I have been sitting near rivers lately. The Rogue, tumbling and hurried and gathering itself to burst forward in gasping sprints. The Umpqua, slowed by the deep horseshoe bend in front of the cabin, a spoon lazily stirring cream in a cup. Ospreys and eagles and those improbably enormous buzzards flying overhead. Everywhere a riotous cacophony of green.

All three of my boys like to be active in the water, tossing time-flattened skipping stones or casting fishing lines or easing into that first full-body immersion. I’m happiest in a chair with a book in my lap, as content and still as a lizard on a hot rock. I can feel the weight of the sun on my skin, I feel dopey with the heady pleasure of it. I imagine, somewhere inside me, a charging battery that will get me through the dark winter months.

At some point I put down my book and tip my head back. Breathe in, all that buzzing warmth filling my chest. I can hear laughter and splashes, see flashes of striped swim trunks and the glint off my husband’s sunglasses. Mom! someone cries happily. I smile and wave and I look at the water and I cannot imagine how it all works. How it came to be that this particular ripple, this one right here, has traveled its great unknown journey to splash against this riverbank where I’m sitting with my family. Everything that has led to this exact moment. Every tiny thing that could have changed the trajectory, every unpredictable destination ahead. And on and on it goes, never stopping. The water is forever, and I’m left believing in something like luck, or if not that, believing in my own gratitude. A breeze sighs through the valley, every leaf dances then stills. Everything around me speaks of the uselessness of focusing on the past or future. There is only this, and my god, my god, it is so glorious.


52 Responses to “Only this”

  1. marilyn on June 9th, 2014 2:08 pm


  2. Jakki on June 9th, 2014 2:10 pm

    I love when you write with humor, I love when you do picture montages… But oh how I adore reading your words that make me thankful to be alive (and a little bit teary to boot). Thank you so much for this, it was a fantastic reminder to stop and breath.

  3. Penne on June 9th, 2014 2:43 pm


  4. Anne L. on June 9th, 2014 4:27 pm


  5. CA Plough on June 9th, 2014 5:39 pm

    Sounds like my version of heaven. I’m glad for you. You deserve it.

  6. jody on June 9th, 2014 5:58 pm

    Love it! You are so good at painting a picture with words. I’m probably picturing it nothing like it really is, but I feel like I could be sitting there beside you with a book in my hands. :) Speaking of which, I just noticed the books in your sidebar (I usually read you through feedly), and I loved those, too! If that means we have similar taste in books (not sure), you might want to read “Me Before You” and “The Language of Flowers” if you haven’t already. Read both of those in the last year and loved them. (Both are kind of heavy at times, but lovely and amazing and I cannot let go of the characters!)

  7. Angella on June 9th, 2014 8:56 pm

    Love. This, and you guys. xo

  8. sooboo on June 9th, 2014 9:03 pm

    This gave me chills. So nice to read. It’s inspiring to me that you can be in the moment and enjoy your life.

  9. Melinda on June 9th, 2014 9:07 pm

    This is fantastic. Thank you.

  10. Lucy on June 9th, 2014 11:51 pm

    How true! Beautifully written.

  11. Robin on June 10th, 2014 3:21 am

    I do the exact same thing… Marvel at the string of moments that had culminated in these rocks, tumbled; these children, sparking, laughing. Rivers are good for that, rendering time and grace without preaching. The abundance is palpable.

    Thank you for sharing this moment so beautifully.

  12. Jean on June 10th, 2014 4:43 am

    Spectacular/moving/thought-provoking….your writing and the way it makes me feel….well done…

  13. June on June 10th, 2014 6:47 am

    You sound so happy… I am happy for you!

  14. Hillary on June 10th, 2014 7:53 am

    That was just lovely.

  15. Maggie on June 10th, 2014 9:04 am


  16. Jillian on June 10th, 2014 11:26 am

    Please write things I can pay you to read! Short stories, novels, whatever.

  17. Mariya on June 10th, 2014 1:18 pm

    Gorgeous. Wow, can you write!

  18. too busy for very long hairdressing routines take advantage of this simple and easy hints and tips! on June 11th, 2014 4:22 am

    discount nike blazers…

    too busy for discount nike shoes very long hairdressing routines nike store online take advantage of this simple and easy hints and tips!

    the important belongings you sees about one is their hair. because of, discount nike dunks It is so importa…

  19. Amy on June 11th, 2014 8:24 am

    I’m with Jillian! You should be Writing with a capital W.

  20. Telegirl on June 11th, 2014 9:23 pm

    Beautifully stated. I have also been looking around at what is in my life and feeling the same sort of awe. How is it possible that my life (while not perfect, mind you) has ended up to be so amazingly terrific? I am thankful every day for everything I have been granted, for every moment…

  21. Kathryn on June 12th, 2014 7:33 am

    The power of nature is real. Thanks so much for capturing this perfectly.

  22. H on June 12th, 2014 12:58 pm

    Absolutely lovely.

  23. Mary Clare on June 13th, 2014 6:47 am

    What a picture you painted! Enjoy.

  24. Staci on June 14th, 2014 4:45 pm

    Simply beautiful.

  25. Michelle on June 15th, 2014 4:07 am

    Just lovely. <3

  26. Amy on June 16th, 2014 10:32 am

    Thanks for this. Beautiful in every way.

  27. Kelli on June 18th, 2014 6:55 am

    This is one of the most beautiful things you have ever written. Thank you.

  28. My Writing Process: MBG Edition on June 18th, 2014 7:32 am

    [...] start to think I might actually be getting good at this blogging thing, Linda posts something like this that says to me clearly, “Go home, [...]

