On Being Thwarted

My second daughter was born a bit early at 35 weeks. In her premature arrival, she needed more physical closeness for the first two years of her life. Demanded is a better word: this child was so utterly insistent that she be held, and held by me, that I was…

Area of refuge

One June summer day, after spending time on the water with our children and my father in law, visiting from his home in Montana, my husband complained of a headache. His headache grew as we got off the boat, so he handed me the keys and asked me to drive…

Stopping for peaches on a Sunday afternoon

This past Sunday was one of those days that held the startling juxtaposition of the beauty and sorrow of life. As Francis Weller writes, "Our task as adults is to be stretched wide by grief and gratitude." We hold one in each hand. My morning began playing with a baby,…

The 'Ugly Cry'

Recently I shared a Saturday afternoon with Eugena Maguire, a delightful social worker and parent coach, as we recorded a conversation for her "Unpacking Depression" podcast. Our conversation stretched over the course of the afternoon - one of those delicious meetings that could go on and on for hours. We…

Remembering the delight of ourselves

Today I took my dogs for a walk, traipsing our normal loop of squirrel hunting and owl spotting, ending in a bout of enthusiastic stick fetching in the nearby pond. It is sunny and hot right now in Texas – over 100 degrees hot – and I took off my shoes and…

Blessing

"Even the bird with a broken wing is a prayer." - Ashley Gates JansenEvery oak tree holds within it the acorn, the bud of longing and becoming. And every acorn holds the whisper of the promised oak, grand perennial. But sometimes the acorn does not blossom but remains tight, a…

The light within the light

"First we receive the light, then we impart the light, thus we repair the world." - Kabalistic sayingHoliday music is some of my favorite music. I'm known to listen to Silent Night in the height of summer as well as the depths of winter. And, oh that line in O…

The father of my father

My paternal grandparents, Virginia Donovan Randolph and Edwin Randolph, peace and blessings be upon them."Pain travels through families until someone is ready to feel it." -Stephi WagnerEditor's note: This essay was written in honor of World Mental Health Day, which takes place on October 10th each year. And today,…