Dune Climb, Northern Michigan, Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore


The first rule of dune climbing is never do it on a sunny day.Every now and then, we've tried climbing Sleeping Bear dunes, and they are miserable. You think it's only a few miles to the shore of Lake Michigan, and that you can make it in no time, but you cannot. You cannot make it in an hour, or two or three. You will spend your whole life trying to get to Lake Michigan, and when you get there, you will have to turn around and spend another lifetime getting back.We've wised up, and now … [Read more...]

Slain in the Spirit

I've been on vacation with my family for the past week, and haven't quite gathered my thoughts about anything, but I'm still sort of meditating on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I thought it might be interesting to repost this piece from one of my earliest encounters with the Catholic Charismatic movement in 2009, when I absolutely refused to be slain in the Spirit. At the time I was very skeptical of it, but one part of the following rings true in hindsight: “Preparation,” said Father Crotty. “T … [Read more...]

Speaking in Tongues and Other Terrifying Gifts of the Spirit


I don't know if the sky is really more interesting lately, or if I'm just noticing it more as I spend more and more time looking up, but it pains me sometimes how this particular sky over this horizon will never happen again. This hour is unique. The sun is on my right hand, the full moon on my left, staring eye to eye over the corn fields, and curiously, two flocks of geese approach each other directly overhead moving in opposite directions. From the southbound flock, two geese break off, make … [Read more...]

Little Free Library: Leave a Book, Return a Book


This little house goes at the end of the driveway, people stop and pick a book to read. Best idea ever. Find out more at littlefreelibrary.org And here are plans for building your own. … [Read more...]

Cloudy Skies and Ivy


Iphone photos from the  roads where I walk.            … [Read more...]

Compensating for the Limits of Google Translate

"I've got to be honest with you, sometimes we just sit and look at each other," Pedge said. She was taking me to meet her friend Sehla, a Kurdish refugee from Syria that she sponsors through Catholic Charities.I love hearing Pedge talk about Sehla, her experiences as a refugee, about how she responds to her new American life and their burgeoning friendship. I count on Pedge, maybe too much, to make friends and share them with me, so I'd been asking her to take me to meet her for weeks."I … [Read more...]

Beyond School Spirit: When Love is the Only Reason to Play


My son's last soccer game was this weekend. It's a league of 12-15 year olds who did not start playing soccer at the age of two, or perhaps they did and had little talent for it, or perhaps they're quite good, but get little play on the school team because soccer has become one of the most competitive and populous sports of middle class suburbia.The team plays "academy style," splitting into two groups at the start of each game to compete against each other, half of them donning a yellow … [Read more...]