Blog

1 week ago

Mary Pipher
Last week, I visited my daughter and her family in Canada. In the gardens of her small town, the dahlias were in bloom, dinnerplate-sized bursts of color beside the nasturtiums, asters, and zinnias. When Sara and I shopped downtown for bread and cheese, we passed a bucket of fresh-cut local dahlias. They were pastel, almost translucent, in lavender, pink, lemon and blue. I wanted to buy a bouquet, but decided I’d spent enough money that day. And besides, the day before I had purchased sunflowers. I told myself that I’d buy a bouquet the next time I saw one.I never saw another bouquet, even though I searched for dahlias at every opportunity. Those missed radiant dahlias will now live in my thoughts forever. ...
View on Facebook

1 month ago

Mary Pipher
Last night I sat on my porch and watched the waxing moon rise over my masthead pine. The siren of an ambulance wailed on the way to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital and the coyotes and foxes along Antelope Creek added their ancient, plaintive cries. The United flight from Chicago crossed the sky and passed under the moon. Someone turned off the lights of the Holmes Park ballfield. How I love this place. I know it like I know my old face. This speck of place and time is mine. My attention allows me to claim it. I am impermanent and will soon be gone. But the moon, the coyotes, the foxes, the white pines, they will remain. ...
View on Facebook

1 month ago

Mary Pipher
We have just returned from visiting our daughter and her family in Canada. Because of the border closing, we hadn’t seen them since December of 2019. Our 11-year-old grandson had grown six inches. He and I are now at eye level.We had a magnificent two-week reunion. The first week, we stayed at the house, but the second week, we traveled to Northern Ontario and stayed in cabins on Wolfe Lake. The water was clear and warm and there was an old wooden dock we could swim to. We played horseshoes and frisbee and walked to a nearby river. At night Jim, Coltrane and I lay on the pier and watched for falling stars. I’ll never forget the details of that precious golden time. "Reunion" is my favorite word in the English language. ...
View on Facebook

2 months ago

Mary Pipher
Yesterday I read about the United Nations report on climate change. That is, I read as much as I could stand. We’ve known this was coming for decades, but we have not acted or acted too slowly and now we are paying a dreadful price. This summer’s fires, floods, droughts and heat waves are only a preview of coming attractions. When I think about our planet’s future, I picture my five grandchildren and their yet unborn grandchildren. I worry about all our children’s futures and the futures for the foxes, kestrels and monarchs.I am lucky I am involved in environmental work. Action is an antidote to despair. Also, I know how to balance my sorrow with happiness. In my garden, the tomatoes are ripe and ten kinds of flowers are blooming. The Canadian border opened yesterday and soon we will be able to visit our family in Canada. We can always find reasons to be happy. As Wendell Berry said, “Be joyful even though you know all the facts." ...
View on Facebook

3 months ago

Mary Pipher
Yesterday, a barn swallow banged her head into our front window and sat stunned on our deck. Her mate perched nearby, silently watching over her as she slowly came out of shock. A couple hours later, the couple flew away together. There is a great deal we don’t know about animals, including how much they love each other. ...
View on Facebook