Of Raspberries and Resurrection

 Truly, truly I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. John 12:24 (NASB) I really did think the raspberry bush was dead. I’m not the primary gardener in our family; that’s my husband, the garden visionary, shopper, planter,…

Blood, Proximity, and Things We Learn to Love

I’ve never known as much about sheep farming as I do now. I could say it was an accident, that I didn’t know quite what I was getting into when I started reading James Rebanks’s A Shepherd’s Life: A People’s History of the Lake District, but that wouldn’t be technically accurate. I worked hard to…

Of Pictures & Paintings

A friend gave me a painting for my birthday. To be more precise, she gave me a card with a painting on it, but I love the painting—and have for a while now—and fully intend to frame the little card when I get a moment. Titled “Summer Abundance,” by Loré Pemberton, it depicts a woman…

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…

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…

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…

Sleeping The Time Away

If you poke around the internet for long enough, you may discover a set of confessions that include the phrase “I think about this a lot.” The objects of this thinking vary widely, from Ina Garten declaring magnanimously that “store bought is fine” (referring, I think, to chicken stock and breadcrumbs) to the shocking fact…

Reimagine.

Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us, even in the leafless winter, even in the ashy city. I am thinking now of grief, and of getting past it; I feel my boots trying to leave the ground, I feel my heart pumping hard. I want to think again of dangerous and noble things. I…