The Animate Canyon

We hear trickling water when we enter the canyon. It’s rainwater, seeping out of the mountain. The sand filters it and it flows spring-clear, clear enough for the pools to take on the color of their substrate. One pool is white as alabaster. The next has a green tinge. In another, a collection of pebbles—vibrant … More The Animate Canyon


The planes come and go almost all the time. They only stop between midnight and five a.m. They pass in radial arcs to and from wildly different places, all slicing though the air much too fast to see much of anything except a seemingly barren desert wasteland below them. We’re in the wasteland below. It’s … More Grounding

The First Days

A year ago, today, I sat with Paige on the northern headland of Galiano Island in British Columbia  and stared out onto the sound, looking for words to contain the emotional flood of one tremendous day and its aftermath. I wrote, Paige sketched.  I read, she listened. We reflected. These are the words that emerged … More The First Days

Cause for Hope

The fourth grade boy with round glasses and a gray variation of the underarmor sweatshirt that half the fourth grade boys wear, answers briskly when I ask him and his classmates sitting among the camas and blanketflower what this forest will look like in 200 years. “We won’t be here,” he tells me. “Yes,” I … More Cause for Hope

A Change of Plans

Sometimes—no oftentimes—life does not unfold to plan. Take Monday. The plan was to go camping in Pepa, to get out of the city for a night and shed the daily noise and commotion. Instead, the day went like this: Pepa was a bit sick—air was sneaking into her coolant from somewhere. To find the leak, … More A Change of Plans

Writing and Tidying

Lately, my attention has been to writing and tidying. Together, they’ve filled up days. I’ve found both disciplines carry similar language. When I attend to one, I learn about the other. When I place words on a page, I tidy thoughts together. I put each word in the place it fits. If a word, or … More Writing and Tidying

What we brought back

We’re back. We’ve brought in the food, the dishes, the clothes, and the books. We’ve cleaned Pepa and tucked her into a garage. We’ve started jobs, shoveled snow from the sidewalk, and run errands. There’s adjustment. It’s different, but good. What have we learned about living after living in an eighty-square-foot van for two months? … More What we brought back