What’s Your Grieving Style?

Do you know your grieving style? I didn't, until talking recently with our youngest son brought a new epiphany about how I experience grief. Yes, after decades of grappling with it, I uncovered still more. This actually delights me. Christian is a graduate student in social work and needed to [...]

By |March 29th, 2023|Categories: Healing, Ritual|0 Comments

Advice to Myself at the Start of 2023

Written in response to a writing prompt from the always amazing Jena Schwartz.  Look out the window. Get to know the river’s waves and the flow, the barges and debris that float by. Notice how it curves, snaking to the east. Observe the birds gliding by.  Hawks and vultures, crows, [...]

By |February 4th, 2023|Categories: Healing, Ritual|0 Comments

Obituary Writing Brings Healing

Growing up, I never thought of obituary writing as healing. They were terse blocks of text that my parents perused each morning over coffee. Their purpose was to announce the death and share funeral arrangements. In my journalism training, I learned that junior reporters were often assigned advance obit writing [...]

By |January 12th, 2023|Categories: Healing, Ritual|0 Comments

Ritual for Earth Day

On the eve of Earth Day, Joe and I seized the coincidence of lovely weather and an unscheduled evening to enjoy a walking ritual at a park near our house. In a sort of mini-pilgrimage, at points along the way we read aloud blessings for each of the four elements. [...]

A Brief Burst of Beauty

In the spring season of new life, the natural world teaches about resurrection. Visiting Washington DC this week for my first-ever Cherry Blossom Festival, I learned the Japanese word hanami, which literally means “to view flowers” but usually refers to the viewing of cherry blossoms. For more than 1000 years, [...]

Ode to Trees

The soaring heights, elegant arches, and vast open spaces of Gothic cathedrals invite awe. As a college student studying abroad three decades ago, I wandered several times through Notre Dame in Paris, gazing upward and all around, amazed at the feats of engineering that produced such a worship space. Now [...]

No Minor Occasion

Our third and youngest child, Christian, is 18 years old today. Wow! Now in my bio I can state with total accuracy that I have three young adult children. I purchased the plastic “Happy Birthday” banner shown here on our oldest’s first birthday, launching a family tradition. Last night as [...]

Round of Life

For the ancient Celts, the year began on November 1, as the light gradually diminished to winter’s darkness.  It was to them the “thinnest” period of the year, when the veil between time and eternity could be transparent. My Celtic ancestry seems to awaken in late October to relish this [...]

Montessori Lessons for Life

Our youngest just departed for his first day of senior year in high school!  Early this morning, I found myself recollecting his early days of Montessori preschool, thinking fondly of his teacher, and remembered the piece below, which I wrote in May 2002 as he finished kindergarten.  Re-reading it now, [...]

By |August 22nd, 2013|Categories: Motherhood, Ritual|Tags: , , , , , |6 Comments

Farm Farewell

“I will stay until the wind changes,” says Mary Poppins, with typical aplomb, when the Banks children beg her never to leave. I love this scene in the movie.  This exchange between Mary Poppins and the children springs to mind whenever I make a decision that surprises me even though [...]

Tradition and Change at Christmas — Part 2

I was not expecting a second part when I wrote my earlier post about simplifying our Christmas decorating a bit now that our children are increasingly away from home.  Adapting to changing circumstances by doing less actually brought more satisfaction with the holiday, we discovered.  Conversely, our daughter’s brief return [...]

Tradition and Change at Christmas

Creating and adhering to family traditions has been significant to our life as parents. Joe and I both are people who treasure tradition, so it came naturally to us to anchor our family holiday celebrations in meaningful practices.  The word "tradition" seems synonymous with "unchanging," but as I look back [...]

Remembering September 11, 2001

Every year at this time, I recollect what a perfectly beautiful September day it was. Driving my children to school that morning, I remember feeling grateful that the academic year had settled into a positive routine, especially for our youngest starting full-day kindergarten. The blue, blue sky affirmed that all [...]

By |September 10th, 2011|Categories: Ritual, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments
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