Middle Earth and Sister Moon

moon-public-domain-by-joe-jungman-on-flickrThe biggest moon I’ve ever seen was over the North Sea in Scotland. Many nights, I watched it from a bench overlooking the beach. The moon was absurdly large and luminous as it rose or perhaps sunk into the sea, so that I felt I was actually on its surface looking out into space at the earth dipping into the blackness of the universe.

Over the course of four years, I had the opportunity to watch the waxing and waning of this moon. My first year in grad school when I lived in student housing just behind a barrier to the beach, the sea and the moon were visible out the tiny kitchen window from the apartment I shared with three other women.

It was very cold those nights on the beach. Though most evenings that first year were cold to me. I moved there from Texas and the wind off the sea would beat against the outer stone wall where my bed was; sometimes I felt I would never be warm again. [Read more…]

Roots Trip To the Castles in My Bloodline, Part 1

If you grew up in the Seventies as I did, you might recall a popular children’s T-shirt of the era—one at least popular among the reputedly disaffected youth of Cocopah Elementary in Scottsdale, Arizona. The caption (no graphics) went something like this:

My Parents Went On Vacation To Las Vegas and All I Got Was This Stupid T-Shirt.

Not just Las Vegas, of course; but Seattle, Chicago, New York, and so forth. Yet all we kids got—for the message was contagious despite the various places I had been with my parents—was a dusty, sunbaked playground in Scottsdale.

Fast-forward thousands of miles, and even more years than it seems, to the grassy, rain-soaked Highlands of Scotland where I just finished a hurried, harried “roots” trip with my wife and kids en route to a family sabbatical in Ireland. [Read more…]