what really mattered today

Dec 24, 2008 | Life in Progress

sidewalk crack beauty
(i love it when i find a flower sprouting up from an everyday sidewalk crack. it always makes me wonder about what beauty is sprouting in the cracks of our hearts.)
a beloved friend saw me clearly from so many miles away when she sent me a sweet note: “you have been one of my sweetest gifts this year…and i think about all that love and all the ways you have held your heart together and let it fall apart.”
last nite, when i suffered my way through a rare case of insomnia, i thought about these words and how blessed i am to be surrounded by such heart. such understanding. such grace. i thought about how important it is to share how we feel about one another, to let those close to us know they are treasured souls in our lives. most of all, i thought about how i could do a better job of this in my own life.
today, all tired and dazed, i was flooded with childhood memories as i unexpectedly found myself in the center of the rural florida town i grew up in. my head + heart have very much been tangled up in memories of my past these last couple of weeks so to find myself completely unexpectedly in the center of my childhood town seemed tricky, like the universe wanted me to see and to feel. at one point, we stopped to visit the once vibrant lakeside park where my sister and i spent summers swimming and frolicking about. today, the now worn out buildings and neglected grounds had me thinking about how fragile we all are. how the most important people in our childhoods disappear from our everyday lives. how our years age us, and how all of that can be beautifully raw if we’re willing to see it clearly. i thought about how hard it is to let the tears rush in sometimes – the release of all that we’ve seen, celebrated, endured. at the end of the day, it was a gift to stop and see this piece of my youth. to acknowledge all that went down in that little town…love, adventure, loss, youth, and so much life. my family is buried there, but very much alive in my heart.
such a cool photo of john and granddad
(john with his beloved grandfather, at our wedding so many years ago)
all of this big life stuff was webbing it’s way all over my thoughts when i watched john spend some time with his beloved grandfather later in the day. and i dunno. there is such tenderness between the two, such mutual respect and understanding, that it makes me ache for both of them. when it came time to leave, john asked for a second hug. he just loves this man so much, he didn’t want to go. it all made me weepy in my heart – how love matters most of all and how sometimes we just can’t get enough. john gets all of this. he understands it perfectly. and so he asked for a second hug.  having spent many of the last few days in remembrance of life and loss, i just beamed at this moment.
a second hug. of course. it’s the only way.
hoping you all are well during this beloved christmas week. and that you all are asking for second hugs 🙂
kelly rae

Sending much love,

Show/Hide Comments (23 comments)
  1. Danette

    I have a few in my life that I wish I could have second hugged. It IS a lesson to be remembered. To always give one extra squeeze before we go.

    Thanks for the reminder and for sharing your stories.

  2. Linda

    kelly rae your words are so tender and mean sooo much to me and are so inspiring as I have struggled a bit over the last couple of months. Discovering you and your work has been amazing and our book arrived recently and I love getting into bed each night to read some as the last thing I do for the day, thank you 🙂

  3. JgWM

    I came home to Lake City over 5 years ago. Lots of Love, memories and emotion. I have started journaling and scrapping those memories. Thanks for sharing your heart felt memories and thoughts. Do you ever come back to Fl to teach workshops?


  4. Graciel @ Evenstar Art

    Just so you know, reading your blog and your uncanny wisdom is like having that second hug.

  5. marybethvolpini

    I enjoy your writing so much. You have so much wisdom for your age and I love how you put everything into words, the right words, powerful words. You have helped me in my journey of life and I am sure you have helped so many others without even knowing it.
    Enjoy your Holidays…

  6. Davielle aka Princess Magpie

    kelly rae. wow. beautifully said, as are all the comments on this post, thus far. THANK YOU doesn’t cover it, but that’s what I have to say … “thank you”. may we ALL remember to give that first hug, and then, to ask for the second hug. Powerful – kudos to John, and to you for sharing this story. — D.

  7. Carol Sloan

    Thank you for sharing your heart, you beautiful art work with everyone this past year! I pray for you that you will receive what you need, what you work for and what is in Store for you this year!
    Merry Christmas you beautiful, giving, understanding and Living woman!

  8. Emme

    Kelly Rae, I just found your site, and I just love it. I am feeling so many of the same things these days, tuning into my heart, my own soul’s desire to “take flight” in new creative directions. I’m in Seattle (eastside), and I just wanted to extend a hand of friendship to you. 🙂 Can you believe this snow? Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to you! (if you want to contact me, email me TheAmbles at earthlink dot net. I’d love to chat more with you!)

  9. Jill Nalette

    Your so true in your writing. The things that matter most are the things that don’t cost anything…smiles, hello, holding the door, hugs, etc. and everyone could use seconds.
    Kelly Rae, I’m sending you all of the above today and sending seconds as well.
    xoxo~ Jill

  10. Joanie Hoffman

    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
    Thank you so much for the idea of a "second hug", which now that I'm writing this, my littler grandson always asks for. Well now thank you for helping me to see that!

  11. Bikky

    Merry Christmas and may peace follow through this holiday season!

    Thanks for sharing so much of your life with us (stranger-friends/blog readers).

  12. christine

    I love your ability to articulate your feelings. May you have a happy holiday.

  13. karen

    I love this post – and the one on 12/18 (well, all of them!). I followed the link to the post about your childhood — it made me think about how we're all swimming in "muddy waters." Anything worth telling is nearly always complicated, it always muddies up the waters. It's not a concise, neat story. Thanks for sharing your heart … so many inspiring posts. Merry Christmas to you & yours!

  14. paris parfait

    Yes, second hugs are crucial. A beautiful, heartfelt post. Am so glad our paths crossed in San Francisco this year. Hope to see you in 2009! Merry Christmas!

  15. sperlygirl

    beautiful thoughts…wishing you a lovely Christmas and New Year full of laughter, love and promise. xx suzanne

  16. curious girl (lisa)

    kelly, as always, you translate the complexities of emotion and nostalgia into beautiful words that I love, love, love to read.

    and I love that photo, it looks like it’s from the 1940s.

  17. Kim Mailhot

    seconds and thirds…we all need these so much…at least we are learning to ask for them…

  18. alison

    reminds me when i used to ask for second hugs before my husband goes out to work in the mornings… it’s time to start that habit again. second hugs are good for the souls 🙂

  19. Lucy

    that second hug may make all the difference in someone’s life (to the ‘hugger’ and the ‘hug-ee’….it’s good to remember and hopefully it’s something we don’t forget to do.

  20. ~Barb~

    Beautiful words from a beautiful heart.
    Happy Holidays!
    Peace & Love,

  21. liz elayne

    those second hugs are so very important. as is reaching out to let those know how much they have touched us…how much we do see them.
    thank you for these words tonight…i had “a moment” in the frozen food aisle today and your words tonight have helped me remember i am not alone.

    blessings to you and john on the eve of the eve before christmas.

  22. Wanda

    Those are the kinds of “seconds” we all need more of.

  23. Margaret Ann

    What sensitive yet deeply powerful writing…Thank you for this special insight…I am off right now to ask for that second hug…


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Hello + welcome!

I’m Kelly Rae Roberts

Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my creative whispers, and today I’m an artist & Possibilitarian. I’m passionate about creating meaningful art and experiences that awaken and inspire our spirits.

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