On a summer afternoon, when I was 21, I went to a walk-up tattoo shop on 17th Ave in Calgary. On a whim, I picked out a little red maple leaf, surrounded by the words “Made in Canada” and walked back out with it inked on my hip.

On a summer afternoon, when I was 33, I went to a small suburban tattoo shop, next to a grocery store, in Abbotsford. I had carefully researched and selected a deeply symbolic tattoo I wanted, a small dove, and I walked back out with it inked on my slim white wrist.


This little dove is for peace, for my search for peace, for my peace-making heart, for the peace that Jesus gives, for my committment to peace and wholeness in my own life, and in the world God created, and called good.

It’s for the Holy Spirit, for my reliance on living a spirit-filled life, for my reliance on the breath of God, the infilling, it’s even for my tongue-talking mysticism.

It’s for a fearless life. It’s for the soaring truth that love wins, and perfect love casts out fear, and I will spread my small wings a bit further, lean a little further into the wind, take flight even, perhaps.

And it’s for motherhood, for how these tinies have given me a new birth, a reinvention, a whole new life, and I carry them now, tattooed on my skin.

An inch of my blue-veined skin to mark my new beginnings, I want to carry these things forward into the days ahead, I’ve been changed by it all. Even the sting of it feels right.



In which I radically stay put
In which I am surprised by friendship
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