An Equinox Meditation

The arrival of Spring catches me off guard. As the planet tips the hemisphere where I live to equal night and day, I have forgotten its quickening. These long months in lockdown have me subdued. I’ve kept myself flattened for so long that I’ve forgotten what deep full breathing feels like. Scarcity is a second skin. One I wear far too easily. More difficult is to let it slough away. Today I realized the discipline…

Continue reading

A Winter Solstice Reflection

“One must have a mind of winter” –Wallace Stevens I learned what it means to be human at the hands of winter. It came to me in a bleak time, when I’d retreated to a cabin in the Rocky Mountains to live alone with my dog, after a series of gut-punching losses that triggered dread for each dawning day. It was February—for me, the darkest month of the year, a month so brittle and cold,…

Continue reading

Fire Season in America

“I know what the world is made of and I still love all of it” –The Solace of Open Spaces Sixteen years ago, my mountain cabin burned to the ground. In a matter of hours, all evidence of the life I’d lived—signed and annotated books; photos of me at five, eight, fifteen; a broadside gifted to me by the poet and writer Kate Braverman with a spontaneous poem she’d written on it—was reduced to two…

Continue reading

Be Home Now

“Breathing in, I know I am breathing in, Breathing out, I know I am breathing out,” —Thich Nhat Hanh After a week of real spring on the mountain—weather so warm it melted the two-foot drifts in the yard and opened the path through the woods where I hike with River in the summer, drying the six inches of mud gumming up the road—a mild, late-season snow settled in overnight and threatened my potted herbs and…

Continue reading

The Hard Choice

If there’s one thing I know how to do, it’s how to prepare for and survive disaster. I’ve spent over twenty years living at elevations above 8000 feet in places threatened by fire and flood and I’ve had a bit of practice making evacuation’s hard choices: what to take and what to leave behind.  During the 2003 Overland Mountain Fire—then the largest fire in Boulder County history–I loaded a bed and food for my dog,…

Continue reading