"We're all just walking each other home." - - Ram Dass

Monday, March 18, 2013


Out of the corner of my eye I see you in front of the full-length mirror.

Hands down at your sides, head at the slightest of tilts - weighed by the process of taking in your less than 4-foot frame.

I am frozen by this fearless examination of self.  This candor that radiates from your skin.  I see in your eyes neither criticism or adoration, just curiosity to know yourself by the features that make you.

In my heart, I know that this will not be the only time you stand like this.  Not the only time you take to the mirror to tell you who you are.  So I enter the frame beside you, grab your hand and tell you what I see.

I start with your jawline,
the angled and slowly defining set of it
where you carry your grandmothers strength of will.

Show you that the chocolate color of your eyes
means that your daddy's always with you,
helping you take in this world.

Your rose red lips
are the gates of honesty and truth
wrapped in the slightest of smiles.

That your ears
have been shaped by beautiful music
in stories told, and the sound of your true voice.

That the fluid slope of your shoulders
shimmer with the Norwegian fjords that were braved before you,
and lead to capable hands that worked the land the day your mama was born.

I trace the thin, blue line of vein
just below your skin and tell you
that your blood pumps in iron-ore.

Have you close your eyes as I work up the length of your spine
whispering that it is the birch tree inside you,
slender but so strong.

Brush your hair behind your ear as
I tell you that you carry within you
the seeds of Eden.

That Eve whispered
the Life secret into your womb
while you were still being knit in mine.

Tell you that your laugh...
oh, your beautiful laugh belongs to the fairies.
That it is the song that wakes up spring, stirs the flowers from their slumber.

That your growing legs carry the cool strength
of the drug store counter your great-grandmother worked behind,
kicking up the dust of the Smoky Mountains.

Your feet stand of the foundation of 65 years of marriage
of love that withstood wars, cultures, and burying their own child -
dedication to love through all of life's changes.

I open your palms
and trace the lines
of all of your life yet before you.

Reminding you
of all that is to come ahead
and how you've been written in the stars above.

We lock eyes as I ask you
never to forget to see in your growing and changing frame
all that lies inside you.

You are more than societies latest standard of beauty:
waist size,
eyebrow proportions,
or skin type.

No daughter,
you wear the bones of your ancestors
under your developing skin.

You will walk your family to new places,
expand our history to include your present,
and will face your future with all of us tucked deep within.

{linking with JenHeatherEmily}


  1. Gorgeous Tara, all of it. And we do carry so much more in our frame than what we see in the mirror don't we? So thankful for the reminder, for the way you see that makes me see so much more.

  2. So beautiful and inspiring! Thank you for sharing something so beautiful. <3

  3. The way you tell your little love what you see--the beauty outside, inside and way down deep--it's the way we all need to see our own reflections. Hearing your fierce love, your clarity, your open heart, it gives me courage to whisper these love-words to my own soul. Because ultimately, we must be the ones who love ourselves with the extravagance that you describe. And when we love other with this kind of love, it is in the hope that they will see what we see and in turn love themselves the same way.

    You are mothering us all with your example.

  4. Oh my goodness, what a beautiful and moving post. Visiting from Moms Who Write Comment Love, but I can't wait to check out the rest of your site.

  5. Wow. This is so good. Love this: "You wear the bones of your ancestors"

  6. Beautiful words to build truth and hope into a beautiful girl.

  7. love love love. you and all of yours. gorgeous.

  8. This is gorgeous -- there is so much that the mirror doesn't tell us if we just look at it with the world's critical eyes. This inspires me to see myself and teach my girls to see themselves in a whole new way.

  9. this is pure goodness. as a mother i felt every word and believed it for my little ones.

  10. A blessing of truth.
    My girls, ages 18 and 10, have faced (are facing) the standards of beauty being pressed upon them by society. The continual questioning that we all persist in asking -- am I enough? -- wears us thin and weakens the bones of who we really are, beneath and within.
    This pause, this focus on the parts that make the whole and the weaving of the past and the future into the skin and voice and shape of our girls is vital to strengthening them to face their futures. lovely.

  11. Oh Tara, I'd just bumble over my words trying to describe how gorgeous this post is, how moving... but it so IS. It just is. Thank you.

  12. Oh my goodness gracious sakes alive this is so gorgeous I can hardly breathe. I do hope you print, frame and post this near your daughter's mirror so that she can read it, drink it in and live it out day after day after day. Thank you.

  13. Goose bumps. You have loved your daughter well.

  14. I adore this. I will do this for my kids as well when they are old enough to pause in the mirror.

  15. I've never stopped by here and failed to be moved, challenged, and blessed. Beautiful, as always.

  16. Wow, what a way to speak life into your daughter. I crave this opportunity. Thank you for this.

  17. Thank you for this lesson. It's so gentle and kind that I hardly realized I was being taught. (Brilliant.)

  18. You slay me.
    I am a blubbering mess.
    Oh Tara. LOVE this!

  19. beautiful
    fearfully and wonderfully made
    we are so much more than what we see

    praying that we all have His eyes
    (as I was commenting I mistyped "yes" instead of "eyes" -- so may we also all have His YES!!)

  20. oh my goodness beautiful. thank you for making me take a moment and see myself with new eyes. I need to remember the good things that frame my body and have created who I am. Thank you. and i love that you have started your daughter on a journey of strength and beauty of her inward aspects and her heritage and gifts.

  21. I always love coming here. Somehow, your words are always just what I need at any given moment. You never fail to inspire.

    I read an article recently about how the happiest, most resilient children are the ones who have a strong family narrative built around them. I love the way you do that so simply and powerful here.

  22. Yes, you realize that this was for all of us, right? That each of our wounded, world weary hearts needed every word of this. Your words will not return void, either in your daughter's life, or ours.
    Thank you for this. Every.word.

  23. completely and utterly beautiful, and so true. how blessed you both are to have each other.

  24. Oh my goodness you have me in tears over here. This is stunningly beautiful. How lucky she is to have you as her Mommy.

  25. Well my goodness. This is the most well-written, stunning piece I've read in a long time, girl. Every daughter needs to read this. Every mother. Can I repost this at my ED blog, friend? Send me an email if you're open to this... thank you girl. Love you so much.

  26. Good Lord, Tara. This is stunning. The truth is, all your writing is stunning. Your writing stirs my soul. I loved this especially..."Show you that the chocolate color of your eyes
    means that your daddy's always with you,
    helping you take in this world." Oh my...
    I wish you lived closer. We need to go for a walk. :)

  27. Tara, friend. My, my. This is just gorgeous. It makes things come alive in me that I didn't know were there. I need to talk to my daughters this way. You are amazing, sweet friend, amazing. Sharing this. {By the way, I'd love for you to come by and join in #concretewords--it's a link-up. The prompt this week is Spirit, and next week is the Truck}.

  28. Okay, everybody has already used all the good adjectives. I'll just say this: stunning. And such a study in love.

  29. this is otherworldly beautiful....just so precious.
    truth wrapped in wisdom and light.
    thank you for these healing words,

  30. Oh my gosh, this is insanely gorgeous, I can hardly stand it. Just beautiful Tara.