Kelley J. Leigh

Loud World. Quiet Soul. Listen beyond the noise.

Rooted

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“Will power and discipline alone can never fix your soul. Striving, pushing, and trying harder will not recover your life.”  – Adele Calhoun My proposed path winds through a gate and disappears into the rolling grass fields of a local 35 acre mountain retreat. In the gushing fall breeze, I wrestle with flapping paper and find my place on the first page of the printed […]

Hometown Street Signs

Always quote

Come with me, back to my midwest church girl roots with a visit to South Park Church in Park Ridge, Illinois. Time Travel Loud music bounced wildly off the dark wood panels of a north side Chicago Irish pub.  Thirty years after high school graduation, we milled around tall bar tables, leaned in close and shouted catch-up questions to each other above […]

Rear View Mirrors

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    Too Brief to Measure The cry will be a relief. Even so, I dread it like a natural catastrophe. I sit in the back seat of our family truckster, knees propped against the drivers seat. I sit there because my legs are the shortest in the family. We are on our way to drop off my third son […]

A Good Year for Daisies

good year for daisies

What tangled garden weeds taught me about relationships …    In the Garden My hard-packed green grave of a garden stares me down like a dare. I’ve been too busy. After successive weeks of last-minute preparations, guests and graduation celebrations, it is time. The high-altitude flower bed in my front yard has become a collection of brambling growth and hard dirt. While […]

Dirt and Stars

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  I am a mountain trail runner. I don’t run every day. But regular seasons of running help keep my brain clear and my soul fed. I also write a lot about dirt. I love how dirt is the stuff of both gardens and graves; the material of life and death. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Here, a ramble of […]

Umbilical: Lessons from a Deathbed

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  Umbilical 18 Days in December   Those days bleed together in my mind the way the blood slowly pooled in her body after her heart stopped. I sit at my writing desk and sift through recent piles of wedding programs, Christmas cards, and funeral notes. I sort the collision of occasions like an upturned puzzle of sons and mothers, […]

Concerning Roses | A Eulogy

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The following post is simply the eulogy I did at my mother-in-law‘s funeral. I received requests to share it.  So here it is, in entirety. The Backstory: My husband and sister-in-law asked me to read “Between Roses“, an article I wrote about their mom a few months ago.  In an effort to re-write the ending of that article, the day […]

The Flight of Tea Cups

Sometimes treasured things must shatter (1)

All That Remains I discovered the set of four oddly shaped blue mugs at a thrift shop and purchased them with a couple dollars and a bit of guilty pleasure. The bubbly hand-blown glass begged to be filled. So this morning I dropped in a tea bag and poured steaming water into my new old cup. In a blink, without warning, […]