Category Archives: journey

trusting ‘whatever’

I slowed my bike but thought “whatever,” and went right through the puddle.

Such is life.

I often see puddles too late to adjust and go around;

Trusting my balance and

fenders to keep me dry,

I just peddle on through to the sidewalk on the other side.

Decade birthdays

Today is my 60th birthday and I think I’m celebrating with one of the best gifts ever: a cross country driving trip with my daughter.  Of course it is bittersweet as well because she is moving to South Carolina and at the end of this adventure I’ll be returning home without her.

As we were driving through the beauty of Montana today, I shared how one of my women’s groups celebrates decade birthdays by sharing gratitudes for each decade.  So my daughter and I did that together, my 6 decades and her 3.

It was good for me to realize I’m quite thankful for the gifts of my decades and for her to see the gratitudes of her decades becoming great foundations for the next to come.

Road Trip as Metaphor

One Road Trip As Metaphor
                                                            (for my life, so far..)1-IMG_5177

The first two days of our trip we just traveled through time and space:
eating and sleeping, stretching our  legs,
putting fuel in the car so we could keep going –
blissfully inattentive to all we passed along on the way..

kind of like my first 15 years on this planet…

Then we did our first bit of sight-seeing,
visiting a local museum.
We saw amazing displays of collected wisdom
and added more than a little something to our own banks of knowledge.
And then we drove on,
looking at a map every so often,
enjoying the scenery,
eager to reach our next stop
where we could bed down
in a place we’d call home for awhile.

The heart of our trip was spent at our “destination,”
traveling north and south and east and west,
seeing as much as possible,
accommodating each person’s interests and traveling style,
goals for each day in mind.
We maintained a tight schedule,
and were exhausted each night,
barely able to slap at pesky mosquitoes
when we turned off the lights to sleep.

30’s, 40’s, and counting….

Then the day came to head home traveling by a different road.
Eager to get back to familiar surroundings,
we were up with the sun,
glad to have only ourselves to pack into the car.
It was easy to put in a full day’s drive
and we arrived at the hotel before they were ready for us.
Our aging bodies crashed just after the evening news
and groaned when a party started up in the courtyard.
We have definitely become that older generation.
(But what a blessing to go on a trip
with no one whining in the back seat,
potty stops on the side of the road,
snacks packed for every hour of the ride.)

Our last day of driving was a piece of cake.

60! …what will the next road trip bring?   

5/15 May-be

there is a rock in my shoe –
but I walk on.
it isn’t enough to bother about
this minute.

finally I stop
to drink water,
and behold!
the rock in my shoe
is a pebble of gold!

now what?
surely if I had wings
I would fly home with this treasure
and leave my shoes on the hillside!

but I don’t,
thank goodness.
so I am walking again,
the little bit of gold in my pocket
and wisdom in my shoes
going home.

extravagant welcome

extravagant – origin and history: Latin – extravagari: “wander outside or beyond”


Extravagance is not a part of my lifestyle or something I covet or even know how to enjoy when I happen into experiences I would describe as above and beyond the norm. So it was with trepidation that I accepted the offer of a gift horse to attend a retreat in San Francisco that I knew would be more extravagant than a typical weekend away.

The weekend included both a service opportunity feeding the needy in the basement of Glide Memorial Methodist Church and moments for self reflection on the labyrinth in Grace Cathedral. The lavish aspects of the weekend were tempered by the contrasts we witnessed and provided opportunities for rich and provocative discussion and revelation.

But besides the actions and reflections of the weekend, the one experience I came away with was of receiving “extravagant welcome.”  The two spiritual leaders who planned and coordinated this trip welcomed each one of us as though we were visiting dignitaries and asked only that we take care of ourselves as though each one of us was a precious commodity to preserve for the world.

Again, this was in direct contrast to the vast numbers of homeless we saw scattered on the streets standing with their meager piles of clothes and belongings, sleeping with blankets or cardboard wraps, or wandering and muttering aimlessly.


Imagine a world where all of us were the recipients of extravant welcome – knowing ourselves to be precious.


Thank you Bobbi, United Church of Ferndale, and Sharry, First Congregational Church United Church of Christ, Bellingham.

Exhale the Unwild

there’s a little back story to this poem in my last post

Exhale the Unwild

I traveled roads and charted seasIMG_1072
desiring entrance to this wild temple sanctuary.
Exposed arms and rocky shore
held me at bay, questioning such trespass.
With passionate curiosity and vigilance
I looked into untamed eyes
and saw beyond the forest veil and breathless deep.
Solace came as I played gently
in this garden of coves and islands,
silent sentinels of spruce and hemlock guarding precious keep. 06-IMG_0889

35-IMG_1736  20-IMG_1245  39-IMG_1927  45-IMG_2012

I exhaled my unwild
And as awe and wonderment became my companions
my spirit found a way to be free.
With dawn and dusk my only references to present tense,
I witnessed a live and valiant truce holding space and preservation of place.
Only when the lullabies of history whispered
from dark crevices of folded time
and glacier mists wrapped me in reverie
did I become truly awake to my own wild promise deep within me:





my experience as passenger on Wilderness Explorer, SE Alaska June 20-27, 2015

a little back story

A week ago today I returned from a week long trip in SE Alaska.  My parents generously invited my husband and I to join them on a small boat cruise going from Ketchikan to Juneau.  We traveled channels, wove our way around the major islands and in and out of coves seeing humpback whales almost every day.  The boat was run by an agency calling itself “Uncruise” specializing in searching out  wildlife, anchoring to let passengers go kayaking, tour around in skiffs and take hikes.


