Moments with Monet

Happy New Year! Creative works are gifts to humanity, beauty bestowed into form, something created out of what was not previously there. Those beautiful artistic expressions can be found and celebrated in literature, poetry, painting, sculpture, dance, music, and theater. They have the capacity to take one’s breath away and to initiate wonder. Such was my experience at “Claude Monet, The Truth of Nature” exhibit at the Denver Art Museum this month. And yes, it … Read more

Heart Bright

Whoever brings understanding more deeply to the human heart is a precious gift indeed. Beyond the bars of the Denver Women’s Correctional Facility this month, a handful of thirty women prisoners graced an entire roomful of hearts at the University of Denver’s Byron Theatre with their vulnerability, courage, integrity, and joy. It was an evening to behold. Tears streamed down my face as I watched the stage production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol which … Read more

Gratitude Found

Thanksgiving in the United States is fast approaching. Family, friends, and new faces gather together. Turkey, dressing, veggies, breads, and pies make up traditional menus across the country. A time to celebrate at table with dear ones. A time to be thankful. We remember those far from home. We remember those without a home. In the very name itself, Thanksgiving is about giving thanks. The first Native American United States Poet Laureate writes about that … Read more

Hard Winds

I love autumn and the scent, color, taste, touch, and sounds of the season. It brings a heightened sense of being more fully alive. But the shimmering ecstasy only lasts but a brief period of time before the glorious leaves, for example, are swept off the branches in a mighty wind or in the rhythmic cycle of approaching winter. We come to expect that natural departure every fall but sometimes it’s more than deciduous leaves … Read more

Seasonal Adjustments

It’s an odd paradox that tightening the faucet on busyness, opens the flow of creativity. Here in the northern hemisphere, September brings a gentle turn of season. Shadows fall long on the earth. Daylight eclipses towards the heavy-lid slumber of approaching winter. There’s a sense of slowing, a sense of closure. Thoughts of baking bread, making soup, and embracing pen to paper come to mind—quiet moments to reflect and behold. Recently back from a family … Read more

Oh, Lulu

Out here in the West, it’s common to see old barns, cabins, or piles of debris across a field or at the edge of a developed lot. The wood timbers have simply decomposed over time in all kinds of weather and have fallen to the earth. Whose hard-working hands cut the trees, sawed the logs, notched and chinked the frame into being? What hopes and dreams lay cradled in the remains of those composted dwellings? … Read more

The Great Leveling

I look out from the top of the planet where the highest paved highway in North America winds precariously to the height of Mount Evans in Colorado. Mountain ranges rise up from meadows before my very eyes. I am speechless. My breath is stilled. Panoramic views of 360 degrees surround the summit at 14,271 feet. The vast expanse of land masses and waterways and trees and open sky humble me in an instant. I feel … Read more

The Gift of Story

The old preacher-woman silently held a story in her weathered hands on a bench in the Kawuneeche Valley of Rocky Mountain National Park and looked up from the page. “Did you see the moose?” she said to me as I drew close to her in the meadow. “She won’t let the calf near the water.” Not far from where we spoke grazed a cow moose and her calf at the headwaters of the Colorado River … Read more

What’s Beneath

Sometimes it’s difficult to discern what’s beneath something directly in front of us. Cracks of thunder and blinding flashes of lightning bolted me out of bed in the night. Pea-sized hail teemed against my window and I feared for the delicate petals of flowers I had planted the day before and the supple leaves that had newly emerged on the trees. By morning though, the storm had cleared. I looked out my window over the … Read more

Messengers

Sometimes you run into messengers or they run into you. Two of them happened to appear in my life on Wednesday of Holy Week before Easter. One had two legs, the other four. A young man probably in his late twenties or early thirties ran up behind my husband and I as we were hiking. He was running with a white mixed-breed Labrador Retriever trailing on his heels. Immediately, I noticed the young man’s bright … Read more