happy, happy birthday, baby.

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i turned 34 this week. the estrogen-compelled ageist in me bemoaned the fact, condemning the gray hairs abounding along my middle part (of course. of course they sprout up in the exact place they would be most noticeable), and my metabolism, aka the physiological version of a last-picked-in-P.E. loser, no longer able to sprint through any of my all-you-can-eat culinary acquisitions the way it used to. but, the Moonriver cantillating, stained-glass reverie dwelling, heartsome part of me reveled in the blessing of another year on a planet so apt to provide. aside from grateful communion with my God, i felt there was no better way to express my thankful wonder at the world then by composing a list of 34 reasons why I am so very glad to be alive and well.

  1. a body that knows its rhythms, even when it is thrown off-key. it knows its purpose and it honors that
  2. my faith. it is not always uncomplicated, but it is abiding
  3. good weather (sometimes “good weather” means rain, too)
  4. the sanctuary that is the beach
  5. the ocean and its many lessons: that the tide always faithfully returns to the shore (faith provides), the expansiveness therein, both in breadth and depth (our eternal potential to expand and ascend), the abundance beneath its surface, the mysteries both uncovered and undiscovered (our evolving identities, the nascent lives within us waiting to be found)
  6. sea glass!
  7. a mom who always comes to my rescue
  8. the smell of the eucalyptus trees on the walk from our apartment to the beach
  9. the truly bewildering acknowledgement that I have the love of a really good man
  10. that that truly good man encourages me to spread my wings in whatever direction the wind is blowing them that day (haha)
  11. Dr. Bronner’s almond soap
  12. strength of body and of spirit
  13. Zac Efron
  14. podcasts
  15. BODIE
  16. anything depicting, explaining, illustrating, exposing or even briefly mentioning medieval British monarchies
  17. my shower– i love love love my shower
  18. a dad who would do anything for his children
  19. letters from my far-away sister
  20. FaceTime conversations with my other not-so-far-away sister
  21. phone calls from my brothers
  22. laughing with my siblings
  23. Hot and Spicy Cheez-Its (“I’m Monica– i’m disgusting.”)
  24. my Bompa
  25. grapefruit
  26. the sensorium of experiences around the world- I know this is a rare privilege and I’m so grateful for it
  27. sacred moments where Heaven extends its reach
  28. living four minutes away from some of the best tacos I’ve ever had
  29. an aunt who is more like a big sister
  30. Stevie Nicks and her musical encantations
  31. the word “beloved”
  32. a burgeoning desire to understand and defend the quiet nobility of womanhood
  33. three-year-olds (“I need a username. ‘Little Kid Lover‘. That way people will know exactly where my priorities are at.”)
  34. the Patty Griffin station on Pandora (thanks for the tip, Mama!)

peace and love.

 

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Girl: Happy

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“In this world in which we live, simplicity and kindness are the only magic wands that work wonders.”
-L. Frank Baum

When I think of living simply, I immediately envisage small living spaces. Most often, the requiem I find myself in is a small loft apartment, with charmingly crackled walls, cold concrete floors, and a bed clad in diaphanous white linens, the center of it all. There are countless little towers of vintage books, haphazardly strewn throughout the humble haven, all standing watch like little sentinels.  Continue reading

I Don’t Care If The Sun Don’t Shine

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^ That was taken at Versailles! “Isn’t it marvelous?!”

“With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?”
-Oscar Wilde

Ernest Hemingway said to write hard and clear about what hurts. A truth I am trying to champion is that there is an acuity to my words only when they are written extractions of my tragic vulnerabilities (proof: here); I want to be able to extract my happiness with the same amount of expressive precision.  I have hesitated for quite some time to publish this part of my life for fear of brandishing my unpleasantries for the world wide web to witness. But, another truth I am trying to overcome is that I am not very brave. And so I am going to do as Ernest urged. He was, after all, a man so very handsome, and as  “I’m just a girl who cain’t so no” to a handsome man… Continue reading

Girl: Happy

 
“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.” 
-Emily Dickinson

Kurt Vonnegut once said, “I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim, or murmur, or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.’” I thought of this quote not long ago during one such moment, and I did just that- it wasn’t an emphatic exclamation, but a contented vocalization: “I’m happy.” And that was the first time I can ever recall recognizing happiness at it’s exactness.

Starting Today

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{ hol-i-day }
-noun
 1. a day fixed by law or custom on which ordinary business is suspended in commemoration of some event or in honor of some person. 
  adjective
 2. of or pertaining to a festival; festive; joyous: a holiday mood.
 
Oh by no means is it an altogether recognized “holiday” to most people. But I am not most people, and The First Day of Summer is, in every above sense of the word, a holiday to me. Continue reading