All Hallowed

We’ve had some frosty mornings this past week, the world glittering at dawn and sun-fired, gradually warming the carpet of diamonds and rolling it back for a new day.

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I’ve been fallow for a season, it seems. My spirit, my art, my relationships…nothing’s sparked my best effort or finest energy; my words have been encrusted with sorrow and loss, or dwindled down to unspoken altogether. The room around my heart has felt dusty and closed.

But while spring is often the called-upon symbol for rebirth, every gardener knows that autumn works to crack the hardest seeds and shells, and plants green life deeply, to be uncovered when the time is right.


Last Saturday morning, the garden’s dew-scrubbed, vivid brilliance invited my gaze for a time. The shining river flowing beyond provided a pathway for crow gatherings, departing geese, and choirs of red-winged blackbird.

The music of autumn is reverent and mysterious. It beckons.

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I went for a walk early enough in the new day’s life that the only others I met were two men out for their morning run, hushed by the dazzling views, and pausing to share exclamations in stage-whispers, as though full voices would shatter the magic of this enchanted world. “What a morning!” one cried softly, and then, “Oh, wow! Look at the raccoon tracks on the bridge!”

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Such beauty this autumn morning offered up; the former ways of knowing and perceiving could not sufficiently meet it or absorb the utter loveliness of the encounter. A new way to be and breathe and pray was needed. I heard God with my eyes and saw God with my ears and felt so held by the love of the glowing world that I sensed transformation and quiet invitations. A holy language moved through me and I knew I would have to harbor its music and puzzle it out later, when thinking became important again…

For the moment, it was enough to witness and enter the light.

You wouldn’t have thought the day could be improved upon…but it held greater surprises.

Malarky came to join our family, and we have spent our first precious week together at Full Moon Cottage. Routines have altered. Sleep comes in the form of naps that are the end punctuations to long bouts of exploration, play, learning, eating, piddling, and sitting for hugs and kisses.

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He is a smart boy and a dear one. He is my heart’s newest resident, crowded beside so many others who nestle within my love and grace my spirit and days. To be over-brimmed with gratitude is a fine, fine feeling.


Late, late on the night of the full moon, we stepped outside (good boy!) and took a moment to listen to the owls and watch the glittering stars. The entire yard was lit by the moon’s soft glow.

My expectations and weariness regarding the old world are breaking away; all is new, soft, enchanting. Everything must be explored and renamed. 


That holy language flowing through my heart began to find form.

Malarky’s first full moon smiled, shining through the pines and blessing us with hope. My puppy seemed silenced by the view and by something deeper as well, as all newborns carry that connection to mystery we seem to shed as we grow, forgetting the sacred we come from and yearning, always, for the home of our creation. But infants come to teach us the music again: we’re still connected, still held, still being created, here and now.

I will relearn the language; I will study and ponder and bring my finest, fiercest energy to mastering its music in this new year of surprising revelations brought by Malarky, like all the little ones who come to our world reminding us it is all hallowed.


Happy Halloween! May your parties be surprising and fun!



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13 thoughts on “All Hallowed

  1. Oh my goodness you made me cry Kitty!!!! I cannot begin to tell you how incredibly happy you made me feel to know you have a new, baby 4 legged to soothe your heart and massage it back to life again 🙂 I am so glad for you both to have Malarky’s presence there to fill up some of the emptiness I know you have felt. What a wonderful way to enter the holidays….I send you huge hugs and much love and btw, your pictures are gorgeous. You have great talent with your camera. Thinking of you and sending hugs to Malarky as well…..VK


    1. OH, thanks, Hollis; yes, he is sweet, light-filled, and changes everything. We are so happy with his presence. Your great kindness and tender heart always touch me; thank you, sweet friend, for your gentle words and good wishes: Backatcha!


  2. OH!!! I nearly fell off my chair when Malarky suddenly appeared!!! What a MARVELOUS surprise….a sweet little collie who looks just like Annie when she was a puppy! What a fantastic name for such an adorable little chap! I’m utterly thrilled!
    Having recently had puppies after old dogs I can just imagine how he’s turning your lives upside down…..and I’m laughing away, I bet it’s a shock to the system and he’s into everything and you dare not take your eyes off him for a second…
    Now….down to business, SO many questions, a gal needs to know y’see…WHERE did he come from? How old? Are the kitties being haughty and delivering the odd scratch to his nose? Have you had a wink of sleep? Is he attempting to chew through the entire house??? Is he an escape artist?? Are his teeth as sharp as needles? Are you pock marked by puppy teeth?
    This is such a beautiful post, the images are just stunning and ethereal…..I know exactly how you have felt, I’ve been there and know how grief numbs everything and however hard you try to come through it, only time can heal the wounds.
    How lovely to know that chinks of light are entering your heart as you begin a new journey, seen through the eyes of puppykins. A home is not a home without a dog and I’m utterly thrilled that this little angel has come into your care, what a fabulous place for a collie, here he can run like the wind……ahhhhh….you have made my day! Love to you all!xxxxxxx


    1. You’re not kidding! I forgot what parenting puppies entails…15 years erased a lot of the details that are now coming back to me! Yes, chew, chew, chew, and biting a bit: trying all the suggestions in the puppy books I downloaded, and they’re helping, but I sure wish you were down the road from me, Dina! I’d love to have your encouragement and expertise (and humor) at hand.

