For the Past Three Days

For the past three afternoons, I've walked in this setting, across this landscape. I've seen the tracks of rabbits. I've seen three hawks circling in the sky, their cries piercing the silence until they perch quietly on the snow-burdened tops of the trees.As my children sled on the great hill, I part the curtain of evergreen trees and enter into the deep, icy woods.Later, I think about that hawk's beautiful cry and the tracks of animals ....more

2 Great Truths that Discouragement Teaches

This morning my husband and I discuss diacouragement in our work lives. It comes! It happens! ...more

A Big Truth in a Little Something

Notice anything about my succulent (crassula ovata "Jade") plant? It has propagated!...more

Recollected in Tranquility

I remember William Wordsworth's famous line in the 1800 Preface to the Lyrical Ballads that "poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility."Recollected in tranquility. Yes.I think about "recollecting" or gathering back to yourself powerful feelings in order to write. You sit in tranquility and you collect about you emotions from which, as Wordsworth then reminds us, you voluntarily write ....more

Your Own Little Sag Wagon

Today I learn from my cycling friend about the Sag Wagon. She claims that on her next 100 mile bike ride, I can drive the Sag Wagon....more

Exporting Imagination

My daughter tells me that she's having trouble "exporting imagination." It's a strange verb to use. I imagine the country of her incredible brain needing to ship all that imagination out of some port. Otherwise, it's all clogged up in there, swirling about.Something's in there, and it's gotta get out.She tells me that being a teenager is hard because imaginative play with dolls and toys does, unfortunately, begin to lose its appeal ....more

Reverent, Cheerful, Courteous

Today I attended my first Eagle Scout Court of Honor for the son of some dear friends of ours. I cried at several points as I watched three young men receive their Eagle Scout award. Being in that room with members of the community and special honored guests brought such a sense of pride in my heart for these young people who have worked so very hard.It was a reverent occasion ....more

When You Feel Blocked

So many students ask me about writer's block and how I write so much every day. When I tell them that I rarely struggle with writer's block, they just can't believe it. Most students tell me how every sentence feels like wading through molasses ....more

An Unusual and Beautiful Request

A student I just met--we were strangers on Monday--asks if she can photograph me for her class "Stranger Project." "Sure," I say. Why Not?...more

A Little Bit of Advice for Your Future Self

Last night, I read Gretchen Rubin's "Habits Manifesto," and one of her statements made me so excited. She says, "We should make sure the things we do to feel better don't make us feel worse."I read this statement on the tail end of eating some barbecue potato chips because I really thought they would make me feel better after work. Crunchy ....more