give it the sun

May 4th, 2010

Gardens, like children, are forgiving; gardens grow. Love, even clumsy and unrefined, cultivates. Time, unhurried, is never wasted. Plants grow heavenward, strong and true, toward the even and ever-present light.

Right in front of me, in plain sight, I have finally seen what the full sun can do. The sun gives attention, and attention fixes everything. It is up to me to put into practice the larger lesson I’ve been shown.

If I encounter you on my way today, I’ll look at you and say hello.

If the phone rings, I’ll answer. If you send me a message, I’ll respond.

When my husband opens the front door, I’ll stop what I am doing to greet him.

When my daughter comes home from school, I will have nothing to do. We will have no place to run. We will lounge on the floor or linger on the lawn. When she speaks, I will listen, without steering the conversation to a conclusion. If she has a scheme, I’ll go along, and let her pull me off course. We will let the hours lapse and the afternoon drift. When she looks at me, and even when she doesn’t, I will embrace her in the shine of my smile.

Today, for a moment more than I think I can bear, I will give her attention. I will give you attention. I will give this world my complete attention. I will give it the sun.

Chapter 16, Hand Wash Cold

You’re just in time for two, count ’em, two giveaways of Hand Wash Cold this week: at the Wishstudio blog and at Imene’s Journey to a Happy Simple Life. Give them both your complete attention before the winners are named this weekend. Good luck!

For a pictorial reader’s guide to my home and garden, view the photo album on the Facebook Momma Zen fan page. Photos by Chris Bertrand.

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  1. this is just so beautiful. i gotta get me this book!


    Comment by mb — May 4, 2010 @ 6:19 am

  2. ps. is that naader in the purple shirt?

    Comment by mb — May 4, 2010 @ 6:21 am

  3. Seeing the sun this morning I realised what it’s magnificent power is: it brigthens my heart and it clears my mind. Your post topped it by putting this experience into words and so much more. Thank you.

    Comment by Rose — May 4, 2010 @ 7:12 am

  4. Is this one of the most difficult things for us to give one another – our full and total attention? And yet, I believe, it is also the greatest gift.

    Comment by Swirly — May 4, 2010 @ 3:30 pm

  5. Hey, Karen…I recognize who you’re talking to in this picture :^) Can’t help feeling a little giddy remembering the special time at your house on Sunday. Thank you so much for opening your door to all of us and embracing us in the shine of your smile.


    Comment by Karin — May 4, 2010 @ 3:38 pm

  6. “time, unhurried, is never wasted.” trying (and stumbling, and trying again) to be fully present for each sacred moment of this ordinary life. gracias.

    p.s. reading your book again…this time with my husband.

    Comment by melissa — May 4, 2010 @ 5:51 pm

  7. What an awesome photo. I love spring.

    Comment by Janet — May 4, 2010 @ 10:10 pm

  8. The simplicity is so startling and effective. A lesson to be learn by everyone. Beautiful.

    Comment by Christine LaRocque — May 5, 2010 @ 11:19 am

  9. I reluctantly finished Hand Wash Cold last night. Reluctant because I didn’t want it to end … I didn’t want to lose the quiet focus your words opened up inside of me. I know I will open it again and again as there is so much there to inspire and so much I want to remember.

    I am red faced to consider you popping over to my blog … thank you for your attention! I realized this morning I did not link to your book & blog, so I corrected that oversight. I had done so in the previous post. You words are like seeds taking root in my soil and I am seeing the impact in my parenting, my art, my writing … well, yes, my life.

    Happy Mother’s day ❀ a few days early

    Namasté – Lis

    Comment by Lis — May 5, 2010 @ 2:47 pm

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