Bunkers Into Playgrounds

The prophet Isaiah admonished the people to unlearn the ways of war and beat swords into plowshares, to transform weapons designed to kill people into useful tools for sustaining them. At Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend, Washington, my son and I explored an enormous bunker that has become a bizarre, enchanted playground for…

Imagine Falling in Love with the World

The first time Matthew Cuthbert drives orphan Anne Shirley down the “Avenue” of flowering trees on the way to Green Gables, Anne is enraptured. She describes the sight as “the first thing I ever saw that couldn’t be improved by the imagination.” This is fine praise indeed from Canadian author L.M. Montgomery’s young character; Anne…

May This Water Bring You Blessing

I had a brother-in-law who was a carrot farmer. He had acres and acres of carrots. He showed me one of his fields once. There were only carrots as far as the eye could see. I asked him, how do you keep it just carrots? He explained that there are herbicides designed to kill everything…

The Memory of Water

In the beginning was water. My first home was the amniotic ocean inside my mother where I swam and dreamed and grew. This is where I received my first lessons on being a creature. Water was my first teacher. When things are difficult and I need to pray deep, I go to water. I always…

Housekeeping During The Apocalypse

I used to lie as often as I could on the ground beneath the reeling night sky, on snow, on muskeg, on beach logs—what astonishing extravagance! What infinite mystery! All those singing, pulsing stars, that unfathomable, irresistible moon, the Northern Lights swirling like crazy rivers of electric light. I thought we all had all the…

Hope: Dancing Towards Fullness of Life

The Dalai Lama says the purpose of life is happiness, sustained by hope. His logic is simple and attractive: since the future is unknowable, we may as well approach it with hope, with optimism. All I can say is, the Dalai Lama is not Catholic. I grew up in a religion which taught that hope…