Finding the Sun

Greetings, dear readers.

If, like me, you live in the US, we’ve had quite a week.

Because my leanings are not particularly political, the things that catch me stand out. I remember almost to the month and day when I became a politically aware person. It was during the summer of Watergate and I spent nearly every afternoon glued to the proceedings on television. Richard Nixon was responsible (among other things) for making me a politically-aware person. 

In the enormous flash-bang of the events of Wednesday January 6, perhaps there is the spark that will catch someone somewhere to become aware, to be awakened into who they will be.  

IMG_6926We are still in the after-tail of those events. We will move forward, reckon as we are able. I am – perhaps oddly – reminded of what happens after a tree falls in a healthy woodland. The younger trees emerge into the sunlight and grow stronger for it.

This beautiful black locust sits at the edge of a power company cut, limbs raised over the negligently dropped trunks of felled neighbors. 

Just far enough from the line to evade the chainsaws, it will broaden and grow outward, filling the gap in the community now in shambles under its canopy. 

Trees don’t ask what needs to be done – they just do it. 

Our communities are imbued with complexities that involve more than water, soil, and sunlight. Still – we know when there’s a need.

What if we each, in our way, make the offer to our communities – cook a meal, sing a song, tell a story, serve the good? Bringing better in small ways may help us all find the good in bigger ways.


Readers, in the aftermath of upheaval, I wish you strength and comfort. Connection is the antidote to fear and suspicion. May your circles be warm and strong. I wish you well and safe – I am grateful you are here.

Between Times

Greetings, dear readers.

IMG_6895We are in that week between the December holidays and the start of work in the New Year. It is a sweet little pocket of time – not quite here or there, but something else entirely. A time to look forward and back, a time to appreciate what we have and what we can give; a time when you might feel things you can’t quite name, but are grateful for all the same. 

The way the light of a mid-winter day falls on new snow is gift I didn’t know I needed until it arrived. The sight of a great blue heron gliding overhead on my afternoon walk is another. Jeweled beads on a necklace, these moments remind me that sometimes, to lift your heart, you just have to lift your eyes.



Readers, Happy New Year! I hope the year will bring you many great and small gifts when you lift your eyes. I will be looking up a lot this weekend – the local Christmas bird count will take place. It is always joyful to walk in the woods, to find the birds where they live, and know they are still there. Be well and safe – I am grateful you are here.


Greetings, dear readers.

Have you ever noticed how winter shows the bones of a landscape?


This little pond has always been there – in summer it hides in a pocket of trees and foliage, all but invisible from the road. When I first saw it, years ago, spring had decorated the surrounding grounds with naturalized daffodils, leftovers from a homestead. I followed a trail of flowers and my intrepid husky down a slope under the trees and found the cool green spot. A doe bounded up from opposite the edge. Enchanting!

A couple years ago a gas company created the large cut I look across now, but thankfully left the little pond intact and shaded, still hidden in summer. I like knowing it is there when I can see it and when I can’t.

Readers, I hope your surroundings have some pops of revealed loveliness as we close out this year. Wishing you joy and health as we step into 2021. Be well and safe – I am ever grateful you are here!

Season’s Greetings

Greetings, dear readers!


It is Christmas and we have snow! The trees are laced with white and that peculiar silence of snowy days has wrapped a cozy blanket around everything. This meteorological feat has also decorated my decks with six inches of fluff, delighting the dogs who skid through it on their way to bounding through the drifts in the yard.

The birds fluffing their feathers at my feeder are more interested in calories than calendars; the suet and seed I put out is going fast. The cats watch from the windows nearby, fascinated, but content to be warm and to only have to wave a tail for their supper.

A warm house, a wrapping of snow, a light on the porch to lead someone home. May the lights of home be warm and bright for all.

Sending a wish that each of you is embraced in the warm circle of joy this holiday season.

Readers, I wish you Happy holidays, however you celebrate. Be well and safe – I am so grateful you have been with me this long year! 


Greetings, dear readers.

The season between Thanksgiving and the New Year is a busy time; for me it is also a time of contemplation. It is a time of many gifts.


Gifts like:

– Family gatherings, even if they are smaller or around a computer screen instead of in person.

– Connecting with friends, near and far, reaching a hand across years and miles.

– Finding ways to let loved ones know they are special, are seen, are kept at heart.

– Finding elements of home wherever you happen to be.

– Small thoughtful gestures that create a link to the brighter, warmer world you know can be.

It is the season when the world is often brighter and warmer because of the people in it. You are that person for someone. 

Readers, I hope the world is bright and warm at heart where you are. The image that accompanies this post is from the cover of a hand-made journal from Appalachian Paper Arts – so lovely and so beautifully made. It was a surprise that came in the mail, a delight I had in no way expected. Lagniappe! Be well and safe – I am grateful you are here.

