Comings and Goings

The daisies and yarrow stand in tall brittle bunches in the garden, their cheery summer yellows and whites faded to soft gold and ivory. A few determined petunias still bloom in the flower boxes, purple trumpets on thin leggy stems, covered with a dusting of snow. I keep reminding myself to go out and pick…

The Life of the Vine

What kind of a person chooses to love something that is so difficult?             Winemakers for sure. And poets, too, remarked Warren Winiarski in one of our recent conversations.  Warren was Robert Mondavi’s first winemaker and is the founder of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars in Napa Valley. He is also the man, some would argue,…

The Serpent Queen

“Holy Crap!” Caroline screamed, and scrambled back into the air-conditioned house, slamming shut the sliding glass door to the patio. She should have softened her blasphemy to, say, “Crap!” But in her terrible fright, she had not had the presence of mind. For there—right on her new outdoor couch, sheltered from the rain by the…

Wildfire on Gold Hill

My recent job is close enough to where I live that I can ride my bike to work.             The bicycle that I have is a black, old-style bike with upright handlebars and a wide seat.  Riding it down the dirt road that we live on immediately brings back memories of childhood summers in the…

Stepping Back from the Edge

I was 27-years-old and I’d taken a railway train up the Jungfrau, in Switzerland, and arrived at a cold, cloudy plateau. I walked out along the icy pathway, ducking under yellow warning tape meant to call attention to the precipice just beyond. I continued towards the edge. Down below was a soft fluffy bed of…

Leading with Her Heart

I once had a teacher who offered the following exercise to our class of student yogis and healers, a lesson in “opening your heart.”             We teamed up in pairs, standing close, facing one another. For three minutes, one member spoke a litany of made-up criticisms and insults to the other member. It was a…

Spirits of the Mountains

Not much is known about the Inca tribes of the Andes, except that they chose to build their vast stone cities on some of the most precipitous mountain peaks in the world.             I have been to Peru and climbed among several of these ancient sites: the mysterious citadel of Machu Picchu, the Pisac ruins…

Cherishing Simple Days

Living sequestered has brought about some unusual changes in our household.  Time is more fluid, beginnings and endings less defined. Some of the structure and the behaviors that held things together seem less important. These days, there are no discreet individual projects; one seems to lead into the next. Replacing doorknobs and hinges leads to…

Getting Back To The Garden

I keep wondering how our garden back in Breckenridge is doing.             Alan and I are away for a few weeks, in Maine. Before we left Breckenridge we tidied up everything, inside and out—cleaning and vacuuming the house, mowing the lawn, weeding the flowerbeds.  The daffodils were fading but the tulips were still blooming in…

Calming the Mind in the Time of COVID-19

As news about coronavirus flooded every media outlet in March and early April, my mind began to jump all over the place like a scared rabbit.             One day, as predictions became increasingly dire, I pulled a book off my shelf, “The Yoga Sutras.” The sutras are a series of aphorisms, or sayings, that are…