Groan Tubes

Remember? About twelve inches long, cylindrical, brightly colored. You’d find them on the shelves in toy shops and as prizes when playing carnival games. I remember exchanging tickets for the annoying noise makers later left behind in back seats.


I relate to the little weight, pulled down into a groan by gravity.

The rollercoaster of pandemic emotions pulls me down from the crest, and as I descend down the tracks, I realized I’ve forgotten to raise my hands. We aren’t screaming in excitement.

It takes more energy and focus to live in joy right now. I have to be intentional in saying yes to following what I want to safely participate in.

On Saturday, our Colorado blue skies were peppered with plumes of smoke from the forest fires near by. I woke early, determined to follow through on a reservation I made to go pick strawberries at a local farm.

Standing out in a field, far from others, I picked ripening berries, and snipped stems to fill my bucket with sweet smelling fruit.

“This is so fun!” I said to Dylan, realizing it was the first time we’d been around others for more than fifteen minutes at a time.

An outdoor activity had turned my tube upside down, groans going up into smiles. We came home and I arranged flowers and popped fresh fruit right into my mouth.

We’ve kept our windows shut this week. Smoke is heavy and the AC is on, and fresh air is tainted with the knowledge that the mountains I grew up in are burning.

I woke this morning – sadness touching my heart with soft fingertips. It’s my husband’s birthday. We don’t have plans. I’m trying to prepare a special dinner and I know, another meal, just the two of us, will unfold without much to say because we only interact with each other.

The weight slides back down.

I have to honor the tender spaces created by the wishing what is, isn’t.

Tonight, we’ll make cannoli and watch a favorite show. We’ll celebrate another year here on earth and toast to what’s next. And we’ll miss those who aren’t around the table. We’ll keep the windows closed.

We’re taking things moment by moment here.

Honoring the missing. Wondering and waiting and remembering that at some point, we’ve got to tilt the silly stick back, right side up. Perhaps that’s a beautiful thing.

If you believe in the pursuit of beautiful things, have ever come back from a set back in life, or hold firmly to the belief that we can all be kind to one another, invest in this on-going project.

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One Word

One word. Babies.

When my world fogs with confusion, and moving forward feels difficult, I rest in the hope that babies provide.

Now, now, hold your horses. I am not talking about my own future offspring, and I am not expecting a bundle of my own joy. Talk to my mother about her disappointment in my perpetual five year plan. You know the one – when you get married you say you will be expecting kids in five years. I’ve got a year and a half of marriage on the record, but still we say, ‘Oh, we will have kids in five years.’  That calendar is still moving itself a ways out, into the future.

In the meantime, I get to experience so much joy and wonder when spending time with friends who have committed to parenthood before me. There is something beautiful about watching your friends morph into their new role as parents. It is humorous and wonderful to see how they juggle new strollers, baby wipes, formula, and taking turns changing diapers.

Having only babysat for little ones, I caught myself thinking, “they actually know what to do with all of those plastic bottles and lids. They’ve got themselves together! They can take their kid out in public, and are making such a fantastic team!” My heart filled with pride as we got to spend time with one of Dylan’s best friends and his wife, and yes, their baby. A six month old, bubbling burst of joy. This little nugget was the happiest baby I have spent time with.


Holding his little fingers as they wrapped around my thumb, watching his eyes follow a stuffed monkey as his dad danced it across the table, those experiences are balm for the soul. And as I still find myself weeping in the afternoon, or aching to call my dad to discuss the Rockies opening game, I return to the hope that Jackson provides. This little guy has so much to see, to experience, to embark upon. Let’s continue to make the world a beautiful place. For him, and for me, and for you, because as we move forward, the world needs more beautiful things.

Thanks to Mike & Josie for making such a beautiful little baby.