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Love, light, and hope

Love, light, and hope

When I fully embraced writing as part of my life’s work, I decided to give it my mornings. At least part of them anyway. 

So I nudged breakfast and laundry and phone calls to give a solid hour of my freshest, most creative thoughts to my beloved Writing Time. Of course as a mom with little ones you can never fully give your time to any one thing and not also share it with puzzles and play food, and I was okay with that. Even still, it wasn’t long before my little Naomi fell into our new morning rhythm and needed only an excited response from me here and a nibble on her homemade “soup” there—content to stay busy, knowing that after Writing Time the rest of the day was hers.

Morning after morning, I’ve poured words onto the page only to finish fuller (and happier) than I was before. It's been a somewhat stable piece of my routine for months and months, disrupted only by sick days and weekends. Also, pandemics.

To be honest, it feels like a lifetime has filled the space between this email and the one I sent you last. Even in the past few weeks, the world has gone from strange to heart-breaking. And apart from filling my gratitude journal one line at a time, what you’re reading this very minute is the most writing I’ve done since.

It would be easy to feel guilty or lazy or discouraged for letting something so important to me fall by the wayside. To look around at all we still have and how safe we still are and wonder why my freshest, most creative thoughts don’t seem to have a single written word in them. 

But the fact is, when your world turns upside down, you only have so many limbs to hold things in place. You save what you can and whatever's left comes crashing down without any more you can do about it. I realize I've been spared many of the challenges others are experiencing right now. And yet, in the chaos I've found myself suddenly pushed to my limits.

So among the second grade comprehension quizzes and country reports, the unbelievable news and spiraling sadness, I’ve also needed more rest, less structure and lots of space to do things differently. 

It's a hard time, friend. What I simply wanted to say is this: When chaos becomes crushing, the most productive thing to do is stop, breathe, and accept that no amount of negativity (toward yourself or anyone else) will turn it all rightside up again. 

Darkness was never made brighter by more darkness.

It's hard right now to picture the world and life ever being okay. But what I know above all else is any tiny spark of light we offer and love we give—to strangers, to friends, to family, to society, and to ourselves—is never a waste. And we'll all be better off for it.

As for my mornings, it seems my freshest, most creative thoughts (if there are any at all) needed something other than words. I can’t think of anything better to stand in for a while than bright colors, cheerful messages, and sunshine ready to pass along. You can see my latest heart and soul project—encouragement postcards to keep and to share—right over here. They're for anyone who could use a little extra sunshine right now or is ready to spread it around.

With love, light and hope,

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