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3.29.2022

Hello Again

I posted this one Instagram, but I thought it deserved to be posted here too. 


Hello! My name is Meegs, I’ll be 40 this year. I’m queer, and genderqueer (she/they). I’m a yoga teacher, doula, and Mapping Lead for a company that does digital mapping of cemeteries. Life, birth, and death.

I have an amazing pre-teen, Gwen, who is one of the best people I know. My husband, Trav, and I have been together for 21 years, and married for 15; and he is the most supportive partner one could ask for. He loves his “gay wife” very much. 


I love to hike and camp, travel is my heartbeat, and reading is my travel when I can’t travel. I love to change my hair color regularly, but consider blue my “natural color.” I’m a Leo, and a Welsh witch.

In this space Black Lives Matter, Trans rights are human rights, and people are people no matter where they come from or how they got here. If that doesn’t work for you: ✌🏽 out. We can disagree on pizza toppings, not human rights.

Welcome. Have any questions for me?


3.24.2022

Ostara

We celebrated rebirth this past Monday. The beauty that is Ostara, or the Vernal Equinox. Balanced day and night, if only for a moment, and the opportunity to use that balance to plant seeds for moving forward. 

I hope that you are enjoying the beginning of spring, and the promise that the faith it takes to plant now will reap so much growth down the line. 🌱🌸

3.22.2022

On Being Human

Humans fuck up. I have fucked up. Not right in this moment, but many - many - many times in the past. I think one of the hardest things in the world is being in a space that doesn't allow for that. Messing up and learning from it, growing and healing hearts, that is the very essence of being human. So not getting to do that in a safe way, not getting to experience that side of humanness without being torn down or made to feel less then, is dehumanizing, degrading, and destroys parts of us that can take a lifetime to rebuild. 

I have been in those spaces. And I'm still repairing myself. 

Its my dream to be a human that repairs hearts, lifts others, makes a difference in this world, and honors ever bit of herself while honoring others. But boy is that easier said that done. Sometimes our intuition leads us in directions that we don't understand, and only when it is done can we appreciate what wasn't working in our previous place. Sometimes that slow degradation of our humanness is so subtle that we allow it to happen for years before its realized. 

Consider this your sign from the Universe. If you find that this resonated with you, here is your permission: go where you can feel celebrated, go where you can feel fully human, go where you feel whole, and its okay if that means leaving somewhere else. Its okay if you have to go. 

©Blcksmth

3.10.2022

Life and Then Some

Isn't it funny the natural ebb and flow of things. This week I've actually been on top of sleep, feeling more well rested... but yet tired, because these past few weeks have been so busy. Family visits (Trav's parents were in last week, his brother with wife and our nephew the week before), snow, Hamilton for birthday gifts, 300 hour training work, more snow, job stuff, teaching, taking, snowwwww, Gwen's spring concert, Meow Wolf, etc etc etc!  [All of these pictures are in a completely random order because that's how they uploaded and 🤷]



So much fun and so much good, but whoo boy. I'm very ready for this weekend of rest.


Last week I found out that the 200 hr that I was going to be co-leading needs to be postponed. That made me sad. But I'm not going to lie, tackling a 200 in the Fall, when I'm not also doing a 300, sounds much more accessible! Today I found out that I got a promotion and a raise for my mapping job! I get to be a Mapping Lead, which is really exciting, and I get to adjust my focus to include a lot of new things that I really enjoy. Not going to lie, feeling proud of that! The Universe. It gives you what you need sometimes, even if its not what you want.




Next week is Gwen's Spring Break, and we are definitely both looking forward to that pause. We have nothing really planned, but we'll find little fun things to do.


 The week after that is Ostara, the official start to Spring, and I am so ready. I'm ready for more light, more space, more warmth, more ease. The winter months always feel more overwhelming, everything seems to take longer and be more work, but spring, spring is on its way. I could not be more ready. 


2.26.2022

Birthday Interview - Year 12

 Me: “Hey Gwen, how does it feel to be 12?”

Gwen: No different then 11!

Me: “Who’s your best friend?”