It was a really special trip to say the least.  The crew was amazing and the other passengers enjoyable to converse and spend time with.  Our weather was great, only one really rainy day that reminded me of a spring day at home.  Mike and I went out kayaking in the dripping wet and had a blast shinnying up to a small island rich with plant and shore life.

IMG_1930  IMG_1001

I woke up every morning with the sun at 4 am.  A deckhand named Adelia from Seattle washed down the deck and made me coffee each day and together we would wash the sky wake up.  I wrote in my journal for an hour or two until other passengers emerged to see what was happening.  Towards the end of the trip I started working on a poem to summarize my thoughts and feelings about my teensy glimpse of Alaska.  I kept a page in the back of my journal for words to describe Alaska but what I realized was my desire to capture a feeling more than a description of this vast place.

Finally, after 3 days and much scritch scratching and tearing out of journal pages, I got a little something I liked.  I was walking around the deck one evening and ran into one of the guides.  She asked me how I had enjoyed the day.  I told her how amazing it was and that I’d felt inspired to write some poetry.  She told me I should share it with the captain.  So finally on the last day I went up to the bridge and asked if the captain would like to hear my poem inspired by my trip.  (of course..) He was excited to hear it and asked if I’d mind sharing it with the owner of the company.  (Now I’m blushing…)  He gave me the email address and I left the cabin.

Later that evening we came upon the owner in his private boat and the captain called me up to the bridge again and to read my poem over the radio.

Okay – so maybe I’m not published but I’ve been broadcasted over radio in Alaska.   That’s a cool distinction.

Poem to follow in next post.

odd to find trust a topic twice in two days, well maybe not really

Trust:  a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.
Synonyms: confidence, belief, faith, certainty, assurance, conviction, credence, reliance
“relations have to be built on trust”
Trust – is complicated.


I’m glad I checked out Write Alm’s prompt for today – it is appropriate that the prompt is prayer because my mind has been filled with prayerful thoughts today.Why today more than other days?  Because my disabled son is moving out – has finally – moved out of our house.

Corbin will be 26 in August, he has spina bifida, uses a manual wheelchair, has had both legs amputated, has occasional bowel issues and is – well – typical of a lot of young men – not very attentive to household cleanliness.  So I have a lot to pray about in this venture of moving out on his own.

I am grateful he is living with other people including one good friend.  I am grateful the house has a large living room and kitchen as a wheelchair takes up a lot of space.  I am grateful his landlord is making a few accommodations to help with his mobility in and out of his room.  I am grateful the house is on the bus line.  I am grateful his good friend knows how to cook and both of them plan on combining their EBT cards to shop for food.  I am grateful he has a good friend near us and will continue to stop by when he is visiting.  I am grateful his housemates are divvying up some of the chores in a way that supports Corbin doing the things he can do like dishes and helping him in things he can’t do like vacuuming.

But I’ve also got my list of worries.  Will he remember his hands are filthy from his wheelchair and wash before he touches doors, walls, railings, anything in the refrigerator?  Will he have help when his bowels fail him as they do on occasion especially when he’s had a beer or two or three?  Will he clean up after his beard trimmings more efficiently than he did in our house?  Will he remember not to ball up wet clothing and towels and let them sit in a laundry basket too long?  Will he keep at least one month’s rent in his savings account – or better yet – 2 months rent?  Will he remember not to tuck his phone under his wheelchair seat when he goes out with friends? (His phone is his life and he can’t afford to lose or break another one.)

And then, of course, I have the regular old mother-concerns…..He needs to finish school.  He needs a new wheelchair.  He needs to exercise just enough to keep him happy but not stress his neck and back too much.  He needs a job or consistent  volunteer work to get him out of himself.

So I pray for him and I pray for me.  May he feel and be successful in this transition and others to come.  May I stop worrying about whether he “can” do this and just celebrate that he “is.”



what we inherit

mmm, my mind went all kinds of places when I read this prompt

usually the word “inherit” might have me considering furniture or silver or personality traits..

today the prompt has me thinking about the decisions of one group of people being carried forward by another group of people

We talk about this kind of thing often, don’t we?  In a democratic society we often belong to groups that are inheriting the decisions and actions made by a prior body of people loosely or closely affiliated but influenced by different agendas, timelines, or perceptions, or ??

But just as the furniture and silver I inherited don’t decorate every inch of my home, the decisions and actions made by a group of people last year or even the year before, or the year before that, shouldn’t prohibit me or any of us from renewing the discussion with the current group working to move forward.