Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Powerful beyond measure

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.' We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

- Marianne Williamson
(A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles", Harper Collins, 1992. From Chapter 7, Section 3])

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Out of the Chaos

In 1997, my family moved to a tiny little town of 700 people in a rural farming community in northern Illinois. We lived in Capron for 5 years (the population is now up to 1,000 by the way), ending our country life by moving to San Jose, Costa Rica in 2002. And then we proceeded to move to Mexico City, Mexico the following year. In 2005, I moved to yet another big city, Chicago, to attend college. Six years later, in 2011, I am still in the city, and seeing no signs of leaving anytime soon.

Trips out to the country are welcome and necessary for a little soul cleansing and refreshment. It is such a delight to look outside and be able to see for miles...to breathe clean, fresh air and smell the grass and plants and hear the trees sing and dance in the wind.... The colors are so much more vibrant out here. Everything feels more alive. At peace with the world.

This past weekend, Eric and Lexi and made the long drive out to that same farming community that I lived that happy wonderful part of my life in. We spent most of the day at Edward's Apple Orchard in Poplar Grove, my family's favorite place to go to every fall. We drank hot cider, ate warm fresh apple cider donuts, ate crunchy sweet apples, and picked a pumpkin for Lexi off the vine.

Old memories, mixed with new ones.

At ten years old, when my family first moved here, I would never have guessed that fourteen years later I would bring my daughter here. That coming here would be such a delight after so much time in so many busy cities.
Pumpkins and corn!

Lexi is obviously a pro at this. Eric could use a little help though...

Good thing goats don't like little baby fingers!

Taking a "ride" on the Edward's train express.

Queen of the pumpkin patch, obviously.

Happily guzzling all of my cider.

On our way home, we stopped at my sweet old home on Wooster street, in the sleepy, decaying town of Capron. So many happy days were spent in this old house. I still miss it sometimes. So much has changed since then. Life has become much more bittersweet. More complicated and messy. But still beautiful in it's own way.

Baby, what?!?!

Just take one look at that priceless face and you'll know what's up.

If you haven't figured it out yet, I will give you one guess:

It has to do with Lexi becoming a big sister in April!

Despite the fact that our increasingly forgotten cats still haven't gotten used to having Lexi around (they harbor some serious resentment...), the rest of us are so excited about another little one joining our family this coming spring!