Finding the words, finding my voice

I posted a piece a few weeks ago, a letter to my 25-year-old self. I got some very positive feedback from people. The only person I didn’t receive positive feedback from was me. It took me several weeks before I could bring myself to hit the “post” button. “Who cares about your 25-year-old self?” AContinue reading “Finding the words, finding my voice”

Dear Younger Me

Dear Younger Me, I am standing outside the apartment building in Washington, D.C., where you lived 27 years ago. You had just turned 25, and you were young and married and looking for your first job. You had been working in D.C. for about nine months, in internship positions. You had two cats in theContinue reading “Dear Younger Me”

The Tree

Every now and then when I am outdoors walking down a random path, a branch will catch my eye and remind me of my Tree. I haven’t seen this particular tree in almost 45 years. I remember few things about the catastrophic illness that nearly took my life, and it is possible that the treeContinue reading “The Tree”

The open road

In a few short days, we will jump in our Toyota Tacoma with our dog Shadow and drive about 3,000 miles through 13 states to move from Gainesville, Florida, to West Sacramento, California. The trip will take us about six days. We’ll be traveling through Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah,Continue reading “The open road”

Open book

We see the man daily on our walk. He holds the leashes in his right hand, two black dogs walking close beside him. In his left hand, he holds a book, his head bent over the pages. As we pass by, I wonder. Does the book contain the scent of jasmine? In its pages doesContinue reading “Open book”

Rescue

She was found wandering the streets of Gainesville. She had probably been on the lam for months. More than half-starved, she was also pregnant, the babies eating her alive as she unsuccessfully sought food. Someone brought her into the shelter and the veterinarians did a hysterectomy to save her life. That’s what they told usContinue reading “Rescue”

Wild

When I go to the woods, I discover Tiny purple flowers, Bird songs, Bones. I find equanimity, Communion, Calm. When I go to the mountains, I leave behind Businesses, Meetings, Phones. I shed expectations, Worries, Fears. When I go to the wilderness, I take A water bottle, Rain clothes, Boots. I bring resilience, Wonder, Joy.Continue reading “Wild”

Mentors can teach hard lessons

I pick up the phone and a voice takes me back, three months before to a sunny day on a lake in northern Idaho. On that day, a group of graduate students and I, the lowly undergraduate, had meandered up winding roads to an A-frame summer house in the woods owned by Jim and hisContinue reading “Mentors can teach hard lessons”

Half-century mark

I turned 50 in 2017, so it seems fitting to reflect on existing for a half-century on this tiny planet in our vast universe. I’ve always felt very fortunate and grateful to be alive, because at the age of seven, no one thought I was going to make it to eight. One day I wasContinue reading “Half-century mark”