Wednesday, June 20, 2012

happy solstice! + beach thoughts

Happy (and hot!) summer solstice to you. Here in New England the temperatures are skyrocketing and while yesterday was chilly and grey, today greets us with temps in the upper 90s and full blown sunshine. I'm not complaining, though. 

I'm celebrating with an afternoon by Lauren's parents' pool down the street (where we spent many a happy afternoon as kids) with rhubarb lemonades and vague attempts to stay cool.

*Update: I'm back from the pool. It takes me a long time to eek out blog posts. This is being written in many, many sittings. The pool was heavenly.*

rhubarb lemonade by the pool

As much as I'd like to be at the beach, we're settling for the pool today (and very, very grateful for it). I'm not far from the beach -- the closest one is only a little over an hour away -- but hardly ever get there. I've been twice already this year, which is more than some summers altogether, and I like it. I love it. The cooler, emptier, out-of-seasoner the better.

I've discovered this newfound love of the ocean fairly recently -- I wasn't always fond of it. The heat, the sand, the sweat, the stickiness, swimming in the harsh waves -- I felt guilty about not liking it, but I just didn't. My father would make us wake up far too early for family beach trips when we were little and undoubtedly we'd leave later than he wanted -- stress, stress, stress. I'd be cajoled into going into the sea with my brother and sister, and almost always end up scared and sputtering with salt water up my nose, afraid of the enormous waves that tore through me.

It wasn't my thing.

Until a few years ago during a family reunion-vacation to Emerald Isle off the shore of North Carolina. There's something about that seacoast that urged me to make it different, to create a better experience for myself. And so one day, I did just that.

I woke up early in the Big Red House (it fit about 20 of us) and brewed some coffee. I grabbed a banana and my journal and headed for the beach. The sky was just turning pink and it was so peaceful. This was a beach I had never experienced before. The gentle crashing of the waves, the cool air, the still sand, the birds chirping. It totally transformed my opinion of the beach. I remember that morning clearly, some three years ago, and cherish it to this day. I wish I still had that journal entry.

loong shadow
morning sun
island sunrise

From there I had love affairs with the coast of Maine. Newport, Rhode Island. More places in Connecticut. Rivers in Florida (not quite the same, but still!). I began to think back and recall my love for Clifton Beach in South Africa. Any beach in South Africa. The western coast of Haiti. I'd always felt the pull, and realized it that morning.

watch hill, rhode island
hammonasset beach
camp ellis
seven sisters, from lion's head, cape town, south africa

I'm in love with the waves. I'm in love with the tides. I'm in love with the long, wide edge on the horizon. I'm in love with its British Romantic feel. I'm in love with sea glass, and shells, and smooth stones. I'm in love with birds flying overhead. I'm in love with digging my feet into the sand. I'm in love with its cadence and rhythm and the grounding it gives me.

So this solstice, I wish for many more trips to the beach. Unknown beaches I've yet to explore and beaches right around the corner.

This summer, it's calling me.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

new moon release

Good new moon morning!

I've had blog posts swirling through my head for days now, and now that I'm here with an unexpected morning off from work and time to sit and write, nothing is coming to me.

So instead I offer you a happy new moon morning. A time for new energy, fresh starts, new beginnings. I'm planning on doing a bit of journalling with my intentions and updating my vision board to reflect what I want to see happen in the coming month. (New moons are great times to create vision boards.)

In the meantime, I'll share some photos that I've wanted to share, but wasn't sure how to incorporate them into a post. A new moon release :)

reflectiondesk artsiblings + puppysleepy mabelhave a good morning, say the eggs!beach treasuresraw strawberry cheesecake

Is anyone else setting new moon intentions or making wishes?

Enjoy your day, loves.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

a moment of stillness

As I stand here, on the precipice of change, my line drawn and looming large before me, I'm appreciating these days of stillness and (somewhat) sense of norm before everything changes. Before my life as I know it begins to take another shape, looks different and feels different, becomes more of what I want it to be.

