Friday, October 18, 2013

Lightening Up

The body, she says,
is subject to the force
of gravity.  But the soul
is ruled by levity, pure.

~ Saul Bellow

Happy Autumn, sweet
readers.  I have a pot of
Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice
Roobois Tea brewing and
some pumpkin biscotti to
go with it, so come on in.

I'm really into pumpkin
and spices and wool socks
and cozy, right now.

Settle yourself deep down 
on my squishy sofa.  It's
darkish and rainy out and
there are leaves plastered
against the window panes.

My favorite sort of 
day for a visit : )

The fireplace is lit and my
fragrant orange spice candle
is flickering merrily
on the coffee table.

It's been a few weeks 
since I wrote my last blog
post.  Moments of great
sadness and great joy
have pulled me along
like a leaf swirling down-
stream in a fast river.

I read once that grief is like
a hole that rips open the
the fabric of your life, and you
keep stumbling into it.

But eventually, you learn
to walk around the hole.

The chasm remains--it will
always be there--but your
awareness of its presence
enables it to sneak up on 
you less and less.

That's where I've been.

And as I've been tip-toeing
around that pit of grief, life
has been marching briskly
forward all around me.

At the beginning of October we
flew to my daughter's college to
celebrate Family Weekend. 

She is so happy.  

Makes my heart smile.

Our son came along and it felt
really nice to laugh and enjoy
being together, just like the
old days.  The Fab Four.

Gosh it's good to laugh.

We snuck in a quick afternoon
drive to the beach, and I 
drank in the blue, blue sky
and the sound of sea birds.

Bliss, even as I teetered around
that hole, knowing how much my
late friend would have loved it, too.

Via my Instagram - privetandholly

Last Saturday, I walked with my
husband's office team in the
American Cancer Society's
Making Strides for Breast Cancer
event.  It felt great to be in the
fresh air, talking and sharing
stories with our teammates. We
also raised a lot of money!

Purpose-full. It was fun.

Here, let me top off your tea.

My mantra 
recently has been 

lighten up.

Print from the super-talented Melanie

I truly believe that we attract 
what we send out to the universe, 
so I am focusing on levity--
laughter and living less seriously--
rather than on sadness.

So bring on Oktoberfests and
crunching leaves, impromptu
lunches with buddies and
sunrises that dazzle.

It's time to lighten up.

How do you avoid the
holes in your life?

The rain has picked up, again.
You'll be here for a while.

I'll make another pot of tea.

Let's talk.....

And toast to levity.


all images: P&H


Laura Murphy said...

I just read that grief is not so much about death, as about loss. I am so sorry for your loss.

I am thankful for you, for your wise and beautiful words, and for the joy that is set before you.


Dianna said...

What a beauty-fully written post, Suzanne. Praying for you, friend, as you in to this goal of lightening up! Look it full in the face and realize the warmth of the sun shining down upon you. I have a large primitive plate in the kitchen that says, "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It is about learning to dance in the rain", my friend, just dance and enjoy the beauty He's put around you! xo

pretty pink tulips said...

Hi Suzanne,
Have been thinking a lot about you! I'm glad that you were able to enjoy a weekend with your family and have some lighter moments.

I've never heard that description of grief, but I think it is such a apt description. A whole we begin to walk around.

I love the quote shared by the reader above!! Dance, travel, blog.....stay busy and savor each special day!
xoxo Elizabeth

Hartwood Roses said...

I always think of autumn as a time of cleansing. The earth lightens its load as trees lose their leaves and gardens go to sleep for the winter. The structure remains, to be appreciated in its simplicity.

Hugs to you!!

Lisa @ Shine Your Light said...

You have been in my thoughts so much these last few weeks, Suzanne. And the thought of you and your dear friend had made me want to reach out to my girlfriends and have a laugh with them. Life gets busy and it's so easy to let the days, months, years slip by; I am so acutely aware lately of how precious time is and how important it is to MAKE time for what and who we love. Thank you for sharing about your life's goings-on and reminding me of that. So glad you've had some LAUGHS lately and some time to lighten up amidst the heart-heavy moments!

Lisa @ Shine Your Light said...

You have been in my thoughts so much these last few weeks, Suzanne. And the thought of you and your dear friend had made me want to reach out to my girlfriends and have a laugh with them. Life gets busy and it's so easy to let the days, months, years slip by; I am so acutely aware lately of how precious time is and how important it is to MAKE time for what and who we love. Thank you for sharing about your life's goings-on and reminding me of that. So glad you've had some LAUGHS lately and some time to lighten up amidst the heart-heavy moments!

Sylvia said...

