Wave Theory

Coming down the steep zigzag trail in the forest, terra firma is still underfoot, and though the stairstepped Pacific-coast pines are quite different than the cottonwoods of our midwestern plains, they are still trees and we are still ourselves, a family living in a slightly heightened but normal state, minds prone to distraction—cellphone texts, baggiesContinue reading “Wave Theory”

Hey, Who Do You Think You Are?

When our sons were little, we provided them with a wooden chest full of random costumes, which is how we ended up being confronted in the kitchen by a buxomy matron in high heels or a helicopter pilot behind a tinted visor or a pirate of the most eclectic sort, one who wore a wide-brimmedContinue reading “Hey, Who Do You Think You Are?”

Of Cowboys, Doctors, Tradition, and the Individual Talent

We had walked to the other side of the rodeo, across from the grandstand, so that we could get a closer look at the calves dashing out of the chute and the cowboys galloping after them.  This was where families of the performers hung out, and suddenly my eye was taken by a child beingContinue reading “Of Cowboys, Doctors, Tradition, and the Individual Talent”

In the Mind’s Eye

Imagination.  The ability to picture what is not there.  An alternative reality.  A scenario that blossoms out of the brain, often eclipsing the reality all around.  Just like Ron and Hermione and Harry have eclipsed the school-yard acquaintances of so many children.  Or just like their school, Hogwarts, keeps eclipsing ordinary, “real” schools.  And whatContinue reading “In the Mind’s Eye”

In Praise of Wildflowers

Not tame, they grow out of bounds—outside the rules that humans would put on them.  Beautiful but hardy, they are found in the most unexpected places.  Suddenly blooming on the sandy hardpan of a desert floor, surrounded by thorns.  Dotting the dusty tallgrass prairie.  Or scrabbling along a rocky scree above timberline, where the snowContinue reading “In Praise of Wildflowers”