I'm appreciating things like my old lunch break spot, that I hardly ever frequent anymore now that I've cut back on my daycare hours. A few weeks ago I realized it was still there for me, as forests usually are, and I've begun stopping in for a few minutes after work, here and there, before I hurry home and begin an afternoon of working from my desk.

As soon as my car rounds the turn into the dirt road, my body instantly feels at peace. The trees, the river, the birds that had become so familiar to me in my days of working up the street welcomed me back like I had never left.

I wanted to capture that stillness, to remember these days fondly even when I no longer frequented this space. And so I'm sharing it here with you. 

a moment of stillness from Ruth Clark on Vimeo.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

a tribe of one.


It just feels really important to say this:

This is the blog of a tribe of one.*

This is the blog of a woman still learning her way around her world.

This is the blog of a 24-year old who often feels most connected to her 7-year-old self.

This is the blog of a woman who is living in a teeny bedroom off the dining room of her parents’ house.

This is the blog of a woman who is sleeping alone in a twin bed.

This is the blog of a woman who has only just begun the process of living with awareness, only two years ago.

This is the blog of a woman who often feels like her intuition is nonexistent, still growing into existence.

This is the blog of a girl who wears chipped nail polish and can’t figure out an easy morning routine to get to work on time and is still searching for a real hairstyle and has a hard time keeping plants alive.

This is the blog of someone who is still figuring it all out, utterly humanly.

I read so many blogs of women who appear to be in similar life places, yet who are older or married or have children and careers and soulful businesses of their own and as much as I feel a strong connection to these women and love them wholeheartedly, we're just at really, really different places in our lives and it just feels really important to own my truth that

I am not them.

That is not me. I’m 24 and I’m single and I have no children and I do not live in my own home and my name is not available for a custom domain.

I’m figuring this all out my own way. In my tribe of one.

*A beautiful phrase taken from Susannah Conway, in her new book This I Know.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

the farmers market

coventry regional farmers market, coventry, ctcoventry regional farmers market, coventry, ctmary at the farmers marketcoventry regional farmers market, coventry, ctcoventry regional farmers market, coventry, ctcoventry regional farmers market, coventry, ct

How I've missed you. Since I now can't get enough of organic pastured eggs and finding new things like garlic scapes and strawberry salsa, my Sunday mornings may be spent like this more often.....

(At the Coventry Regional Farmers Market, one of the best in Connecticut.)

Monday, June 4, 2012

in another life, i'd be a party planner.

50th birthday party prep 50th birthday party prep

Over Memorial Day weekend, my sister and I threw my mother a 50th birthday party. We planned for months -- scouring Pinterest for ideas, keeping up with email threads 30 messages long, taste-testing cocktail recipes when Rachel was home beforehand.

We had a vision of a swanky backyard soiree, bigger than our customary summer cookouts but not too out of hand. We had a set menu, a small team of helpers to set up the yard, a good-sized guest list, and lots of excitement.

50th birthday party50th birthday party50th birthday party

A few of our best ideas included saving all kinds of used-up jars for months ahead of time, and lining the stone walls with tea lights once it got dark. We (our brother) strung up white fairy lights from the gutter of the house to the trees, creating a little canopy of lights over the patio. (Thanks, James!) I made a 50 CHEERS FOR 50 YEARS birthday sign and hung it up over the walkway for guests to see, and I even made decorative soda bottle labels to disguise the regular ugly Pepsi labels. Since we had a bunch of kids coming, we set out blankets and cushions for some ground seating. (All matching our "theme" of blue, my mom's favorite color.) Then once it got dark, we projected a slideshow of old photos of my mom onto a white sheet hung up on the shed, and everyone gathered around in lawn chairs to watch.

Unfortunately, we were so busy setting up and making sure everything was running smoothly that we both neglected photo-taking. I'm bummed. But the few photos we did manage to get still make me happy!

50th birthday party50th birthday party, chocolate goddess cake!50th birthday party