Wish you were here

On my morning walk today, suspended between a storm front over the Sierras and a bank of gray clouds from the Pacific, I marveled at the sky. I wish you had been here to see the ever-changing landscape of the clouds painted by the wind, the sun slowly seeping over the darkness to the east.... Continue Reading →

A moment in time

While I was walking at lunchtime through the UC Davis arboretum, I caught a glimpse of bright red. As I got closer, I could see tiny red flowers on a leggy bush. I stopped. The bush is quince, and its presence in Northern California transported me back a quarter of a century to another place.... Continue Reading →

Book Life

I almost got in trouble for reading too much when I was in nursery school at Washington State University where my parents taught. The school had student teachers whose job it was to observe children’s interactions. After I had been there three weeks, the head of school called my parents. She gravely informed them that... Continue Reading →

My Nature Manifesto

A colleague at work asked me if I had a manifesto. I replied "no" and asked why. She told me that a news article about a recent mass shooting California said the shooter did not leave behind a manifesto, as if that was unusual. “Is that a thing now? Are shooters supposed to have manifestos?... Continue Reading →

Autumn leaves

Today as I raked leaves in the front yard, my neighbor and his little girl came out of their house, the girl holding a giant bag nearly as big as she was. "I want red ones and yellow ones and orange ones..." she said. I knew exactly what they were doing. Fall has always been... Continue Reading →

The nature of things

Words can't explain it: Sky, tree, river, valley, mountain. I pen letters in packages Of three, four, five, six, seven, Yet they fail to adequately capture Wonder A universe that lies within Stars, soil, atoms, quarks, Things yet to be uncovered. But the insufficiency of language Will not prevent me From attempting to express The... Continue Reading →

Coyote

Between dark and light, As the owl sings its melancholy melody, You appear. First formless, Then my eyes discern your shape, Gray against gray. I freeze. You still. Our gazes lock. I wonder at your lush tail, your vulpine visage. You size me up, ready for a challenge. Something wild and untamed moves within me.... Continue Reading →

Borrowing against joy

A few weeks ago I had a mammogram. It was a six-month follow up to a mammogram that found small calcifications in the breast tissue. Nothing to worry about, the radiologist assured me. It's just a good idea to check it out of an abundance of caution. Standard protocol and all that. After the test,... Continue Reading →

Lessons learned while washing dishes

In the 1980s, while I attended a small liberal arts college in the Midwest, I worked at the dormitory cafeterias. I held a variety of jobs, from serving students food at lunch to replenishing donuts for brunch to working on the dishwasher line. On the dishwashing line, my fellow students and I sorted out the... Continue Reading →

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