Baby Steps

It’s 10:30am. I’m still in my robe enjoying my second cup of coffee, while listening for the second load of laundry to alert me it is ready for my attention. The sun is shining brightly through the windows, showing off the later morning sky beyond my view. The house is quiet in this moment. It’s peaceful, and a part of me just wants to stay here and not think about anything! 

© Photo by Shelley Bauer

A day ago, I was standing together with many passionate people, finding our voice and expressing our values. It became clear to me this is a time in history like no other. Today, I’m reflecting after an extraordinary experience where deep convictions stood alongside empathy and love. I’m grateful to have participated in this first step.

© Photo by Shelley Bauer

Looking at this scene from inside the Capital building I can feel all over again the love present, the “heart-math” energy extending out and all around the globe. It’s a unifying time of connected passion, reaching out with threads of hope towards something greater than this moment, these moments; us and we. One leader during the march spoke about the darkness of this time we are moving into, then gently, yet with conviction reminded us that stars shine bright in the darkest of night; we are each one star. Truth and power here, Yes! The kind that moves beyond the political realm of things for me. 

© Photo by Shelley Bauer

Yesterday on the bus, when each of us stood up and spoke our name and our reason for going to the March, I shared that “I had never done anything like this before, that it was my intention to find my voice for the children”. Now I’m thinking about that, already having begun to take steps to make a difference for the little ones in my own community. I’m truly energized by this. I’m taking baby steps once more, likely to teeter my way along as I walk into uncomfortable opportunities, hopefully serving and learning and growing too.  

© Photo by Shelley Bauer

I begin this post-inaugural week, wondering where this all will take me, I’m reflecting on the words of President Lincoln, spoken at his first inaugural address, precisely 100 years before I was born.

“I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

They comfort me now in this very dusky time, Lincoln’s wisdom opening up tiny cracks for light to peak through my own darkness. I’m allowing it in, seeing this recent experience as a preparation for something more.

© Photo by Shelley Bauer

A day ago walking under the blue sky with thousands of other hearty souls around our state capital, I felt my heart swell. Today folding laundry in the warmth of sun light streaming in, I accept the challenge to harness the energy created from this calling together of humanity, to not retreat back to my comfort zone, but instead seek out community and follow the call of the sign I carried that read “Be Brave Together!” I’m not an activist by nature, but surely I can act by taking steps, little ones, hard ones, continuing to find my voice so that I may strive to live up to the “better angel of my own human nature.” 

An Opening

Once I walked through narrow streets lined with old beautiful doors, wandering.  Mesmerized by small reflections of light on some; by the unique and individual characteristics of craftsmanship on many. My imagination was drawn in with a curious wonder. Now I see in this magical essence there, an opening…


“Attention is the doorway to gratitude, the doorway to wonder, the doorway to reciprocity.”  ~ Robin Wall Kimmerer

© Photo by Shelley Bauer




Walking into the forest, the butterflies hung from the Oyamel Fir trees, their bodies thickly stacked together for warmth and protection from predators. They were more than a presence these beautiful creatures, filling every branch and inch of tree trunk with their fading colors. I could sense the mystery of their whispering wings fluttering all about. It was a magical moment, a surreal sight of wonder and awe. It would be years later before I would understand that although the mind may sense a subtle call, for any transformation to truly begin the heart must be willing to make a connection and listen.


                                photo credit shelley bauer