3 Things I Learned this Winter (fire and ice edition)

You don't have to have snow to learn a few things in the winter season, but sometimes it crystalizes the lessons. There are lessons to be learned in the quiet snowfall, the ice crystals, and warming your toes by the fire. Here are a few of mine this winter - just three. Icicles are formed with patience and time. When I saw the icicles, I felt like a kid again. I wanted to sit at the window and watch them form against a clear, cold sky. Drip, drip, drip. They were three, four, even five feet long, hanging in icy Continue Reading

Chapel of the Small Things

He found her in the front row, a small girl leaning shy on her Daddy's arm. In the slanting rays of late summer when the hydrangeas grow tall and leggy, the maestro played keys in a tiny white chapel. Maybe she would come to the piano and help him play a song? He showed her what he practices everyday and they played it together. He looked only at her and she at him. We knew we were witnessing something all too rare - a hushed and simple kindness, attention to the small. This winter I ran into her Daddy and Continue Reading

My Favorite Books of 2018 (5 of 50)

“In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.” Mortimer J. Adler This is why I mark my books with squiggly lines, stars, and large ellipses so I can revisit the best parts like a converstaion with an old friend. I know their words can water my soul if I let them soak in. This year, I read more than fifty books, which is not meant as a brag, but I hope gives you context for my offering of a Continue Reading

Relax and Let your One Word Choose You

Last year, my word for 2018 was a quote from D. L. Mayfield, "Here's to a 2018 full of digging deep(er) inner wells." It was more than one word. It fit me perfectly. And I didn't find it until January 18. So you've got time. This space between Christmas and New Years is when eveyone seems to be finding their one word for the coming year. Actually, this time we're in is the 12 Days of Christmas or Christmastide, and it extends all the way to Epiphany when the Magi found Jesus under his star. Did you Continue Reading

Who are You in the Nativity?

What do you think of when someone asks the question, "Are you ready for Christmas?"? I can tell you the lights are up on our eaves. We went to the Christmas tree farm and cut down a beautiful Turkish Fir, the one with sky blue on the underside of the needles. It twinkles in the corner of our Gathering Room waiting for a star topper. My Christmas cards are ordered, imprinted with “Merriest Christmas, love the Conlins”. Sometimes, I think I'm read when I set out my Nativity. But none of that means I am ready for Christmas. Continue Reading