The Three Themes of Pope Francis

Posted by on Nov 4, 2015 in cosmos, wholeness | No Comments
The Three Themes of Pope Francis

Several weeks ago I presented this updated version of a talk I have given several times over the past two years. I am posting it here especially because of the connection to the crucial United Nations climate conference that will begin on November 30 in Paris. xxx Imagine that you’re a book publisher, and three years […]

Drawn to Autumn’s Fire

Posted by on Oct 28, 2015 in neighborhood, wholeness | No Comments
Drawn to Autumn’s Fire

The peak of fall color came on Sunday in my little corner of the world. It was a perfect late October day, sunny and warm, and hundreds came to Grant Park, drawn to witness the blazing colors. If Grant Park is the crown of the Milwaukee County Park System, the Seven Bridges Trail is the […]

The Stranger

Posted by on Oct 21, 2015 in land, neighborhood | No Comments
The Stranger

The skyscrapers glowed in the warm rays of the late afternoon sun. So did the nearby trees. The harbor was alive with boats and gulls. Walking along the waterfront, I absorbed the beauty of this October day, and felt both peace and joy. And yet as beautiful as it was, something was missing. I did […]

The Locomotive’s Wail

Posted by on Oct 7, 2015 in neighborhood | No Comments
The Locomotive’s Wail

Not a leaf stirred on my backyard birch tree. I heard no neighbors, no cars, saw no squirrels. Even the birds were silent and hidden. It was as though time itself had frozen one beautiful moment on a dew-filled autumn morning. I sat on my patio in the early morning sun and meditated on these words from […]

The Pope of the Blood Moon

Posted by on Sep 28, 2015 in neighborhood, wholeness | No Comments
The Pope of the Blood Moon

Pope Francis departed from Philadelphia International Airport last night under the glow of the harvest moon. And not just any harvest moon, but a supermoon, which seems larger than life because the moon is at its closest point to the earth. Even more–a supermoon preparing to undergo a full eclipse, which has only happened five […]

Find the Best Fall Color Near You With This Interactive Map

Posted by on Sep 16, 2015 in land, neighborhood, wholeness | No Comments
Find the Best Fall Color Near You With This Interactive Map

Maybe it’s because I’m from Wisconsin, but I love the fall. I love the early fall, when it’s still warm but the sun’s rays are less direct and more precious. I love the contemplative spirit of late fall, somber and still. And of course I love watching the annual patterns of fall color spread across […]

Yellowjackets!

Posted by on Sep 9, 2015 in neighborhood | 2 Comments
Yellowjackets!

While mowing the lawn last week, I saw a quarter-sized hole in the ground. As I approached, several small black-and-yellow insects flew out of the hole and off toward my neighbor’s pear tree. Yellowjackets! I knew that there would be hundreds more of them in that colony, and that they would pose a danger to […]

McKinley, Denali, and a Sense of Place

Posted by on Sep 2, 2015 in land | No Comments
McKinley, Denali, and a Sense of Place

Call it “Name-Gate.”…”Mountain Gate”?…”Gates of the Arctic“? (No, that one is in a different part of Alaska, and the name is taken…at least for now….) In any case, President Obama’s decision to change the name of Alaska’s most famous mountain has drawn enthusiastic support and a whole lot of anger. For centuries, the tallest peak […]

Cicada Time and a Sense of Place

Posted by on Aug 26, 2015 in neighborhood | No Comments
Cicada Time and a Sense of Place

From mid to late summer, you can hear a high-pitched whine in my neighborhood. No, it’s not kids who are starting to get bored after a month or two away from school. And maybe “whine” isn’t the right word. I’ve heard it called a “screech,” but it doesn’t seem at all like that to me. […]

On Wildness and Holiness

Posted by on Aug 12, 2015 in neighborhood, wholeness | No Comments
On Wildness and Holiness

It might not look too impressive, the birch tree in my backyard. It’s not old, nor is it large; in fact, it’s even missing its third trunk, which broke years ago during a tremendous storm. But to me it is special. It reminds me of the canoe country of northeastern Minnesota, which has been my […]