Dear Suzanne, I have learned that sharing experiences and emotions is the best way we can help ourselves and others...because, I guess, our humble human stories are more alike than different. So thank you for opening your heart. I agree, the hole will always be there, but I also believe that by accepting change and loss, we eventually find that what flows in and fills up this empty space is awareness, generosity and LOVE. They say the soul learns more from its losses than its gains... Thrust in you life ( what a beautiful family you have, the Fab Four), be present, laugh, and yes, lighten up... Toast to life.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Well, I've learned by falling in the holes and either finding someone who jumps in with me and knows the way out, or I crawl myself out....lately, I've been stumbling into some little chasms (new job with many challenges) but thank GOD, tomorrow is another day. AND...laughter is a healing balm. The other day as I was helping some students with their French essays, we just stopped to laugh at something the kid said then something with which I retorted; we laughed our heads off and called it a day.

We have no other choice but to learn from all circumstances and crawl out, be helped out, then walk. No other choice.

Good to see you here my dear, and what a moon this morning, huh?

Julie said...

I Love your thoughts Suzanne. :-) sending a BIG hug your way. Grief has a way of pulling us back down to the nitty gritty reality of life and it's brevity...we don't think about it, or at least dwell on that too often. It DOES tend to send a cloud to hover over all the joy we want to be overwhelmingly "present" in all our daily activities. The "holes" in our fabric show a tear, but they also let light stream through if held up to Heaven and we are looking up. So glad to be here visiting with you and all of your beautiful depictions of the small things in life...God is GOOD. Life is beautiful, still overflowing with sweet scents, delicious tastes, gorgeous seasons, priceless family times, awesome Earth...(the coast) :-) Thank you for sharing...reminding us all or that beauty with your gift of writing. BIG HUGS to you for the smile you always deliver to me. xoxo Love you.

Sandy at You May Be Wandering said...

Suzanne, your posts are always so inspirational. You seem to have figured out for yourself that your dear friend would want you to tiptoe around the hole and keep on living every day to its fullest. This is a post I should bookmark to come back it in the event I should ever need it. I find your blog so inspiring and thought provoking (rare, these days) and I thank you for that.

Enjoy the glorious fall weekend and another cup of tea for me! xoxo

traci said...

hello suzanne. your home looks nice and cozy on the cool autumn day. that tea sounds delicious. i would love a cup, thank you. i think lighten up is a great mantra to live by. it's hard sometimes, but seeing that cute print would help to remind me. have a wonderful day.

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

Oh Suzanne...I wish I was sitting there in your lovely home with you, enjoying that cup of tea! This is such a lovely post...the analogy about grief is wise and true and comforting. I am looking forward to fun days together soon! XO
P.S. Your photos are beautiful...

ColorFormTexture said...

Suzanne, what a joy to read your writings today and just melt into your photos. You've captured the moments beautifully...moments of joy and change and pain...moments of just living and breathing and loving life. Thanks for sharing your life and thoughts!

Dewena Callis said...

I have watched for a post from Privet and Holly and wondered how it was going for you. It has been reassuring to read today's beautiful post and view your lovely photos and imagine being in your home sharing your autumn pleasures. Your daughter is beautiful and has a smile that must light up your life constantly.

Beauty always helps heal, after a while, as you let it, and you are.

Joanna said...

It's so good to hear from you again - I have missed you, and ached for you, knowing the difficult times that you will have been going through.

You are wise indeed to know that you must allow yourself to laugh, and smile and enjoy. This shows no disrespect to your dear friend; the very opposite, in fact - especially as you took the very positive action of raising money for the breast cancer charity.

That photo of Elizabeth is wonderful, she is exuding health and happiness!


Prince Snow Farm said...

What a pleasant visit Suzanne! You are the perfect hostess. I have enjoyed our laughter and silliness, and I am way into pumpkin too! Thanks for sharing your life!

Bonnie said...

Big hugs to you Suzanne. I know you were the best friend ever. I hurt for you but can see that you will be fine. Writing is therapy for you and your beautiful soul and spirit still comes through loud and clear.

Actually, as I comment I was having a mug of tea and an oatmeal cookie. I love your beautiful tea pot and the darling cup and snack plate. They are so lovely.

I am so glad your daughter is happy and you had a nice visit with her and your whole family were together.

Your photographs and words warm my heart and to use your sweet words make my heart smile. You are doing all the right things to heal. It is.... good to laugh! Blessings to you. Bonnie

Linda @ DesignInMyView said...

I'm getting up right now, to put on a pot for tea.

Sharing it with my thoughts of love, and en-lighten-up-ment.


Michelle said...

Beautiful Suzanne.. just beautiful. :My heart smiles as you invite us, your friends, in for a cup of tea. So great to hear from you again, your tender words of wisdom. I echo the words of another lady above... very few people write as you do, from the heart. xo

Alicia said...

i'm so sorry you've been sad. i'm right here with you...not grief really. just sad. its the worst time of year to be sad, because I love everything about this time of sadness is robbing me of even that. i'm sorry friend, wish I was in MN with you sipping tea. xo

Leslie said...

