20140610-173005-63005373.jpgI've had a migraine most of last night and this morning, only emerged from the fog and drug-induced sleep in the late afternoon. They're never ideal, but especially not on a work day. As it was I managed a cup of tea and some jam on toast in the late afternoon, and felt able to read a little by about 4. I got the beautiful book Letters of Note from my family back in April, for my birthday, and like to read just a few at a time. Today I cam across the most beautiful yet, from John Steinbeck to his son Thom. Thom had written telling his family he was in love, and his father's reply was so gentle and wise, so beautifully kind and affirming that I nearly cried. He wrote:

'First - if you are in love - that's a good thing - it's about the best thing that can happen to anyone. Don't let anyone make it small or light to you… Glory in it for one thing and be very glad and grateful for it. The object of love is the best and most beautiful. Try to live up to it….'

It's as beautiful you'd expect from Steinbeck I suppose, one of my very favourites. You can read it in full here.

20140610-173005-63005678.jpgI also read a stunningly sharp and bright letter from Southern author Eudora Welty. I've not read her works, but loved her letter for its charm and wit and all-out confidence in herself, and rightly so. Thinking I need to get my hands on her award winning The Optimist's Daughter.


LAURA WILLS AOne of the things I wanted to start doing on this here page, now I am settled and not so much on the road, is to write letters. Letters are one of my favourite things - especially real letters, on pages with handwritten thoughts and smudge marks. But making an exception for Sugar Mountain, I think a weekly letter post might be a nice way of sharing all the different voices in my head. So I'm starting with a letter I wrote for one of my oldest and dearest friends, Laura Wills. Laura is a prolific, original and wildly talented artist that I am so very proud to know. She also happens to be heavily pregnant - with twins. While I was in the States some of her wonderful friends held a blessing for her. They all brought beads to make presents for the babies and shared stories and sang for her. It sounded truly beautiful. I couldn't be there, but sent these words...

I've known you, Laura, since we were mostly children ourselves, in grade five or so. You've been my friend for more of my life than not, for nearly twenty years and I couldn't be happier about it. 

Knowing that you are about to be a mama and that all the love, joy and generosity that I see in you is about to be part of these two small lives makes my heart swell. You are one of the most dedicated and genuinely inspiring people I've ever known, you and Will both live your lives with so much integrity and kindness, to the earth, to your friends and to your community. I don't have any wisdom or thoughts to share, for the most part I can't wait to see what we will all learn from you as you grow into this new role. I know for certain that you will handle these next few months with grace and compassion and a big smile. 

These TWO little blessings are among the most special people in my life already, and I haven't even met them yet. I love that next time I see you, you'll be a mother. You'll be amazing. Big hugs and kisses, I love you so much

And just because I can, I've included some of Laura's more recent art below. She has completed residencies in Australia and abroad, is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, and her  exhibitions regularly sell out. She is successful because of her passion for and commitment to the environment and her community - it is evident in her work and in the life she leads and I am very blessed to have a few of her beautiful pieces on my walls. GERMINATOR MELT SMALL