Real World Magic

I fell in love with the ocean at an early age. Living in land-locked Montana may have had something to do with it. The ocean felt exotic and surreal to me. I loved everything about it, from its sandy beaches to rolling waves and most especially, all the creatures that called it’s depths and shorelines…

A Letter to My Children about God and Religion

Hey Babies, I want to talk to you about something important—God. I know we talk about this all the time (we’re very God-positive) but I want to explain a few things that don’t always lend themselves to daily conversation, specifically God and religion, how we came to where we are now and what that means…

I Choose to Learn from Love

Yesterday I had this perfect, dreamy, ideal Sunday afternoon experience. My whole family was relaxing in the living room together reading quietly. I was so happy I could barely focus on the page. This level of blissful peace rarely happens in our house and when it does I want time to stop forever. But time…

Growing

Growing up is hard. It’s vulnerable and scary and even small challenges feel insurmountable. As a child experiencing this for myself, it felt hard. As an adult watching my own children experience it, it feels absolutely terrifying. I want the world to be kind to them and I fear it won’t. I don’t want the…

Sixty Four

God is hard to capture. When Leonard Cohen sat down to write what would arguably become his most famous song, Hallelujah, he was attempting to bite off a piece of this unconquerable subject. By the time he recorded the finished version, he had dedicated five years of his life and written 80 verses. Though his…

Sixty Three

When my grandma found out that her cancer was terminal, she asked, “Really? That’s it? My life is already over?” She was 84. Life goes by fast. And while I was there with my grandmother and my family in those final days, someone else’s life was going much too fast. One of my daughter’s preschool…

Sixty Two

There are moments in life when you feel God. And there are moments in life when you see him so crystal clear you think your heart might split in two from the sheer impact of it. It’s not a physical form – it’s a concentration of love and strength and selflessness and deep poignant beauty…

Sixty One

The rattle came in the morning. The hospice nurses had told us what to listen for. It was a strange sound. I could easily have missed it, if I hadn’t been paying attention. I called my mom at 5:00 a.m. and she answered right away. As I waited for her to arrive, I continued to…

Sixty

Grandpa didn’t say a word. He was so deeply spent. After a time, I convinced him to get some sleep, promising that I would wake him if there was any change. There was a spare hospital bed in the room, which he laid down upon and fell immediately into a deep slumber. He needed it….

Fifty Nine

Grandma shifted uncomfortably. Her hands pulled vaguely at her clothing. She picked at the fabric lightly, loosely, ineffectively. She lifted one weak limb and brushed absentmindedly at her mouth. The motions felt like an echo. She was far away, deep within herself. She hadn’t spoken or responded to anyone in over 24 hours. As she…

Fifty Eight

I had been listening more and more as my time in Italy wore on. I was surprised to find that there was increasingly a lot to listen to. It was the soft, sweet twinge of peaceful joy I felt when I heard a Gregorian choir sing. Or the skin-tingling awe of the beautiful Tuscan scenery…

Fifty Seven

The Villa’s common room was a dimly lit cacophony of sound. Music blared from a boom box in one corner. People laughed and chatted, dressed in white bed sheets, their heads adorned with leaves, vines and flowers. The table supported a pyramid of plastic cups next to an ocean of food, wine, beer and vodka….