In her treehouse the light pours across the cut camellias
and mug of peppermint tea,
steam tendrils rising against a periwinkle sky
The ancient typewriter sits on the shelf keeping guard
over all the books, so many words drawn in wise tenderness
by writers before
She arranges the rocks and the miniature roses on the antique desk,
decides against music so she can sip quiet sunlight with her tea
Three little ones and her love unveiled this room
on the occasion of her birthday eve,
at the end of two journals,
when snow blank pages greeted her
She’d only just said goodbye to her word-loving people,
hugged them long round necks and shoulders,
swallowed the timbre of their voices and smiles,
whispered prayers and thanks
She returned to the house thirty minutes before her family,
caught sight of a few balloons and streamers and stayed put,
so as not to spoil a surprise
The four of them pulled up with auntie, her sister,
fresh off the airplane,
and then came tumbling through the door,
not a moment too soon
She gulped it down, every touch that said
I see you and love you
and savored joyous folds of the full day after
Now when it is time to write,
instead of down, she walks up stairs
to where it’s warm,
and her eyes hold branches and sky,
and she hears the birds like friends
She begins to unwind inky strands
onto the blank page,
choosing the beginnings of all she’ll weave
into this new nest
Oh, the conference and oh, my 40th birthday and oh, so much! It does seem that poetry sometimes helps me begin to find my way when I can’t capture all the words. And there are so many words. All the celebrations with my most dear family and friends, time two weekends ago with precious high school girlfriends and 24 hours this last weekend with some of my treasured writing people has left me so full. I am walking around awe-filled and grateful, joyously muttering, “All IS grace.”
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I couldn’t possibly be happier that your nest in the sky is built and that THIS is where you will now go to wrap the words you send us. (How fitting that the way you go so deep would be taken to high places!) Happy happiest birthday dear girl! How your family loves you!!! (And how beautiful is this poem!)
I love how you’ve said that, Ma. That word picture of yours is a significant one for me as I think about writing. I am so appreciative for all the ways you made my day incredibly special. I love you.
What a great birthday surprise! Ashley – I was so glad to see you this past weekend. A highlight for me!
Same here, dear Kelly! You are a complete delight and radiate love from your pores. I’m thankful you were there (here)!
That is so very cool. What a wonder-filled surprise that I know will see many, many wonderful pennings.
Thank you, Keith. I’m looking forward to continuing to make this place my own!
Happy Birthday again and again. Take more pictures, please. Though your poetry is like a photograph. I imagine you and your words there in the sky. How fitting, you would be closer to heaven with your heavensent gift. I love the thought of you there. Makes me smile so big
I will definitely take more photos, friend! I’m so thankful my family carved out this niche for me, and now I have the privilege of making it what it’s to be! Hoping to do some (writing types of) nesting this weekend. Yes, more pictures to come! Thanks for your joy for me, dear Elizabeth.
:) When you get settled in, come guest post at my place. That would be lovely for me.
Elizabeth, I would be so honored to guest post at your beautiful corner of the world. Thank you for extending the invite!
that is the sweetest gift. what a perfect little spot. your very own branch :)
how precious to be able to write sometimes and maybe hear your wee ones sleeping in the early hours or late. they want you close. I love how they encourage and cheer you on in your gifts that God has given you. happy birthday again. ps- u look 25, o’captain my captain :)
My very own branch. :) I’m so blessed with the ways my love birds encourage me to sing my song. You should see my space now. It’s inspiring me. I love you, Cap’n Kinny. So excited for your Aussie adventures. Can’t wait to hear all the stories!
Beautiful poem! I am absolutely thrilled for you in this special surprise of your own “writing room” or “treehouse”….What an incredible 40th birthday gift from those you love!
Thank you my friend for rejoicing in my joys with me! I love you!
Ashley, that room looks like it was plucked straight out of heaven! What an amazing amazing gift! I loved what you said about being seen and valued. God has been speaking to me so much about that lately. This is a beautiful image and a beautiful poem. I felt like I was climbing the stairs and stealing away to a peaceful place for a moment.
I am so glad it gave you a moment of peace, Kim. I’m immensely grateful for the grace of this space and this love, and I desire more than anything to share from that place. I’ve just spent the afternoon decorating my new writing room and filling it with more personal touches. I’m praying that God breathes new life into my words from this inspiring little “tree house.” Thanks for joining me.
Ashley, this is so amazing. I love it for you, so much. May your room be blessed with a continual atmosphere of peace and a tangible sense of His Presence. Love you, friend! And happy birthday again!! So thankful for you.
Thank you, dear friend. I receive your love, joy and blessing. I love you!
Just beautiful Ashley. So happy to know you are so loved.
Dear Dea, such a joy to see your face here. I sure miss you and will be visiting soon.
So, so lovely!
Thank you, Christie! Makes me happy every time I see your face (or your words).
“decides against music so she can sip quiet sunlight with her tea” – this… this made me tear up and turn off my music because… well – because who doesn’t want to grow up one day and write just like you?
Love you friend!
You are too good to me, Karrilee.
Oh Ashley this is so lush and warm.
Thank you for sharing your poetry.
What a wealth of all the best words and
really what a happy wealthy life…that is truly the best part.
Happy Birthday Ashley may your 40’s bring you even
more surprises and rooms full of loved ones.
Thank you, dear Helen, for blessing me here. I do hope to see you again soon!
Absolutely beautiful. Happy birthday, sweet lady. I’m oh so glad I got to be one of those faces you saw at the conference, and I was blessed by your words. I pray for a stunning year for you!
Marcy, grateful for you…and for the blessing of meeting your sweet self. The conference was sure a great way to begin my 40th year. :)
It was so wonderful to see beautiful you!
And you, Elizabeth! Can’t wait for that date. I’ll message you.
So happy for you, Ashley! This is just the kind of space I imagine you in writing, a beautiful little physical swath of home this year in your journey of finding Home in God – the serenity and ambiance, the flowers and sky and bird songs and stillness, too. Sigh. Simply perfect. xoxoxo
Oh, Amber. Thank you for making that connection between this space and my journey of finding Home. It does feel beyond anything I deserve, but that’s grace, isn’t it? I’m so grateful. And I love you.
Whew…Ashley. This is just beautiful – your poem, this incredible gift they’ve so lovingly given you – you. So deeply touching.
I love you, my friend.
I love you, Julia. And to see you last week, too…what a beautiful addition to my birthday celebration. You are a gift.
Dear Ashley, I’m so behind on your writings (as well as Jennifer and Summer, who I also Love), but wanted to let you know how special it is to read this piece! I’m so happy, happy, happy you have such a loving family and your wonderful new space to contemplate and receive your words…. which are such a blessing for all of us! Bless you, dear girl, and thank you! What a lovely Birthday!
I’m so thrilled that you’ve connected with Jennifer and Summer (they’re both so wonderful!). I am beyond grateful for this precious, loving family I’ve been blessed with, for this room and for friends like you who celebrate this gift with me. Much love, Kelly!
Oh my Ashley!
I am thrilled that you have your writing nest!!! What a gift!!!
It sure is! Can’t wait for you to see it! Missing you!