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...]

Ode to Phoenix in Summer

Waves of heat dance off the pavement, ominous vipers hissing, "don't passsss by here..."The neighboring cactus, equally uninviting: "Do not touch. Do not touch. Do not touch..."The few green growing things, they all have claws. "I am not food. I won't be harvested. I am not food."The sun-- elsewhere mother of all-- works here to push life away. "Do not plant. Do not sow. Do not plant. Do not grow."Driving all life inside; to shade, to cover, a forced-air shelter, a man-made cave.Dust wh … [Read more...]

A Sign and a Wonder

light1

Every year, in what i call "stewardship season," i revisit Brueggeman's "The Liturgy of Abundance." I have come to love this season in the life of the church, which is ironic, because it used to scare me to death. Appropriate that it came around Halloween, really. Like many clergy, I left seminary feeling pretty good about the 3 P's--preaching, program and pastoral care--but utterly inept and ill-equipped for the administrative work of the church.Many things have changed that, including … [Read more...]

Holy Aware

look-up

I love hiking in the desert (when it is below 90 degress...). I live in the north valley near several mountain preserve areas, so finding a nice trail is as easy as pulling over, or walking a block and stepping over a fence. Desert trails are mostly dusty and rocky though, and for all of the beauty of my surroundings, i catch myself looking down alot. Not that the trails around here are especially strenuous... Just that there's lots of loose terrain, and a misstep--especially going downhill, and … [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...]

Suck it Up

thumb

Ok, she is almost 3. I've tried to be patient. I've read all the warm-fuzzy parenting stuff about letting them work it out on their own, hounding them about it will just make it worse, attachment issues and comfort zones, blah blah blah. But now, it is time.The thumb has got to go.I remember the blessed day when, around 6 weeks of age, I watched my sweet baby girl learn that she had the powers of coordination needed to get that appendage into her toothless mouth, all by herself. I … [Read more...]


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