Category Archives: SPIRIT

WHILE I WAS AWAY

As I got ready to leave town for 10 days, I worried about the baby hummingbirds near my porch. I had watched them each day as they began to move around and make noise and ask their mother for food. … Continue reading

Posted in ANIMALS, CHILD REARING, DUMB SHIT I'VE DONE, SPIRIT | 26 Comments

HUMMINGBIRDS AND BEETLES

I almost made a catastrophic error yesterday with the hummingbird nest. As far as I could tell, the mother had vanished three days earlier. She was no longer sitting on her eggs, she wasn’t feeding any new hatchlings. She was … Continue reading

Posted in ANIMALS, SPIRIT | 21 Comments

OKAY I LIED ABOUT THE HERMIT THING

There’s an old Buddhist story about monks raking up leaves at their monastery before a visit from a revered guru. When the guru arrives, he looks out at the beautiful grounds with an appreciative smile, then raises his hand as … Continue reading

Posted in SAYINGS, SELF HELP, SPIRIT | 15 Comments

BACKYARD MYSTERY

One springtime years ago, when my children were young and life was hectic, a small domestic mystery nagged at me for two or three weeks. Sometimes when I entered my backyard through a side gate, I would hear a sudden … Continue reading

Posted in ANIMALS, CHILD REARING, SPIRIT | 22 Comments

MY DESERT-ISLAND CHORE

My wife likes doing laundry. It’s a welcome break from her day job, which tends to be demanding, highly social, draining. Doing laundry, on the other hand, is quiet and solitary, the clothes warm and fragrant when she pulls them … Continue reading

Posted in ANIMALS, SELF HELP, SPIRIT | 26 Comments

STORM-DRAIN DIRT

I looked back the other day at something I wrote at the beginning of the pandemic. The piece seems naive, ill informed, and overly optimistic. But the basic thesis remains true — there were silver linings to the Covid lockdown, … Continue reading

Posted in DUMB SHIT I'VE DONE, ICE HOCKEY, SELF HELP, SPIRIT | 24 Comments

BEE LIFEGUARD

From time to time I check the swimming pool to see whether any bees have fallen in. If I find one, I scoop it out using my hand, a leaf, or — if the bee is in the middle of … Continue reading

Posted in ANIMALS, SPIRIT | 48 Comments

ON CULTS, COURAGE, AND PERSONAL BLIND SPOTS

Something in me loves a TV show about cults. You name the group, I’ve watched the documentary — Scientology, NXIVM, The Family, Heaven’s Gate, the Rajneeshees, Branch Davidians, the Moonies, The People’s Temple. Why am I interested? On the one … Continue reading

Posted in COURAGE, HEROES, MOVIES, SELF HELP, SPIRIT | 36 Comments

SLOW-MOTION MIDLIFE CRISIS

In an interview before he died, songwriter John Prine described his old age, his daily life, his relationships with others. “I’m good at hiding,” he said, laughing. He meant hiding from loved ones, from professional obligations. He meant slipping away … Continue reading

Posted in CHILD REARING, COURAGE, LITERATURE, MOVIES, MUSIC, MY CHILDHOOD, SPIRIT, UNIQUELY AMERICAN BULLSHIT | 39 Comments

GOOD-BYE, SWEET BOOM

I woke up around 4:30am today to the sight of an owl swooping into the branches above me and taking away a rat, which protested loudly as it departed. The owl, huge and gray, vanished as quickly as it arrived. … Continue reading

Posted in CHILD REARING, COURAGE, DOGS, HEROES, SPIRIT | 80 Comments