Escaping the Sidewalk: How to find breath and inspiration

There is a saying among gypsies, “Stay where there are songs.” For most of my so-called adult life I’ve been something of a nomad, moving house every year or so; if not to an entirely different location then at least changing my actual domicile and address in the current area. Like the woven nests I…

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Walking the Dogs, encore: Bees and Nature

It is early afternoon on a sunny day and I am walking my dogs through the tranquil, tree-crowded neighborhood of Carmel-by-the-Sea. After several days of guests in my little cottage, the visitors have just this morning departed. I have done the laundry, cleaned the house and swept their presence away, but there is still a new…

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L’olivier: the Olive Tree

I wish this was made of olive wood. That was the thought that lingered in my mind as I stood at the sink, washing the stainless steel ladle I had used for scooping the evening’s homemade soup (organic broccoli and potato, in case you were curious). Despite my aptitude as a French-trained cook, the kitchen…

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Embracing Darkness, Tending the Soul

I’m standing outdoors in the dark. Darkness, in our manmade world of near-constant electrical illumination, is relative. Still, it is night time and I am outside my house in a realm of shadows, standing quietly with bare feet in the grass, gazing up at a handful of glittering diamonds flung across a wide stretch of…

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The Outermost House: A Writer’s Year on Cape Cod

I love books that are like a fine meal, read slowly and savored. Disappointingly, it is far too rare that I encounter one, whether fiction or non-fiction. I don’t frequently venture into fiction realms these days (though I used to devour shelves of it), largely because I am so very particular about what I desire…

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