Monday, December 24, 2012

on the eve

The temperature has been dropping all afternoon.
Snow moves in and dusts everything,
then the sky lightens a minute,
before clouds thicken again.
We're keeping warm -
both woodstoves have been burning
for days.
Today we ventured out
on short cold hike.
We were the only things
moving for miles.
Mom, I know
what that pink thing is
way over there...

It's Amelia.
I packed cookies and hot chocolate
for a break along the way
but it was too cold to stop
moving.  So we huddled
in the car and licked
sprinkles from our fingers.
041-7_zps8a8cdc90 004-13_zps028cd958 Back home
the girls bundled up
beneath the tree.
Amelia always wins.
Go fish...
032-16_zpscd9aef5a Now it's holding
at nine degrees.
Hope Mr. Claus is wearing
his wool underwear.

Peace + Love, Ellie

Sunday, December 23, 2012

peace + joy + sprinkles

The're calling for snow the next three days.
Nothing yet.  This morning
unfolded brilliant skyblue.
Time for an adventure
before settling in
for the storm.
070-10_zps4e64580f 067-7_zps7629a0c7 042-6_zps9a81b591 080-4_zps40a9710c 076-6_zps60efa33e I think we've met our sugar quota.
Outside we go
to burn off some sprinkles.

Merry Christmas out there!

Peace + Love,


Saturday, December 22, 2012

this solstice

We were up before the sun this morning.
Color crept into the sky, gray to pink to blue.
We drove south with an empty trailer
to the ranch of an old family friend.
Dell, Montana is windswept
and streaked with frozen snow -
but it feels so close to the sky.

The seam of hilltop
to horizon can be hard
to find.

This lady licked my hand
and let me pat her head.
I would have brought her home
if those horns would fit
in the trailer.
Have you ever seen a more joyful looking pig?

As we turned for home
the afternoon light grew weak
and we stopped for lunch
at this old schoolhouse-turned-cafe.

036-7_zps54bcd22b Our three new shaggy friends
waited patiently for us
to take them home.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

finding words

Just twenty-four hours ago, so much changed. 
My heart feels twisted with vulnerability
when I look at the faces of my children,
with a kind of selfish hunger for them,
for their smiles and beating hearts. 

I feel a physical longing
to hold those mothers and fathers
in Connecticut.  To wrap them in my arms
and cry with them, these strangers
whose love I know...even if I can only
imagine their devastation
this morning. 

It must seem
like a dream.

I think of those children,
those children that were just like mine.

This loss belongs to all of us.
We need to mourn,
to teach love in the face of sorrow
and to hold each other up
through the soul-wrenching losses
and the new day
that begins before
we are ready.

Friday, November 23, 2012


we are thankful today...
(on our way to the turkey trot!)

and yesterday,

onion ice cubes...all the cool kids use 'em

and tomorrow.

031-15 foul

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Because that's what you do when something great happens...


something great, like seeing your name in print, as a writer for a publication you love...

(Read my Mamalode piece at )

and then sharing the joy with an enthusiastic fan... 014-16

I am going to bed smiling.

peace + love, ellie

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

a strange luxury

Today, as I emptied the envelope Amelia’s kindergarten pictures came it, I found a missing child card.  It took me a minute to realize what I was holding.  Just a wallet-sized card with my daughter’s smile printed on both sides, and in bullet points were written the steps you should take if your child disappears.  Who to notify, who to call.  For your convenience, a recent picture right here in your wallet, just in case.  Looking at the card, realizing what it’s purpose was made my entire body tighten.  I almost threw it away.

I find it is those rare, balanced days when I think about this stuff.  Days when the sun filters down through nearly bare tree limbs, when I make the choice to slow down, make bread with Aven or draw with Amelia.  These are days when loss, when disaster seem so far away. 

A childhood friend of mine lost her mother three days ago.  It was a sudden illness no one saw coming.  Her mother was my sixth grade teacher.  I cannot find the words to say to her, cannot find any way to make sense of this sudden, young death.  She was a few years younger than my own mother.  We are never that far away from loss.

