I built this yesterday.


My dad and I worked on this project together. It was my idea, and I pleaded and persuaded, and suddenly we were at Home Depot trying to figure out how many pavers could fit in the car before it was too heavy to safely drive.

Dad is the engineer of the family. It’s his job, but more than that, it’s the way he thinks and sees things. He helped me carry all of the stone pavers and sand to our backyard, and then told me how to build the fire pit.

I knelt on the ground, and with my own two hands, I built a thing.

And check it out: it even works!


Well, okay, tonight is the night I figure out that building a fire may actually be harder than building a pit to contain it, but I am filled with satisfaction. I had a few s’mores, sat by the fire with my mom and proved that this structure isn’t about to fall down. I sit here now, my feet propped on the stone lip, typing away in the very limited light of a fire that won’t rage, but won’t quit either. It’s refreshing to take a pause from words written, customers served, miles logged, and see something tangible that I have done.

I have built this thing, and there is more to come.


Rainy Afternoon

It’s raining outside.

After an overlong winter, the steady rain is a relief.  While it does rain a substantial amount in the fall, I somehow always associate it with spring and summer.  Maybe that’s because spring doesn’t seem to officially arrive until after the first thunderstorm.  Maybe it’s because of summer nights I huddled in the front seat of my boyfriend’s car when pouring rain drove us away from our bench outside the library.  Maybe it’s because the final days I spent at home before going away to college for the first time are punctuated with rain in my memory.

Maybe it’s just because fall isn’t as important to me as spring and summer are.  I was born in the spring, a season filled with tulips and possibilities.  My goddaughter was born in the same season this last year, and I wonder if she and I will share delight in new gardens as she grows.

If spring is the potential, then summer is the realization.  I fell in love in the summer, each and every time I fell in love with my boyfriend.  We held hands at the carnival and read to each other in the middle of the woods.  He first kissed me on a July evening.  It wasn’t raining then, and as the sun set, everything was bathed in my favorite shade of golden light.

I believe that summer will forever be my favorite.

I don’t like being cold.  I tolerate it, for I live up north, and snow has a certain charm, as do outdoor football games and Christmas light shows and thawing out indoors afterwards, with lots of blankets and hot chocolate.

I don’t like being cold, but I don’t mind being wet.  In the summer and late spring, it’s warm enough outside for me to go out in the rain and not be miserable.  Rain changes every activity, walking, gardening, swimming, listening, and every activity becomes something just a little bit different.

The light itself is different, and I find it healing when I’ve been overwhelmed.

I love watching water, water in oceans, water in rivers, water in puddles, water falling from on high.  I love feeling it on my face, I love listening to it, I love being close to it and being separated, warm and distant.

Above all, I love doing what I’m doing right now, sitting with a mug of tea, working on a small project of some sort, staring out the window, with my rainy day music playing softly in the background.

I wish you rain in your day as well.