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

Different Beaches, Different Times, Different Lives

I’m knocking on the door of a significant birthday, so I’m going to gather my wits and make a modest proclamation. Just when you think you’ve got a few facts down, can recognize a thing or two with certainty, absolutely know how to define particular words…something will probably happen that will cause you to re-shuffle the deck. Not that I put myself in the camp of people playing with a full one or anything. But I venture to say that, … Read More

Having a Rocky 4th of July

Ever feel like you’re out of synch with mainstream culture? That you’re marching to the beat of a different drummer but — here’s the clincher—you’re also not sure you want to be in this Thoreauvian (a real word) situation? “Twas I, just a few evenings ago, on the 4th of July. OK, so this is a social, boisterous holiday. Parades, picnics, fireworks: people get together all over the country, holding paper plates of burgers and hot dogs and potato salad; … 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

Driving With My Son Past Family Church

Let’s hear it for summer, and the pleasures of leaving those pesky home chores for a while to take in some kind of elsewhere, to see how others struggle with their chores—or maybe loll on their front stoops. Just about wherever you go that’s really away, you’ll draw something from the change, see something with a new twist. Depending on what kind of existence we’re accustomed to, each of us takes a journey with a particular slant in our vision. … 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

Take Me to the River…or the Stream, or the Pond

Driving back from early evening tennis a few towns over, I saw the sun hanging low over the rolling New Hampshire fields—still glorious, as if darkness weren’t right on its heels. Going to the pond would mean taking a significant detour from my route and then, after parking, hoofing it under the highway and over to the water. I briefly considered doing the sensible thing: heading home for a shower before joining my family for dinner. But that was really … Read More

Boyz to Men, All Around Us

Each time I dive in again here, I remind myself that my theme is contrasts…things that are next to each other but strikingly different. Life is a lot about merging, but those lines of demarcation are everywhere, too. Take, for example, the fact that we try to appreciate the little treasures that glimmer through our daily lives while not shrinking from the full force of tragedies outside of our own households. Sometimes, of course, it’s the opposite: our own lives … Read More

Summer Waterfalling

posted in: Nature, Summertime | 2

How far would you walk for a waterfall?  What do you take away from the cool rush of a few moments there? Last week, my husband and I were led by a friend to see a place called Rainbow Falls, at the head of the Ausable Chasm in the Adirondacks.  Since we had just spent a lovely few hours hiking and then paddling around in boats on the lake, we only needed to take a short jog up to see … Read More