      Happily, this week, we’re looking forward to temperatures around 70 F/21 C, so that will be better than the rainy days and nights this past week. Malarky is doing well. he’s about 8 weeks old, from a sad puppy mill in Mississippi. We were lucky to adopt him from the Madison Humane Shelter. They had him identified as half lab and half Pomeranian (?!), but our vet and his staff had all kinds of suggestions, too. I think he’ll be smaller than R and C, but that’s OK, because I’m 15 years older than when their puppy power lugged me down the trail, too!

      He and I hang out in a back bedroom that we have set up for him. (Door to the back yard, too!) We play and practice and run and run outside a lot. When he naps, I mollify the cats and get caught up on other work, then back to Malarky for another round. Phillip takes over after he gets home…we’ve started introducing the 4-leggeds to each other and so far, it’s going OK…taking it slow.

      I’m sleeping well. 🙂 Looking forward to the next 6 Tuesday nights: Phillip and Malarky will be going to puppy class, so I’ll have time with cats and photography…provided I can actually take some photos!

      I’m so glad you can share our joy, Dina. I love your words and interest: you are so precious!


  3. Here’s a link to an old blog of mine, most of the pics have disappeared but there is one left of Annie as a ten week old pup looking very like Malarky!!! He must have a dash of collie in him…I have lots of others but I can’t access them as the lappie crashed last year.
    Oh my, I CERTAINLY get the shock to the system, I couldn’t get anything done, I swear human babies are easier!!!
    The only tip I have is re puppy play biting/mouthing, if you yelp, and I’m sure you can yelp beautifully, Malarky will stop nipping, it’s what litter puppies do when the game gets too rough, it seems to be a safety valve….it worked wonders with all my pups!
    Exciting, exhausting times ahead for sure, how I look forward to hearing all about it! I’m pleased to hear the introductions are going well….it’s amazing how such a small critter can alter absolutely everything, but it’s a good thing isn’t it?
    I’m still smiling away…..sending you infinite patience!!! And more….lol…xxx


    1. I read about the yelping and have been doing it. I agree: works great, but–hooray–your reinforcement of this has convinced Phillip to do it, too! THANK YOU!

      He actually sat on P’s lap along with Fergus, Mulligan nearby, this morning. I’m the one with the scratched nose, but it was an accident. The only thing that drives me cray-cray is the piddling. Gad! So hard to anticipate, despite the signs of circling and sniffing. Sometimes, out of the blue and when we’ve just come in, he squats and piddles! Yikes. Glad I took all the rugs out and bought the enzyme spray. 🙂

      Glorious day here; hope yours is blessed. 🙂


      1. PS: Oh, goodness, yes: Malarky looks a lot like Annie! How much does Annie weight? I don’t think Malarky will get too big… I had NO idea Border Collies could have these markings! But it would explain how smart he is and why he likes “jobs!”


        1. I’ve noticed that border collies come in all shapes and sizes, they’re the only breed that hasn’t been messed with as it’s the herding that the farmers like. They do all have the white tipped tail, white paws and a white collar though. I think Annie is about a stone and a half, they take forever to grow, Annie is still growing and she’s four! Ah yes….they are all extremely intelligent and very sensitive too. Btw, Annie was a puppy mill dog too and we got her on 1/11/2011 similar timing to Malarky eh? I think they are the image of each other, when I get pics off the old lappie I’ll send you some! xxx


  4. Kitty, such joy and beauty after such a sorrowful season for you. Malarky – what a darling boy, even if still in potty training 🙂 Your photos and post were pure magic and caught the essence of this mysteriously beautiful season. All joy to you, my friend.


    1. How grand to hear from you, Lynn! Thank you so much. It is lovely to have a wee one about, that’s for sure. tiring, but lovely.

      Our autumn has been lovely, although I’m way behind in the gardens…glad that, for now, it’s warm!

      Wishing you a lovely season!


  5. Loved the post!

    Indeed the ways of the world run contrarian to ‘Stopping by the woods on a snowy evening’ with ‘no time to stand and stare’! And with the increasing role of technology in our lives, the mind needs to operate on too many parallel tracks.

    So as you say, it becomes increasingly important to hold the awareness that we need to remain present in the moment. And as we do this more and more, we also start noticing that the chatter in our mind reduces. That, for me, is a great outcome as it opens us up to new possibilities.

    Would you agree?



    1. Absolutely. Not only does the chatter mute and dissolve–at times–but the ability to hear other music increases, until one is more a listener and witness than an anxious noise-maker. The world has enough of that; time to journey and companion each other in new ways, and yes, beginning with this moment, this holy now. 🙂 Thank you for visiting and taking the time to help the ideas flower, Shakti.


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