Gifts for a New Year

By Celia Coates I had been wondering how to begin this new year in WINN, a year that everyone is hoping will be better than the dark and troubled year just past. Then, within days of each other, two gifts arrived – first, a photograph that my sister, Judith Sellers, had taken in her garden…

The Raven’s Gift

By Gilah Yelin Hirsch Having read the last post by Judy and Jack, I found myself remembering well the process ­­and emotion of leaving one’s personal forest. It took weeks for me to say thank you and goodbye to all the flora and fauna I had come to know intimately in Tonto National Forest, just…

Meeting the Lizard

By Frank DiPerna Driving from Zacatecas to San Louis Potosi I did more daydreaming than photographing as miles of cactus fields drifted past. It was about mid-day, the sky slightly overcast, the light bright. The air was a little chilly and the wind light. I was thinking of photographing something I had seen a couple…

Red and Green

By Celia Coates Years ago I heard a simple story that I’d never heard before. Once upon a time there were two creatures, one red and one green, who lived in a forest near the top of a mountain.  They had lived there for centuries and even though Green was easy-going and liked peace and…

Fourth Grade Hero

By Richard Howland When Mrs. Parmelee sat up there behind that gigantic desk, tapping the point of her red pencil and looking out over the tops of those gold-rimmed glasses like that, we knew somebody was going to die. And the way Bobby Livingstone was staring down at his hands, lying there on top of…

Two Kinds of Peace

These are days when I have especially appreciated two reflections on peace. The first is from a book about flowers, “Wars and roses have a long relationship. The English civil wars, waged from 1455-1485, over possession of the crown, were called the Wars of the Roses. The name came from the badges of the house…

We’ll See What Happens

By Celia Coates We are living in a time filled with many uncertainties and the phrase – “We’ll see what happens,” – is one we hear often. This week’s post is a reprise of one published after the 2016 Presidential election when I wrote, “This week half the country is cheering and the other half…

How To Choose Your Prince – Or Princess

Some of the best advice about how to make a good marital choice is in a children’s book published in 1967: PICKLE-CHIFFON PIE. It’s not like the usual sources of wisdom, but wise it is. Jolly Roger Bradfield is both the author of this book’s clever words and the artist who created its goofy, lively, charming,…

One Story and One Poem

Animals naturally notice and size each other up – is this a friend or an enemy, prey or threat, dominant or insignificant? We’ve kept some of that survival behavior and, although it wise to be aware of strangers, we often load up our noticing others with clouded judgment about what people are worth. Here is…

Spielberg’s Special Gifts

I enjoy going to the movies. It’s a little old-fashioned but there’s an extra energy that goes along with seeing films on a big screen in the company of other people. This month I wanted to see both A WRINKLE IN TIME (mentioned in last week’s post) and Steven Spielberg’s READY PLAYER ONE. For me Spielberg’s…

Life Is Like A Sonnet

In her book, A WRINKLE IN TIME, Madeleine L’Engle has included one of the best and clearest ways to answer this question – “Do we have free will or are our lives determined by forces outside ourselves? Do we have control over how we live our lives or does Fate run things?” In the West…