In the Presence of the World

Until we understand what the land is, we are at odds with everything we touch. And to come to that understanding it is necessary, even now, to leave the regions of our conquest--the cleared fields, the towns and cities, the highways--and re-enter the darkness of our own absence. Only in this silence and darkness can man recover the sense of the world's longevity, of its ability to thrive without him, of his inferiority to it and his dependence on it. Perhaps then, having heard that silence and s … [Read more...]

5:16

something i wrote last weekend in Prescott. remembering that sacred space today, here in the valley, where it will soon be 105 in the shade...5:16That magic mountain minutewhen fall comes whispering around the edges.Chased up from the valleyby unrelenting sun, and shimmering waves of summer,the cool comes creepingand waits for an invitation.The earth sighs relief, and settles to rest,answering but a short, simple 'yes.'Fall comes singing, and rolls back the green,and draws … [Read more...]

Rain Dance

When it rains in Phoenix, people can talk of nothing else. Srsly. Facebook, yoga class, office, preschool, line at the grocery store...Not only is it the only topic worthy of conversation, but people in an otherwise standoffish metro sprawl area get downright chatty. A few drops from the sky and boom--instant community. Might as well be a small town in the south during football season.Grown-up people run outisde, spending the rest of the day in soggy clothes (and with bad hair). Children think … [Read more...]

Sometimes, It Falls from the Sky

It was one of those rare Phoenix days when everything shimmered with a utopian light. (No, not recently!) Hot air balloons dotted the sky, and rocky mountain foothills struck a dramatic pose against the technicolor blue. Ancient saguaro raised their arms in praise of all creation. The sun was a friend and not the oppressor it would become a few months later. Temperatures hovered in the 70s, meaning no need for climate control. In other words: desert perfection. Arizona in springtime.I walked i … [Read more...]

Dreaming of a Green Christmas

Yes, the glaciers are melting, and those sad little polar bears on the commercials are trying to remind us. But this is not that. This is a note about living in the desert, where all things green are about as elusive, magical and mysterious as Santa.Last week it rained. I mean ALOT. Alot for the desert, alot for not being monsoon season, alot for anywhere, really. Desert people are not used to this. They can't drive in it, they think that school and social functions should be cancelled as if for … [Read more...]

Between Here and There

I'm not crazy, as it turns out. Well, i might be...but i was not crazy to take a 3-year-old on a 3-day road trip adventure by myself. She was so good. Unbelievably good. Practically shining her halo the whole dang time.Until the last hour and a half or so. Then it was meltdown city. And i was driving in the desert, in the dark, and couldn't do much about it.There might be something spiritual and beautiful about driving in the desert at night, but try telling that to a small child who is … [Read more...]

Soul Seasons

mazda62

A pumpkin latte in my hand. From Not Starbuck's. A cool crisp 62 degrees out. I am on a porch swing with a background of lush foliage, bleeding slowly from green into reds and browns and yellows. I am wearing my favorite brown sweatshirt, and reading a really great library book. The day ahead is miraculously full of nothing but open time, save playing with my kids, and later having some friends over for dinner.OK, so almost none of those things is true. I do, in fact, have a pumpkin(ish) … [Read more...]

For Such a Time as This

peace-pole (1)

I was sitting on the floor of my crummy first-year-of-being-a-grownup apartment, doing grad school homework that i should have done the night before, and getting ready to go to class. Which means I probably shouldn't have been watching tv, but was. When the plane hit the first tower, i went and woke up my roommate, who was still sleeping. "What? That's crazy!" she said. I ran quickly back to the tv to find out what a breathless world was waiting to find out--what sort of mechanical error, … [Read more...]

The Sacred Struggle

I was cooking dinner and trying not to get sucked in. It is only September. Of the year BEFORE the election year. I am not ready for the emotional angst, the loaded sermon fodder, the toxic wasteland that is partisan rhetoric. It was on in the background, but I was determined not to engage.When I heard the applause, I turned around. I'm listening now,  i thought numbly. I looked to see if I'd really heard what I'd just heard. My husband and I looked at each other, appalled. "Rewind that," I … [Read more...]


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