Seasons

Six months after her birth I slipped a swimsuit over my postpartum body and slid into the pool, even though I could not swim. Her tiny, cool, soft arms encircled my neck and I swam anyway.

Just after her fifth birthday, my fists clenched and hidden in the sleeves of my sweater, I smiled sweetly at her as she sat perched upon the dentist’s stool watching me as I ‘bravely’ let the doctor assess me.

My voice trembling, I stepped up onto the makeshift stage, unfolded my speech, looked out into the crowd and caught the eyes of my already thirteen year old daughter watching me proudly, egging my courage forward with her smile.

Then just like that the summers of lemonade stands and girls’ weekends with my favorite girl in the world ended. A new stage had begun. I was surprised to find that I was grieving.

A new passage had veered so swiftly that my heart hadn’t had the time to adjust. As the years carried on and my little girl grew into her own mind, I saw her courage in the ways she maneuvered within her friendships. I witnessed her self assured articulations. I marveled at her agility and incredible sense of self-worth. I admired her strength of character nestled within her gentle heart.

I thought back to al of the obstacles I had conquered, all of the challenges I didn’t back down from as I tried to model for her the woman she one day could be.

Then just like that a new season turned again. This season, a season of witnessing. Standing in admiration as my favorite little girl I the world becomes the young woman SHE knows she can be.

Mamas, I see you as you move through each season of change. Yours is the most important job. Leading your curious little girls to be powerful women and your favorite little boys to be gentlemen is such hard work.

Know you are doing SO good even on the hardest days.


From my heart to yours,

In love and lemonade.

Coralee

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Find your inspiration

The venue was an old, small cathedral in the heart of the city.  I made my way up to the balcony area and slid in along the front pew.  I was early, but the seats were filling fast.  This was my first attendance to a writer's festival.  I had come alone and was enraptured by the turnout of people. People who enjoyed literary arts as much as me. I had just completed the first draft of a novel, and in all honesty, I was still enjoying the thrill of simply completing a project so large and conquering a goal I had set for myself.  I knew it was still raw and needed a lot of love, but sitting in that pew overlooking the makeshift stage the guest speaker would be seated on shortly, I couldn't help but dream of myself up there one day.  An author.

Margaret Atwood took the stage promptly on time and an echoing hush fell over the audience.  She spoke at length about her new trilogy which had just been released that, in keeping with authenticity, I had not read. I had read some of her early works and remember the sensation of optimism that came over me when my young writer's heart discovered that she was a successful Canadian author. That optimistic mindset I had felt back then is what I held on to as I listened to her that day explain the strange and beautiful ways her writing process happened. Many points not so dissimilar to my own processes.

I stood in line after her talk and waited with what felt like a hundred eager readers to have her sign my book and snap a photo with her.  I knew as I stood amongst the crowd in that church that this process would give me the opportunity to only be another face that she would likely forget, but I waited anyway. When finally the line dissipated, I walked around the table and crouched alongside Miss Atwood, whispered my name, and told her that the wait had been worth it. She looked at me strangely at first perhaps because everyone before me had stood upright and proper beside her to pose for their photo.  I handed my phone to a stranger and for a brief moment, sat elbow to elbow with a Canadian icon.

The image lived on my fridge for months after - through the beginning drafts to the word slaughter of my novel.  Beneath it lived a quote by Ray Bradbury, "You only fail if you stop writing."

My daily reminders to chase my dreams.

Find the moments

Maybe life is like the sunset.

Brilliant bursts of colorful light that saturates the sky

and paints the landscape

in wide brushstrokes of radiance.

But, only for a few fleeting minutes a day. 

What if we took the time to chase it- life -

like some of us do the sunset.

What if we made it our mission to find the moments in our days,

in our years,

in our lives,

that flood us with a magnifying beauty so enrapturing 

that all we can do is stand in awe.

Watching.

Breathing.

Being.

And waiting for it to happen all again tomorrow. 

The sun rises and sets every day.

Maybe we just need to chase the color we have been missing -

And feel the light breeze on our skin

as we exhale.

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Welcome to my blog.

Coralee.

Sunset over my happy place

Sunset over my happy place