In the Heart of Fall, Be True to Your Harvest

“Why I am still getting these cross-country team emails from last year’s list?!” My annoyance is immediate, since, harrumph, we don’t have time for messages that don’t concern us. But then it melts away: just because my own son is no longer running at this school, has my devotion to the cause evaporated? Is my attention span so short that I can’t continue to be a fan? Am I so very clear on how best to keep shifting my attention … Read More

My Ancestors on Nantucket: Quakers and Whale-Hunters Both?

I’ve just had a brush with some of my ancestors, and the experience has left me quaking in my sneakers. OK, that may be a bit of an exaggeration. I wasn’t exactly frightened…more stirred up, the way somebody on a turbulent ride might get. The questions I had before the meet-up have been partly answered, but now I have many more, plus a few contradictions that aren’t easily put to rest, as the ancestors themselves lie silent. Hearing that I … Read More

Attention Must Be Paid…Or Maybe Not

Less is more…especially in June, a dazzling and also tumultuous month that might as well be called “Jewel of a Jumble.” Shifting to a watery image, because it’s so hot today, I would also offer another name: “A Time to Keep Paddling, A Time to (Mostly) Refrain from Plunging.”     At this everything-is-happening-at-once time of year, deciding what not to do a deep dive into is just as important as deciding how to keep swimming forward through all the … Read More

Across the Fields on Easter Morning

One of my favorite highway signs has always been “Merge” because it’s usually wonderful when different lanes or people or traditions or what-have-you can flow together.     Off the road, I had an experience over the weekend that brought into the present elements of a past I never even knew. Since Easter is all about rejuvenation, I tried something new this time. Instead of dressing up and getting in the car with family members (one of whom would be … 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

Same Lady, Different Van

Déjà vu experiences, much like birds, come in a variety of plumages. They swoop in unexpectedly, often leaving you stunned, or smiling, or maybe wondering about the trajectory of your own life. There are those magical time travel moments when— whoosh—you’re suddenly back in a previous day, and then, amazingly, even what happens after you make the connection is exactly like what it once was, down to the slightest gesture or expression, as if the same movie is playing. Your … Read More

The Advent of a Really Hard Workout

As Advent begins, leading to the season of Peace and Joy, I figure it’s as good a time as any to shake things up a bit. Before Thanksgiving, I had been considering starting yoga, but on Monday I went to a “Body Combat” class instead, and now I’m hooked. Left hook, right hook, just plain hooked. Something about having the kids here for a spell and taking in all the changes happening with each one of them—well, it just makes … Read More

Liking Them Apples

Some things in life come easily, slide into place, pour forth, work out. Other things are damn stubborn and don’t want to budge no matter what you do. This fall, apples growing on trees all over our neighborhoods have been in the former category. Have you noticed how heavy laden the branches were? I wish I’d taken more pictures to capture all that deep red color, everywhere. It was richness portrayed in fruit. Just by looking at it all, your … Read More

Family, Food, and Flexibility: The New Age

Today we’re going to look closely at two terms with an almost automatic heartwarming quality: FAMILY and FOOD. Ah yes, I know, your whole inner being is already feeling the glow…there’s a big table, smiles and laughter, glasses clinking, sharing of tales, a high chair with a baby banging a spoon or, why not, perhaps a slightly hunched over grandparent sitting near a sullen, for the moment anyway, teenager. Disorganized, perhaps; raucous, sometimes; but generally good, right? Except, remember, this … Read More

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