Saturday, August 30, 2014


If you want to experience the almost-imperceptible-while-it's-happening shift in seasons, a farmer's market is the place. There are still piles of peaches and tables covered in tomatoes, but a man has brought apples down from the North Carolina mountains today. The eggplants are irresistible. You'll notice how hydrangeas have given way to a palette of pink and orange dahlias. It's a degree or so cooler, sun the golden hue of local honey. A tattooed young guy, so kind, sells the best bread you can imagine. Take some home.

Thursday, August 28, 2014


I was that girl too excited to sleep the night before school started. Who would rather shop for school supplies than clothes. And who will always consider a classroom sacred space. So when the school bell no longer tolled for me, it felt emptier than a playground after recess. Too many echoes, too little activity. No one blowing a whistle signaling what to do next. Commence the existential drift. Until one day I realized that I could make an appointment with my (inner) guidance counselor and put in for a schedule change. I could cherry pick the things I truly loved about school (being in a routine, being with friends, reading, writing, learning, experiencing, growing) and adapt them to adult life.

This is why, as summer ends, I'm stocking up on Sharpies at Target, signing up for a printmaking workshop and have added a yoga class to my routine. I'm penciling in writing blocks and walks with friends. I've scheduled chunks of fresh air time throughout the day and a weekly library spree. I've got nutrition covered, too, with my sister's homemade granola recipe, Farmer's Market apples and a cute Bento lunchbox. There's a plethora of podcasts and an online course I want to partake, lectures I'd like to attend around town. You can enroll, too. Anytime. There are no exams, no grades. Except E for enthusiastic and engaged. And energized.

Monday, August 25, 2014

blessing of the backpacks

Are you ever too grown up to experience the universal joy and energy of a first day of school? Yesterday was the annual 'Blessing of the Backpacks' at church, when children carry their school bags (sometimes bigger than they are!) up to the altar for a prayer before starting the new term. It's the sweetest thing, so full of anticipation and possibility. Backpacks are actually a hot fashion item for big people right now, so it's possible to find a style that tickles your personality today as much as the Arthur and D.W. motif did back in the third grade. Just make sure there's room enough for a composition book, a few #2 pencils and abundant blessings.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

back-to-school butterflies

“With many of my books I attempt to bridge the gap between the home and school. To me home represents, or should represent; warmth, security, toys, holding hands, being held. School is a strange and new place for a child. Will it be a happy place? There are new people, a teacher, classmates—will they be friendly?" - Eric Carle

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

la dolce vita

At an old Italian villa ensconced in bougainvillea,
a door opens. On the other side is the rest of your life.
From the balcony, picture postcard Positano. 
Hibiscus everywhere. And who knew the sea could be 
so many beautiful shades of blue?
Love is in the air. In the people and in the food, too. Amore
There is always a place to pause for prayer. 
Farmers here are artists, our guide said. 
The mountaintop town of Ravello takes your breath away. 
So does the nearby island of Capri. Pablo Neruda wrote a love note to it. 
The lemons are as big as mangoes and bloom three times a year. 
I did not want to say arrivederci to the Amalfi Coast. 
But the eternal city beckoned.
I just love this old place.
A double dip of dolce at every turn.
Sweet serendipity was coming upon the home of St. Ignatius.
Finding God in all things is his legacy. 
A midnight Vatican visit capped off Roma. Then, homa.
Thankfully, I brought it all back in my heart. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

stay with the fruit

Sometimes I look back over collages I've made to see what might have been hidden to me until now. Finding your inner Lewis & Clark is a great marching order for summer, or any time for that matter. It will definitely take you out on some sort of a limb, where fruit is. Something I learned recently is this: stay with the fruit. Stay where there's energy, goodness, kindness, love. Where there are books and berries. Where there's perfume, colored pencils, letters and ladybugs. If there's no fruit hanging from the limb you're on right now, go looking for some. Then stay with it.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

taste o' summer

Summer drives a faded red pick-up truck with a quilt in the back for impromptu picnics. It stops at roadside farm stands, drive-in movies and soft-serve ice cream joints where the line of customers spills into a parking lot illuminated by the glow of a neon sign. Summer carries a straw bag and a bandana and a library card, wears cotton shifts and cork sandals, has toes painted coral. Summer stays cool by ducking into a museum to catch the new exhibit and porch sitting in front of an oscillating fan. Summer is a paper bag full of peaches, summer is pie. It is fireflies and sparklers and starry nights, beach umbrellas in popsicle colors, a home run at the bottom of the ninth. If summer had initials, they would be B, L and T.

Friday, June 6, 2014

summer romance

Me, Dante, a comfy perch, iced coffee, biscotti to dip in it. And time. Let the summer reading romance begin.

Monday, June 2, 2014

dog days

Dogs don't get dragged down by the whole Monday thing. They live a more seamless existence, approaching each new morning with enthusiasm. Ready to pounce and play, roll in the grass, walk anywhere, angle for a treat, make a friend. Ready to love and, especially, to be loved. What great teachers they are.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

June first

Let there be gardenias. Let there be mortar boards with alma mater-colored tassels and sheet cake with Congratulations spelled out in icing. Let there be a mason jar filled with herbs on the kitchen sill and hummingbirds at the feeder outside the window. Let there be strawberries for breakfast, a mountain of summer reading to climb, an ice water pitcher floating with cucumbers and mint. Let there be cotton shifts, straw bags, sandals. And jazz. Let there be porches and poetry. Let there be June.