Gwen:  Clarissa

Me: “What is your favorite thing to do?”

Gwen: I like to read, play MineCraft, ski, and eat shaved ice [editors note: she was eating a shaved ice, while we did this 😄]

Me: “What is your favorite color?”

Gwen:  Black, red, and I also really like teal. 

Me: “How about your favorite food?”

Gwen:   I don't know... maybe steak and rice, maybe soy sauce ramen

Me: “What is your favorite thing to do with Dad and I?”

Gwen:   Guess!  (Me: Camp? Hike?)  Hmm, I do like that!
I like to play games with you guys, especially video games.

Me: “What is your favorite toy/game?”

Gwen:   The Nintendo Switch

Me: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Gwen:   A tiger biologist! Ha, so a zoologist? 

Me: “What makes you happy?”

Gwen:   You being happy! Dad getting me shaved ice! Hanging out with you and Dad, and my friends. 

Me: “What is something that makes you sad?”

Gwen:  You guys being sad or angry, and thinking about how old Daisy is getting, and her tumors.

Me: “Do you have a favorite movie?”

Gwen:   [weird thinking face] I don't know 

Me: How about a favorite TV show?”

Gwen:   I don't know again... I do really like Simpsons, and Schitts Creek, and X-Men 

Me: “Do you have a favorite book?”

Gwen:  Ohhhhh that's hard! Spirit Animals, and also Mishap's Heros... but I think Spirit Animals might win... I just like books a lot!! Especially fantasy fiction books 

Me: What do you like to learn about?”

Gwen:   I don't know ... animals? 

Me: “What were you excited about for your birthday? And what ended up being being your favorite part?”

Gwen:  I was excited for the presents, of course! And for the fun surprises you had planned.
I like the sleep over [at Clarissa's], and Hamilton!

Me: “Where’s your favorite place to go when we leave the house?”

Gwen:   I like going to the library, to the zoo-type places, and hiking and camping

Me: “What is your favorite teacher's name?” [Editing this one to say favorite teacher... since she now has multiple in Middle School]

Gwen:   Well, I really like all my teacher this year!

Me: “Do you have a favorite treat?”

Gwen:   Slushees/shaved ice, and ice cream!   

Me: “What’s your favorite animal?”

Gwen:   Tiger!! 

Me: “Do you have a favorite song?”

Gwen:    That's hard, I like a lot of songs... Disappear and You Will Be Found from Dear Evan Hansen, The Kings Message from Hamilton, and Cover Me In Sunshine by Pink

Me: “What’s your favorite thing to wear?”

Gwen:    T-shirts and comfy pants and shorts 

Me: “What are you looking forward to this year?”

Gwen:    Summer!! Going on our trip! Especially seeing Panda, Penny, and Parker.

Me: "Thank you for playing along!"

2.22.2022

Harlem

By Langston Hughes



What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?

Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

2.16.2022

12 Years Old



Dear Gwen, 

You turn 12 today, and I continue to feel like the luckiest to be your Mom and walk this path with you. Your love is so encompassing and so deep. That said, wow is puberty a wild ride for all. Ha! You continue to grow and mature so much, and are just the sweetest soul... but you find yourself torn now, emotions running in directions outside of your control. You rage against the (very universal) battle of wants vs needs, and expectations - both your own and other peoples. 


This is year one of Middle School, and so far you are killing it. All As for the first two quarters, which is absolutely amazing. You're working so hard to balance fun things with classes, friends, Girl Scouts, family time, skiing, etc. Not to mention all the things keeping your dad and I busy, and alternating our time away from you. There's a lot going on here in the middle of this pandemic world! But you know what, you're taking it all in stride. Despite the trials that your anxiety and depression bring, you still are pretty damn great at going with the flow.


I'm trying to remember everything I can from this year, and I'm regretting how much I didn't write. I loved 11 in so many ways. You're amazing to talk to, open with your struggles, not embarrassed to to hash out the hard things... I hope that stays! There is so much as you leave the pre-teen years and enter teenager times that gets hard and challenging, and I just want you to know that you can always, always talk to me about it.


