Language and Trust

A good story can open the doors to the mind and the heart. Thirty years ago, Toni Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature and delivered her acceptance speech in the form of a narrative to the Swedish Academy in Stockholm. She welcomed the world into her version of a “once upon a time” encounter between an old woman she described as blind, wise, black, and the daughter of slaves with a group of … Read more


There is still beauty in this world. Remember to look for it. Something utterly beautiful fell from the January sky the other day in bright, streaming sunlight as my husband and I stepped out into the cold. The closest description I can conjure up in my vocabulary for what was falling all around us is not even a word in the context of proper English usage. To me, instead of snowing, it was glittering outside. … Read more

Silver Bells or Silver Balls (from my holiday pantry to yours)

And you wonder why I hide things! Take the turkey baster I reached for one Thanksgiving only to find it dipped in motor oil in the garage. Or, take the tasty little bottles of orange extract, rum extract, or vanilla extract I found completely empty in my spice cupboard while I stood covered in flour and stranded in the middle of some holiday baking. “We used it to zest up our milk,” one of my … Read more

Light and Levity

I sometimes wonder how angels fly. Do they change direction more swiftly than a gust of wind or a deflected ocean current? Can they spontaneously rearrange their spiritual dimensions into countless renditions of shape and form? Could I pass my hand through their very essence? My friend who is a pastor once joked that angels hang out in trees. Maybe that’s what makes the branches bend and the leaves flutter! And what about those angels … Read more

Soul Sojourners

Well, what draws a person to a certain place anyway? And what determines exactly the right time to actually be in that certain place? It’s definitely a question or two worth pondering, especially for those of us who wonder about things like journey or destiny or coincidence or pure blessing. Five miles or so up from highway CO-82, on the winding curves of Capitol Creek Road in Snowmass, Colorado, a sign on the slight bend … Read more

Signs, Near Misses, and Change

“Signs may be but the sympathies of nature with man.” —Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre— Every September here in Colorado before the cold really begins to set in, the crickets seem to chorus louder than ever. Especially in the evenings, their noisy, rhythmic chirping indicates the end of one season before the start of the next. That slight chill in the air; that lowered tilt of the sun; that transformative color in the leaves all signal … Read more

Vision in the Forest

When I consider how my life is spent Ere half my days in this dark world and wide, —John Milton, “On his Blindness” Sometimes discovery comes in unexpected ways. In the White River National Forest of Colorado, at an elevation of more than 10,200 feet above sea level, the Braille/Discovery Trail welcomes all visitors, especially those who cannot see and those who cannot walk. Just off highway 82 below the grandeur and hair-raising curves of … Read more

Not Just a Puff of Air

A sigh is a sigh is a sigh. Happy ones and sad. Merriam Webster defines a sigh as an involuntary act especially when expressing an emotion or feeling; or the sound of gently moving or escaping air like wind sighing in the branches. It seems a sigh suffices quite well without words. What journeys forth in one exhaled breath could paint a masterpiece—each sigh brimming colors without the brushstrokes of the spoken word. Joy, grief, … Read more

The Casa

Near Camelback Mountain as the stone monk prays on his knees . . . a place thrives in the wilderness and fills the soul. During this time of Easter joy, I share my personal refuge where I always find beauty and renewal. Inside the sanctuary, when the light from the sun breaks through the vibrantly-hued glass, it washes over the viewer in a variety of colors. It’s something like being doused in the waters of … Read more

The Transcendent Power of a Beautiful Note

A beautiful note will journey to the deepest recesses of the human heart, if you allow it there when it arrives by surprise, or by intent. It might be hand-written characters on yellowed stationary, or the musical notes alighting the airwaves of sound, but somehow, at some moment, something meaningful casts a profound impact upon the tender territory of one’s very heart. That’s what happened recently in war-torn Kharkiv when a cellist set a stool … Read more