Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Wishes

May your trails be difficult, but worth every step of the way. I pray you're hungry and thirsty enough that you know what it is to be satisfied. I hope you experience enough cold to appreciate the warmth of a blanket or a good campfire. And may the heat of summer bring you the joy of refreshing breezes, cool shade, and ice cold spring water. In the spirit of Edward Abbey, "may your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view." Finally, at the end of the day, may you be tired enough and lonesome enough to cherish rest and the company of friends. Life is a journey. Walk well, and travel light. Happy New Year.

Monday, December 21, 2015


What is the Winter Solstice but a time to reconnect with nature's seasons and to recognize the longing for warmth and light within our hearts? 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Wild Farmer

Carrying a full bird feeder by its bail as I return it from our seed storage bin to its hook on a Boxelder limb, it occurs to me that I am a farmer. Maybe not in the normal sense, but I am a farmer nonetheless. I am a caretaker of birds, trees, and flowers, and I harvest that which I did not plant. My gain is the simple joy of being with wild things.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


Standing in the woods,
looking up at the stars
from beneath a large beech tree
near the top of a ridge, 
I stand in silence waiting,
waiting and hoping in the dark,
to feel what Wendell Berry calls 
the "peace of wild things."

I wait with the restless thoughts
I had hoped to leave behind.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Real Wealth

Our home is bejeweled this morning. The sunlit ice crystals are like a million diamonds strewn across the yard by some unseen beneficent hand. I am rich. Although ephemeral and fleeting before the rising sun, this beauty seems to me more real, more solid than any material wealth could ever be. Rich or poor, the frost will be here to adorn my yard. You may scoff, but say I am rich indeed.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Wild Giants

I am inspired by big, old trees. Even though I have not been lucky enough to see them in person, my imagination is captivated by the giant redwoods and coastal redwoods. Giant sequoias live at high elevations, enduring cold, heavy snows, lightning strikes—and growing bulky and strong, though not so tall as coast redwoods. This individual, the President, is the second most massive tree known on Earth. This photo is from the Dec. 2012 issue of National Geographic Magazine.