The cold, though not unexpected, is startling. It feels good to walk through fields that have provided nourishment of all sorts to beings of all kinds. Ice clings to stalks of bowing grass. Every step crunches in the stillness of freeze. Muted colors announce themselves in burnt umber, dark brown, and burgundy, reminding us that … Continue reading In the Shadow of an Old Barn
This post is a slightly updated version of one from three years ago, since the message is still relevant. The second to last paragraph has also been adapted as a poem that is found in Cold Spring Hallelujah, available now anywhere books are sold.
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.” Gratitude doesn’t mean burying unwanted feelings or looking for the silver lining in the midst of a bad situation – gratitude means acknowledging what is still good even alongside the mess. 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
Fellow Minnesota writer (and my co-founder of 12 Tiny Things) Ellie Roscher recently penned a blog posted called “To Joyfully Endorse” – she said one of the greatest joys of being a writer is championing other writers. And I wholeheartedly agree. There’s this thing that happens when you are an author – you write a … Continue reading The Honor of Endorsing
I wrote a post nearly 10 years ago, on the blog that eventually became the book Woodland Manitou: To Be on Earth that basically just listed a bunch of things I didn’t like about the world with a bunch of things I did like about the world. That particular entry didn’t make it into the … Continue reading Wild Love for the World
At a glance, today was a rather unremarkable day. Earlier this morning as the sun started to think about showing up for the day, the adults of the house drank coffee, the child of the house ate cereal, we all scrambled to get dressed, and then it was off to our individual task lists for … Continue reading Gifts of a Lifetime
Researcher James Pennebaker writes, “Emotional unheavals touch every part of our lives. You don’t just lose a job, you don’t just get divorced. These things affect all aspects of who we are – our financial situation, our relationships with others, our views of ourselves…writing helps us focus and organize the experience.” When I lost my … Continue reading Writing The Ending