Spiritual Practice for Skeptics

I tend to get it from both sides when I talk about spiritual practice: many of my fellow skeptics blanch at the word “spiritual.” And many Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, Sufis, and what-have-yous seem to think that rationality and spiritual practice are at loggerheads. But humanists value connectedness and experience wonder just like everyone else. As [Read More...]

Valentine’s Day

I could be wrong, but I rather suspect that Valentine’s Day is the most widely despised holiday in the country. Really, unless you’re in the small minority of people who are in the throes of romantic passion, what’s to like? You don’t get a day off of work, there’s no religious ceremony or significance, and [Read More...]

Bee Wise

This winter has devastated my sub-tropical garden in New Orleans. I was out of town when the last polar vortex dipped down for a visit. In my absence, all of the plants that I had brought into the house during the first big freeze were left outside to melt into gelatinous puddles. The joyful exception [Read More...]

The Harvest Comes

On a blazingly sunny January morning, I marched into a sanctuary outside of Denver, Colorado behind three huge paper maché puppets. They were elaborately fashioned, built on backpacks so they could be carried on the backs of their puppeteers: A brown skinned grandmother, two white braids and a kerchief, a coat hanger twisted into a [Read More...]

Brave Love

I have fallen a bit behind. I had high hopes this year of completing the Thirty Days of Love activity calendar with my kids, filling our journal with words, our minds with thoughts, and our hearts with love. But, alas, we have fallen behind. Our ambitious expectations have been thwarted by dinner preparations and laundry [Read More...]

Apocalypse Never (and what we can do about it)

I grew up in the Pentecostal church. When I was ten, I knew just how the world would end: “the fire next time.” Tribulations. Seven seals. The four horsemen. Rainstorms of blood and fire. And what was more, this was coming any day now: the present terrible state of the world had been precisely prophesied [Read More...]

There Are Many Right Ways

This week, our kid’s favorite book-to-have-read-to-her is Lift Every Voice and Sing. Illustrated by Bryan Collier, the book creates a pictorial narrative for the words of the hymn written by James Weldon Johnson in 1900. It is not the lightest bedtime reading, for me—“We have come over a way that with tears has been watered, [Read More...]

What Bowling Taught Me About Patience

A couple of week’s ago, on a cold Chicago afternoon, after being cooped up for most of the week, my husband and I looked at each other and said, “Let’s go bowling.” Now, nothing says wholesome family fun quite like putting on some smelly communal shoes and listening to drunk men swear at the football [Read More...]

Beginning must not be the end….

As we conclude this month focused on beginnings, I am struck by the renewed interest in early childhood programs. In 1966, I began my career as a teacher in one of the very first Head Start day care centers, housed in the Plymouth Settlement House in Louisville KY. It was a quality program that changed [Read More...]


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