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….

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….

Dark Though It Is

Listenwith the night falling we are saying thank you from “Thanks,” by W.S. Merwin I first learned about the origins of Thanksgiving in 2011, when I happened to be working on Thanksgiving Day. Of course, I’d heard the same story as every American kid in elementary school, about the brave pilgrims and the generous Native…

Of Braiding Hair and the Privilege of Worry

It is what would have been Breonna Taylor‘s 27th birthday, and I am braiding my daughter’s hair when I am struck for a moment with the desire to write a poem about braiding hair. I think about braids around the world, braids throughout history, different colors and textures of hair plaited together in different sizes…

Things That Made Life Better This Year: 2019 Edition

When we were missionaries, I used post monthly News, Thanks and Prayers updates here. With those a thing of the past, and our Christmas card just a handful of photos, I’ll take this annual Favorite Things list to fill in the blanks left by my {admittedly} selective posts. 2019 was a year unlike any other,…

Being Meg

I wasn’t alive in 1868, so I can’t be certain, but I have a theory. Before we sorted ourselves into Hogwarts houses, becoming reluctant Hufflepuffs or defiant Slytherins, or used the characters of  Friends to describe our twenties, there were four women who defined us: Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. I don’t know if women…

Text Messages

The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, begins like many good tales, and plenty of bad ones, with an introduction. We don’t meet the brothers themselves, the three protagonists whose complicated relationships with their father provide most of the conflict, but instead the Karamazov patriarch. He is, to put it mildly, not the hero of this…

On Entering A Bookstore In My Thirties

All the people you could have been had you chosen differently—they haunt the bookstore alongside the person you became and could still become. Steve Edwards It’s been ages since I was alone in a bookstore. I’m not sure I remember the last time, actually, though to be perfectly accurate I’m not even alone now. But…

In The Heights & Christmas Lights

I’m home! Where people come People go Let me show all of these People what I know There’s no place like home! … I’m home! Where it’s a hundred in the shade But with patience and faith We remain unafraid I’m home! You hear that music in the air? Take the train to the top…

American Girls

I’m just going to say that “nesting” made me do it. Nesting, that biological imperative. That habit we share with creatures who spend their last days of gestation preparing a home for their coming little ones. That urge to go to Target just to look at small clothes and different shapes of pacifiers. That millionth…