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 […]

Grief, Hope, and Baby Sea Turtles

Posted by on Jan 20, 2016 in wholeness | 2 Comments
Grief, Hope, and Baby Sea Turtles

No two wounds are the same. We all experience the deaths of loved ones, but in unique ways. We all experience hurt and betrayal from people around us, also in unique ways. But whether it is the accumulation of hurts, or one catastrophic blow, many of us reach a point where the pain feels devastating and irreversible. […]

The Killers in My Neighborhood

Posted by on Jan 13, 2016 in neighborhood | One Comment
The Killers in My Neighborhood

I think of my neighborhood as a safe place. I don’t even know when a murder may have taken place–the last one in my entire city was more than a decade ago. But such a rosy view depends on one’s perspective. The other day, the headline news traveling by skips and jumps among neighborhood squirrels […]

In Praise of Dawdling

Posted by on Jan 6, 2016 in wholeness | No Comments
In Praise of Dawdling

“Stop dawdling!” I heard that quite a bit as a young child. Usually I was doing something very important, such as watching the wind blow dry leaves across the water like little boats, or examining the workings of an ant colony, or identifying the shapes of clouds. I could not understand the urgency of getting […]

Comfort And Joy

Posted by on Dec 24, 2015 in wholeness | No Comments
Comfort And Joy

Christmas music softly bringing tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy. Seventy-year-old recording, the singers likely all dead. Did they find it? Comfort and joy? “We all strive for safety, prosperity, comfort, long life, and dullness.” Aldo Leopold in 1949. Shortly after the dead singers sang. Before TV marketed the comforts of the material life […]

Forest Man: Hope in Action

Posted by on Dec 9, 2015 in land | No Comments
Forest Man: Hope in Action

In 1979, a teen living in northeastern India saw firsthand that recurrent major floods not only were destroying precious topsoil in his agricultural region, but also taking the habitat and the lives of all kinds of creatures. The elders in his community told him that the only long term solution would be a new forest, […]

Where Fall And Winter Meet

Posted by on Nov 25, 2015 in land, neighborhood | No Comments
Where Fall And Winter Meet

Winter stole into my neighborhood Friday night, silently releasing snow onto darkened streets and lawns and woods. We got just under six inches by the time it was done Saturday afternoon, a near-record for a November snow. When I woke up and surveyed my surroundings, I was pleased to discover that the sidewalk and driveway […]

Facing Climate Change With Hope: Sigurd Olson’s Way

Posted by on Nov 18, 2015 in cosmos, land | No Comments
Facing Climate Change With Hope: Sigurd Olson’s Way

As Sigurd Olson’s biographer, I was invited to speak at Northland College during the year-long celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute. It was April 4, 2013, Sigurd’s birthday. Rather than speak about the details of his life, I chose to focus on the relevance of his ideas and perspective to the great […]