So many stories, so many generations, in just one captured moment. It’s actually the kind of moment that happens all day long for my mother, as she seems to enjoy holding hands with whoever is sitting in the chair next to her. That’s almost always my father (he spends about six hours a day by her side), but it’s also included other residents in her nursing home who she happens to have been seated next to in the activity room. .
My my mother passed along her own mother’s ring to me before my wedding. The diamond hasn’t sparkled in years, ever since my grandmother accidentally banged it on a piece of machinery in the factory where she worked for a short time. The surrounding emerald chips have fallen out and the thinning band has developed scratches, but it feels as welcome on my finger as my own wedding ring. .
My mother would visibly recoil from her childhood nickname “Josie,” and she always told me that people could call me “Jo” when she didn’t need the name anymore. A few years ago, when I pointed out that many people were already calling me Jo on their own, I rationalized that we had different last names, so maybe that was OK ... ? She responded by starting to pass along her ID’d jewelry to me, including a simple bracelet my dad crafted with the sheet metal prowess he honed during his years making parts for commercial airline engines. It’s on my wrist every day now, unless I’m wearing the fancier thicker cuff with the familiar two letters engraved in scroll script. .
Accompanying everything else is the piece of jewelry I received from my stepson and daughter-in-law before my grandson’s birthday. In addition to his birthstone and initial, it carries my very special grandmother’s name. I think of all of them whenever I hear the charms happily jingle. .
My mother’s disease has taken her memories. So we can’t talk about anything other than what is right in front of us ... or what she thinks she sees in front of us. I like to think of all of these personified people—family members long passed and others she no longer remembers (and hasn’t even met)—sitting next to her now, holding her hand as I am.
This self-care saturday sangha 💜 ... we gathered together in a beautiful spot on a lovely fall weekend, we got inspiration from our breath, we moved our bodies and made shapes with our hands, we verbalized our truths, we enjoyed scrumptious local food from the hands of thoughtful caretakers, we learned how to support ourselves with organic plant oils, we received gifts from the Earth, we manifested some magic, and we rested deeply. I am so blessed you chose to spend your time with me, and look forward to our paths crossing again very soon. 🧘🏽♀️🍁🌑✨👐🏽🍐🙏🏽🧘🏼♂️
Each and every person in this pic* played a role in our day together. It wouldn’t have happened the way it did without Callum’s expert setup and tear down (not to mention his talented muffin mixing); Aimee’s thoughtful menu planning, culinary crafting and compassionate morning yoga sessions; Rich’s harvesting, breakfast wizardry and entertaining storytelling; Craig’s usual buzzer-beating tech save; and Gus’s constant support 💕 And of course our guests. What an engaged, friendly, open group. I love the stone soup we created among the changing New England landscape! Thank you, thank you, thank you 🙏🏽
*and not in this pic ... a bow of gratitude to stealth smoothie deliverer Lindsay—your massages were divine! And @copperfoxvt ... dinner was 👌🏽 as always. .
Shout out below if I wasn’t able to tag you ... I don’t want to leave anyone out!
It’s been said that it’s hard to make friends as an adult. Not just the parents of our kids’ friends, but real, brand-new folks we like hanging out with. Our lives are busier, our environments are limited, and we already made friends while we were in school, right? I have been blessed to have a fierce tribe of humans I keep close to my heart: my kindergarten buddy Colleen (Coco), sweet former co-workers, and fellow yoga teachers who always have my back. Today it’s about this gal. The one I sat across from at annual work conferences for nearly two decades. The first one I’d ask about a new color combo or turn of marketing phrase, and not just because I know she’ll reply to my text within minutes. The one who’s gotten on a plane multiple times to visit. Our last in-person time was just last week, and we packed it all in: a road trip to see my parents, an overnight in Provincetown, a couple of work days, a homemade dinner, and a final hurrah in the North End. We ate All The Things and documented them in Portrait Mode. And we talked. It feels good to know that my posse is not only growing larger, but deeper as well. 👯♀️
Have you gotten to enjoy the gifts of new friendships as a grown up?