I have been working on finding the beauty in each day. It’s a practice that serves to bring lightness to my heart and thoughts, and make sure I am taking the time to stop and appreciate.

It’s easy on days like today where I was up in the mountains immersed in green and rock and the wildflowers I kept obsessively taking pictures of so I could take a smidge of the wonder with me, followed by writing on my front porch surrounded by what I affectionately call my secret garden: the peonies and hanging baskets and violas blooming creating a kind of floral wall that keeps the quiet beauty of this space in, and the noisy gaze of the world out.

As I’m writing today I remember that last Saturday marked the 4 year anniversary of when I first began Sunshine In Winter. I meant to write a post noting the occasion last week, but time sort of slipped away from me and wound itself around other things; I am learning more and more these days to release expectations of how the day was supposed to look and just take it as it comes. As it turns out, last week’s anniversary post comes to me today.

One can learn a great deal from keeping a blog. How to create. How to be a better writer. How to work on perfecting your work while not being a perfectionist. How to sign up for something and stick to it.

How to find a thicker skin and not attach too much meaning to numbers and likes: you write a poem that resonates and gain a few followers, you write another poem that doesn’t and you lose some. Some of the people who used to drop in regularly stopped dropping in after I started writing about the loss of my brother, and a few new faces, who connected with the theme of grief, arose.

People sort of come and go I’ve learned, and I always figure my words will connect with the right people at the right time. Pretty much like all relationships in life: there is an ebb and flow to the timing and a synchronicity to the criss-crosses in our paths.

No, numbers aren’t really the best measure for this blog. What it really comes down to is the whole reason I started writing here in the first place- I wanted to find my voice and write my truth. That’s the yardstick that anchors the content: authenticity.

Whatever I write has to be a reflection of where I’m at in that moment. Whether it’s a simple poem reflecting a lesson I am working on learning to embody or a soul searing essay that allows me to get down to the heart of matters in my own life. Four years of blogging about all sorts of themes and topics all stitched together with my truth.

The truth is not always beautiful. Unlike the riot of flora keeping me company in my happy porch space sometimes it’s harsh and ugly. Alienating. Lonely. Isolating. Revolutionary. Brave; it sure does require a lot of guts to own it, even more so to own the fall out of speaking it.

No, the truth isn’t always beautiful, but the act of speaking it and then living it will take you to a more beautiful place. One that is landscaped with greater authenticity and the courage to continue making decision that are in alignment with the real you. And there is always beauty where the truth of who we are resides.

Four years of writing about all the joys and scars and wounds and loves, and I’ve become so in touch with my voice I couldn’t lose it if I tried. It’s a long way to come, the lonely but resilient girl who began this blog to find her way in life after a divorce and breaking of self, replaced by a woman who knows her place in this world and knows how to belong to herself.

There is exquisite beauty in the journey isn’t there? When we look back on the steps that have led each of us to our particular times and space, when we can see the full of our own becoming, when we can see the evolution of our own heart; there is so much truth to be found here.

Life is calling me forward these days, into something I can’t quite see, but whose threads I can feel brushing against my mind and my heart spinning out something to come . The strands are laced with gossamer grace: My books. Kauai. My mother. My brother. Greater courage. Massive change. A call towards lightness after all the heaviness. I can see these strands tangled up in one another creating a picture I can sense but don’t have full vision of; some of the most beautiful weaves sewn with the truth of sorrow.

Four years ago I would be restless and impatient to know what the full picture looked like, I’d want it right now!, yet now, I calmly wait.. Now I have lived the truth that Rome wasn’t built in a day, all seasons need to run their course, and the thousands of truths I’ve written on this site didn’t just appear overnight: Life is always in process, and so are we.

The full vision will come when it’s time, and for now I am content to find the beauty of day in the simple joy found in the full bloom of a pink peony on a soft Saturday afternoon.

Taking it as it comes.