Grace, Hearts and Coming Out of the Dark

Nocturnal Panic Attacks False Awakenings Lucid Dreaming They’re all genuine and can make you believe you’re physically dying. The illusion of waking up even though you’re still asleep involves experiences that seem completely real. Eventually, you often become cognizant that you’re actually in a dream, one foot in the tangible world, the other in an altered state. […]

The Day After Christmas

On this day after Christmas, the house is silent—too quiet, honestly—with only Vero (our empathic little rescue dog) and me sitting in the library as the heater whirs on, staving off the winter that won’t officially end until March 20th.  The past two days were a whirlwind—leaving our home for church on Christmas Eve with […]

Four Days Before Christmas & Unpacking the Reason

A few weeks ago, I unpacked Christmas. In the boxes were fragile glass ornaments, precious works of art with”best Nana ever,” and the little drummer boys my daughters, Sara and Erin, made with their grandmother more than thirty years ago. There were gifts from friends and heartfelt pieces my Mom gave me. Some are decades […]

Brains, Perspectives, Life

The human brain is only three pounds but has a trillion cells and a rapidly firing hundred billion neurons. Our cerebrum’s options are practically limitless, yet we humans often get caught up in minuscule life routines, forgetting to see other pictures of life different from our norms or what’s right in front of us.  Reflecting on life this […]

Pears & People

The pear tree I planted almost two decades ago is heavy with fruit. Most years, I don’t thin it out as I should, and when I walked outside this morning, I noticed the tree branches weighted down, scattered cores from the deer that feast each night at her base. A peach tree planted the same […]

The Man, The Tree, The Fire

There was a man who, long ago, created a life filled with unbridled joy and an awareness of the universe’s amazingness. Nevertheless, as in many stories, a shift took place; it started slowly but kept building into a flame consuming the truth until he didn’t recognize his value, his verve, or the pain that was […]

Life & Death

N.b.: The topic of this post is weighty, spurred on by the massacre in Buffalo, New York, on Saturday. I understand if this is too sensitive for you to read, and respect that your perspective may be different from mine. “Death is part of life.” Five syllables that seem elementary when part of a big-picture conversation […]

Clementines, Tea, Hummingbirds, God

I sat at the dining room table looking out the glass doors, my tea steaming, two clementines on my plate, conscious of how often I do myriad things—much like an automaton—without consideration or awareness of my actions. Once again, the sun had just risen for us humans who often dismiss that as a given.   […]

Inside Voice, Outside Voice

Recently, I came across one of my granddaughter’s old books, titled “Inside Out.” It reminded me that we employ different inside and outside voices (and faces) depending on where we are or who we’re with. Often, we’re completely immersed in our material realities, not observing ourselves from the inside out. Sometimes we don’t even acknowledge the parts […]

Valentines & Aortas

It’s widely held that Valentine’s Day honors a priest named Saint Valentine of Terni, who lived in third-century Rome. In one of the research articles I read, Valentine was killed for performing weddings for soldiers forbidden to marry while in service. Another story relates that the imprisoned Saint Valentine sent a letter to a young […]

Commune

As a verb, the word “commune” (/kəˈmjun/) means: contemplating, reflecting on, or experiencing with others, sometimes without using words. As a noun, the term “commune” (/ˈkämyo͞on/) is a collective—a group that bonds together, creating—figuratively or literally—a “village,” supported by a common ground. You’re aware, of course—unless you’ve been in a sequestered holding pattern your entire life— […]

Serendipitous Journeys 2022

I’ve been thinking about how diverse our individual journeys are despite what seems like a lot of sameness.  Sometimes, in day-to-day life, we simply “go through the motions.” Our routines take us from point A—when we get up until point Z—when we end the day. How often are our hours spent simply “moving through,” oblivious […]

