Pen and Moon

musings, life lessons & poetry from Theresa Jarosz Alberti

The Bear Awakens

Greetings from the doorway of my cave of hibernation. That’s what it’s felt like for the last many months, hunkered down in my house, Okay, maybe I wasn’t really sequestered in some self-imposed solitary confinement or sleeping the winter away, but I was definitely going through some big shifts that kept me from poking out my head much on social media. I was still staying social by zooming with friends and seeing family, running some basic errands, but the winter was kinda brutal and I stayed home a lot, grateful for my youngest son living with me and being around to talk and hug.

Spring wasn’t helping much either. Instead of being a hopeful time of new greenness, we had so many cold gray days that it felt like a continuation of winter. It’s only been the last two weeks where we’ve gotten some sun and warmth (YAY!), and in that all-or-nothing climate-change way, of course it jumped right into the 80s and even 90 last week. Sheesh! But this post isn’t really about the weather. My own internal weather is more like it. Continue reading

Re-Post: The Best-Kept Secret About Meditation, or What I Learned That Finally Made It Work

I thought I’d revisit one of my more popular posts. I needed to re-read this myself, and get myself inspired to do some meditating again. It’s such a powerful tool that I often forget about! Enjoy.


I’ve had a lovehate relationship with meditation for most of my adult life. I’d hear about it from people who incorporated it into their life, or from books, stories of those who went on retreats to meditate in silence for days on end, or friends who woke up early to meditate every day.

Something about it appealed to me, the peacefulness of it, the idea of calming my anxiety, wanting to experience theIdon’tknowwhat, that keeps passionate meditators on their cushions every day. I didn’t really understand how to do it, though, so I looked for ways to learn.

I think my first experience meditating was in a college class, when I was going to school and working fulltime. At the end of a long day, we lay on the floor in a dark room, and I fell asleep every time to the teacher’s soothing voice.

Continue reading

Lessons From the Lake

It starts with an email: “I’m thinking about swimming tomorrow, anyone else?” More emails float in as the women in my water aerobics group weigh in on air temperature, how cold the lake might be, wind factor, how sunny it is, algae reports, our schedules. Usually one crazy voice saying “I’m going!” is enough to tempt a few others to join. 

This year, we are bolder, more daring, willing to tolerate some not-quite-ideal conditions to continue our swimming and water aerobics into autumn. We’ve been eager and giddy in the face of pushing past our goal date of Sept 15 (as I wrote about in part 1, The Mermaids of Lake Nokomis). We crank up the heat in the car on the way home after we emerge shivering from the water, and some have brought fluffy robes to wear afterwards.  Continue reading

The Mermaids of Lake Nokomis

What does it take to find bits of magic in your life? Sometimes all you need is a lake and friends and a desire to move your body. That’s what happened for me.

It started in July of 2020. Many of us women had been taking water aerobics classes at the YWCA for years together, several times a week. We’d become a community who knew each other’s faces and stories, who laughed and breathed hard, and sometimes complained together.

When COVID came along, of course the Y and everything else shut down. As the summer ticked by, one of our members who had been a former water aerobics teacher had the brilliant idea to start emailing to see if anyone was interested in having some unofficial classes at one of the city lakes a few times a week. Everyone loved that idea. Continue reading

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