Dear January,



Dang.  You've been amazing.  Can I just thank you Oh One for showing up with so much heart and beauty?  Like an answered prayer.  Like a granted wish.  Like a present and it's not my birthday.  January…I love you.  Two Thousand Sixteen…I freaking love you.

A last minute plane ticket was booked and BECK FLEW IN ON JANUARY 7th.  She's been my best good friend since the first day of the first grade.  She saved my life and still does.  We have been very good at loving each other well across the 1,177 miles over these past 8 years.  She's been here many times but this trip was one of my favorites.  Partly because I've missed her more than usual this year--rough year.  And partly because we  K  I  L  L  E  D  it.   We took a day-trip to Virginia ON HER BIRTHDAY (cue the romantic fog from 8am till sundown…it was ridiculous beauty).  We had a girl party here with girls and inspired readings and music and some hard core dancing.  We climbed into The Nest on the last day.  We could have stayed there forever.  It was a creative jolt…the best kind of high…pure joy and free for the both of us.  Never gonna forget it.  Nevereverever.

About a week later…we got our first good snow of the season.  If you haven't heard…I am shamelessly sentimental about snow.  I weep when my world turns white.  I am literally moved to tears.  I have only seen this sort of thing on big vacations.  I lived in SE Texas all my life.  When I wake up now in Carolina and look out MY BEDROOM WINDOW and the world has abracadabra-presto-change-o the world is white and weighted with cold blue…and nothing looks like it did when I fell asleep --- I am breathless and renewed.  I'll never get over it.  Don't want to.

So I've made soup and taken hikes and photographed The Nest (it's her FIRST snow) and I have felt grateful.

This morning my daughter Olivia came in while I was playing guitar in my office.  She is about to turn 15.  She is a force.  She's a cross-country runner on the Chapel Hill High team -coached by Joan Nesbit Mabe.  Google her.  Joan has lived large.  She is not only my daughter's coach but an Olympian and fireball-with-a-medal and a cherished friend of mine.  Joan should be my life coach. No joke.

SO---Olivia comes in today and says that she has to run and she asks me to go with her.  I'm deep into guitar and it's cold and icy and slick as sh*t out there.  I say I can't.  I'll fall and break something and I'm slow and I'm not a runner.  (I do jog on occasion but jogging is so 1978 --we can't even use that word)  Liv insists…she says…I want you to go and there's SNOW OUT THERE WHY WOULDN'T YOU GO-- YOU LOVE SNOW? !!

I thought to myself…'why wouldn't you go?'  If you're going to go--it's a good way to go.  

I said yes and bundled up and we headed out.

Now…she takes off running and we both understand that she'll run faster and she'll come back and then go ahead again.  So right away I see her ahead of me - as a woman- running.  And when she runs…even if she is running fast…she looks like a gazelle.  Running in slow motion.  She's way ahead of me and I keep looking for her through the woods.  It's stark and icy and I'm checking to be sure she's okay.  And then I realize that I'm also looking for her to inspire me so that I keep going.  Because it's hard.  And she's doing it so well way ahead of me.  She comes back and grabs my arm and pulls me with her.

I sucked in my breath when I realized how typical it is for she and I.  I'm checking to be sure she's okay because I am her mother.  And I'm inspired by who she is.  She has become her own woman.  And she lives a bold, adventurous, intelligent, curious, nurturing and intentional life.  I hope she sees anything of that sort in me.  I don't think she would say that now but I hope I'm living in her somewhere.  

No matter though.  Not now.

Today was beauty  on beauty  on beauty. 

Gratitude?   The Mother Load.