The Trinity Flower

Posted by on May 18, 2016 in neighborhood, wholeness | 4 Comments
The Trinity Flower

Soon after the time of the trout lily, the beech-maple woods of the Seven Bridges Trail are decorated with the bright white flower of the trillium. This year the trillium were just starting to bloom when I wrote about the trout lilies, and they reached their peak a few days ago. A common name for […]

Time of the Trout Lily

Posted by on May 4, 2016 in neighborhood | 3 Comments
Time of the Trout Lily

On Monday morning a light, warm breeze and the promise of sunlight breaking through the clouds meant one thing: I had to walk over to Grant Park and witness the current state of spring. We had just lived through a chilly and often sunless April, but I knew that even here by the shore of […]

A Small Parenthesis in Eternity

Posted by on Apr 27, 2016 in cosmos, wholeness | No Comments
A Small Parenthesis in Eternity

The 17th-century English physician and philosopher Sir Thomas Browne once said, “The created world is nothing but a small parenthesis in eternity.” If this is true, then what is my own life?  There is nothing like space and ancient rock to give some perspective, when feeling too important or when feeling weighed down by problems. […]

Sigurd Olson and the National Parks

Posted by on Apr 13, 2016 in land | No Comments
Sigurd Olson and the National Parks

This year is the centennial of the National Park Service, and on April 9 I spoke at the Listening Point Foundation’s annual luncheon about Sigurd Olson’s deep connection to the agency and the national park system. Here’s what I said: xxx At the end of April 1961, Sigurd Olson received a letter from Minnesota Senator […]

Dying and Rising

Posted by on Mar 30, 2016 in neighborhood, wholeness | One Comment
Dying and Rising

The last of our snow melted over Easter weekend, and yesterday I walked over to Grant Park to check out how my favorite part of the park had come through the winter. A good portion of the Seven Bridges Trail was closed all winter, because the paths leading downhill to the lower trails and lake grew treacherous […]

Sigurd Olson’s “Easter on the Prairie”

Posted by on Mar 23, 2016 in land, wholeness | No Comments
Sigurd Olson’s “Easter on the Prairie”

In April 1935 massive dust storms were blowing through the Great Plains, and the wind carried topsoil all the way to Washington, D.C., where the dust darkened a Senate hearing room and provided the silent but convincing testimony that led Congress to establish the Soil Conservation Service. But legislation doesn’t stop storms.  On April 14th, […]

Black and Red and Spring All Over

Posted by on Mar 9, 2016 in neighborhood | No Comments
Black and Red and Spring All Over

Once March begins, I always listen for a special song during my journeys around my neighborhood. It’s not widely considered to be a beautiful piece of music, but it is lively, and always brings a smile to my face. When I hear the tumbling song of the male red-winged blackbird, I know spring has begun. Here […]

Adelita the Turtle and the Sea of Loneliness

Posted by on Feb 24, 2016 in wholeness | No Comments
Adelita the Turtle and the Sea of Loneliness

They said she came from Japan, though nobody was sure, and she wouldn’t tell. But she had big dark eyes and beautiful brown skin, and in the summer of 1992 a young graduate student visiting her little forgotten town on Mexico’s Baja Peninsula fell in love with her. Her name, he was told, was Adelita. […]

When the Red Bird Sings

Posted by on Feb 10, 2016 in neighborhood | One Comment
When the Red Bird Sings

Last Wednesday I hinted about an event that for me marks the true beginning of the end of winter. On Friday, it happened. It was a little past noon on a crisp, sunny day, and I was walking along the edge of Grant Park when I heard it: the loud, bright staccato whistling of a male […]

Groundhogs, Blizzards, and the Baby Jesus

Posted by on Feb 3, 2016 in cosmos, neighborhood | One Comment
Groundhogs, Blizzards, and the Baby Jesus

A major winter storm swept the Central Plains and Upper Midwest yesterday and today, dumping up to a foot of snow and producing blizzard conditions in some areas. As one intrepid TV reporter in Sioux City, Iowa, put it after nearly getting blown over, “It’s just not good out here.” My neighborhood escaped it, although […]