I think maybe being afraid is a luxury.  When we are afraid for our children, for our mothers, it means nothing bad has happened yet.  As a mother, I imagine disaster where there is none; my toddler running into the street, my daughter falling from a tree, I think about what they would know of me, if I disappeared tomorrow. 
I remember reading once that when you become a mother, your vision changes.  With part of your vision, you watch your child in real time, and with part you see every possible disaster and injury that could befall her.  There is some kind of protective logic, if I think it, if I imagine it, it can’t be true. 
This is something so tangled in love and trust and surrender that I barely have the words for it.  I choose to try to be open, to accept, to love and live without fear.  But there is something comforting in those sudden stabs of fear.  Because I am just practicing at fear.  I have never had to really feel it.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

whatever the outcome

I am hopeful for more.
More compromise, more integrity,
more of what is best
for those who feel voiceless.

More of what is best
for those who work
their hardest,
who will get up tomorrow
and do it

More of what is best
for our children.

More unity, more vision,
more stopping
to take the time
to really listen
to each other.

It's a golden day
here in southwest Montana,
the wind is just
picking up.

peace + love,

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


We all fall apart a little differently.
I ask questions; will i make it on time,

what can I give up, what
have i done?  Aven won't

eat anything but noodles
or grapes and cheese arranged
like a clown face on her plate.

Amelia curled up in my arms
this afternoon and sobbed
as we sat in the tall grass
by the fence and she said
she was sorry for frightening
the dog, bumping her head,
it was just too much,
that she was DONE!
I understand, Bird.

The rhythm of our days
is still so untested, still
frightening, tiring, new.

I'm fine as long as I don't look at things head on-
from a sideways glance, we're doing fine.

And I find support; my friends
who ask how it all is going,
who laugh with me
at the enormity of what we're
all trying to do.  To do well.
And from my mother-in-law
who makes me coffee,
slices beets into mason jars,
primed and painted my entire
living room in the last
few days, does my dishes
and laundry.  Tells me
I will figure this all out.

I miss unhurried mornings,
plans and projects, reflecting
and making.  My two blond
girls easing into the day
with me

It is hard to say
I don't know
that what I'm working so hard for
is right.

Maybe it is too soon,
and I'm tired
and overly dramatic,
and still have so much to do
before another morning begins.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

last day of summer

Everywhere I see
the reach
and retreat of so many
living things;



the urge to gather, take stock, prepare,


to reflect and look back,

024_zps9c939274 and to look ahead...

010_zps834a1c8b Happy Fall!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

bus stop love poem

Dry grass and smokey skies;
we wait for her bus.



Then just like that
we are three
and I feel my balance
made right
as we head back
up the driveway

saturday morning light







I'll tell you how the sun rose a ribbon at a time. ~Emily Dickinson

Thursday, September 13, 2012

vanishing point

My kitchen is full
of eggplant as far
as the eye can see...



also tomatoes.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

before the frost


It's late this year;
our grace period extended
by a week or two.
But daylight is noticeably less
and the manic reach and unfurl
has slowed a bit
as we reach this last day
before the frost.


Like so many things
I've been feeling lately;
it is one part mourning a loss,
and one part acceptance;
celebration even


of how far we've come,
and the certainty of change,
the revolution of season
and knowing that things are in balance,
the world as it should be.


We will wake
to a sudden change,
will spend the afternoon
pulling wilted vines down
as the sun warms shoulders
and geese align
and move off together
high overhead.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

second day

I dropped Aven off at preschool this morning,
then Amelia at Kindergarten.  This is the second day
of our new schedule and we were feeling good;
everyone was dressed, fed, and in place
with time to spare. 


I pulled out of the elementary school parking lot
and headed toward the campus library
where I planned to spend the next four hours. 

And I thought; how does this all happen? 

I still feel like a kid
driving a pretend car at the carnival,
drinking my make-believe coffee,
heading off into my imaginary
grown-up day. 


Except I'm not. 

I'm really the mom,
packing lunches and managing schedules,
dropping my kids off at school with hugs and kisses. 


There are parts of my life
where it feels like time
has somehow folded
back on itself. 
Where I feel childlike disbelief at myself.


I know exactly how I got here;
I feel such a fierce maternal protectiveness
for each day that brought me here,
the choices I've made,
this fragile, beautiful, delicious life I've built...
and yet....really...
how did I get here?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...