I looked through my photos to find an image for a friend a few mornings ago and saw all the folders of photos and words I have that I had intended to document or turn into something else in 2015. Abandoned ideas. It sent me into an obnoxious, heady space where I took not of all the things I didn’t finish last year. Yes, I know, not helpful or productive.
I felt a tightness in my shoulders and forehead thinking about all those drafts. On the one hand I am used to it — unfinished ideas, unresolved art, unraveled essays are part of creative life. On the other hand I will never be used to it — always daydreaming on how I might bend time or dust off an unused corner that allows for me to mother the way I want to mother and create the way I want to create.
Ruby, on our October road trip: Hey mama? What if you had 99 arms and you could just always do everything?
I stepped back and reminded myself that if I listen to my intuition and follow my love, then I am where I ought to be. That the “unfinished” things are as they are, perfectly. I went skiing with my family. I bundled my kids, clipped their helmets in place, kissed their freckles, snapped their boots to skis and we flew through a snowghost forest hearing only the whoosh of skis over snow and our hide-and-seek conversation around trees.
Margot, angry, playing Crazy 8s with her sister in the hallway: Ugh. Come ON Ruby. I want to win at least once.
Ruby: I just can’t help it, Margot. I am really, REALLY good at Crazy 8s. It’s all that practice with dada. I’m sorry it upsets you but I just can’t help being so good at Crazy 8s.
Andy looked up and said, “Hey babe. Look at the mountains?!” I do and the northern range is wildly warped. Crystal clear, cloudless blue sky and the peaks looked like pixelated buttes. “So it’s not just me?” he asked. We stared for several minutes, trying to sort out what we saw. We later learned it is some kind of atmospheric phenomenon – alpine fata morgana – involving thermals and bending light that creates a mirage. In this case, erasing the mountain tops and placing giant rocks floating in the sky. A glitch in the matrix.
Playing charades New Years Eve, Ruby crouches behind the tree while petting Mabel. After a good while of our unsuccessful guessing, she is frustrated and shouts the obvious answer. “You guys! Of course I am Santa trying to put presents under the tree and a new puppy is eating my cookies!”
Later the same day, we met up with friends and skied down together. For the third time this season, a glittery burst of light hovered over the mountain. It felt like a prophecy, like 2016’s aura. We all stopped to marvel.
Margot, as she races down the mountain, giggling: You guys! The light pillar is following me! It feels really cool!
Our December was a month of family, friends, celebration, food and snowy activity. And, business-wise, December was thrilling and so full. We had record-breaking sales last year. Thank you so much for your support of out family. My goal was to work so hard until December 17 – the day before Margot’s 8th birthday and then be done for the year. To clear my desk and my sewing table and my mind and just be with my kin. And (with the exception of tying up a few loose ends) that’s what I did! It was very satisfying.
That restorative time fueled ideas and connection and the deepest sleep I’ve had in many months. I realized I am bored with some things, that I want to shake some things up. I really look forward to sharing with you what is to come for dig this chick – personally and professionally – in 2016. My dreams involve you. I want to collaborate more. Do you have ideas for great things we can do together? Email me. I want to hear all about it.
Margot, with her sister as they roll around on the kitchen floor while embracing and cackling: Hey Ruby! Let’s put underwear on our heads, get naked and dance like cats! Let’s get even crazier!
Ruby: But I already feel so crazy!
Margot: Ruby. We can ALWAYS get crazier.
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A few snaps and words from the last several weeks.
:: Our holiday centerpiece: satsumas + beeswax candle
:: The kids had a blast making pomanders for the first time.
:: Lots of sledding.
:: Lots of skiing.
:: Our appreciation for our new, awesome car (c/o University Motors) has deepened with the snowy weather. And, our locally owned-dealership is happy to offer you all a great deal if you are in the market for a Honda and want to support a business full of nice, sincere people with admirable values. Due to some industry rules, I cannot just tell you the deal here but you can email Toby and mention ‘dig this chick’ in the subject line to learn more.
:: The making of a wreath: old whisky barrel ring I found in our shed, foraged greens (spruce, ponderosa and juniper), wire. Almost as cool as the cocksucker. (In a post yesterday I mentioned my stalling out on a few essays lately and an instagram pal suggested I revisit that post and use that word to ignite courage. Thanks @mnmadrecita. Great idea. ♥)
:: We ate the very last of our potatoes and cabbage. Note to self: grow more next summer!
:: Mabel and George high five.
:: A sweet moment I spied of the girls waiting for grandma to arrive.
:: So much pumpkin bread. I make the Downeast Maine recipe with a few tweaks: 1/2 the sugar, fresh grated ginger (instead of dry) and coconut oil (heated until liquid, instead of vegetable oil).
:: Every year, as the holiday cards arrive in our mailbox I feel so thankful for those jolly images. I always wish we’d sent a card; I want to give the same cheer to my loved ones. This year I did it, for the first time in many years. It felt good. And I am sending one to you all too! xo