Getting Away, Turning Away


Getting Away draft 2

A week and a half ago I sat on a small balcony in Hollywood Hills in the shadow of the iconic Hollywood sign that hovers over Los Angeles. Tourists travel up this street hoping for clear shots of the Hollywood sign and perhaps the one in a million sighting of a movie star.

The trip came at a point where I most needed it. The winter has been long and much of what transpires doesn’t make it into my blog – nor should it.

But for 5 days I rested. I rested with palm trees before me and a sun overhead. Long walks, harder hikes, and gastronomic delights filled my days. Getting to know our son and his wife in their own space was our great joy. Los Angeles, a city that can chew you up and spit you out, has given them tremendous opportunities and they are grateful.

We went to the ocean on Saturday, first taking a walk on an open, sandy beach. The air was chilly so we wrapped ourselves in sweatshirts to ward off the cold. Waves, sand, peace – my soul deeply needed all these.

Perhaps the older you get the more grateful you are for these times of peace. You have learned how to cope through the late night phone call that announces a crisis; you have learned how to live through tantrums and fevers; you have learned how to live through job losses and job promotions, times of less and times of more. But in all this it’s critical to also know how to find and appreciate moments of peace, times where you turn away from all that seems important and toward the more lasting, moments where all of life stands still and you breathe. 

A quote I recently read says “In order to understand the world one has to turn away from it on occasion.” Being away helps me understand more of the world that I live in, helps me to relax and identify what is urgent and what isn’t, most of all revives me and reminds me I can do this thing called life.

I am back – the weather is a coast away from what it was in California and life accosts me with the urgent and the important. But turning away was a gift. Standing still in peace and rest restored and revived.

How about you? Where have you been able to turn away in order to better understand your world?

Monday Muffins: Stacy brings us Pesto Feta Muffins today and they look amazing! Head to for the recipe.

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Keep on Rowing

You can see the concentration on their faces — this is not a spectator sport. They care not whether there is an audience, whether people are cheering on the side.

They just keep on rowing. 

The wind comes up on the Charles River and you can see the ripples of current in the water. The way their hair blows back tells you that the wind is going against them, making it harder to row fast, harder to move forward.

But they just keep on rowing. 

The coxswain, small from the stern of the boat, yells out instruction and pacing. She is there to guide the boat, to keep rhythm, to encourage. It’s important for the team to keep to the course and the coxswain is essential for this. She steers the rudder if they begin to go off course, she watches for technique and safety.

And the others? They just keep on rowing. 

The team is unified in purpose, they clearly know each other’s style and strength. The goal is to make it to the finish line, increase your time, row well, do your best. So many metaphors for life that your brain freezes and you wonder why you have to analyze everything. But you know no matter how much you’re enjoying the event, you will keep on pondering, writing things in your head. It’s who you are, how you were made.

Signs for Regatta 2013 are high on light poles, vendors under awnings either sell their wares or give out free products, the gold and red of the Autumn season is at perfection and the sun shines bright. The wealthier gather on the other side of the river under a large, white tent — undoubtedly enjoying the fruits of their wealth through food, wine, and conversations about Yale, Harvard, and Princeton.

But you’re lost in the importance of rowing, because even though you don’t row, you know how hard it can be to keep on rowing, keep on going. You know that it takes every ounce of will and strength, that you need your coxswain, your people who encourage, to help keep you on track, to guide when needed, to watch for your safety.

It’s Monday morning and the week will greet you with all kinds of unknown, but you know you need to keep on rowing. And so you do. 





Triple Booberry MuffinsMonday muffins: These muffins make me wish I had small children again. Well….for a minute anyway. Stacy says this about these ‘Triple Booberry Muffins’: “blueberry muffins with blueberry yogurt, frozen blueberries that have blueberry jam mixed through them….they turn out a wonderful purple color and I thought they might be nice as an alternative to the usual overly sweet things folks make for Halloween parties.  Or to make for breakfast the morning of, for those who enjoy the holiday.”  Click on the link above or the picture to get the recipe!