2 weeks ago
I haven’t been posting lately because, paradoxically, I’ve had too much to say, too many emotions to process. Like all of us, my life has been pummeled by the gale force winds of our times. When an acquaintance asked me if I had any plans for 2021, I said that my only plan was enchiladas for dinner.
On Wednesday, as we watched the insurrection on television, my friend Pamela* called. When her Dinka village in Sudan was burned and her parents killed, Pamela was just a child. With her three brothers, she fled on foot to Ethiopia and, later, when they were forced to leave, she and her brothers walked back across Sudan to the Kakuma Refugee camp in Kenya. I met her on Christmas Day 1999, when she arrived in Lincoln from that camp. She was 14-years-old, had never been to school, and spoke no English.
Now, 21 years later, Pamela is frightened her children will be killed. She was terrified by what she was seeing on television. I tried to reassure her, but what do I really know? What do any of us know?
This morning, it is foggy and the grasses and bare branches are filigreed in silver. A patch of blue sky just appeared in the south. I pray for our country. I pray for Pamela’s children and all children. I wish you all a peaceful and healthy new year. ...
1 month ago
It is a snowy Sunday morning. The conifers are flocked with snow and festooned with sparrows.
Yesterday I walked around the lake in the silvery late afternoon light. As I watched the sledders, I wondered if I will ever be so old that I don’t miss the sledding and snowman-making with my children and grandchildren.
I am a terrible Buddhist. I can never stop yearning and wanting. My mantra is, “I have more than enough conditions in the present moment to be happy.” However, alas, I often forget my mantra.
Last night at dusk, three young coyotes hunted and frisked about in the grasses on the dam. Leaping and tumbling, they reminded me of happy children. Perhaps they were my children. They made me smile and remember my mantra. ...
2 months ago
This morning, I watched a pink and powder blue dawn. Then, whoa, the whole sky instantly turned golden. My granddaughter texted me that she was driving home from college today. A friend texted to share the sunrise. It’s Monday morning of Thanksgiving week. I won’t pull out the leaves of my big table, polish the champagne glasses, or buy a big turkey. On Thursday, Jim and I will take a walk and facetime my daughter’s family in Canada. Meanwhile, I plan to be grateful for every good moment—for the morning sky, the granddaughter who remembers me today, and for my friends. In “Women Rowing North” I wrote, “Gratitude is a survival skill.” I didn’t know two years ago how true that was. ...
I woke early this morning filled with jittery, anxious energy. Thank goodness it is a beautiful day. I can ground myself by literally lying on the ground and looking at trees and sky.
On election eve at sunset, Jim and I walked along the southwest side of the lake. It was a windless evening and the reflections in the lake of yellow and orange trees reminded me of a Van Gogh painting. A loamy smell and cooling air rose from the earth. Fly-fishermen in waders and a father and young son fished nearby. We stopped at a little marsh with sandpipers, plovers and woodcocks. At dusk, dozens of Canada geese flew overhead. Experiencing this good moment was deeply calming. Today, when I am feeling frazzled, I am going outside. ...