Vibrancy and Dormancy

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I’d driven to an area where Sandhill Cranes often stop to rest during their winter migration. Not too far away was an open and dry fen dressed in its autumn blonde and gold. At its lowest point a small brook meanders past poplars, scrubby shrubs, and wild grasses. This little tributary turns into a full [Read More...]

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Increments of Evil

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I wrote about how both God and Satan work incrementally. Not so long ago I came upon this quote in the book, Song of the Sparrow by Murray Bodo, OFM: We drift away from God so easily; not fast but easily. And before we know it, we are far downstream from God trying desperately to break our [Read More...]

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Feeling of Skin

Maxfield Parish

It was an early autumn morning at the retreat center and I was walking through the back meadow in the pre-dawn light. Even with the hood of my bright-blue—Blessed, Beautiful and Bodacious—sweatshirt scrunched up around my neck, I felt a slight chill and shivered; my pant legs and shoes were wet from the morning dew. [Read More...]

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Seeing Stars and the Holy Trinity

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I love apples! Seriously. Love them almost more than chocolate. Biting into a warm, crisp, just picked apple is only one step away from doing the same in summer with tomatoes. Living in Michigan, where apple production ranks number three in the States, the harvest of this fruit peaks in late September through early October. [Read More...]

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Taking One Step When a Full Stride is too Much

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Clearing Away (September 2008) I looked at my grandmother’s small kitchen table and found myself saddened by the mountainous mess. Boxes of soup broth that never made it to the basement pantry support crumpled paper bags and window curtain hardware. There were small jars of organic grapefruit juice, a pint of ammonia for the laundry, [Read More...]

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Black Birds Landing

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A murder of crows swooped loud and large into the back yard. Their boisterous cawing drowned out the traffic noise from the other side of the house. The littler song birds flew away— in fear or possibly annoyance. Whatever morning peace existed departed with the winged invasion. The crows, and there were maybe twenty, landed [Read More...]

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Perils of Digging Potatoes

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I’ve been a city-dwelling gardener all my life. I’ve worked on  overgrown lots that hid a multitude of sins, to old suburban back-yards with compacted patchy lawns. When I would begin to transform a landscape I would be unsure of what would be unearthed; one year I dug up a lawn chair. Gardening was done [Read More...]

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Hummer at Work

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It was mid-morning and the sun had finally dissolved the fog from the cool damp night. I saw that some of the leaves still glistened with dampness. Making the bed I pulled the white and periwinkle quilt up and over the pillows and glanced out the upstairs window. The blue Rose-of-Sharon grows just below. Moving about [Read More...]

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Cardinal at My Window

Artist Charlie Harper, Seeing Red Cardinal

Earlier in the spring I was blessed with two nests of cardinals in my yard. Cardinals are very territorial birds but for some reason these two families shared the space congenially. The two nests of fledglings gave way to a small flock darting about the Locust tree and flowering shrubs. One late-summer morning a flash [Read More...]

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Please Return Me to My Cell

CWG booth

The Catholic Writers Guild conference last week was a huge success. This was our fifth year and we have doubled in attendance. My job at the conferences was volunteer coordinator. This year was particularly challenging: I had put my back out days before, then three volunteers quit due to family emergencies or illness. I had [Read More...]

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