There was a children’s book some of us may remember called, Are You My Mother? It was about a baby bird who hatches from her egg while Mama is out hunting for food to bring home to the nest. The hatchling doesn’t know who or where she is, and goes on an adventure to track down her mother. She meets a cow, a horse, a fox — repeating ,with increasing anxiety, Are you my mother?” At one point, I think she even asks a garbage truck who simply replies…SNORT!

This book came to mind the other night (at 3:24am of…

There’s Lightness Here

There’s lightness here.
Between the cracks in the wall,
under the floorboards that creek with the weight of our unknowing.

It’s in the words we choose when we share what matters,
or in the countless ways there are to listen.

There’s lightness here.
Just beyond the rage and the shame,
if only to guide us in pixelated hues toward new and next.

Smile and it’s there.
Or shrug your shoulders with a joy of not having the answer.
Lightness in the beats beats and breaths between us. Again.

So be with me now.
For on the other side of all…

I remember the early morning brightness, open and ready and anticipatory — alive. Only to lose it all to the new normalcy of my dual role:
mother and second grade home schooler.

I remember the brilliance of our full moon on Wednesday, with her stubbornness to rise above the tree line off of my patio. And then…
how she startled me, all at once, when I went back to look again.

I remember the flirtation and love making, the way my husband told me how beautiful I am, in my un-tidiness.
A new look for me: Pandemic Chic.

I remember…

This passage of time has thrown most of us for a loop. This is Week 4 of our shelter in place order and, aside from home schooling and the projects I’ve been working on, the calendars are blank, there are no deadlines and it’s easy to lose track of the days. This is especially true on Saturday, which feels an awful lot like Friday…and like Tuesday for that matter.

But the slow and steadiness of this new life pace has such potential for new insights and creative expression. It kicks up momentum for change and asks us to mend what’s…

I listened for the oceanic wave of traffic just beyond my Redwood grove today, and there was nothing but quiet. The quiet of no one going anywhere. Reminiscent of nothing I’ve heard before.

And the houses were dark and I wondered if birdsong would be louder this year, with all this stillness we’re told to maintain for our own safety. Maybe the coyote cubs and the owls will stay long enough for us to know hearing them wasn’t a dream.

The pace of everything has slowed and it’s hard to see the good in that — having been fed a…

So often, when we think of our Passions, we think of them in terms of outcome; the final product. We gaze at them across long distances; talk about them in if/then sentences.

If I do these things , then I’ll achieve great things. If I generate this social post, then I’ll get more followers. If I get a certification, then I’ll know enough to call myself an ‘expert’. If I hustle/work/study/network/plan/write/build harder and better…then I’ll get closer to making my passion into something that matters.

Because I’m here working, and the product of my passion is way, way over there…

There’s that old adage, “actions speak louder than words”, I’ve not been able to get off my mind lately. Not because of the immense pride I have backing the policy shifters and change-makers like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Glennon Doyle Melton — awesome revolutionaries whose loud actions make me proud to be a progressive woman in these toxic times.

No, I keep coming back to the adage because words can often outweigh actions. Loudly. With obscene resonance. Words matter, and when we just pull the pin and toss them at each other like hand grenades — hearts get broken. Friendships come…

There’s only room for one of us in this house, you know…? I mean how do you do it, anyway? With all the answers and information and inspiring stories?

You know my boys adore you…with your perfect timing and propensity for taking direction — “lights off”,resume Spotify”, “what’s the weather forecast today?”

You even have a dry wit they seem to love — with all those knock knock jokes and sarcastic replies you’ve been programmed with by some twenty-two year old jaded software programmer sitting pretty in his Seattle office cubicle, working overtime, over-caffeinated and probably overpaid.

I’m not…

Shannon Hughes

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