Water and Rocks

Today Doug and I went for an easy hike along the shores of a peaceful lake in the White Mountains. As we walked along, a rhythmic phrase invaded my thoughts, “water and rocks, rocks and water, water and rocks”. I was lagging a bit behind and my attentive husband turned and asked, “Are you okay?”…

Rivers of Joy, Streams of Tears

It was in August four years ago that he coaxed and cajoled until I agreed to go with him. I had once been hurled against a rock by a smaller calmer river and was scared. He promised he wouldn’t let me fall from his raft, a promise he kept. Strong, commanding, professional; he knew what…

Anesthesia, Grief & Healing

It’s tricky to get the right amount of anesthesia. Too much is harmful. Not enough and the pain is overwhelming. Anesthetized, we lose consciousness, yet don’t rest. The pain is numbed but the wound remains. The line between need and harmful excess is not easily definable. Ice cream sweetly distracts from pain, one scoop at…

Human Breath

Years ago Evan gave me this icon of Mary and Jesus with their faces touching. He had written the icon himself and relayed what he had learned of how vital human breath is to the ancient work of writing icons in the Church of the East. Now it’s packed away in a box awaiting a…

Love is Risky. Love Anyway.

We started out completely lost in each other. I only knew his love for me. It was as if nothing else existed. Sometimes it seemed my heart would explode at the sound of his voice or the sight of his loving gaze. And even though I’d been warned the feelings would fade, I set aside…

65 and Retiring

Reflections on Goodbyes and Pachangas It’s the unsaid “goodbyes” that hurt most. We moved and people disappeared from my world when we started over in a new town, a new church, a new school. Yet, the disappeared haunt my memory in the vague forms and incomplete sketches imagined by my younger self. My music teacher,…

Loved as You Are

In preparation for a talk on prayer for catechetical leaders in our diocese, I visited the adoration chapel at the parish where I work. I brought a journal full of notes from a recent retreat along with my favorite spiritual book with sound advice about prayer. I leafed through these, but instead of focusing, my…

Lifelong Married Love

I was 19 and he was 22 when on Monday, February 16, 1976 he drove me to Phoenix for a Bill Gaither Concert. Three friends from his church rode in the backseat of his parents’ car for the 100 mile trip. The front seat was our own private world. At the concert , his friend…

Thoughts on Flying to Chicago

The high in Phoenix today predicted to be 70°. Perfectly beautiful sunny weather. In a few days I’ll board a plane for Chicago where 6° the forecasted high. The lows are in the negative teens. I’ve never been to Chicago in the winter, but I am packing layers and layers of warmth. It still amazes…