You still love reading with a passion, ripping though books in days; you draw and sketch regularly (especially to illustrate stories you have floating around your head, D&D adventures, or animals); and you love music, both listening to and playing. You're getting pretty good at the drums, and really like your music teacher.


You've continued to horseback ride whenever we give you a chance, and love to be outside in general. Skiing with your dad, camping and hiking with me. You're still an A+ traveler, and we have some big plans for this summer! You also regularly go on walks with your Aunts, which I'm just so grateful is part of our daily life now.

You're fun, and funny; a trickster who likes to surprise your dad and I whenever you can (see picture above of you hiding in a pile of stuffed animals); but a hard worker too. You're not afraid of work, especially if you have a goal in mind. Your Girl Scout troop has a summer goal of a NYC trip, and so you have been putting the work in on crafts and selling cookies. That dedication came in handy for earning your Girl Scout Bronze Award too!



You still love Legos, and do a lot of creating of things/places that you created in your own head. You build rooms and buildings and whole landscapes sometimes. You still love Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, as well as the Simpsons and the Mandalorian (and all related shows/movies). You've fallen down a YouTube rabbit hole these past few months and love looking up videos of random things: singing shows, people playing mindcraft, kids making slime, cooking challenges, etc. I'm okay with this new obsession since we established some time limits, and since you are so good about talking to me. You know if you encounter something that you think is off or inappropriate, to always bring it to me to talk about.



I wish I could better capture who you are right now, the essence of you. How I still have a few inches on you, but your big personality make it feel like you're going to overtake me any second. Your long limbs, long hair, feet only around a size smaller then mine. Your ready smile, and contagious laugh.


You've started asking for yoga before bed, and you're more interested then ever before in purposeful movement to stretch out, and get stronger. You're also starting to understand the joy of a lie in on lazy mornings, and have no qualms about letting us know you're ready for bed early on long, tiring days.


Gwen, while 12 seems so old, grown up, and mature in some ways (and I'm quite proud of your maturity), I'm so glad to see you're not in a rush to be more adult. Those things will come sooner then either of us like... and I hope no matter how old you get, you never lose the magic, never stop believing in the mythical, and are never afraid to love what you love, no matter what anyone else thinks.

I love you times infinity, you're the best Gwenie in the Multiverse...

Mom


 

2.08.2022

Who The Fuck I Am


 It seems to me, after 2 years of this, that a pandemic is not perhaps the best time to try to make all your big moves. Ahem. 

That said, things have continued to move along. Since August I was invited to attend the 300 YTT (yoga teacher training*) I had long desired, in a work study capacity, which was absolutely phenomenal... and the only way it could have possibly worked out. I'm half way through, blown away by all I'm learning, and just so grateful for the whole experience. 

That opportunity lead to another! I was invited to be part of the leadership team for a 200 YTT taking place at the same studio! Aka I get to teach people to become yoga teachers! It was one of the main reasons that I wanted my RYT500 (plus just the learning opportunity), but I had no idea it would come so fast! So if you need me from March to May, that's what I'll be doing. 

In addition, I'm still teaching at three other amazing places, have a private client, and attended a birth in January (no more for me until Autumn at the earliest... just too much else going on). Plus my digital mapping job! 

I'm probably in the best shaped I've been in since before the pandemic at least, and I think maybe ever. This feels amazing after spending 6 months last year dealing with an intestinal issues that seemed to boil down to a stomach bug, exacerbated by a lactose intolerance, that got to a point where my guts were just angry and needed a month long elimination/anti-inflammatory diet just to get them back to normal. They did get back to baseline, and now I'm pretty comfortable just sticking with no-/low-lactose options (or, thank goodness for lactaid! Mama needs her creamy pastas). I am still working some things out, as residual symptoms seem to point to "leaky gut", but I'm feeling great overall. 

Gwen and I also just finalized our summer travel plans! Visiting with family, a Girl Scout trip to NYC, and a return to a place we love... with a few amazing AirB&B/Glamping nights thrown in to break up the longer legs. To say I'm excited would be an understatement.

