Blog

3 weeks ago

Mary Pipher
Some time ago, I was invited to speak at the new Crete library. I no longer do public events and I turned down the kindly librarian. However, to my surprise, I kept thinking about Crete. Eventually, I asked the librarian if I could accept her offer.In the mid-1950s, when my family lived in Dorchester, my mother had hospital privileges in Crete. I would wake early to ride along with her. Then, while she made rounds, I’d sit in the waiting room. Sometimes there’d be babies in a window that opened into the nursery. I’d watch those babies and wonder about their future. Last Sunday I drove down to the library. It was a beautiful facility built on a hill. I spoke in a light-filled room with tables for the audience members. When the librarian introduced me, she mentioned that the new library was built on the site of the old hospital.Suddenly I understood why I found myself in this place. I could see my mother with her white doctor’s jacket and a stethoscope looped around her neck. As she walked toward me, I could hear her high heels clack along the hospital’s linoleum corridor. I embraced her the only way I could. With my words.In the great kaleidoscope of time, a doctor dies, a girl becomes an old woman, and a hospital becomes a library. ... See MoreSee Less
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2 months ago

Mary Pipher
(With the caveat that I am NOT a poet...)The season is turning.The last of the orioles and hummingbirds have flown south.The rabbits’ fur has thickened.The mums and the pumpkins sit on the porches. And what about us?We dig out our heavy coats and find the windshield scrapers.We turn from walking trails to libraries,from salads to stews. We return from our travels and See the faces of our old friends. They are our down comforters who will keep us warm against even the harshest of winters. ... See MoreSee Less
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3 months ago

Mary Pipher
Last night early, a creamy pink moon rose above our masthead tree. This morning a big red sun replaced it. The asters and goldenrod are in bloom. The cicadas sing out and the birds are clumping up for their long journeys south.Yet, who can say anything new about September? Month of pears and apples, of hummingbirds and orioles, Of green-gold leaves and turquoise skies. And what more is there to add about its poignancy, its bittersweet nature? I can only say this.With all its sparkling glory and foreboding splendor, it has never come sooner. And, as I approach my 75th birthday, I have never listened more closely to its message. “Impermanence, impermanence, and impermanence." ... See MoreSee Less
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3 months ago

Mary Pipher
Today I am remembering Labor Days of yore, waterskiing behind my father’s boat in muddy Nebraska lakes, or in Kansas City with Scott and Toni, or at George’s place in the country with my friends and family, or in Ames with my toddler grandchildren, or in Scotland with Frank.This Labor Day I’m in our house on Holmes Dam, my daughter is in Canada, my grandchildren in college. My father is gone. Scott, Toni, George and Frank are gone. At least for now, I have hip problems and can’t walk well. But still, I am happy.Two nights ago an owl perched in our juniper tree in front of the half moon. A coyote drenched in sunset light crossed below him. Jim is still with me and my hammock and books. I have everything I need to be happy. ... See MoreSee Less
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