This Time of Year, We Go Hot and Cold

If, like mine, your heart gets pounding faster with a stark contrast, then you must have already noticed that we’re in a fire and ice time of year. First, the ice. Asserting itself in streams that persist in running, the trying-to-be-firm stuff is always valiant in seeking to overtake the water.         But anyone with a dog around here already knows that the coveted (by dogs, mostly) daily walks have gotten a bit challenging in the past … Read More

Seeking Texture on the Page, Finding it Everywhere Outdoors

With the floods in Houston at Biblical proportions, it feels almost flagrantly disrespectful to go on enjoying the glorious weather we have had at this end of August in New England. But we are watching and listening and, as this evening’s news reports from Boston show, finding ways to help from a distance. May the patience of people waiting to be rescued be rewarded with their safe transitions to places providing comfort. And may Louisiana be spared a repeat of … Read More

He’s Two Hundred and Not In A Hurry

Do you have a full plate of activities today, a long to-do list? Are you focused on accomplishments? Then this guy’s approach to life might seem a bit odd:   I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least—and it is commonly more than that—sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements.   This proud wanderer just turned 200 a week ago; … Read More

His River, My Canal

The past week has demonstrated for me, as if I didn’t already know, that life can be all about natural flow, heading downriver freely and perhaps in tune with a larger power; or it can be about getting through a bunch of sometimes momentarily jarring locks on a canal that will, you hope, take you where you want to go: open water. Sure, it’s possible to imagine life without waterways at all – being firmly planted without any forward movement … Read More

Darned if Science Always Looks on the Bright Side: Conflict as Opportunity

Last time I wrote about the pinnacle of the Christian calendar—Easter. This time I’m also heading into territory where I’m no expert—science. We all know that religion and that relentless quest for facts about Nature have been getting into skirmishes, sometimes all-out battles—for eons. These days, though, with the future of the Earth looking especially precarious, it feels more and more as if it’s “all faiths on deck” for our home planet. But it turns out science doesn’t speak with … Read More

Holding On For Dear Life, or Something Like It

When it comes to hangers-on, we often have radically different feelings. They can be completely exasperating, or just as completely inspiring. At this time of year, they can also be just plain confusing. Have you ever had houseguests who — this isn’t easy to say– overstayed their welcome? Friends who didn’t see the signs that, with so much else changing, it was time to let go and move on? Contrarily, have you ever been impressed, even awed, by a kind of stick-to-it-iveness … Read More

Looking at Ashes from Both Sides Now

Following right on the heels of Fat Tuesday as usual, another Ash Wednesday has come and gone. Learning still (and no doubt in perpetuity) about the rhythms of the Christian calendar, I have come to the conclusion that this is a not only a mysterious but also a downright weird time of year, and getting weirder too. The fact that life and death are more mixed up than usual is a big part of it, but there’s also a distinct … Read More

Just the Facts Please, Hold the Bravado

“Alternative beliefs” I can buy, but “alternative facts” ? The landscape is shifting, for sure, and my panorama is not what it used to be. Now, Truth has to go into battle with Falsehood on a daily basis. Contrasts and juxtapositions may be my bread and butter here, but I didn’t count on the kind that threaten to pull the rug right out from under us. Essentially, I was pretty content trying to deepen my understanding of the different ways … Read More

Any June, Maybe Especially This One, is the Right Time for Haying

It is against the backdrop of unpredictable, terrible acts of violence in different parts of the world that I appreciate anew the peacefulness and splendor of haying in June. The two have nothing to do with one another, of course, and that’s just the point. Over the past half a century, a whole lot has changed—the way we live, the way we communicate with one another and also sometimes isolate ourselves, and the threats we either experience or imagine someone … Read More

Serendipity Strikes Again

Looking on the bright side, I have to start by saying that any annoyance caused by the delay in posting this blog has got to be nothing compared to the irritation experienced recently, especially in Chicago, by thousands of travellers in airports who had to wait for hours, and sometimes miss their flights, to go through security. Ok, so that’s probably not such a good comparison. And plus it goes without saying that there are way, way worse things than … Read More

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