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Constant Companions

Constant Companions

I distinctly remember the first time I realized that I would die.  I was about 9 or 10 and I was lying in bed at night, when suddenly this realization poured over me.  I am going to die someday.  The room spun.  My heart pounded. Surely, this couldn’t be possible.  Yet, not only was it possible – it was absolutely going to happen! Sometimes I wonder if I think about death more than the average person.  It’s not that I…

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Visitors

Visitors

I had two flocks of turkeys pass through my yard today.  I stopped to watch them, and in those moments, there was nothing else happening in the world.  The sky rumbled, grey and pouty, as it began to spit like a child having a temper tantrum.  I stood at my window, watching the golden maple leaves sway carelessly to the ground, feeling aware of the comfort of my home. Memories of my lifetime of autumns passed in an instant, as…

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Looking for space

Looking for space

I’ve seen a lot of amazing places over the last week or so. I drove from the Columbia River Gorge through the rippling brown grasslands of eastern Oregon and Washington, through the sweeping evergreen mountains of Idaho, and into the big sky country of Montana. Each place I visited captured my imagination, but none so much as Glacier National Park, where I have been for the last several days. There are no words to describe it and pictures cannot begin…

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No expectations

No expectations

I spent the last few days visiting my good friend, Erin, in Portland, 0R, and now I am off on a brand new camping adtventure by myself for the next two weeks. I’ve been so consumed with preparing and planning for this trip for the last few weeks that it is hard to just let go of it all. I arrived in the Columbia River Gorge yesterday afternoon, beyond exhausted from pushing too hard for too long. But the campground…

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Going backwards into Summer

Going backwards into Summer

Summer is here! I went for a paddle on Laurel Lake in Erving with a neighbor this evening, which was a great way to ring in this vibrant season. As I started paddling, I found myself veering off in a weird and unexpected direction, unable to control myself.  It took me a few seconds before I realized that I was on my paddle board backwards.  I laughed and said, “Well, that basically sums up the way my day has been. …

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Innocence Regained

Innocence Regained

The other day I saw a puddle on the pavement that was mixed with gasoline leaked from a car. It looked like a big, swirly iridescent rainbow. I remember seeing these kinds of puddles when I was a kid, and feeling a great sense of delight as I exclaimed, “Look, Mom! A rainbow!” And so, we go from childhood to adulthood. The simple things that delighted us become weighted by knowledge and reality. A pretty puddle that once made me…

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The In-between

The In-between

It’s that time of year when the days can seem to drone on in an endless blur of grey and brown, chilly and damp.  Maybe a blanket of powdery white waits for an opportune moment to drape itself over the landscape one last time.  Or perhaps the sky might break into a brilliant blue, and the warmth of the sun will set to stirring signs of life and renewal. This is the In-between, a time between times.  We have nearly…

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Welcoming Winter

Welcoming Winter

I have a confession to make.  I have been dreading winter since the last dreamy, verdant weeks of summer.  But as summer turned to autumn and then autumn to winter, I have found myself befriending the cold, quiet days and the long, dark nights.  The air feels crisp and invigorating on my face during my contemplative wanderings through the woods.  There is a stillness that fills the forest, which I find peaceful and soothing, and the early nightfall gives me…

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Creatures of Habit

Creatures of Habit

Nearly every afternoon, a flock of turkeys comes through my yard.  Today, they arrived around 3:40, emerging from the woods in a tidy single file line, like a group of school children. There are 9 of them now, down from the original 14 that I counted over the summer.  But they are a healthy and robust crew, and it’s always a pleasure to watch them scrape and scramble eastward through the yard.  Turkeys travel one to two miles a day,…

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Spirit and Place

Spirit and Place

It’s peak foliage season here in Western Mass.  The weather has been spectacular, with striking blue skies and streams of sunlight pouring through the fiery foliage.  Leaves appear to glow,  They rattle and rustle as if in a shamanic trance.  And then they rain down, like gold coins, spreading a wealth of riches on the forest floor. I’ve always thought that fall foliage is nature’s fireworks display.  It starts slowly – a burst of orange and red here and there,…

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