I sat down the other day and reflected on where I am, and where I want to be. I have big plans for this year and next, and you know, I'm proud! I lost my way for a bit in there, lost my bearing when I had to adjust so many dreams and plans and ideas... but I think, maybe this is going to be even better.



* I am currently 200 hr certified, which is the base certification for becoming a yoga teacher. In January I earned my E- distinction (so E-200, E equals experienced), which requires a certain amount of time and hours, plus maintaining a certain amount of continuing education. I was very proud of that! Once I get my additional 300 hr certification, then I will be RYT500 (and E-RYT200, until I earn the hours I need to be E-RYT500). Clear as mud? ;-) 

2.03.2022

power of the dog

As Daisy gets older, and her tumors spread, I am struck with how very limited her time is becoming. Its enough to make me literally weep... the idea of my world without her in it leaves me feeling incomplete. I'm glad Kipling found the words for this. 

 

There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
But when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and sisters I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie--
Perfect passion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart for a dog to tear.

When the fourteen years that nature permits
Are closing in asthma or tumors or fits
And the vet's unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers, or loaded guns.
Then you will find--its your own affair
But--you've given your heart to a dog to tear.

When the body that lived at your single will
When the whimper of welcome is stilled (how still!)
When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gone--wherever it goes--for good,
You still discover how much you care
And will give your heart to a dog to tear.

We've sorrow enough in the natural way
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent.
Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we've kept 'em the more do we grieve;
For when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short time loan is as bad as a long--
So why in Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

-- Rudyard Kipling "The Power of the Dog"

2.01.2022

We Are Witches (Incomplete)

 the pot on the stove

with a mix of cinnamon and zest 

could have been a brew

from our witchy past


I smell it still when 

as the days start to fall

the nights gather power 

the wolves sound their call


I recall its spell when 

as my soft roundness scrapes

against edges meant for points 

I long to escape 


we are witches made tame

how I wish to return

to times when we were wild

when we knew, no need to learn

1.27.2022

The Easiest Hard Thing

Last night Gwen hosted her first real sleepover with a friend, and Monday she heads to Middle School. Its hard to wrap my head around my baby being, well, not at all a baby anymore. She's so grown in so many ways. These pre-teen years are challenging. There's so much she wants to do (and I want her to be able to do), but so much to make that feasible (sometimes that's just time). 

Parenting is the easiest and hardest thing I've ever done. She pushes against every boundary, and challenges me in ways I never even imagined. But then she greets me with so much exuberance, or melts into my hugs and suddenly I can't imagine anything easier. She is my person. She is my heart. 

----


I wrote this all the way back in August... meant to come back to it, and just never did. I'm trying to get back to writing, as I miss it so, and one thing I will do is come back to my drafts. I might complete them, or I might say fuck it and just publish them as they are. But I just want to start recording things again. I want to leave things for Gwen to come back to when she's older to remember this time. 

Gwen isn't loving Middle School (who does, oh boy), but she is excelling. She has processes in place to help with her mental health, and does well with the work itself (two quarters down so far, and all As in both of them!). She went on after this to have another sleepover with the same friend, at her house, and it went beautifully. I'm so grateful for my girl, this child that teaches me as much as I teach her, and who helps heal things in me I didn't know needed healed.

1.25.2022

The Ache For Home and Knowing

Written in January of 2021, shared now. 

 

The day we left Pennsylvania to move seventeen hundred miles away, I banished the words never and always from my vocabulary. I had spend my thirty-something years up until that point knowing, with a certainty that only the young possess, that I would live out my days in my home state (Pee-Aaa – as us locals called it). 

My husband and I were born in that same state, but almost three hundred miles apart, meeting in college. While travel was in our blood, and we visited as many states and countries as possible with our limited budget, our home state on the East Coast felt safe and comfortable. I didn’t think I needed to live anywhere else. But life has other plans, and when our daughter was five, we picked up and found our way to Colorado. Our Pennsylvania mountains suddenly looked like the quaintest little hills, as we climbed up and up to almost six thousand feet high, with the Rocky Mountains still towering above us. As the air got thinner, we felt lighter. Our excitement was so rich we could taste it! Everything was new and fresh. It stayed that way for a few weeks.

