Wednesday, April 15, 2015


I prefer pedaling a bike
over riding a motorcycle

I prefer paddling a kayak
over an amusement park ride

I prefer sailing
over motoring

I prefer cooking
over eating at a restaurant

I prefer buying a plant
over getting a pedicure

I prefer making bread
over buying it

I prefer weeding
over shopping

I prefer reading
over radio or TV

I prefer buying books
over buying programs

I prefer planting seeds
over feeding homeless addicts

I prefer putting the kettle on
over meeting at a coffee shop

I prefer being consistently devoted
over having consistent devotions

I prefer being poor in spirit
over being famous

I prefer being teachable
over knowing it all

I prefer friends who visit
over being a guest

I prefer being the beloved
over being insecure

I prefer shooting stars
over gift cards

I prefer bumblebees
over delivered bouquets

I prefer harbor seals on the dock
over Sea World performances

I prefer a walk in the woods
over walking the mall

I prefer being the church
rather than going to church

I prefer being
over doing

I prefer the sand and sea.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Why Do We Garden?

A neighbor and a best friend
groaned along with me this spring
as we trudged out to clean the
mess winter left. We wonder
why we do it. Why do we
keep gardening? It's hard work -
privatized - a secret kept from going
public by fences.

There doesn't seem to be much joy
in it at the beginning
of the season.

I read the story of Stanley Kunitz's
lifelong passion for gardening.
The pictures of him stooped
and barely hobbling
along well worn paths planned ages ago
with his hands as gnarled as the tree he
planted for a focal point
puzzled me.
Why did he do it? And keep
doing it until
he couldn't?
Is this what made
his poetry sing?

I think we do it because brilliant people
keep repeating this refrain:

Beauty saves the world. And

we have children in our lives
who beg to use the watering can,
pick berries, and clasp their grubby
little hands around mangled stems
of just picked bouquets. They offer it
to us, their un-wilted view
of our world through
innocent eyes.

This is why we do it. Else how
will they crave
a garden
of their own?

For Susan and Steve and Bev and Stanley….

Annual Generosity

I potter or is it putter?
around the yard
with my trug full of
tools disturbing the
worms' beneficial
tunneling and mating -
breeding friends loosening
dark loam for me.

After the weeding is
brought under control,
pruning done, the raked
mess piled and dumped,
the lawn mown for the first
time, and the bird bath bowl
found, cleaned and filled for the robins
lined up and
waiting to splash,

I treat myself to annuals -
a reward, dessert.
Annuals give it




spring and summer - color that is -
until frost freezes life
and color
out of them.

Pears will be ripen because
their blossoms invite bees. The Selkie,
Large Marge, the Hen and her Chicks,
and Fernando casually consult with the
crow building her nest in the neighbor's
tree and concur, it is good.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Lawn Games

I saw three children
marking a path double
lined with beheaded
dandelions face up to the sun.
These children's imaginations
were still intact and hadn't been
tampered with or genetically altered.
I should have stopped
to see what grand ceremony
played out - enacted
between yellow borders
on green grass. It fed me
for days.

Non - GMO dandelion seeds do exist to plant for early spring uncontaminated bee provisions. This information blew my mind. Children who still play and imagine outside games enchant me. 

Hummingbird Nest

Taken by my young friend Nathan Hamblen, a naturalist. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


The tulips opened
ruffled edges with
vigorous color held
by sturdy stems -
framing a day that
that craved
salt water byways
and beaches to replenish
the copious
salt water depletion
I'm experiencing.

Easter ended with a Wurlitzer
bringing it home through
throaty pipes and pounding
pedals. Like skipping rocks,
He Lives chorused
across the red velvet
seats and landed in my


We saw The Imitation Game at the historic Lincoln Theater Easter evening after a meandering drive North along the shoreline of Puget Sound. I dared not cry during the movie or afterward for fear I couldn't stop. 

Glen DesJardins is a volunteer organist who graciously gave me permission to try to take photographs in a dark theater.  His music brought me home to myself and the wonder of being beloved.  

Sweet Scented Akebia


This is pain
with no grand stands
or finish line anywhere
in sight.

No cheering. 
No applause. 
No media frenzy.
No explanation. 
No fame.
No proof.
No evidence. 
No reward. 
No payoff. 
No reason.
No pictures.
No interviews.
No visibility. 
No remedy. 

But Dr. Brand, if you say it 
is a gift and Phillip Yancey 
agrees, who am I to argue? 

Green is a Valiant Color

A seed fell
in my garden

It managed a miracle -
a volunteer effort.

I notice it sporting
five shiny leaves

reflecting light
in the shadows.