Wonder Round (August 5-11, 2018) / by Hayden Michelle

As we wrap up another week and prepare for the start of the school year, I find myself savoring the freedom to spend the day open-ended, and ponder how to hold onto this concept as the academic year unfolds.  I continue to be grateful daily for the inspiration that comes from nature and those with whom I share my life, in small and large circles.  Have a lovely week ahead, and hope it finds you sinking into activities that bring you meaning, joy, and respite.

("As the parents were sitting under the cool shade of the porch while our children gathered around celebrating their peer heading off to college, one of the dads remarked that these were the memories that would stick with our kids for the rest of their lives. I sat with that in the moment, and have returned to it during the night and early morning today... these years go by so quickly as our children grow more and more into themselves and their engagement with each other, and the experiences that are created across this whole continuum truly will be with them, and with us, long after they each go on to the next phase of their lives. I feel incredible gratitude to be surrounded and inspired by such loving and supportive community, who commit every day to the challenging and joyful job of parenting and homeschooling. May we each help weave positive connections with each other every day...")


("This morning’s reflection as the paint became the imagery reminded me to greet the day with possibility, energy, and hope. What a simple and profound gift, the rising of the sun each day! Wishing you all a day filled with positive experience...")


("Yesterday, I was listening to a bit of a program on public radio, and tuned in while a female judge was sharing how she often assigned personal essays as sentences for nonviolent crimes. I was moved to tears as I heard some of the insights and stories that were revealed, which humanized not only those speaking their truth for perhaps the first time someone had ever asked, but for all who listened in that courtroom. It resonated with the experiences in my social work background, and brought to mind the many deeply painful stories and courageous people I was fortunate to walk alongside during difficult parts of their lives. And it paralleled an experience I had with another artist just that morning, in which unexpected connection was made from having expressed deeper parts of our stories with one another. It reminded me to listen on all levels as much as I can, as always, there are deeper stories to honor than what may first be visible...")


("I keep returning to the lay of the land in these circles, intrigued with the variety of feelings that each type of landscape evokes... the lush forest with its moss-encased floor, the vast sky and endless cloud formations over our Appalachian foothills, the solidity and grounding of rock outcroppings, the flow of our rivers and babbling brooks. I feel immense gratitude for the diversity of nature that offers such a wide expanse of energy, available for us to sink into its offerings and find restoration and peace.")



("That any one of us is here on this earth, at all, is profound... but that we each get our own life in which to uniquely explore and create, is an incredible gift. May we all find space from the burdens of life to express and more fully be...")


("This morning’s paint lay on the paper in delicate, muted tones. I noticed it was difficult for me to leave it at that, and not reach for the bold colors that lay waiting in the pan. Perhaps this is reflective of the ebb and flow of our voices, that can be loud and bold one day, low and barely audible on others. It is empowering to have a choice, and to embrace the many means of our expression in the world.")


("This morning I returned to a Qi Gong dvd that I have had for years and which needed revisiting. It was an energizing and grounding experience to tune into the words of the instructor as my body creakily mirrored the movements, absorbing the backdrop of the red stone earth and music that centered me alongside my breath. I am realizing my need to incorporate this part of exercise back into my daily routine, and know that it is a process, like anything we add into our lives. The ending words struck me in their simplicity and power— to practice being “open to give, open to receive”... a mantra which I can remember and carry within me. I continue to be deeply grateful for the enrichment and support we offer each other day to day...")