongey grass and the low skies and the waterlogged earth and the thick roadside ponds and the one single shade of green coating it all.  I want to see it for what it is, rather than what it is not. It is not the thin high skies specked with pollen and pine resin and wildfire, it’s not the sun-baked clay earth that shatters into a million immobile pieces every summer, it’s not twisted oak silhouettes or mountain ridges. The sunsets are pastel, not copper, but we are the same people here as we are anywhere.

This is a journey of becoming, after all, and a journey is not where you put on the skids and claw and pound your tent stakes in deeper and rage against the rain. Sojourning means you tend to your fires and your campsite wherever you are, keeping the light alive from dawn to dusk, no matter if you’ll pull up stakes tonight or in three months or in a year. You pull your loves in closer, you keep your eyes to the light, and in the darkness you see the One who pulls the tides and pushes the moon and punctured heaven to give you stars has not failed you yet.

And so you tarry, and so you sojourn, and so you live.

Life in Photos

LIFE IN PHOTOS :: Lavender Sky

LIFE IN PHOTOS on the OAXACABORN blog :: Lavender Sky

LIFE IN PHOTOS on the OAXACABORN blog :: Lavender Sky

LIFE IN PHOTOS on the OAXACABORN blog :: Lavender Sky

LIFE IN PHOTOS on the OAXACABORN blog :: Lavender Sky

LIFE IN PHOTOS on the OAXACABORN blog :: Lavender Sky

LIFE IN PHOTOS on the OAXACABORN blog :: Lavender Sky

LIFE IN PHOTOS on the OAXACABORN blog :: Lavender Sky

LIFE IN PHOTOS on the OAXACABORN blog :: Lavender Sky

“Underneath this billboard with my thumb up sticking in the air,
take me to New York, New York or California I don’t care…
…feels like this county line only ties me down…
feels like this interstate just circles back around.”

-Jill Phillips

“Look up, look up it’s like the sky is falling
down on us, on us.
Wake up, wake up it’s just this dream I have,
it’s made for us, for us.

Well, I can’t be anything I’m not;
you get what you see.
But I’m gonna give you everything I got —
I’m not living in the in-between,
I’m not living in the in-between.”

-Bebo Norman

Poetry & Words

POETRY & WORDS :: When it rains

June 2013 - Hanna Andersson star pajamas and Anthropologie Fables and Feathers beddingIt’s 2 am, and I’m awakened to the sound of a sobbing little girl and heavy raindrops beating against the side of the building. She is teething, the rain’s falling from the swirling fingers of a tropical storm, and my head is tired and groggy. I lie still for several minutes, as if by remaining motionless I could somehow will her back to sleep. She shifts from quiet crying to calling out “Mummy!” and in a moment, we are both in her room. She’s upright in her crib, stumbling around half-asleep and half-awake as though the mattress were a ship deck, rolling on the high seas to the sound of the pelting rain.

“Get out,” she asks, stretching out her wobbly hands. “Wear blanket scarf.” I wrap her favorite fuzzy blanket around her the way she wants it, and she reaches her arms toward papa. He holds her while she drinks water, and then she lunges in my direction. “You hold,” she says.

Her tiny hands clasp together behind my neck.  I stretch out on the rug next to her crib, and she nestles her blonde head on my chest, the same way she’s done scores of times since the moment she was born. She moves her ear over my heart, and the rhythm soothes her. We lie there together in the darkness, listening to the staccato of rain and the beat of my heart. She sighs. I close my eyes. She’s tall, and I marvel how her feet stretch down past my knees now.

I think how thankful I am to have her here with me. I think how wonderful it is that when she cries, I can be next to her.

Over the next hour, she alternates between crying and whispering, “Nigh’ nigh’ sleep.” Finally, I hear nothing but the persistent noise coming from the very loud frog claiming squatter’s rights in the second-story rain gutter outside the window.

I close my eyes again, this time in my own bed, and fall asleep to the constant stream of tropical rain.

Life in Photos, Little Style

LIFE IN PHOTOS :: Clouds, Mud, and Florida in the Spring

Upside down puddle reflection via Oaxacaborn
Front stoop after a Florida rain via Oaxacaborn
Rain boots in puddle - reflection - via Oaxacaborn
Portrait toddler and palm tree puddle reflection - via Oaxacaborn
May 2013 - Poco Nido and Puddles
Toddler with muddy hair via Oaxacaborn
Poco Nido wellies reflection in puddle via Oaxacaborn

Today, we decided this was the best way to handle the clouds and the humidity and the mud and the rain.

Today, we decided this is how you embrace what you’re given.

Today, we made the Fed Ex man look at us sideways and made our retired snowbird neighbor burst out laughing.

These are the things which fill a muggy, dark afternoon spring to overflowing.

Boots: c/o Poco Nido | Tank & Leggings: Thrifted

Poetry & Words

WRITING & WORDS :: Toward the sunrise // Toward the setting of the sun

The sky keeps changing. The morning’s quiet clouds, marching steadily along for hours, finally collapse under the weight of the gathered rain and spill out over the sidewalk and leaves, over the roofs and birds, over the highways and signs, and over our shoulders.

Aveline laughs.

I sigh and pull the tripod and camera back inside, closing the green front door behind us.

Aveline’s face falls.  She looks up at me, tugging at my jeans. “Outside? Outside? Outside?” I love the way she pronounces the ou in “out”. She has a Californian accent that makes me proud and buoys hope in my soul.

On Sunday morning, Josiah read Joshua 1 aloud, “Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon, even as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and as far as the Great Sea toward the setting of the sun will be your territory.

I love that Great Sea toward the setting of the sun. I love how my Lord tells me, “only be strong and courageous.”. Four times in this chapter, “be strong and courageous.” I love how He gives me the strength I need to be strong.

The sound of the rain against the windows stops, and we go back outside to walk on this green, Eastern land God’s given us now, “beyond Jordan, toward the sunrise.”

Life in Photos, Poetry & Words

The day we opened the windows

It rained this weekend — all night Friday, all day Saturday, and right on into Sunday afternoon.

Rain. Lots of rain. Five whole inches of rain, to be exact.

Aveline’s favorite Johnny Cash song seemed appropriate.

How high’s the water, mama? How high’s the water, papa?
Hey, come look through the window pane,
The bus is comin’, gonna take us to the train
Looks like we’ll be blessed with a little more rain,
Four feet high and risin’…

But then, on Sunday afternoon, the clouds thinned. The sun shone down on the brand-new little sparkly rivers that had swollen up alongside all the streets … and the unprecedented happened.

There was a cool breeze.
The air conditioner didn’t turn on.
And we opened the windows.

Aveline stormy october silhouette

For this first time in months, the air outside smelled fresh. Everything seemed different, like we’d suddenly traveled thousands of miles and were somehow suddenly home.

Fresh air changes everything.

People who wax poetic about the Sunshine State have never spent a whole summer here, because the endlessly soggy and static season which stretches from March to October is a lot less like summer and a lot more like being steamed alive. There is no crisp moment before the day starts. There is no pause of cool rest after sunset, no quietly sinking lower into a refreshing overnight calm.

But last night, in that pure grey moment after the light slipped behind the ridge across the road, October finally raised its voice and said, “I’m here. Let me wrap you in this cool breeze like a blanket. Let me welcome you to fall.”

And right then, sitting cross-legged on the floor in front of the open windows, the slate grey sky never seemed so beautiful.