Spiritual Practice and Daily Life

Steve Jobs: A Reflection

As I reflected on Steve Jobs passing last evening, I was saddened that a man of such vibrancy and accomplishment had passed from our presence at such young age. I wondered about Steve Jobs the husband, father, friend. It is a different kind of mourning for those close to him and than for those of us who never met the man. But mourn we will.Like the thousands, perhaps millions, around the w…

Goodness Grows

I sat alone at my dining table after a taxing two and a half day drive to the Vineyard. It was an exquisite May evening, the last rays illuminating the newly occupied osprey nest and the tops of pine trees and oaks. The front door was thrown open to welcome the crisp air as it swept away the cobwebs of a long winter away. I regarded the salad, my first harvested from my very own garden. I …

The Wisdom Tree

                                             I first noticed the tree almost a year ago in the meadow near the pond. It was hard to miss, a singular graceful presence ami…

The White Deer

                            It is impossible for me not to experience magic, mystery and immense sense of wonder when I look at this photograph. I took it one misty afternoon a couple of years ago from my window in Chapel Hill, one of dozens of photos of this deer taken while it graced our home over the c…

Thanksgiving and the Practice of Gratitude

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more... it can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend." - Melody Beattie Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday, and not surprisingly so. From our beginnings as a nation, immigrants to our shores have had much to be grateful for- bountiful land and resources, immense beauty…

Driving Lessons

One of our travelling companions in Italy finished this wonderful book,  The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein,and left it for me to read. She knew I would like a book written from a dog’s perspective..even more so because it touches upon the deeply spiritual nature of our human journey, navigating the depths of human despair and the sweet joys of intimate connection with…

Susie's Garden

Today was my second visit to my friend Susie Middleton’s garden at the Native Earth Teaching Farm in Martha’s Vineyard. Surely you have heard of city folks paying to go weed and dig and haul water on farms. Well, I don’t pay, but would willingly. I go early before the sun is too hot and weed a row or two of vegetables -romaine, arugula, purple bok choy. Susie joins me and…

Cooking Up a Life

I have never been good at strictly following a recipe. Unless I am trying a new and exotic dish calling for the flavors and techniques outside my experience, a Brazilian stew for instance or a Vietnamese appetizer, I tend to improvise. Even then, once I get familiar with the new technique or ingredients through practice, research or sampling flavors, then I will likely stray from exact mea…

The Hanging Curve Ball: Fear and Loathing in the Field of Life

In honor of Opening Week in Baseball, I'll share one of many learning moments gleaned as a longtime baseball mom. It’s Saturday night. Manny Ramirez, one of the most feared hitters in baseball is at bat against the Houston Astros. The count is 1and 2 with two outs, and there are runners on first and second. What was pitcher Brandon Backe, thinking? I’m told that any intellig…

The Feast of Freedom

Beginning next Monday evening as a commemoration of the freeing of the Israelites and the “passing over” of the Angel of Death during the time of the plagues upon the Egyptians, the Seder meal of Passover or Pesach is one of my favorite holidays. The formalized ritual of prayer, story-telling, special foods to prepare and share as symbols of a common history, and the gathering …