Mother Nature's Icy Castles

When Mother Nature knocks on your door, you get down on your knees and pray. 

You pray for your family, your self, your neighbors, the people around you.

You lose all safety, in an instant. 

You lose the ground you have been on. 

The physical world around you becomes a threat, an enemy and you pray for Mother Nature to stop the storms, the ice, the cold and to cradle you like she did before. 

Before when it was warm, and you had food. 

And the sun was speaking to you. 

I live in Austin, Texas and in the last few days we were thrown into an eerie and cold world where snow looked like glue, and the air stopped breathing around us. 

We were met with an unwavering icy stillness. 

It was like we were on our own, away from everyone. 

Almost as if planet earth held us upside down for a week, while everyone was watching to see if we could hang on. We hung on. 

In the midst of undrivable roads, contaminated water, freezing indoor temperatures we saw people helping their neighbors. 

Furniture shops opening their doors, drivers with pick up trucks helping those stuck on the icy roads. 

As I am writing this letter to you, the temperature just started to rise and by the time you get this, the eerie, glue-like ice will be melting.

Mother Nature will be moving on from us, leaving us with almost nothing and bruised knees from all the praying. 

Wherever you are today, whether you live in Texas with me, or in a small town in Ireland. Down under in Australia.

Know that no matter how scary this week has been, it will end. 

Nothing lasts forever. 

Not even Mother Nature’s Icy castles. (Click to tweet!)

Not even sticky ice. 


With warm blankets,


Three Seconds of Courage

Birds are brave. 

Not because they fly too high, but because they fly too close. 

Too close to our homes and us. 

In the last few days I have had so many birds get close to my windows. 

They fly, they stay for a few seconds and then they fly away. 

I realized that this is how courage may look like for birds. 

They step close to the edge for a few seconds and then return to comfort, which for them, is the sky. I learned that courage looks very different for every person. 

For every single one of us courage reflects the many pieces of our story. 

It is as unique as our DNA. 

Courage for you today may look like simply walking outside to take a deep breath. 

For someone else, courage is responding to a text from an ex husband after years of silence. Courage could be putting on a dress you last wore at a dinner with the person you loved and lost. It could be playing the piano for the first time since you were a kid. 

Courage is not always the gigantic leap of faith but a quiet step towards the other side of your personal version of fear. (Click to tweet!)

Being brave can never be compared with someone else’s kind of brave. 

What is considered courageous to you could be a walk in the park for someone else. 

That should never make you think that you are not brave. 

You are brave when you choose to take a shower after days of not having the strength to do so. 

When you choose to respond to an email that has been waiting in your inbox for weeks. 

When you get up in the morning knowing it will be a hard day and you get up regardless. 

When you look at an old photo even though it breaks your heart. 

For someone who is in constant pain every day, courage may look like just simply opening their eyes and breathing and deciding to take another breath regardless of how difficult the first one was. 

Courage sometimes is simply the ability to step inside your own pain and stand in it for three seconds before you step out. 

These three seconds make you brave.

You better not forget that. 

Today, tomorrow or every day after that. 


With many unforgettable three second courage intervals,


P.S. Listen to this week’s podcast with the magical SARK here.

Together Forever

Oh life, you are so complex.  You give, you take.  We ask.  You respond.  We live.  We die.  We lose.  We cry.  We mourn.  We reenter.

My daughter is going to college in the fall.

She was six when her dad died.

Her sister was four.

We began a journey together.

The three of us.

And every night, we would hold hands.

And whisper to each other.

Together forever.

Together forever.

Me and the girls.

We became one.

To make it through.

To live. After him.

And we did. We got here.

Together forever.

Now the oneness expands.

So she can leave.

So she can go on beyond the house.

Beyond the three of us.

And when she does, life... please give to her.

You already took so much.

So let her have a little more.

I know it doesn’t work this way.

But I will always ask.                        

Her sister will ask

And as I am about to finish this letter, he comes in too.

Whispers from another world.                      

Far and beyond.

Together Forever.

With whispers and chills,


P.S. We featured some new writers on our Second Firsts site this week.

Our health contributor, Leanne Ely, talked about making dinner for one here

Our new author contributor, Brian C. Taylor, wrote about guilt here

Our new author contributor, Kelley Lynn, wrote about dating again here