Silver Falls State Park, March 11, 2023


Hello friends. After much thought, I've decided to end this little photo journal called o notes that has been a project of discovery, an ode to paying attention, and a map of what has resided within the orbit of my heart these past almost 13 years. I have absolutely loved chronicling the adventures of my little family, my thoughts, my wishes and intentions, my reverence for the natural world, and sharing things via watch/eat/read/listen posts, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for joining me here. My boy, who was only 5 in the very first post, is now on the verge of flying the nest, my husband and I are thinking about how and where we want to spend our golden years, and it just feels like an era is ending. While I don't know where things will lead us all, I do know that life has changed/will keep changing, and I feel that I am on something of a personally evolving path as well that I can't quite see the end of. So, this space will remain open for the time being, but I won't be posting here anymore.

There are some things I will continue to hold onto for as long as possible, but I'm ready to let other things go and find my way through what feels like an interlude.  

Again, thank you for walking with me through the woods all these years. Maybe we'll meet again soon.*

Much love, 


* It is quite possible I will begin anew with a similar project in the not-too distant future, and if and when I do I will send a note to subscribers with the new address in case you'd like to come along. xx



Recently I've had the lowest lows I've felt in years. Feelings of loss, change, and that nothing matters have hung over me. I can only describe this as a flat nothingness, and it has taken me down these past few weeks. I know there are a zillion things more important than my feelings, and I'm not completely comfortable sharing, but something about admitting it here helps. It's the truth of where I've been lately. 

In recent days I've begun to feel far better, and for that I am so grateful. I decided to check back in here today after taking a hike and a few pictures at Silver Falls and feeling a spark again. The leaves hadn't turned as much as usual by this time of year, a couple of the waterfalls were completely dry, and it was so warm it felt wrong, but there's nothing that affects the spirit like a walk in the wild, and I came away heart-soothed, remembering that there is so much beauty in this world and much to be thankful for. My walking practice fell off some over these last low weeks, but this week I'm getting back to this daily ritual with the enthusiasm I had before. What better medicine is there, after all, than getting outside and accepting all the gifts that nature and movement offer body, mind, and soul?

slow notes:  

It hasn't felt very autumnal with our 85-degree weather, but I'm in nest mode anyway, and one aspect of that is making stews. I keep going back to The First Mess:

Read recently:  

I find I'm reading more and more poetry. I don't know much about what makes an academically good poem, but I do know how certain poems feel - like they've given that twisting tornado in my chest words.  

Currently on my table are some Native Nations anthologies (and books of native art, which is really poetry, too), and I am in love with Tom Hirons' new poem, A Party For the Broken. I don't see it on his website yet but you can read it on Instagram, @bearspeakstothestars. 

It begins:

"Tonight we will have a party 
Only for the broken pieces
Only the crooked and the blunt ones 
Are welcome tonight..." 

I think I'd feel at home there.

doe's dawn



My beloved mom died last month.  She had a big, generous, complicated heart that positively impacted so many lives, and I feel so lucky to have been a tiny star that she chose to be in her orbit.  I have so many feelings that I seem unable to express right now.  Perhaps with time I will, but for now I will keep most of them, and her, close to my (broken) heart.    

A few nights after she died, I dreamt that I was in the living room at my childhood home.  It was dawn.  I stood in front of the multiple tall windows that looked out over the back yard, the pasture, barn, and chicken house beyond.  I noticed that a doe was in the rhododendrons just outside, two spotted fawns at her side; she nuzzled them and looked into my eyes.  Just then I heard a rushing sound, looked up, and saw a huge flock of white birds descending.  They swooped and swirled, flying right up to the windows, emanating a warmth and love that wrapped around me like one of her hugs.  I woke up and smiled for the first time in days.  

Early last year I committed to getting outside to walk first thing in the morning.  There were a few days last summer I didn't make it due to unforeseen health issues, but I did more often than not until it became a sacred practice, even through winter (which I find more enjoyable than summer).  Mom wasn't really able to walk much the last few years of her life, and she often lamented that fact and how she wished she could get out and walk like she used to.  I've been feeling her with me in the mornings these last few weeks, and I know now that when I need to feel close to her all I have to do is get out and walk.  Every walk I take now is with her.   

slow notes:

A few books I've read and liked recently:  

The beastly temperatures of last week have given way to much more tolerable ones this week, albeit still quite warm.  My little garden loved the heat while it lasted; there are a couple of ripe sungold tomatoes to pick, the mystery squash plant is positively majestic in size, and the lettuce is bolting before we can eat it all.  My flower pots and baskets that thrived and cascaded last year have not done well this year, but that's okay.  It's been a very strange spring and summer so far and I think we have all done well with what we've been given, yes?  

When things happen or I feel overwhelmed, my first instinct is to withdraw.  I'm hoping that feeling goes away and I want to dip my toes into the wider world again soon, but for now I'm content just showing up here.  I've thought about closing this space, or starting a new one, as life feels so different than it did when I started writing here 12 years ago, but going through posts and pictures recently I realized there really is a continuum here that I don't want to break, at least not yet.  And so, onward.  

Sending out much love.  Until next time ~

by mlekoshi