Posts Tagged ‘Whole Living’

president’s day steal

February 21st, 2011    -    5 Comments

Some truths are self-evident. Money can’t buy happiness. Appearances don’t matter. You can’t tempt me with a mindless shopping spree. So it’s easy for me to say no when my 11-year-old daughter resumes a noxious whine for skinny jeans or a bazillionth pair of dimestore earrings. I’m not the mom who shops. I’m the mom with the $12 haircut, wearing the 10-year-old sweater, in the same faded khakis you saw me wearing yesterday. I am the one with a half-empty closet, a near-empty wallet, and a brand of religious devotion that keeps them that way. I’m a Buddhist priest. I’m not the mom at the mall.

That changes one day on the way home from school. “Can we go to the mall?” my daughter asks wearily, and instead of refusing again, I turn onto a street I never take, into the asphalt sprawl. The two of us are fairly airborne as we enter the cool cavern through the automatic doors and ride the escalator past the food court. Striding beside me on the concourse, my daughter tightens the subtle distance she has begun to keep from me in public. I notice her head tops my shoulder. Her face has narrowed, and her lips have grown full. She flashes me a comrade’s secret smile and reaches for my hand. “Mom,” she says, radiating her bliss, “I don’t think Dad gets this.”  In one unexpected turn, I’ve entered the exuberance of her girlhood, a treasure too fleeting to resist.

From my essaylet on stolen happiness in the March issue of Whole Living magazine.

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the unlabors of love

September 1st, 2010    -    1 Comment

“See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.”
– Matthew 6:28

I spent Monday with a friend whom I don’t see as often as I’d like. We sat outside in the shade while our daughters splashed in the last shimmers of summer. It’s been a busy season for her: always steering one child here or there, another starting behind the wheel, the eldest packed and gone for the first year of college. “This is the only time all summer I’ve sat down,” my friend said, sinking deep and slow into the weave of a warm lounge chair. I said little, and yet she relaxed into my every word, even into the pauses between the words.

This long weekend we welcome another friend and her daughter from the Midwest. She told me that since I saw her last in May she’s sold her home, moved into another and transitioned her father into a retirement center. I’m plumping up the sofa bed so she can sink into the quiet of this simple house and not lift another thing, at least for four days.

We have an enormous capacity to love one another simply by showing up. Really, that’s all I ever do! If you grant yourself the time to show up here in return, I have two things for you to relish over this Labor Day Weekend. They are the unlabors of my love, and they will bring you rest. read more

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