Wisdom Words 2022

In 2020, I wrote a post with twenty practices that honor the beauty and worth we all have. Now, in 2022, with COVID-19 still wreaking havoc on our hurting planet and news filled with loneliness, violence, and sorrow, it seems fitting to offer more ideas to see everyday life through a brighter lens (but not […]

Fearless Friday

I was asked by a friend, doing research, some “life queries.” Her questions and my responses follow.    Question: What keeps me up at night? Answers: • Nightmares (literally); had one again last night despite being completely violence averse. • Trying to figure out what I’m called to do with the rest of this life. […]

A Different Perspective

Pain is real. I don’t know even one adult who has not experienced some heartache during this lifetime. Yet, hope continues to loom—even in the dark, even when we don’t acknowledge it—perhaps especially when we don’t acknowledge it. It’s sometimes easier to assign negativity and sorrow to our lives than it is to embrace each diamond […]

Thanksgiving Blessings

Last night, I went to bed hungry. It was by choice, not by necessity. There were moments while lying in the darkened room that I thought about getting up, going into the kitchen, opening a pantry or refrigerator door, and choosing something to eat. But I didn’t. Instead, I thought about the 800 million people on our […]

The Twelve

Twelve —often considered the “perfect” number.  In the Judeo-Christian tradition, twelve is symbolic of God’s authority and perfection. Biblically, there are 187 references, including Jacob’s twelve sons and the ancestors of Israel’s twelve tribes.  In ancient Greece, twelve gods of Olympus were worshiped. In Buddhism, there are twelve stages of existence (Nidanas).  Twelve lines create […]

Fragile

Fragile: shatterable, easily broken, delicate, overly sensitive, vulnerable Thinking about the human experience, I recognize that many of you understand what it’s like to feel vulnerable and fragile—as if just one more situation or comment could fracture you into a hundred pieces. Maybe you’ve always been very sensitive—aware of your feelings and emotions, cognizant of […]

Expansiveness

Tears—big, fat tears, the kind that makes some men uncomfortable, and many women sigh—rolled down his cheeks. He laid on a hospital bed, his life nearing the end, spending precious moments with the daughter who sat next to him—this daughter who wasn’t his and was always his. He was only in his sixties. He talked about his beloved wife. […]

Tuesday Morning (5:20 am)

It’s 5:20 on a Tuesday morning. I tossed and turned for a while before recognizing that I wasn’t going to quiet my brain—that’s decided to run a marathon—so I got up. The air outside is still, almost too still. I sit at my desk with my tea and type away as if the world’s on […]

Too Much?

Like most, or at least many, of the humans I know, I’ve had my fair share of pain in this life. In my three-pound brain, there are times when I feel as if I’ve experienced too much sorrow, but “too much” is incredibly nebulous. What is “too much?” Who measures that? Is there a yardstick […]

Soul Searching

This post is dedicated to the people who bravely share their vulnerabilities, pain, and feelings of not being enough; the people who believe they don’t fit in or matter or make a difference; the honest and genuine people who speak their truth. The night was calm, almost apathetic, just like her mind and body and, […]

Abundance

Abundance:bounty, thriving, plentiful, overflowing Last night, I had two very unusual dreams unlike most of what I usually conjure up (dark or violent, which has never made sense since I don’t read or watch anything with violence). When I woke, the only word that came to mind was “abundance.” What is good, positive, uplifting in […]

Feeding the Wolf of Love

There’s a Native American legend about two wolves. As the story goes, we have two wolves inside our hearts: a wolf of love and a wolf of hate. The wolf of hate is filled with anger, sorrow, ego, fear, pride, envy, arrogance, greed, and superiority. The heart of the wolf of love overflows with hope, humility, […]

Perfect Imperfection

I sat at my desk, in the still darkness of pre-dawn, remembering the past twenty-four hours. Yesterday, I was part of “She Nailed It,” Habitat For Humanity of the Lehigh Valley’s “all women, nail-hammering, relay competition,” which raises funds for affordable housing.  In 2012, when my friend, Betsy, invited me to join the HFH volunteer […]