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, as I find the types of recipes there so appealing.  These two were delicious:

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.  

Mom always walked.  (Dad still does every morning, at age 90 now pushing a walker along for stability.)  We did several Volkswalks together here in the Pacific Northwest, but for years she did them wherever she traveled.  She joined walking clubs and kept pins and badges from various organized walks she completed.  She just loved walking, plain and simple, organized or not.  My parents' influence has had me walking for years, but 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 ~




Minto Brown Island Park, a favorite place to walk.


Written 6.22.2022.  

Here we are in June already, and June has felt a lot like March.  I actually found myself wishing for a fire in the wood stove a few evenings, so damp and chilly it's been.  It has rained so much in the last couple of months I have feared that our garden will never get going, but a week ago I planted my tomatoes and marigolds, along with a few nasturtium seedings I nurtured by the big window in the small hall.  My calendula patch has been blooming for at least two months now, the California poppies as well, and the herbs planted last year have all done well despite having very little sunshine this spring.  

Yesterday was Summer Solstice and, after a walk in the morning, I spent it working in the yard most of the day.  My husband and I took Pip for a walk at the park downtown in the evening, and it seemed the whole town was there, joyously picnicking, playing ball, playing music, everyone unabashedly reveling in warmth and light we haven't had for so long.  Summer weather arrived on the first day of summer, and temperatures are supposed to hit the 90s this weekend.  

The boy got his driver's license in April.  School's out for the summer and he'll be a senior when it starts again in the fall.  I'm having a bit of a hard time with the fact that we are at this point, and I'm going to make the most of every single day we have him at home still.  

I've been craving quiet so I'm going off social media, perhaps for the rest of summer, perhaps longer.  My mind needs to declutter.  Some things have been deactivated (Instagram, Pinterest), some permanently deleted (Twitter, Goodreads).  I've been trying out The StoryGraph for several months now and I'm keeping my account there, but private and solo for now.  It's different and may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I love that it is black-woman-created/owned, it links to Bookshop, not Amazon, and it feels much less like a social media account.  I'm starting to feel free of the noise that builds up in my head from too much of everything.  I'm feeling relief.    

I'll try to be here more often, the one place I might feel like sharing a little bit, but for the most part I hope to be spending a lot more time sitting outside on the deck reading, tending the garden, going on long walks, learning to play my violin (!), or otherwise getting creative.  But first, a trip!  What are you up to?  

Until next time ~ 

by mlekoshi