Walking the weekend

Greetings, dear readers.

Do we always expect more of a weekend than it can possibly deliver?

Being only one person with a houseful of pets to chase after, it seems somewhat demented to think that I can plow through a list the length of my arm, manage to get the pet hair off of everything (not even close), along with twice putting together three meals that hit all four food groups in the proper proportion (again, not even close. Though I will admit to the occasional habit of hitting the 4 Cs: coffee, chocolate, carbs, and cheese…)

These things are especially true when it is not unlikely for my back to hurl protests at me during the completion of almost any task that involves reaching or bending … It likes to toss reminders at me of the month I spent occupying a yoga mat on the floor of my dining room (long story…) There was some pitching today, but only a couple lobbed softballs, not hardball, so I avoided having to manage some period of enforced “no-I-can’t-throw-the-moose-for-you-I-cant-move” arguments with the dog. (This while she rams repeatedly into whatever portion of me is nearest with said-moose in her jaws.)

Well – it keeps her from her other new pastime which is apparently thievery.

She loves to pick pocket or two… or just nick the cats’ food.

So my list is barely dented, but then, so am I, and the dogs are about to be exuberantly happy with their dinner (because they always are), and the cats will accept theirs with royal disdain.

It will still be possible to roll through a few more minor items this evening and be content. Life is more than the list, you know?

Readers, I hope your lists are either very short or full of things that give you joy. I wish you well and safe; I am grateful you are here.

Sunset musing

Greetings dear readers

This is a time of year with limits on the day, if not on the ambition for what might get done.

The flash of a 5 pm sunset is a reminder of the limits on daylight this time of year. On a street without lights, it means outdoor activity is time-strapped unless it will fit within the glow of a flashlight. This sometimes suits the hound in the family, being led more by nose than by eye.

For now – there is still enough light to see the silhouette of a wren in the little hackberry, waiting her turn at the suet, beak and tail cocked skyward, wings flicking. There is a sweetness to knowing she and the others can be fed by my simple effort.

Readers, I hope your autumn has been a season of warmth and beauty. I was away to work on other projects. Be well and safe; I am grateful you are here.

Alta voce

Greetings, dear readers.

In my nascent Italian I have learned that ‘alta voce’ means out loud. It’s that time of year. Time to be heard, no matter how you usually use your voice.

It is voting season.

November 3 is Election Day. This year, for public and private safety, many will vote early or vote by mail, so – in essence – the polls are already open.

Open for the older person who can’t get out. For the younger person who will be at work. For the person who will have surgery the week before and will be recovering. For the new parents who never know what the day will bring. For the person whose health depends on limiting contact with strangers. For the person far from home who still wants to acknowledge civic responsibility.

I am grateful there is room for all these voices to be heard. A nation that empowers voting, empowers its citizens to take part. That is the country I want to live in.

Readers, this election season, I hope you will use your voices. Out loud. On purpose. With purpose. All voices deserve to be heard. Be well and safe. I am grateful you are here.

Walking into Fall

Greetings, dear readers.

A week or so into the new season, the nights and days are cooling and there are hints that full on Autumn is about to begin.

Fall is a season of delightful contrasts. The sun and cool days make walking a pleasure. A soft rain in the afternoon creates a space for reading and contemplation.

Last month’s blooms are now gone to pods and seeds.

Food for next year’s butterflies is hiding in this puff of milkweed seeds about to fly.

And the few maple leaves underfoot will soon be full plenty, as they shed their summer dresses to feed the soil and go into winter sleep.

New birds show up at the feeder, moving through to new grounds. A rose-breasted grosbeak and his mate delighted us one day. The hummingbirds have gone, heading south.

The season steps forward and I am grateful to witness each step.

Readers, I hope autumn days are treating you well. Be well and safe – I am grateful you are here.

Ad Astra

Greetings, dear readers.

Fall has begun and I am grateful for its gifts, one of them being the continued profusion of wildflowers.

This bank of white wood asters is blooming along the road where I walk.

‘Aster’ is derived from the word for ‘star’ and these little beauties make it clear why. If I read their constellations, I can see a message of gratitude for summer’s abundance and for the cooling nights that lightened the tree canopy to give these flowers light.

What I am finding right now is that there is a peace to finding a story of gratitude where you are this moment. Some things may be hard, some things might even be terrible. I would never discount someone’s pain. In the midst – There is grace in your own strength in facing those things. There is a moment of sweetness in a cool breeze. There is a smile in the silly flop of the dog’s ears as she sleeps.

I hope the hard moments hold still a redeeming kernel of grace for you. A reminder that the stars are waiting, just up the road.

Readers, I hope the graces are many and the hardships few for you. Be well and safe – I am grateful you are here.