The Exponent of Breath

The lady herself.

I suppose I was thirteen or so when I realized that truth could be found outside of textbooks and religion.  The fact that the books I read into the morning could give me something of worth, outside of the already happy prizes delight and diversion, was a pleasant discovery. In my own young way I attempted to make the most of this revelation, seeking books and writers that I thought were disciples of Veritas.

My experiment started with an 8th grade me only partially comprehending the unabridged Les Miserables. When I revisited Hugo and his masterpiece a few years later, it was as if we had never met. Despite shaky starts, there were brief moments of illumination when I felt I understood what great minds and great spirits meant when they wrote the words that outlived them. These intances of connection gave me a sense of communion and happiness. Those words, those thoughts, those truths may never have resided in me naturally. To be given them freely by people I could never meet was a wondrous thing. I still search for them.

I began to think writing was powerful. Man's ability to write - to conceive, capture and execute great ideas - was one of my first proofs of God outside of doctrine and tradition. Adolescence is a funny time. In the same year that I begged my parents for tickets to an n'sync concert, I was also beginning to see letters and their shapes and their gathering into words as something related to the divine.

My favorite teenage discovery was a collection of Emily Dickinson's poems. The book was purchased for it's turn of the century bindings and cherished for the glimpses of truth its browned pages held. There is one poem that I read over and over. The lines and their old type still float across my eyes now and then as I close them for sleep or prayers or hope.

Poem 37 

Love is anterior to life

Posterior to death,

Initial of creation, and

The exponent of breath.

 Sometimes, after I've seen those words and felt them again, I whisper a thank you to a woman that picked up a pen and wrote when truth revealed there was something to say.

Three Hippity Hop Happy Easter Books


Easter is just a few days away and there is still snow on the ground. No matter, we have been reading Easter books for weeks now and their pastel colors have painted our world.

A few of our favorites:


The Golden Egg Book

Margaret Wise Brown understood children. She understood the world they inhabit, one with bright colors that run into one another and nights so long they might not end. Her stories are full of the simple and the grounded. Each one a recited lullaby that captures the joy of childhood while soothing the fears. The Golden Egg Book is no different. A story of a lonely bunny and a little egg. As I read it to my girls each night I hope they learn that they never know where they might find a friend. And that they never have to be alone.

The Black Rabbit

A simple story about a little rabbit afraid of his shadow. There is a game of hide and seek across meadows and rivers and into a deep dark forest. Twists and turns and a wolf with big teeth and fast feet. Until finally, the rabbit discovers that sometimes the things that we cannot leave behind are the ones that give us the most strength.

The Country Bunny and The Little Gold Shoes

I have written about this book before. I love it. Adore it. Cry with breaking voice every time I read it. A lovely little story about a lovely big thing. Because I believe what this story teaches with my whole ever lovin' heart. That mother's are important. That our homes are our best work. That we can find joy and accomplishment outside of them if we wish. And that when we do, we can return to our hearth and babies with our arms full and our hearts ready for another day.