Category Civility

After Summer, Before Winter

Green veins in a scarlet leaf. You no longer carry the life-giving gifts you once did. Still, you are part of this season’s beauty.

Sharing the Sky (June 2016)

Sharing the Sky (June 2016) One light to govern day. Another light to govern night. Tonight they salute each other across the dance floor of the earth. The sun making his grand solstice departure just as a strawberry moon arrives in her full-faced round beauty. For a few moments balance stretches from one horizon to […]

Fall Equinox: Balance

Autumn’s Equinox can be a challenge. It’s a time of rush and regret. There’s the looking back, as a friend sighed to me, “I just don’t feel like I had a real summer.” And there’s the pull forward: launching the cycle of the school year or programming year with a noisy flash of paper, clatter […]

Celebrating Harvests — Sweet & Bitter

Lammas, on August 1 is a strangely secret holiday in the modern world, though our ancestors knew it well across many northern cultures. It lands at the mid-point between Summer Solstice & Fall Equinox, when the first grains of the field might be gathered. The Lammas Cake celebrates earth’s provision: thank God, it looks like […]

Gargoyle Birthday

Birthdays. Hah. A big deal when you’re a kid. A mile-post when you’re an elder. But, really, it seems self-absorbed to make a deal over them in my middle years. Then birthdays like this year’s fall BAM on my heart. I decided to be all dispassionate about this year. Sure, I could go to that […]

Not for Publication

(I’ve been writing of how to find common celebrations across different beliefs, a good and worthy search. And, now, let’s give voice to the other side: when commonality isn’t appropriate.) Some moments (4:24am) are not meant to be shared. Mysteries require mist. Redwood groves only thrive where they are regularly bathed in fog. No one […]

Spring Equinox Part 2: Sometimes just noticing is enough

The morning wake up alarm goes off far earlier than our normal routine. We don’t hit snooze once. James and I pull on clothes in the dark, catch a bus, walk into an urban forest. We listen. The morning chorus of birds fills the air with their normal routines. Trills, drumming, flight calls. Some of […]

Spring Equinox Pt 1: Persian New Year

I am always on the lookout for a new beginning. Please, God, renew me, because the current me just doesn’t measure up. So Persian New Year was a great discovery: it falls on Spring Equinox. If Western New Year or Chinese New Year don’t do the trick, here’s a third chance in three months to […]

Death, Differences, and the Naked Truth

Imagine with me: sitting at the bed of a family member who is extremely ill, perhaps dying. Their closest and dearest have gathered. Some you haven’t spent much time with for a long while. But they have come from distance, through questions, tears, numbness, and obligation (in the best sense of that old-fashioned word). They […]

Mystics with Tool Kits

My partner, James, is a man of few words. A man dis-inclined to effusive expressions. A man who doesn’t see much point in talking about the spiritual realm. A man whose hands are so strong and skilled they earned him the title Master Carpenter. In other words, he and I are an odd match indeed. […]