Posted by: alegra22 | November 7, 2010


 “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
-Dr. Seuss

The sun has peeled away the thick skin of winter and I remember – beneath the surface my life is full of light. I look around to once again discover I am living in paradise. My skin is starting to darken, my eyes shift from amber to hazel. I shed my winter clothes in the same way my mind and spirit step away from the gnawing ambition and drive that seem to overtake me during the winter months. With a shift in the air and temperature, my priorities are summarized by white sand falling through Joaquin’s fingers, the rhythms of the shore break, the conversations with my children, and the whisper of my old surfing self growing louder and louder. I want nothing more than to glide along the surface of a wave and rest in the laughter of family and friends.

We only get to enjoy this summer  for a few short weeks before we pack up our family, board a plane, and go backwards into winter. My body rebels against the thought of it but my mind understands that we are sacrificing one kind of summer for another: Disneyland, family, reunions with beloveds, feasting, playgrounds, holiday celebrations and laughter are waiting for us.

For the last six years we have been in a cycle of striving and surviving. The last six months have taken it to an extreme. Through death, hospital stays, late nights, weekends away from one another while I toiled away at the novel and thesis, we’re finally emerging into a new season of our lives.  I didn’t expect this season to arrive with a painful immunization shot, but it did, and I find myself unexpectedly grateful. Without getting into too many details, things did not go as planned with the submission of my completed manuscript and it has strengthened my resolve while dissolving my attachment to the outcome. 

I have yet to confront a bogeyman that wasn’t really an opportunity in disguise. The initial ‘hard lesson’ of the situation gave me the opportunity to let go of some fears that have defined me since childhood. 

As I finish my thesis and wait on revisions for the novel, I have let go of my fears of rejection and failure. There is no finish line to cross. I am unconcerned with the road ahead of me. My striving should be born out of joy, not an attempt to achieve it.

Yesterday, Joaquin said his first word, “Mama.”

After hours spent helping Sol figure out systems to organize his room, the conversation dividing again and again until I felt like my thoughts were fragile, translucent roots, he looked at me and smiled. There are rare moments of perfect connection with Sol, and this was one of them. In that moment, I knew: He felt understood. He felt loved. 

Last night Zaviera cried out for me in the middle of the night over and over until it pulled me out of a dream. She was saying, “Mommy, I’m waiting for you. Mommy, I want  you. Mommy, I need you.” I crawled into bed with her and said, “I’m here.” For the first time in several years of feeling divided between too many things, I said it with complete confidence. I wrapped my arms around her and fell back into dreams of a younger self.

I have been carrying the Desiderata around in my day planner for over ten years now. I am a slower learner, but I feel like I am finally listening:

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.




  1. tino rawe wahine ataahua, taku whaiapo

    to tane

  2. You are beautiful and it’s been such a joy to witness your journey these last few years. I’m excited to see where the waves take you!

    • I feel the same about you. It’s been more than four years now!

  3. You’ve been riding the waves all along. And, like the pheonix, you are rising out of the cold ash of winter.

    • xoxoxox
      I could use some REAL waves!

  4. I have been reading your blog for the past few months now, and I wait impatiently for your next post. This one brought tears to my eyes.
    As a fellow mother and writer struggling to find balance between children and work and simply getting by, it fills me with joy to see that you have found an equilibrium and released yourself from the race (that never ends). Thank you for sharing your journey so beautifully.

    • Thank you for this comment. I woke up to it this morning and it set the tone for my day.

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