Introspective Collective
a collection of letters


Warmth + Gratitude


n o v e m b e r 1 7

A candle flickers in my peripherals, with its fragrance filling the air. Lavender. The same scent steams from my—laced with peppermint leaves. The warmth swirls within my mouth as I relax in to my chair. My eyes are met with a polaroid photo that I pinned to the wall. It’s of my mother and I at my brother’s summer wedding. Even the polaroid photo catches the radiance in her smile. 

I’ve always wanted to emulate my mother, and at a young age defined success as being a mother with many children. But I’ve grown to recognize that it’s her bright spirit I long to mirror, how she illuminates every scene. 

I step into deeper, digressing thought. My features are a fifty-fifty blend of her’s and my father’s. I love that. So perplexing how genes can mix and fuse and swap and join together. God never misses a moment to showcase His artistry.

I see my mother’s strength, and recognize that it’s fortified. It originates in her intimate encounters with The Creator. She’s an incredible showcase of her strength, for it’s in her nature. Her strength is her speaking openly, sharing words, hurt, her testimony–all to help and relate to others–meeting them where they are at, only to bring them to a higher place, bringing heaven down for us to dwell within. I’m so thankful for her golden heart.

During the trip for my brother’s wedding, we visited the California sand dunes. I stole this time to be still within the present, hiding away in the divots between the dunes. Here, I wrote this poem. 

My Mother

Eyes lining each petal, 
the soft and vulnerable centers, 
taking notice of every bundle of hydrangeas, 
black eyed susans and hummingbird sage. 

Your mind sketches them in charcoal, 
paints them with acrylics, 
writes them into a book, 
with a matching movie,
while treasuring this time. 

Your eyes
brighten by the ocean, 
by the mountains, 
by the coming-of-age of the brother of mine. 

Your heart is always heavy for others, 
but forever increases in capacity, 
unbroken by burdens, 
free like the swallows skimming over sand. 

My face is beginning to resemble yours 
with the passing years–
cheekbones prominent,
my almond-shaped eyes.

I pray that my spirit’s maturation, 
does the same.

• • •

n o v e m b e r 2 2

I retreated from the warmth beneath the bedtime covers and was greeted by the morning. Its light gently descended out across our home—spilling across the carpet and cabinets. My body was bathed in peppermint as the cool air brought a refreshing bite to my skin.

It’s Thanksgiving morning. Ricky is in the bathroom—water-on, water-off—brushing his teeth in preparation for his work day.

I read a while, and take Rollie (our little min-pin mix) outside. The frost has melted away, but the air is still pure. I think that’s my favorite trait of the end of year months, that morning’s renewal bleeds into later within the day. It’s free from the scorching, harsh heat, not weighed heavy from humidity. 

I brew some tea and refill the vase that holds goldenrods and peach roses. They were waiting for me in cellophane wrapping when I arrived home from work earlier this week and have since expanded out their petals to full-bloom. 

I fold laundry, the little load of white shirts, towels, socks. I dwell on the day’s purpose–the day of giving thanks. I name all things I’m thankful for, regardless of size: 

The overflow and outpour of Love, and how it spills and splashes about. 
The husband who kisses me before leaving our home for the day. 
My family who generously shares in conversation, despite our coast-to-coast distance. 
These quiet mornings, gifted with the intent for my mind to rest. 
These warm and freshly folded linens.

My heart is full, soul soothed, and my mind is in a posture of gratitude. 

• • •

n o v e m b e r 2 4

The moment I began writing affirmations, the sun debuted for the day. My skin, my shirt soaked up its warmth. After a few seconds, it withdraws, idling back behind the clouds. This cool, autumn afternoon, is to be spent sipping on a muggy coffee drink. 

I move onto the second string of affirmations, and the sun peeks out again. It’s an honest moment, and my hand and pen become a dancing shadow on these bright white, lined sheets.

This simple gesture has shed light on the significance that saunters about. Fullness.