Author: Laura Harvey

The Beach on Christmas. For Dad.

My father loved to the go the beach on Christmas Day.  When I lived in Kansas City, he would call on Christmas and tease me that he had just returned from the beach, and then he would ask me how the weather was in Kansas City?  He always rubbed it in, which I didn’t mind, because I loved Southern California just as much as he did.

Full Moon Meditation

Tonight, the night of the full moon, I meditate. Lying in a circle of mostly strangers in the grass. In a park above the ocean. Cool and breezy. My sweater wrapped around my body. Listening to our leader’s cues, imagining my body filled with light and energy, grounded to the earth. I breath in deeply, then exhale, allowing my thoughts to settle, being gentle with myself. I open my eyes and let them settle on the dark blue sky above me, allowing my body to sink into the soft grass. When was the last time I lay in the grass and stared at the sky? In the cool night air? The sound of the waves filling my ears? Soaking in the beauty of this moment, I am calm and at peace. And happy. And filled with love.

Why Writing Is Worthwhile (even when you are unsure what you are writing or why)

“I am a writer.” “What are you writing?” “Well … Nothing in particular … Lots of things, but not one thing specifically … I mean, nothing I can publish or anything … I mean, nothing ….” Does this sound familiar to anyone?  I hope I’m not alone in this. Why all the qualifiers? What makes our writing worthy or unworthy?  Does it have to be published to be worthy? Are we real writers if we don’t have a specific project in process?  What gives our writing value? We writers like to place our thoughts onto the page. We like to string words together. We like to play with them. We pull over to the side of the road while we are driving just to scribble thoughts on scraps of paper before they fly out the window. Our writing is worthwhile, just because we do it, but here a few more reasons why: “Morning pages” are worthwhile, even though they’re often grammatically-incorrect ramblings. Getting our thoughts and feelings out of our heads and onto the page …

Saturday Morning.

Slept. Woke. Checked time on cell phone. 6 AM. Pushed away dog’s face licks. Snuggled into covers. Pushed away dog nibbles. Got out of bed. Peed. Put on coat. Attached leash to dog’s collar. Walked around buildings. Dog peed. Startled by walker. Dog barked. Apologized. Returned home. Removed leash. Crawled back in bed. Slept with dog 2 more hours. Woke up. Prepared pot of coffee. Showered. Redressed in PJs. Dog nibbled on ankles. Changed clothes. Attached leash. Walked around buildings. Dog peed. Avoided man walking dogs. Gave treats. Walked more. Dog peed. Returned home. Poured cup of coffee. Picked up laptop. Sat on porch. Typed. Sipped coffee. 9 AM, called mom. Inquired about night. Received report of good night’s sleep. Mom responded to dad in another room. Dad needed attending. “Can I call you back in a few minutes?” “Yes, of course.” Mom called back 5 minutes later. Chatted about nurses. Planned my trip to farmers market. Listed items needed: yellow beans, summer squash, strawberries. Ended call. Texted list of items to phone. Sipped coffee. …

I don’t understand …

I don’t understand why some dogs bark at all other dogs. I don’t understand how anyone would think Donald Trump should be the actual president. I don’t understand why it’s harder to lose weight than it is to lose your mind. I don’t understand whether it’s better to have high expectations or low. I don’t understand why people judge one another so harshly. I don’t understand why it’s so hard to recognize our shared humanity.  

Thoughts about being 12

[NOTE: I found this tonight in my drafts folder from 2011. I wrote it when my youngest son was 12.] I headed over to the park to make an appearance at my son’s sixth grade picnic. It’s a beautiful day, the sun is shining the wind is blowing. There is a certain perfection to days like these, when it’s just so sweet and easy. No hurries today. I laid under the covers late this morning. The house was quiet. The breeze was blowing outside. I could only hear weekday sounds — the birds and the breeze. No lawnmowers or gas trimmers. No cars driving down the street. It was a sleepy, quiet late Thursday morning. Even the dog was sleepy, wondering what I was doing here. I would have thought he’d be more excited to have company, but instead he gave me a look of sleepy irritation and ambivalence. Yesterday we were milling around in the storm shelter for an hour and a half during the tornado warning, trying to reach our children on their cell phones, trying to hear what the weatherman was …

Me

Flats of various colors and designs Tank tops with cardigans Curly hair Long legs Coffee – no sugar, no sweetener, no flavoring Sunsets Fresh flowers Poetry Classical music The Jam, English Beat, Violent Femmes Smiling Sunshine Dogs Walks Journals Lists Baking Home cooking A good cry Therapy Flight Friends Meditation Introspection Writing Judgment Quiet Asthma inhaler Two sizes too big Thoughtfulness Strength Cold beer Ginger ale Busy Caring Courage Critical eye Unattached Blue Being loved

On Running Late

I woke up 15 minutes early this morning in an attempt to not be late, because for the last few weeks, it seems that every day we (my teenage son and I) leave later and later. And so I thought today, I will not get on my phone right out of the shower. Because I love to lay back down in bed right out of the shower and grab my phone. But that always makes me late. Because if I get on my phone, somehow like one minute turns into 15 mintues. And then I get dressed, and then I make the lunches, and then I put my makeup on, and then I’m late. So today I thought I would make our lunches before I got dressed for work. And not get on my phone. I started to bring my lunch to work recently in an effort to eat less crap (carbs and processed foods). So now I make a lettuce wrap, apple slices, a bag of nuts and a bag of veggies for myself and I make a sandwich …

My Disappearance

Over the course of the last two years, my life has been in flux. I moved 1600 miles away from my home, my oldest son and my best friend.  I left a 25-year marriage.  I gave up a 10-year career.  I have ceased to be a presence in a number of people’s lives, and they have ceased to be a presence in mine. To some who love me, or used to love me, some friends, some relatives, quite a few colleagues and coworkers, and a handful of neighbors, in a way, I have disappeared. I no longer live next door. I no longer work with you. I no longer see you in the coffee shop each morning. You no longer read my words. You no longer stop in my office on your way down the hall. You no longer consider me your sister-in-law or your wife. We are no longer Facebook friends. I am no longer your lunch buddy or your team member. You no longer wave hello. You don’t see me at church. You don’t see me walking my …