Showing posts from August, 2022

What I’m Taking Into September

My courage with both hands, mostly. In September, I’m traveling for the first time since October 2, 2019. (I found a receipt in my US wallet.) I’m not sure it’s the right thing to do. But much of it is. So, a risk. Manitoba Maple starting to change Quantifiably reduced expectations. It’s really helpful to specify how many pages of an interminable project I aspire to finish in a month (and then cut that by a third), as opposed to hoping that somehow I’ll magically finish the whole thing and being disappointed when I don’t. I think this green plant is a lupin; it's spread farther in the ditch where they grew this year. Readying for next year? Wild blueberries, enjoyed this year and stored for next. I made a couple of awesome desserts, and we’ve got a stash of berries in the freezer. Since we had zero local blueberries last summer, a freezer full feels both magical and mundane.  Is the world, ever so slowly, righting itself again? Stabilizing? So, so slowly?  And if not -- or if th

The Perfect Word

The wee scene below caught my eye the other day, when it wasn’t raining and I was out for a walk A small yellow weedy wildflower grows through a crack in the asphalt. It made me laugh because it’s begging to be an inspirational poster on the wall of some business conference room. Then I started wondering which word it would illustrate. Persistence? Inevitability? Endurance? Imperfection? Maybe a phrase. “Allow space to grieve,” or “You can grow anywhere you want,” or “Imperfection is where the good stuff happens.” And of course, an obvious choice: “Nevertheless, she persisted.” Nevertheless. Love it. So. Perhaps, just perhaps, there isn’t one perfect word or phrase for this photo. The “right” phrase depends on your perspective. And there are millions of those. I hope you’re enjoying your Wednesday, whether you’re the weed, the asphalt, the observer, the sun, or a fawn who’d like a little snack while crossing the street.

Summer Days

It’s Mid-August in a year that’s included fawns and chipmunks, squirrels and crows, clean water and clean new sheets, burgers on the barbecue, and The Great British Baking Show. And I’m enjoying it beyond all reason. Who wants to listen to reason in August? Morning sun breaks through clouds. Doe watches photographer while fawn gambols. Fawn gambols some more. Fawn butts doe's flank; surely s/he's weaned? Maybe not yet? Sunset lights up the evening sky. I was not a huge fan of the movie Grease , but Olivia Newton-John made the world better, and we will miss her.


I've been thinking a lot about grief lately. I imagine we all have. All of us humans. Eight years ago, I took my cute boots out in the canoe. We had fun.  Whether we are or aren't "coming out of the pandemic," we have definitely been IN one, and that has held grief. Birthdays missed. Hell, births missed. Deaths, too. All kinds of celebration of life.  As society changes, in whatever way it changes in the next 2.5 years, those changes can cause new pain.  Perhaps I didn't have a "productive" stretch during the pandemic. Perhaps I have redefined "productive" and live a far happier life, more connected to things that matter. Perhaps I have merely survived. No "merely" about it, though. In any case, I am considering today whether I (and we, as a society) have been misunderstanding grief. It's not like I haven't experienced it before, and I know more grief lies in the days ahead.  As does more joy. Make no mistake, I know that, too

Things I am Taking Into August

Bobcat on the septic field at dusk, from a previous year's August but not out of the question for this year. Helpful, positive, constructive input on a beloved project. A renewed and affirmed sense of myself as a writer, reviser, and editor. The recognition, perhaps again, that I am ready to simplify many elements of my life. (As in, how many bedspreads do we NEED in this house?) A newly crowned molar. One down, one to go! A fading bruise, the souvenir of a couple of days with chainsaw and loppers clearing saplings from under the power line. Bragging about that makes me feel gnarly. A cleaned out water storage tank in the basement. The experience of reading books ONLY off my own bookshelves for a month (it was wonderful). The re-recognition, born of looking at photos from previous Augusts, that the world moves in cycles. Apparently, August is often hazy. Apparently, I need to re-recognize that every year.   The sincere, if probably ineffectual, effort to refrain from saying, "