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dance to yellow submarine at six

A brief life update:

College students, professors, and preschoolers are finished for the year. Elementary students have four days left. On Memorial Day, Jack will head to Pennsylvania and to eight weeks of PhD classes. The day he finishes his intensives, I'll start my first 10-day residency for an MFA. 

We ate asparagus from the garden this month, and yesterday we picked the first strawberries. But half my beds are producing only weeds: I'm cutting back. This year we will travel instead of garden, wander instead of plant. I have baby relatives to meet, and I get antsy when Jack's not around.

Earlier this month I spent a week in Brooklyn with nephew Cedric while his dad started his second round of chemo. While there, I wrote an essay about cancer that doubles as a love-letter to my family's obsession with food. 

The kids have finally gotten into The Beatles, and our disc of The Beatles 1+ has been on repeat for a month or so now. So this morning, when I was reading through some old journals (I'm adding a chapter to my book - and that's another thing, final revisions are happening this summer, and I might have accidentally revealed the new book title in my bio here), I smiled when I found this letter that I wrote to Rosie before she was born. I wanted, at 27, to capture all the things I'd learned so far. I suppose there are bits I'd change and add now, at nearly 35, but mostly, I still think it's all true.

Rosemary,

Dance to Yellow Submarine at six. It's not ever going to make better sense.

You won't ever do even one thing perfectly. That's ok.

Don't let anybody do your imagining for you.

You were created to create,
and blessed to bless.

Hold everything with open hands.
What's ours is ours.
What's ours is God's.

You can't save the world.
You can barely learn the right way to love it.
But you will love it.

If you are not sure, then it's not love.

God's ways are higher than our ways.
We start with faith.

Never go to Matagorda.
View the ocean from Isaac's House,
skinny dip at midnight.

Be surrendered, but don't give up.

Find rhythms in life.
Find stillness.
Learn how to be.
Try highway driving, alone,
or listening to cicadas,
if you need to pray.

For now, we see trees walking.
A dirty windowpane view, at best,
or at least,
nothing.

It doesn't matter what you do
if
in doing it
you are finding broken parts
piecing them back together.

Don't live within your competencies.
The kingdom is breaking out all around you.

You can build your card house ideas;
in fact, you can't help but build them.
When they fall, Love is still there.

Trying to know a person you love
is like hitting a moving target.
It changes. You keep trying.