Lineage of the Christmas Stocking

My cousin, about the age of my mother, knitted the stockings for my younger sister Judy and me when we were very young, and I have knitted the same pattern stocking for each of my children, their wives, and their children. When my daughter-in-law Melissa, Grace’s aunt, reminded me that it was time to start… Read more »

Wind–and Fire

This latest round of fires began in the early hours Sunday. I wrote this that morning before the flames would spread over the mountains east and west. As I write, we are notified yet another red flag warning may be issued tomorrow.  We are all on alert. Yes, this is climate change, California style. It… Read more »

Chaos

I like to think I have a lot of tolerance for chaos, but in this time of wildfire, pandemic, and political maelstrom, I’m being tested. Here we are, “we” being my family, sequestering in place together, and holding a pretty strict protocol. We have had very little direct outside contact for eight months now. Groceries… Read more »

Art and Land-Use

Casey and I ran across the stone one late autumn day in 2016 as we were hiking the trails of Austin Park in Napa. We stopped in surprise, examining a   haiku pasted to its side. “grass greens bright/long slow drizzle/ flowers prepare to POP”.  We photographed the stone and continued down the trail. Just… Read more »

The Caldron of Sheltering-in-Place

Sheltering-in-place, five months now, has become a kind of caldron, one in which I contemplate things about my life I had not had time to notice. The pace has slowed, reminding me of my midwestern roots in rural Illinois. Why does time seem larger and longer on those grids of flat farmland? Is it because… Read more »

The Overstory: Trees of Life

Never read The Overstory, a beautifully written, transformative novel by Richard Powers, about trees and people and the earth, before going to bed. After reading another section last night, usually a great prelude to sleep, I couldn’t fall into that blessed state. When I must have accomplished some version of that, I slept fitfully, waking at… Read more »

Arrival of the Serpent: A Treasure?

Before this all began, I dreamed of snakes again. In one dream, a fat black, rather short snake was above my closet on the wall and fell to the floor. I was considering putting a laundry basket over it so it didn’t escape into the house. Ten days later, I dreamed a snake had woven… Read more »

Sheltering-in-Place Drama

Yesterday we had a near catastrophe with Bramble Berry, our pup, and Hijo, our guard llama. Hijo started it, managing to escape from the goat pen when the latch didn’t catch when I entered to feed him. He saw the opportunity and ran full speed out of the pen. When I walked back to my… Read more »

Masking up for Earth Day 2020

A dear high school friend makes a Facebook dare: Post a picture of yourself in a mask. Her smiling eyes peer over her navy blue, star-studded mask, her head wrapped in a scarf. She is currently undergoing chemotherapy but her spirit sparkles. I scroll down. There are men and women, all of a certain age,… Read more »