Learning to Wait: Walking the Dog as Contemplative Practice

Norval takes a rest. This is pretty much how our outings go. I move, Norval doesn’t. If he’s not sniffing, relieving himself, eating sticks, or barking at Gus the Goldendoodle, he’s most likely defying me. He knows he gets rewarded for “good walking,” so when he loses the mood, and he doesn’t see me reaching … Continue reading Learning to Wait: Walking the Dog as Contemplative Practice

My Husband Has Cancer: Does It Matter What Kind?

When I tell people my husband has been receiving treatment for cancer, many ask—almost reflexively—“What kind?” After thoughtful consideration, much of it conducted in waiting rooms, doctors’ offices, and pharmacy lines, I’ve decided this is not the most appropriate, or helpful, response. At fifty-seven, I am sometimes fixated on causes of death for folks my … Continue reading My Husband Has Cancer: Does It Matter What Kind?

Hiking Toward Home: In Which a Middle-Aged Woman Forges Her Trail

I have hiked five miles of the Appalachian Trail. It’s true, but I usually announce this with my eyes cast downward. Not because I think five miles is paltry; for me, it’s an accomplishment. My reticence is due to the circumstances of my achievement. So, yes, I did cover a handful of miles of the … Continue reading Hiking Toward Home: In Which a Middle-Aged Woman Forges Her Trail

On Mary Pipher’s “Seeking Peace” {This Is Not a Book Review…}

I’ve only written a few book reviews in my day, mainly because I don’t really understand them. Or maybe I don’t appreciate them properly. Is one person’s opinion of a book supposed to sway me, even when I’m not familiar with the reviewer’s background or interests? What if I love the author and disagree with … Continue reading On Mary Pipher’s “Seeking Peace” {This Is Not a Book Review…}

Dear 2018: Whatever Happens This Year, Please Don’t Demand That MayBelle Be a “Change Agent,” “Goddess,” or “Warrior”

Or worse, a “badass.” MayBelle doesn’t want to be any of those things. She just wants to be herself. Maybe, in this new year, a more refined MayBelle, or even the most MayBelle-iest MayBelle she can be. But she refuses to be overwhelmed/intimidated/shamed by messages implying that she needs to be different—that she has to … Continue reading Dear 2018: Whatever Happens This Year, Please Don’t Demand That MayBelle Be a “Change Agent,” “Goddess,” or “Warrior”