from the ground up


Out of the dark.

Minute by minute, the days are getting longer.

The windows no longer darkened at dinnertime.  We notice more lingering sunsets.  We see the sun upon awakening.

There is more time out in the sunshine, soaking it in.

And we aren’t the only ones noticing the suns rays.

Out of the dark (basement).

Just a dry, papery bulb.

Then, a touch of green.  And many exclamations from each of us watching.

Right before our eyes,

up, up, up it grows,

reaching for the light, like us.

***Started from a seed, given to me by my Grandma.  She had numerous amaryllis in her dining room window, one of which sent out seeds.  We have yet to see a bloom from this young amaryllis, but we are hopeful that this will be the year.***



The state of being inverted. Cold air trapped under a cap of clouds. And far we swing again on the pendulum of winter in the valley we share with a 197 square mile lake.

Three ways to love an inversion.

1. (my favorite) Get above it!  Look down on it!  Enjoy the mystery from a brighter place.  Feel free!

photo by zach heller

photo by zach heller

photo by zach heller

photo by zach heller

2.  Experience the miracle of the frost fairy. Covering the world with an intricate weave of sharp, white, brittle hoar frost crystals.  Amazing, beautiful, delicate nature.

3. Rejoice in the lifting. The lightness felt all through. The brightness that comes after the dim.  The sparkle and tinkle of falling frost.  Joy.

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Food for friends.

Here we are in the midst of our January thaw.  Luxurious 40 degree days, sun slanting through the south windows at midday.  Dripping eves, puddles, and friendly warming sounds out our door.  As expected, our tiny feathered friends gather regularly on the branches of our lovely Christmas tree.  The binoculars have a (semi)-permanent spot on our picture window ledge.  We’ve been motivated to fill the feeders more frequently, and just this week decided to make our guests a special treat. We made a modified batch of suet from this recipe, then had fun squishing and pressing.

We realized, as we adorned the tree, that only the top half of the tree could hold our “ornaments” as another, larger, friend of ours came sniffing.  As we move on with winter and the clouds, the snow, the cold return, we hope these treats will help sustain our many sweet friends.

photo by zach heller

photo by zach heller

photo by zach heller

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New growth.

This past weekend, our families merged for a few brief days of play, animated meals, many cups of tea, laughter and snowman building.

We also began, in a very small way, looking toward spring.

We gathered all four of the little ones together, which is quite a task all on its own, and started a few seeds.

Ahhh, yes, basil.  Take a wild guess at who chose the variety!

First they observed the tiny seeds on their palms.  They are all familiar with the edible leaves of basil, but the tiny black seeds were new to them.  The seeds looked like specks of sand rolling around in their hands.

Next we sprinkled a few drops of water on top of the seeds in each of their hands.  They watched as the magic began. The black seeds began to turn grey, then eventually white.  In the instant the seeds began to absorb the water, the cycle of growth began.  What a joy to see the wonder in a seed.

They placed the little grains on top of a soft bed of soil and….. they were off to the next series of imaginary adventures.

But we mamas, breathed a deep sigh.  Surely they will too some day at the thought of basil seeds opening their coats to send out new life.  In new year.  With new adventures to come.

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Move. Energy.

Build. Hope.

Thanks for joining us here in our place of Joy.

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“Near me, I saw
a single cricket;
it was moving the grains of the hillside
this way and that way.
How great was its energy,
how humble its effort.
Let us hope
it will always be like this,
each of us going on
in our inexplicable ways
building the universe.”
Song of the Builders  by Mary Oliver in Why I Wake Early