This morning I was milling around the house, stewing about some problems that have popped up recently, when I decided to read Sulelika Jaouad’s latest Isolation Journals installment. It is about shifting expectations, and how allowing all sorts of outcomes to be okay, from lowering them to hoping for the best, can foster the ways … Continue reading The Look of True Wellness
is what John Lennon sang, and surely he’s not the only one. What do you dream of? How do you make music? What art finds a voice in your body? What do you muse over? What invites you to wander, and what invites you to be still? How do you let go of what the … Continue reading You may say I’m a dreamer
It’s been really overcast and, honestly, kind of dreary and flat-looking outside lately. The cloud cover has been thick and the air heavy with spring humidity after two days of constant rain. Mid morning I needed a break from work, so I headed to one of my favorite trails. Despite the uninspiring weather conditions, it … Continue reading The Scent of Wildness
The flames are dancing in the wood stove, sending little flickers of light and shadow around the room. I can hear the clock ticking over my left shoulder, marking the seconds as they go by. It’s dark outside, and overcast. There’s no moonlight. The coyotes who have been chattering every night for weeks have gone … Continue reading Flickers
I come from a family that celebrates strong women. My great aunt Hannah lived on her own well into her nineties, regularly taking baked goods by bike to what she called “the old folks’ home” in her small town. Great aunt Vera, now in her late 80s, still travels around the country visiting loved ones. … Continue reading Celebrating Strong Women
Depending on where you are currently located in the world, coronavirus has probably impacted you in some way — whether it’s become a central focus (maybe you got sick, or know someone who was potentially exposed..) to something that’s just another blip in an unremarkable day (maybe you’ve just been reading about it on the … Continue reading Flowers Climbing Fences
It’s Thanksgiving time [a complicated holiday if we look through the lens of colonization] here in the United States, and what a strange season we are in. The Amazon burns while floods swallow sea level neighborhoods. Planned power outages become business as usual to prevent wildfire while incredible amounts of energy are used to keep indoor ski resorts going in deserts. People in high office in too many countries seem to have missed the history lessons about the horrors that result from unchecked, systematic racism and the dangers in acting from fear and entitlement. Constant growth remains the goal while finite resources vanish. Work hours are long, jobs are lost, people are sick, loved ones are hurting, the dog is getting old. There are many things to lament and grieve. Grief and lament have their place in the world, and they are necessary. Yet so is giving thanks. Gratitude is nearly always possible.
Elie Wiesel wrote, “When a person doesn’t have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity. A person can almost be defined by his or her attitude toward gratitude.” Continue reading “Gratitude, anyway”
I’m standing on the front step as my daughter gets ready for bed, something she’s just learned to do by herself. I wonder at what point in the routine she’ll call out for me to help, half hoping she will because that will mean she’s not growing up too fast, and half hoping she won’t … Continue reading Somewhere Between Longing and Joy
This is an excerpt from Woodland Manitou: To Be on Earth, available now wherever books are sold.
Here we are once again. It’s fall in the Midwest, and the weather is changing. The leaves of the maple trees out back are at their peak of orange and yellow vibrancy, and the backyard seems to glow with a quality of light that is unique to this time of year. As I walk down the steps to the lake, leaves crunch under my feet and the air feels cooler than it has in months. We still haven’t had a hard freeze, which is unusual and perhaps yet another sign of a climate that is getting increasingly unpredictable. But regardless the mild weather, the earth is sloughing off her summer skin and slowing down in preparation for what is to come. Winter’s cloak of stillness will be here soon enough.
Though the seasons change every year, sometimes it’s easy to forget the lessons we can glean from this age old rhythm of the planet. Each season has its wisdom, and autumn is no exception. There are lessons to be learned if we let the earth teach. Continue reading “Lessons of Autumn”
A few weeks ago, I took a notebook and a camping chair down to the dock and parked myself there for 45 minutes while my daughter was at her violin lesson. My goal was to observe and note what I was observing in my new journal. I’d filled the old one, the one that I’d … Continue reading A Bit of Practice