Don't you wish we could just avoid those holes?! The more time we get to spend on this planet, the more wholes we step in ~ so I would agree;) that lightening up is essential!

Your pumpkins look so festive Suzanne and I'll be down for tea!

kerrie of sea cottage said...

I seek to behold the beauty in every day...there is always sorrow or some type of suffering in my life, so it seems, but the beauty is what I behold. Your daughter looks happy! So glad you got to go visit her so soon. Mine came home last weekend for a visit. The first time I'd seen her in 1.5 mos. Joy!

Jane said...

Oh darling Suzanne. I truly feel for you. Thanks for the hole analogy - I'll remember it when I'm feeling maudlin about my Dad. 'Lighten up' is perfect. Or as my Dad would say "Buck up!". Sending you love and light J x

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Good morning dear neighbor! Isn't this a beautiful autumn so far? The rain, the falling glories, and even the little shadows that lurk in the dark. I went out this morning while it was still dark to get the goods for a pumpkin pie, and what did I hear and see rustling in the leaves next to my door? A MOUSE!!!!!! It was a wickedly surprising moment, but beautiful. Hugs to you, and thanks for strolling by on streets of gold...Anita

Anonymous said...

The mood you evoke here with your beautiful descriptions and photos are much appreciated. Pour me a cup of tea. I'm in.

Rambling Tart said...

That description of grief is pure balm to my heart. :-) XO I'm so glad you've taken time for yourself, time to grieve and celebrate and learn how to navigate this time in your life. XO For a while there were so many grief holes in my life that it seemed I couldn't take a step without tumbling headlong into one. It is better now. I let myself walk slowly, nodding at the holes but no longer plummeting at each step. Wishing you strength and courage and peace. XO

Palomasea said...

A beautiful, loving post, dear Suzanne....
Your gift for words and storytelling is undeniable, and the splendid photos are the icing on the pumpkin spiced cake. ;)
Yes indeed. How could we bear those feelings if it were not for laughter, and finding the joy around us. Especially when those we miss terribly were so full of joie de vivre themselves. This coming Tuesday would have been my dear Mom's 66th birthday...I think I shall bake her favorite cake, and remember the magic she brought to all she touched.
Thank you for your wisdom, sweet friend...
So glad you had a chance to spend some good family time on the coast...looks like your daughter is loving school! I bet she was ecstatic to see you... :)
And thank you for visiting me!
Stay warm and cozy....I guess the winter coats come out this week... :)
Much love to you,
- Irina

lisaroyhandbags said...

I"m so glad you're slowly navigating your way around that pit of sadness. Spending time with your gorgeous daughter with her bright smile must have lifted you. Hopefully you'll have more light days now and you can float over that pit instead of stumbling around it. Your dear friend would want it that way I'm sure. Big hugs xo

Tricia said...

I've been thinking about you...wondering how you were doing. Sharing your feelings and reflecting on all the wonderful moments with your friend will help you to walk, ever so slowly, through some of your sadness towards more joy.

I'm sure that seeing your sweet girl helped to lift your spirits. She sure looks happy! I hope you find a little more happiness soon. xo

Hindsfeet said...

God *bless* you for this tonight, Suzanne....Just God *Bless* you.....

I am *so* very and so *often* grateful to be privy to your profundity, to your "levity", to your simple wisdom.....

God *Bless* you.....
much love,
deep gratitude,

michele said...

i have not found a way to bypass grief but have also not tried. i let myself feel it all and then marvel at how God joins me and directs me to light.

so glad you are staying positive.

i leave for arizona tomorrow to be with my mom as she undergoes another surgery. she has every right to feel exasperated and distraught, yet she is optimistic and ready to face more wounds. how can i not be radically transformed by such faith and grace?

peace to you.



I would love to pop over for tea and long chat on your couch and honoring your grief. (And I think laughter is a big part of that.)

My very favorite book on loss is "A Grace Disguised" by Jerry Sittzer. I think you would like it, Suzanne.

And the Fab Four ... happy you were together,

Sending love and prayers from Chicago,

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

Suzanne, I always feel when I visit here that you and I are curled up with a cup of tea and ready for a long afternoon of laughter, tears, and talking.

I have had you on my mind this last month as it is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and although I do not know your dear sweet friend she too and her children had been on my mind.

I am sorry for your loss and hope that you find great comfort in the memories of your long and wonderful friendship.

Your dear Elizabeth looks beautiful and happy. How wonderful to know that she is on the way to living her dreams.

I am so happy that you foud solace and comfort in the arms of your family.

Take care of yourself and know that you dear friends is at peace and God has her wrapped in his arms.

xo Elizabeth

RaeAbigael said...

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patty said...

thinking of you and sending positive wishes ... xo