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Underneath my outside face
There’s a face that none can see.
A little less smiley,
A little less sure,
But a whole lot more like me.

~Shel Silverstein


tea with shel

a light in the attic

I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed when my Secret Santa at work gave me a gift card to Starbucks. I felt a little anonymous, a little unimportant. I realized after some reflection, however, that these feelings were my issues bubbling up — she didn’t intend to make me feel small. In light of this realization, I shook off my icky feelings and decided to make the best of this holiday token. On a cold windy afternoon, while Freja and I were on an outing at our local Starbucks store she discovered just exactly what my mopey heart needed.

I always have a cup of tea by my side and she, knowing her mama so well, pointed and exclaimed with glee, “Mama you can make this cup specially for you!” My sweet Baby Lu had discovered the very last Create-Your-Own Mug on the shelf. A smile crept up to the corners of my mouth and I was quickly swept up in her excitement. How perfect, I could make a little something special just for me!

I patiently took my time over the last few weeks re-reading my favorite poems and meditating on my dearest quotations. I wanted to make something uplifting to carry with me throughout my day. I knew when the time was right I’d be sure. Originally, I settled on Invitation by Shel Silverstein — this particular poem opens his book A Light in the Attic and has long been a favorite of mine — but discovered that it was slightly too wordy for the space I had. Then, late last night, I found a poem of his that I had never read before — Underface. I knew immediately that it was exactly right. I quickly collected my materials and minutes later the poem was written, the candle was drawn and my mug was baking in the oven. Now I can have tea with Shel and his beautiful words whenever my sensitive soul needs a little extra loving. What a perfect gift indeed.