As I write this, my children—all four of them—are moving through their first day of school. This morning, my youngest stepped onto the bus a kindergartner and we all held our breath. We're here. It's been a long time coming. It's gone by in a blink. I'm reminded of two moments when I thought deeply about this exact day: I'm sitting in an adirondack chair in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, reading Present Over Perfect, six months pregnant with my last child, knowing the pace of life we'd been moving at . . .
The idea for TONIC + bloom, a women's retreat I cohosted this summer, was twofold: the need and the want. When I began looking for a guided retreat I could participate in earlier this year, I came up empty. Yes, there were retreat centers, but not close by. Yes, I could reserve a hotel or homestay and retreat there by myself (which I've done before successfully), but I wanted to be with a group. I realized there was a hole in the market in Virginia—the need. When my cohost Britt bought . . .
I'm not good at endings. Someone please tell me I'm not alone in this. When I've left jobs, I've always preferred the quiet transfer to the loud bluster of a last day luncheon. When moving vans have pulled up to our homes, I'm usually no where to be found, busying myself with something unrelated. When my husband was still deploying, I was ready to kick him out with days to go before his flight (I can assure you this one was a self-preservation tool; deployments are heartbreaking and . . .
You'll want to cut the biggest branch right to the ground, my mother told me matter-of-factly. We had just moved into our new home last spring and my parents were walking the yard, taking inventory of the mature landscape. They stopped at a large lilac bush, growing as high as the gutters next to my garage. Blooms were bountiful but up high, like every perfumed purple cluster was reaching for the sun. While I stood giddy over a hardy shrub that had already reached maturity just outside my . . .
I come through the back door from an evening walk to find the kids noshing on shrimp alfredo. We wake early and preheat the oven for homemade bread. As the sun rises on a Saturday, puffy beignets are pulled out of hot oil and dusted with powdered sugar. My man, the chef. Courtesy of quarantine. Our lives have surely shifted over the last year. You may have once done the grocery shopping, but now your partner orders and picks up. Your spouse may have paid the monthly bills, but you took . . .