Selva Oscura

Midway upon the journey of our life   I found myself within a forest dark,   For the straightforward pathway had been lost. from Inferno, Dante Alighieri I could say it started in June, when I dropped my husband off at the beginning of the race, on one of the hottest summer days Washington has ever seen….

Reading Ahead

“’Child,’ said the Lion, ‘I am telling you your story, not hers. No one is told any story but their own.’” C.S. Lewis, The Horse and His Boy I have a confession. Given my identity as a seasoned lover of written words, there are a few aspects of my reading habits that would surprise people,…

Popsicles and Playdates

We’ve only been here for forty minutes, but I’m wondering if it’s time to go. I’ve already met a dozen other parents, wearing a name tag bearing both mine and my daughter’s name on it. I’ve squinted across the top of my mask at half-familiar faces, a couple I recognize from college and a woman…

Blankets, Books & Being All Here

My grandma has been crocheting baby blankets for more than thirty years. It sounds like a while, thirty years. For me, rewinding three decades shrinks me to a kid reading Little House on the Prairie under the covers, the inky drizzle of the western North Cascades rainforest pouring from the fir branches outside my window….

The History of Home

It’s not a long drive. I start on the old North Trunk Road, once one of the few paved routes leading out of Seattle to the north. This part of the road is trash-strewn and poverty-withered, and it makes me heart-sinkingly gloomy, even though I’ve traveled it, open-eyed, it for most of my life. I…

One Dress, 100 Days; One Body, One Life

I did a weird thing this winter. Like many people, I’ve noticed time passing differently in the last 13 months. Slower, perhaps. But more than the speed, time has slipped by without the usual markers. No graduations last spring, few weddings in the summer, no back-to-school in the fall and strange holidays to close the…

March 10th

This is the day that the Lord has made;    let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24 On March 10th, it was cold and sunny, which is about the best we can hope for in Seattle in the late winter. It was track-meet cold, the kind of weather when you make plans to be outside because…

Much Beauty Everywhere

There is much beauty here, because there is much beauty everywhere. Rainer Maria Rilke I pull on tall rubber boots and forge a path through the snow down to the lake. For the first few minutes, it’s Little House on the Prairie snow, the insistent cloud of blizzard crystals stinging my face, the accumulated weight…

Small Prints

“Life right now, it’s a very small pattern. If you look closely, you can see something. Flowers, plaid, dots. But from a distance it all just sort of… blends.” I once described being home full time with small children in terms of a textile print. I suppose I felt then that the tiny design was…

Things That Made 2020 Better

Though it’s been my practice for a decade now, I admit that I found it hard—and deceptively simple—to write down a list of “things” that improved this particular year. Hard, because I’m deeply aware that we’ve been spared much of 2020‘s toughest challenges. Simple, because I can think of dozens of separate people and circumstances…