The Darling Buds- Columbine

Many things changed that year.

By the time I was strong enough to follow the mountain creeks, it was nearly autumn.

By then, I had spent a long time thinking and I was sick of my head and the endless replays of no-longer possibilities.

So I walked.

I was  a long time walking, longer I think than my memory now glosses over.

The small meadow formed where the trees had been downed by the winter storms was a welcome surprise.

The greater trees had fallen, but the stubborn columbine had risen above their carcasses.

I spent some time watching the light play over their blooms before I turned and left.

Despite their delicacy, their small windows of opportunity, the columbine never ceased to reach for the unattainable sun.

Neither have I.

IMG_0451Columbine- Resolved to Win

This week of the Darling Buds brought to you by nostalgia, Victorian flower meanings, and the letter “Y.” As in, “No, there’s no real reason ‘Y’.”

Resolution, sun, and determined plants are also found in my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor. It is available here.


Treading Water

We were always threatened by geese when we went to the farm.

“Don’t go over there,” they’d say, “the geese will get you.”

Unlike other threats, this one was true.

If you went over there, the geese would get you.

I’ve always wondered why geese have some of the worst attitudes in the bird world.

Then, I think about swimming.

More specifically, I think about what we see when we look at geese swimming.

And what is happening that we don’t see.

So often, when I read the fantastical, the incredible actions start to blur together in my head.

As the great feats are coolly and competently performed, I can’t help wondering-

How hard are your feet kicking under the water?

There are few things that come without effort, but often that work is hidden, moved out of the line of sight.

Every foot across the water, every unruffled turn of the head, is accompanied by frantic motion under the surface.

One time when I was swimming, I surprised a goose.

For a few seconds, I saw the power under the magic.

When I surfaced, I smiled, my head steady, my arms lazy.

Under the water, my feet churned the machinery of balance.

IMGP0490I understand the impulse, but I wish that they didn’t bite quite that hard


If you would like to read my book, The Guests of Honor, it is available over here.

Blowing in the Wind

I like to catch the seeds of the fireweed as they drift past my face.

I let them land on my palm, as deceptively delicate as silk spun from titanium.

We have few words in our language to speak of the strength of soft things.

Of things that pass gently, without violence or agitation, but whose journey is all the more difficult and treacherous for the fragile shells they inhabit.

We are all fragile at our core.

It is the ability to rise above our weaknesses, to catch the current upwards, that makes for stories that persist long after we have vanished into the atmosphere.

I sometimes think of fireweed when I write.

I think of holding their seed fluff against my skin.

I think of raising my hand to my mouth.

I use my softest breath to send the strongest fragility out into the world.

IMG_3562The packages of strength