trees
Turning the Page
On January 5, 2019 | 2 Comments

Everett came into the kitchen yesterday and said, “I’m sad Christmas is over.” And it is. Suddenly. Our tree is still up, some decorations still out, but Everett is right. Everyone is back to work or school, and yesterday my parents went on their way. So now–for real and for true–we seemed to have turned […]

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Fist Full of Sparrows
On November 14, 2018 | 3 Comments

  Our backyard maples are skeletal now. It happened in that sudden way that means I haven’t been paying attention. I know they flushed to gold about two weeks ago. Emma called me to the window, and we stared at them together for a minute. They can seem incandescent in those early yellow days, like […]

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Opening Like Hands
On April 19, 2018 | 0 Comments

From the Willow Room in the Prince Conference Center at Calvin College, one can see willow trees. They stand at some distance from the building, at least one hundred yards away, and during the lecture on self-editing a manuscript, I watched these trees. They were huge. Their branches were many. And all of these branches–those […]

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Contingencies
On November 28, 2017 | 2 Comments

Lately I am thinking of contingency. Standing in her office, my editor reminded me that writing is a job just as ditch-digging is. The ditch must be dug. Must not also the writing be written? She is right, of course. The ditch-digger goes to work and digs her ditch; so must the writer go to […]

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New for a New Year
On January 19, 2017 | 0 Comments

Putting a book together is interesting and exhilarating. It is sufficiently difficult and complex that it engages all your intelligence. It is life at its most free.  I started in earnest on a new book today. It wasn’t one I’ve been meaning to write. For some time now, the list of what I’ve been meaning […]

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All Things Hold Together
On November 16, 2016 | 1 Comments

He is before all things You can’t know–when waking at the gray cat’s paw to a dark sky–how the light will come through the trees at noon. Other things come first: the sliced turkey laid just so on the bread, carrots and cherry tomatoes, the mandarin, the note on the napkin. Coffee. He is before […]

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Window
On November 12, 2016 | 1 Comments

This is the picture window in our breakfast room. It hasn’t always looked like this. I don’t think we wrote on it–ever–until Emma was home-schooled in the 7th grade. That’s when she helped me see that this window would make an excellent substitute for a white board. And so, throughout her three years of home-school, […]

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Morning Drop-Off
On September 17, 2016 | 0 Comments

I drove the girls to school on Thursday, a late-summer, light-filled morning. It was just the third week of school, day thirteen if we’re keeping count, which might not be a good idea.     The conversation en route was cheerful. Chatter about driver’s ed, gladness that it was already Thursday, and the painted parking […]

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The Color Green
On May 4, 2015 | 4 Comments

This blog post is a gift to my mother, whose birthday was April 21st. And in loving memory of my grandmother, Grace Everett, whose birthday was the 27th. The field guides were kept in the dining room. Not obtrusively on the kitchen table or counter, but just around the corner, accessible to a quick eye […]

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From Trees
On November 12, 2013 | 2 Comments

Every year it comes to this, I would imagine–though I can’t say I remember it, surprised as I am every time: the air cleared of humidity so you could see for miles if the way lay straight; the leaves in that state of going, that thinned-outness–falling or still clinging–that makes every breeze into its own […]

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