Magical Memoir Moments

Screen shot from the campaign website store: https://store.peteforamerica.com/collections/gear/products/pete-2020-embroidered-hat

In Defense of Iowa Caucuses and an Explanation for Mayor Pete’s Popularity Among Seniors

  My best friend in Iowa is a country girl. Like me, Carol Bodensteiner grew up on a dairy farm in the 1950s. She wrote a childhood memoir, which brought us together. We are both writers. For the last two years, Carol and I have talked with each other once a month, discovering that we…

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My Three Cherished Things: Preserving the Stories that Go With Them

Last week I shared a conversation starter question that ignited a lively discussion. Readers shared three things they most cherished, three things they would clutch in a fire. I promised to share mine. So here goes. My first choice: I was wearing this ring on my right hand while I tried to choose my three…

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L-R: Gloria, Mary, Shirley, Tina.

Three Things Most Cherished: A Spiritual Exercise in Material Form

If your house were on fire, what would you most want to save? Or, less dramatically, if you strolled through your house today, which items would you miss most if they weren’t there? Take your time, I’ll wait for you. Recently, my friend Tina challenged our group of college friends to name our three favorite…

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The Song of the Lark, one of two copies in my library.

Our Callings, Our Bodies, and Our Lodestar Books

Do you have a lodestar book? One that explains your self to yourself? One that you can read in any season of life and it still instructs, comforts, and inspires you? Like this one? I have read this book at least four times. I come back to some passages nearly every year. This novel tells…

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Standing in winter landscape.

Silence, Solitude, and Aging: A Winter Revery

This is the season of silence and endurance, deep freeze of the soul. I have been writing haiku with photos, praying one pearl at a time. As I gaze outside, I read John O’Donohue’s Walking in Wonder The idea of my clay connected to my sister, the mountain! Reminded me of poet Gerard Manley Hopkins.…

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Our pear and cherry trees in the back yard. With severe haircuts.

Purging and Pruning Post Epiphany

Yesterday, the Day of Epiphany, fell on a Sunday, and a little group from our church jumped into conversation about the wise men, the star, and global warming, in response to the sermon. So, I was receptive when my friend Richard posted a wonderful epiphany reflection, which begins this way: For this Time Being –…

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“The Nancy Drew of Joy:” A Seasonal Meditation

In a dark time, a candle ignites hope, sparking the advent of joy. How are you spending these short days and long nights?  We celebrated our family Christmas during Thanksgiving week this year, which means the gifts and feasts came early. Now there is time to rest, read, go to concerts, light candles, and reflect.…

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My computer wears a new sticker.

An Election Day Meditation: Voting, Praying, Singing

It’s a grey day in the Shenandoah Valley. The scene in front of me looks upside down. The clouds are lower than the mountains. The transition between sky and land, heaven and earth, is not clear. Threshold spaces are like this. Neither one nor the other. Neither yet both. Our country, too, stands at a…

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Father Michael kneeling

How to Live: Prophets, Poets, and Mystics

After one returns from pilgrimage, the sense of living inside a movie recedes. Then certain remembered single images stand out. For me, Father Michael Rodgers,  Glendalough pilgrimage guide, quiet in demeanor, kindly in manner, yet passionate in his love for his special place stood out. How many times had he told the story of St.…

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On the grounds of the Dromantine Conference Center, Newry, Northern Ireland. Easy to imagine leprechauns cavorting here.

The Return Stage of Pilgrimage: Reflecting on Celtic Spirituality

I’m back in the red chair looking out at fog-covered mountains, feeling grateful. The dire hurricane forecasts at end of our trip to Ireland gave us pause, but all of us eighteen pilgrims on Tour I of Eklectic Pilgrimages to Ireland have returned safely. Thanks be to God. Our itinerary kept us stepping. In fact, one day…

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