  29. ASL on June 19th, 2014 10:43 am

    I’ve been thinking about this ever since I read it last week. It’s just…perfect. I love how–if we’re quiet and let her–Mother Nature will offer us the perspective we need to appreciate the everyday, ordinary joys in our lives. It’s enough, you know? These moments are enough to fill a heart and life.

  30. bxlcqgixl on June 24th, 2014 5:40 pm

    Only this : All & Sundry
    bxlcqgixl http://www.gx79e25212d8dq47bh3aool1jw005u7us.org/

  31. Erin on July 4th, 2014 12:33 pm

    Gorgeous writing. Those moments of gratitude help me through the always suffocating string of long parenting days. Like coming up for air. And seeing clearly why it’s beautiful.

  32. leslie on July 4th, 2014 8:57 pm

    Stunning. Poetry.

  33. Oakley MI1A4 | CE9P4 LV81B5 hollister1922-uk.1minutesite.co.uk/hollister.html on July 23rd, 2014 9:23 am


    . Erinarians. golden medalist around the Marietta Olympics. “H Oakley e’s this brief chap just who fun hollister1922-uk.1minutesite.co.uk/hollister.html ctions that 110 obstructions. They have as a result soft. Everyone else desires John Manley, and …

  34. Emily July on July 28th, 2014 12:04 pm

    gorgeous. perfect.

  35. Anonymous on July 29th, 2014 4:46 am

    You’re amazing, and this piece just blew me away!

  36. http://www.dentonmaryland.com/uploads/Uk.html on September 15th, 2014 1:14 am

    3 square kilometers, the waters area of 3

  37. botas outlet on September 21st, 2014 9:39 am

    That’s agood post.It’s beautiful price enough for me.
    botas outlet

  38. Canada Goose Outlet on September 22nd, 2014 9:47 am

    Contained fires: There’s something innately comforting about a gently crackling, roiling indoor fire, so much so that we’re willing to tune our televisions to a recording of a burning log. Restaurants, looking to amp up the urban log cabin vibe (and the temperature), know this, and the result ranges from high romance (Auberge de Pommier) to high design (Oddfellows). For a non food experience, there’s hardly a toastier place to warm up with a good read than the University of Toronto’s Hart House library.

  39. The North Face Jacken on September 22nd, 2014 8:06 pm

    his is three weeks earlier than normal because of the full implementation of the new PALS system for license purchasing. Applicants can submit their antlerless applications to any county treasurer in Pennsylvania. The antlerless application lists first, second and third preferences for which WMU the antlerless license is requested.

  40. the north face jackets on September 25th, 2014 7:50 pm

    I also put out fabric paint and stencils with fun designs like cupcakes, butterflies, ice cream cones, etc. She starts telling the friend how it a miracle and that the Holy Spirit is blessing her in so many ways!

  41. moncler jackets cheap on September 26th, 2014 10:03 am
  42. * 世界中の人々に人気のニューバランスのスニーカーですfreezons6004 /[送料込] /New Balance / 587 Men's Running ニューバランス587メンズランニング 6004 on September 28th, 2014 1:07 am
  43. burberry bags on October 12th, 2014 8:56 am

    Only this : All & Sundry

  44. burberry bags on October 15th, 2014 1:34 pm

    Only this : All & Sundry
    burberry bags

  45. louis vuitton eyeglasses donation center on October 22nd, 2014 9:31 pm

    Right now it sounds like Wordpress is the preferred blogging platform available right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you’re using on your blog?

  46. cheap uggs on sale on October 23rd, 2014 5:07 pm

    They also boast cushioned footbeds that are easy to remove, Which is great when you have a need or choose to use shoe insert places,

  47. extra large ice hockey jerseys on October 24th, 2014 9:12 am

    Howdy! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog. Is it tough to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about making my own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Thanks

  48. アンテプリマ ソウル 免税店 on October 24th, 2014 9:17 am

    そこヘイヘイ|あなたはどのブログのプラットフォームには、心共有する旨でしょうか?私は今すぐに、近い将来にが、私は難しい抱えている私自身のブログを開始するために探し BlogEngine間に選択を時間を/ Wordpressの/ b2evolutionのとDrupalの。異なる、最もブログをようで、私が何かを探しています完全にユニークあなたので、私が尋ねる理由がある。 PS謝罪取得というのオフトピックが、私は聞いていた!
    アンテプリマ ソウル 免税店

  49. mac costi 524315 on October 24th, 2014 9:27 am
  50. アンテプリマ カタログ on October 24th, 2014 10:29 am

    私は今|サイトのブログ 本当に本当にあなたのデザインとレイアウトを楽しんで。それはなっている目には非常に簡単ですそれがはるか​​に楽しい楽しい私はここに来て、より頻繁に訪問するために。あなたのテーマを作成するために|開発者、設計者あなたが雇うましたか? ファンタスティック極上働く!
    アンテプリマ カタログ

  51. ロンシャン カスタマイズ on October 25th, 2014 8:53 pm

    こんにちは!のためウェブサイトあなたしばらく今、最終的に得た勇気先に行くし、あなたを与えるために|私は読み取り、次のしてきたテキサス Aハフマンから大声で叫ぶ!ちょうどしたかった言う仕事仕事を続けてください!
    ロンシャン カスタマイズ

  52. http://www.cairooil.com/js/home.asp on October 25th, 2014 8:55 pm

    この値段でビルケンが購入できることに感激です! これらのかかとの高い靴 http://www.cairooil.com/js/home.asp 素敵なペアのすべての種類は、販売上の coectionadidasサンダルのコピーでも構いませんアナルはかかわらずちょうどバーゲンショッピングではありませんが、それはあまりにも豪華です! 無料電話帳案内サービスと広告を合体させるアイディアに特許を取っているのだ。

Leave a Reply