Here we are in this beautiful front porch portrait, it is not a lake house, it’s our house in the city;
but let me tell you why this is my beach.


This is my beach

My beach is
a home where love is deeply felt
where beauty penetrates our
paint-chipped, sticky fingered, crayon-decorated walls
where joy is always in our reach.


Look at the mess
and uncleaned toilets
(very uncleaned toilets)
unwiped mouths and cheerios on the floor
ratty-tatty hair like a little nest.

(I think I hear a bird chirping her pretty tune)

Here you find
the kind of laughter that heals like medicine
the kind of beauty you can’t hang on a wall
the kind of joy that
the stresses of life can’t quench
the kind of Hope that can’t be deflated
the kind of life that presses on in
rhythmic routine
punctuated by surprises:

(Good, exciting, difficult, horrible, impossible surprises.)

As I stop to listen I hear
the calming waves that soothe my soul:
the I love yous
the sleeping breaths with eyes closed.

As I stop to listen I hear
the powerful waves that invigorate my spirit:
the little feet running, ever so able
the giggles, silly and innocent, increasing in volume
to full-bellied laughter.

(Oh how vital it is to stop and listen)

No miles need to be travelled
no money needs to be spent
to find rich beauty,
deafening serenity
unstoppable love,
and life pulsing
with exciting,
memory making.

This is my Beach
please sink your feet in her sand.

(and resist the urge to bury your head here too.)



I haven’t been blogging much lately.  My personal time has been dramatically diminished since the onset of Covid.  I’ve been fighting for spare moments and struggling to know how to leverage their scarcity into optimal use of time.  Anyone relate?

Any “free” moments I find I’ve been trying to piece together more of my cancer memoir.  This has been frustrating at best (not the work itself, but the struggle to create – what feels like out of thin air- time to do the work.)  And just last week I found myself burned out.  My life holds so much doing, thinking, planning.  I was trying to write, to ramp up my fitness a wee bit, to keep the kids’ physical activity level up.  I was processing the big issues of our world of privilege, racism, alongside wrestling with certain constructs of my faith.  We are also trying to prep our yard to hopefully build a bigger deck and add some garden boxes and raspberry bushes next year.  You know, because now we are staring at our yard everyday and spending so very much time there.  I was trying to do and be too much and my body began to tell me so.  I am grateful that I listened (and I am grateful grandma has the kids today so I can write this).  Indeed, this season has been challenging, especially here in July with the cancellation of our summer vacation.

Even so it has been a good season.  (aren’t they all if we keep our heart soft?)  I’m working very hard at being content with where I am.  Practicing gratitude and meditation; and pressing in to grace and in to Jesus have been lifelines for me.

So, where am I? (besides of course, right here at home!)

I’ve completed the first half of my memoir and have come to a point where I realized I need to rework the outline I’ve created for the second half.  It has been fascinating, difficult, and rewarding work to delve afresh into the days or my glioblastoma diagnosis and treatment.  And to wrestle through what the days following were like.  To see the gutsy struggle of walking through the wilderness of cancer “remission”, to see how hard I’ve worked to try to reclaim a sense of normalcy and a riddance of anxiety.  In the calm, I’ve been able to see a more holistic picture of my life.

I don’t expect huge strides on my memoir.  Bit by bit it will come together.  And I’ve been reminded in the past week that I need to set a sustainable pace for myself.  (this has always been hard for me, but particularly with my prognosis always looming, even if only in the distant background).  So I have found myself hustling.  Hustling for my worth, as Brene Brown says.  My default.  Doing, doing, doing, as much as I possibly can…..until I can’t.

When my body tells me “I can’t” it is a good place to stop and remember to enjoy life.  It is a good place to remember that life is about the journey- its about living out, in and through the processes.  It’s not about the end result.  Because, well, we all know what the end result of life is – death. Yikes. I do not want to rush there!

Artsy things help combat my perfectionism.  So with 2 days of burn-out induced rest behind me I got out some crafts and painting to do with the kids.  I had these craft supplies because they were on my “to-do” list for the summer.  You know the “I have to get these done, no matter if its fun or not!” to-do list item.  My crafting day, I realized, was a necessity for both my soul and for my children’s.    It got me in a better head-space.  It rekindled the thought that perhaps I ought to bust out the poet in me again.  My favorite form of art that a bit ago I brushed aside again because I decided I’m not very good at it.  Today I say, “Screw that!”  It’s about the process.  It’s about the journey.  It’s not about the end result!!!

This morning I woke up remembering a poem I wrote 2 years ago.  This was a time of life when I watched everyone posting their beautiful, lovely, fantastic photos of their perfect vacations on social media.  Looking at those photos, I salivated with a sense of “grrrr” inside me because of the improbability of those vacations for my own family with the age of my kids and my health condition and my anxiety-riddled self.  It was then, that I wrote the poem, This is my beach, to remind myself that I do not need a fancy vacation to enjoy life.  I am reminded of this now, as once again, I see lovely lake vacations on social media and there’s a sense of “grrrr” inside me that my lake vacation is cancelled due to Covid.

To release this “grrr” (isn’t that such a great term for it?!) I must practice all I have learned over the years.  I release perfectionism.  Instead, I embrace the courage to live whole-heartedly.  I embrace the present and living as much as possible in the present moments I’m given.  I sit with a sense of “poorness” in my spirit and let it soften my heart, so I may be given eyes to see the wonders all around me. (1)  I embrace gratitude for all I’ve been given and I acknowledge that I’ve been given so much.  I remind myself to be kind to myself.  I embrace the love that I experience trusting that it will saturate me and flow out of me.  I embrace my need for connection and seek to know what that means in a culture of disconnection and in a season of necessary physical distancing.

And it is through poetry that I can explore what all of this means.  In poetry I might “get it wrong”, but I think I like poetry because really is there a way to get poetry “wrong”?  It is through the art of poetry that I allow myself to break the rules of perfectionism.  To play with words.  To be creative for creativity’s sake, for my sake (self-care anyone?).  To say something simple, that is perhaps profound.  Explore my poem for yourself and see what you find.  I’d love to hear if you uncover a treasure or two.

And wherever life finds you today, I invite you to sit with me on the beach and feel the sand between your toes.




  1. Matthew 5:3
  2. A special thank you to my friend for gifting me with our welcome sign and arranging our front porch portrait session- a perfect gift 🙂