The first thing I missed was our family and friends. One too many moments of thinking, “I’ll have to take this to Mom,” or wanting to get away for an afternoon with my close girlfriend. A date night with my husband at our favorite local sushi joint; we had no one to leave our daughter with.

Then it was our yard, with a large shade tree, and our small but lovingly created, raised bed garden. Neighbors on both sides grew tomatoes, and whatever came through the fence was ours to pick, while we passed over peppers, herbs, and squash. I had taken for granted the ability to open our back door and watch our black lab shoot out to run off her zoomies or use the bathroom without our presence needed. I longed for picnics in the soft autumn sun, snowball fights in the winter, the smell of my lilacs in their first bloom, and shrieks of delight from my daughter as cold hose water peppered her summer sun kissed skin. 

I knew my sadness was complete when I even missed our chilly, unfinished basement; and with it, my ability to nestle bottles of infusions down there, where they could lay undisturbed, letting their magic happen.

It took a year to make friends that we could get together with regularly, three years to feel like this new place was home, even more to stop having those pangs of longing for our birth state. But the funniest thing happened once I lost this idea of a forever home: suddenly I felt unmoored. As settled as we were, as happy in our adopted state, I had this notion that there was no longer one distinct place that I belonged. Pennsylvania was no longer it, with every visit showing more and more things that changed, taking was it is further and further from what I remembered it to be. Colorado, with its focus on if you’re a “native” born and raised, or an import; well, I would always be a non-native.

During this time, I found myself in a cycle: buy “what I’m missing”, trying to build these images from my head of what I wanted our house to look like… then purging old items trying to make room. I thought, if I could just build the right routines, shape the space around me, then everything inside would finally feel settled. No matter what I bought though, as beautiful as those things were, it never quite turned into what I was trying to create. You can’t buy your way into “home.” Our small apartment just wasn’t capable of being all I needed. There just wasn’t space for rows of herbs infusing in bottles on shelves, a full wall of bookshelves, composting, gardening, an alter, space for yoga. At least not while also meeting the needs of the rest of the family (so very many Legos!). Our world felt small, our apartment smaller; it was where we lived, not our home.

As I started to doubt our home, I started to doubt myself and all I believed I needed to be happy. What did I look like when cut off from all that had been? Who was I in this cramped space within a wide open area, unfamiliar and new? 


So, we started to fill our school breaks with travel, checking off state after state, visiting National Parks, friends and family around the country, camping along the way. I was searching for so much, and we found more then I expected. We found adventure, explored forests, deserts, plains, shorelines, and mountains related and different from our own. Food tastes different over the campfire, and my daughter expanded her palate, willing to try things on the road that didn’t appeal to her at home. We put miles and miles under our feet, first with my daughter holding my hand, then in time with her leading the way. The stars ran around the sky and while every night (every location) was a little different, we could always find the recognizable constellations to let us know that we still belonged under them, blanketed in their familiarity.

Most of all, we found more groundedness in our travels. The farther we went, the more home felt like Home when we returned. Colorado was our anchor.

Maya Angelou tells us, “The ache for home lives in all of us.” While I still hope to cultivate the home I visualized – in fact, we hope to buy a house this year, with a yard all our own – I now have come to understand that time and emotional space are just as, if not more important, then physical space. It might have taken me dozens of states to figure it out, but it’s a lesson my daughter gets to experience with me first hand, and hopefully a knowledge she will take with her no matter where she roams. I hope she goes far, knowing this home waits for her, but so do dozens of other homes around our country and around our world. That home is not the plates in the cabinets, but the sensation of belonging. I still work to find that peace in myself, but I’m getting closer each day… not with the things I buy or make for our dwelling, but the memories we foster here. And when we need that reminder, its only a camping trip away!

“A bird in a nest is secure, but that is not why God gave it wings.”  -  Matshona Dhliwayo