Addition by Subtraction

The Salvation Army I went to a Salvation Army location, with a box of items that we no longer needed/used/loved. I pulled into the DONATION DROP OFF line and opened the trunk. A young man took the box—with washed and folded clothing, books that had been “outgrown”, household items that were unused, and a music box that […]

On the Teller Line

A woman, standing in a checkout line on the Friday after Thanksgiving, is mumbling about how “ridiculous these lines are”. By the time she gets to the register, she’s yelling at the (likely) minimum wage person moving as quickly as he can. The young man stops (just for a moment) and tries to regroup. He […]

Arlene, Nkosi and Intention

On Friday, I went to the funeral of Arlene—a woman I never had the pleasure of personally meeting in this life, but knew of because of my friend: her daughter, Carol. I’ve been to many viewings and funerals, but this one was filled with more joy than almost any I’ve experienced. (Another one was for […]

Lessons Learned Again

Prologue: This morning as I read more about the fellow humans who were killed in Texas on Sunday, I was—like I’m sure many of you—overcome with emotion. Their personal stories, not unlike many of ours, are simple, unpretentious and real. They leave behind earthly dreams that will be unfulfilled, and loved ones whose lives will […]

TYG—A Thank You Note to God

Each day as I get out of bed I say, “Thank You God”. (Many of you already know that.) Then, in my more aware moments, I tack on some of the perfunctory—superficial, easy—“thank you items”: the sunshine, my health, my family, etcetera. Those aren’t insincere “thank yous”; it’s just that they’re so darned easy to […]

Brass Doorknobs and Being Small

The doorknob—that the little girl was noticing for the first time—was brass. She was far too young to realize that she would, one day, think of that as her earliest memory. It wouldn’t be like the memories backlit by aged photographs, or the ones told, and retold, for decades. No, this one would be hers […]

Limiting Beliefs

A boy drops a glass of water and his mother yells, “You are always so clumsy!” The husband works for hours, on a special dinner for his wife, and the response is, “I don’t know why you even bother cooking.” The little girl hears, “I just gave you a rosary last week. How could you […]

Life-Giving Nature

The sun has just set and it’s that “ in between” time—not bright and not completely dark. I sit on a rocking chair, alone on the front porch. As I listen to the wind come up the mountain, I begin to study the different trees and shrubs around me. They each remind me of people […]

The Authenticity of The Soul

There are times when I get so completely caught up in what’s happening in my little environment that I forget to remember the world that’s going on around me. Then, a tragedy like the mass shooting in Las Vegas—where life and living are torn apart by death and destruction,—shakes me to the core and pulls me […]

Serendipitous Journeys

I came away from a Women’s Retreat weekend with a renewed awareness of how different our individual journeys are, in spite of what often seems like a lot of sameness. In day-to-day life we, sometimes, just “go through the motions”. Our routines take us from point A—the time we get up, until point Z—when we […]

Change Agent

I woke up around 5am, made my tea, and went outside to write by candlelight. At 6:40 a rooster began crowing, then as the low, somewhat mournful, sound of the train whistle bellowed down in The Valley, a full choir of birds joined their voices in “The Song of The Morning”. Through the branches of the […]

Fearless & Weary (and shining a light?)

A few weeks ago, I used this word to define how I was feeling: weary. I have never (at least as far as I can remember) ever used that word to describe myself before. Weary feels sad to me. It feels defeated. It feels worn out. After a couple of weeks of significant prayer and […]

Zen vs. Clutter

Setting The Stage Take a moment and imagine living in an environment that would make your heart sing—a home that you couldn’t wait to get back to; a place that accurately reflects who you are (now, not twenty years ago);  a physical space that creates a feeling of calm and peace. What does that look […]

Good Enough

Recently,  I had a conversation with someone who feels that—in spite of all the love, attention and kindness she showers upon a significant person in her life—she simply isn’t enough. Sadly, she’s isn’t the first person I’ve heard this from. It’s hard for most of us to wrap our arms around the idea that for […]

Going Home—unpacking the message

I received quite a few comments and questions about the post from two weeks ago, so today I’m going to “unpack” Going Home. What was the muteness/polio symbolism? The little girl was born with a “handicap” (being mute) and inflicted with one (having polio). I’m sure that most of us have a “handicap”—an impairment or restriction—of […]

Tapping Into The Essence of Self

A while ago, I was at a seminar with a group of women I didn’t know. One of them immigrated to The United States several years earlier. She said that her “English isn’t good enough“, and that she feels “defeated and less than”. She wasn’t finding other women who wanted to build a relationship with […]

Going Home

Today, I want to tell you a story about a little girl who was born in Wales, Great Britain in the 1930s. She lived with her family in a thatch-roofed cottage on a rocky shoreline, where they had a very simple life—moving through each day the same as the one before. There were seven children and […]

A Little Silver Ring

Many years ago I had the wonderful privilege of being with people who are—on the surface only of course—different from me. I was in La Entrada, Honduras on a mission trip with others from my faith community. It was a time that was rich with emotion and learning. In spite of speaking mostly through an […]

The Loneliness Epidemic

Feeling Alone Last week my daughter Erin—a clinical trials & research nurse—sent me a very dismal report about loneliness. Then, I stumbled upon a piece on the same subject while researching something else. And, in the past few weeks, I’ve talked to at least four people about loneliness. When there’s a recurring theme, it’s a […]