in no particular order

1. turning on the heat for the first time this fall. shivering limbs finally wore through my frugal resolve.
2. a dead black cat, stretched out as though sleeping, in the middle of a neighbours yard this morning.
3. getting lost on a route i know so well. laughing out loud by myself in the car as the road signs made it certain that i had landed myself in a place i’d never been before. perfect.
4. rolling hills and the last hints of autumn.
5. a room full of things and not one that i wanted. the art of slowly learning to live lighter.
6. carving new space in this small space to create.
7. the sleeping sounds of the hairy four-legged.
8. putting the garden to bed for the winter.
9. living on forgotten lane.
10. patsy cline on late night radio.
11. re-learning the tricks of time zone travel.
12. tambourine man, green room cheese, and gin and ginger ale on the living room couch.
13. “get on with the good work of living”.
14. amen.

art in the garden

the perfect way to spend this coming Sunday afternoon. some sweet art in a magical garden, raising money for good work. well worth wandering your way there…

a morning spent, grateful.

i spent the morning sitting in a garden, painting prayer flags, with a group of art-makers who have helped me to learn what it really means to bless, what it really means to be brave. i ate the most beautiful and thoughtful cake…i felt loved to my very bones…i was humbled by the kindness they wrapped me in.

i have made many mistakes. i walk around with so many unknowns. but this morning in the garden i was reminded that the world is full of broken hearts who are not afraid to lavish grace.

we can only ever be exactly what we are. perfectly wounded. perfectly beautiful.
thank you, my dear gwc art friends, for helping me to understand that that is enough.

these days, in pictures.

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overheard.

sitting in my attic near an open window, the conversation of two strangers who passed each other in front of my house, that just wafted up from the sidewalk below:

woman stranger: i’m just standing here looking at the crocuses. they’re beautiful aren’t they?

man stranger walking by: they sure are. too bad it’s so cold out.

woman stranger: oh, the flowers don’t mind it. she always has the most beautiful gardens here, don’t you think?

man stranger as he walks away: she sure does.

woman stranger: i just love it.

(this gardener girl, up in her attic listening through the window, smiling.)

you make strangers stop and stare.

you make strangers stop and stare.

we all have our things that keep us sane

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i take walks and dig in the garden and drink earl grey tea with a bit of milk. i read mary oliver or linford detweiler or listen to shane koyczan rant. i rearrange rooms and purge my house of things. i eat scones or ovaltine biscuits.  i wander through thrift stores. i write words. i sing along with patty griffin and dance to old al. i drive to my favorite beach. i find quiet places where i can catch my breath. i follow the sun with a picnic blanket under my arm. i sift through old things and try to find the stories. i use my hands to  make things. i hold close the people who help hold me feet to the ground.  i root through the chaos and try to find a glimpse of calm. sometimes i have to search really hard.

sometimes i have to search really hard.

i don’t give up.

I will not be afraid.

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Last night I finished reading the final pages of  The Camino Letters by Julie Kirkpatrick. There is a lot that I could, and probably will eventually say about this book. About how I came to know about it and read it. About the comfort and affirmation that I have found in its pages.  Much like Julie’s journey, I feel like my finding of this book was not just by chance. I feel as though I have been walking toward this book, mindfully, for the last year – before it was ever even published. And in other ways, I’ve probably been walking toward this book, unknowingly, for a lifetime – being slowly prepared and made ready for what I would find here.

The Camino Letters is really just about a woman who goes for a long walk. Okay, maybe not quite. Maybe it’s more about a woman who goes for a long walk and invites her community of friends to come with her, in the form of tasks that they give her, one for each day. Tasks that, looking back, I’m sure just look like gifts. At least from my vantage point.

It’s about stepping out of the familiar. It’s about being brave. Being honest – with self, with others. It’s about going to the places that scare you. It’s about discovering just how strong you really are. It’s about humility. It’s about beauty. Hope. Tears. Laughter. Strangers. Belonging. Acceptance. Clarity. Death. Life. It’s about making a choice to truly live your life. To not let pain or fear or work or pride hold you in a place that will harm you. It’s about a woman who goes for a long walk and finds herself in a different place than where she started from.

That may just be skimming the surface.

I met Julie, briefly, this past summer. She was promoting The Camino Letters at an art show in a mutual friends garden. That friend had been telling me about the book for months, as it was being written. I was already intrigued and planning to read it when it came out. But I’ll never forget my conversation with Julie under the hot sun in Brian’s garden that afternoon. I remember her face as she talked about the book. I remember the pure joy and excitement that poured out of her as she told me, a stranger in a garden, about how that long walk changed her life. I remember being struck by her honesty, her vulnerability. I remember buzzing as I walked away…her aliveness was contagious.

I took my time in reading this book. I tried to walk it like a pilgrimage. Taking time to breathe, to look around, to be present in the midst of it. In so many ways it’s a simple thing – a collection of letters written to friends, a long walk in a new place…

Yes. In so many ways it’s a simple thing. Opening our eyes. Breathing deep. Living truthfully, gratefully, courageously. Trusting the ones who love us. Trusting that the journey will bring us exactly what we need. Trusting that this life is bigger, richer, deeper, than we’ve ever allowed ourselves to know.

We’re all just out on a long walk, after all. Moving, learning, growing, one step at a time…

I am tired of being afraid of being known. And so I have decided here, on this path, that I will no longer hide myself, or morph myself, or have myself sucked out of me. I will be more as I have been here. I will not be afraid.

So what that I have crazy things happening in my life that make me feel sometimes that I am losing my mind? Am I the only one? I can’t be. Gosh, I hope not. Because really, it is so strange and exciting and perfect and wonderful. I want to shout from the top of a mountain, “Look, look, open your eyes! Look at what is there!” There is so, so much more to us than we allow.


– The Camino Letters, pg. 217

10 things i miss today.

just a list of sorts:

1.

breakfasts like this.

breakfasts like this.

2.

good moments on this patio.

hours spent on this patio.

3.

eating this.

eating this.

4.

perfect places like this.

perfect places like this.

5.

moments like this.

moments like this.

6.

playfulness without hesitation.

playfulness without hesitation.

7.

days like this.

days like this.

8.

the garden like this.

the garden.

9.

sitting in this field.

sitting in this field.

10.

campfires and the magic they bring.

campfires and the magic they bring.

till you yourself burst into bloom

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I hope you will go out and let stories happen to you and that you will work them, and water them, with your blood and tears and laughter ‘till they bloom, ‘till you yourself burst into bloom.

-Clarissa Pinkola Estes

it’s just been a lot, you know?

i realize i haven’t been writing/sharing/posting much lately.

i’ll try to remedy that.

somedays it’s just a lot, you know?

fall colors.

me, the garden, the start of autumn rain.

Next Posts

Words + Photos + Credit

Unless otherwise noted, all original photography and text are property of Raechelle Kennedy. If you see or read something here and feel inspired to share it somehow, please be considerate and give the artist (me!) credit, or even better, drop me a note and make sure I don’t mind.
Thank you!

Here + There

Secondhand Sainthood and the gift of losing it all – Topology Magazine, December 2015

Ten Things Made – Topology Magazine, December 2015

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