Archive for the ‘Spirit’ Category

Happy Mama’s Day














A robin pair have been busy on our backdoor rain spout this spring. Mom left the nest early this week and she and dad have been flying in and out, foraging on the lawn (we’re keeping the cat inside) and then perching on the rim of the nest with a beak full of worms. Yesterday I saw a tiny robin face peering out of the nest when mom and dad weren’t home. Those wild kids.

Here’s to mothers everywhere. They are, as poet Agha Shahid Ali wrote, “the breath drawn after every line.” 



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I’m watching snow and hail pelt my apple trees as I post this. But some unknown gardener on Crystal Springs created a mass of spring color along the road that defies prevailing conditions, even today. There has to be a metaphor in there somewhere.

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 momhug.gifIn the dining room of Wing Point Country Club, decorated with vases of spring tulips, glittering lights, and auction tables lined with Russian art, baskets of wine, sports tickets, vacation packages and more, it would have been easy to forget the children at the center of this outpouring of labor and generosity at the Camp Siberia auction last Saturday night.

Except that camp founder Janie Ekberg never lets anyone forget the Russian orphans who, for a few magical days every summer, leave their poverty and loneliness behind to attend a camp staffed with Bainbridge Island teenagers whose only goal is to shower them with love and undivided attention. Slides on a large screen near the Wing Point fireplace displayed pictures of past trips to Camp Siberia, where Janie and others have taken island high school students every summer since 2001.   (more…)

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Still of love they sung


In the feasting and the singing, in the decorating and the cleaning, the traveling, the well-wishing, and of course the shopping, there is still that moment of silence–always, and in everything–when you can feel your longing for light to emerge from these darkest days.  And every year the light returns, as a promise fulfilled.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May you be filled with cheer and hope, and with love, most of all.

The headline is from a carol by Italian poet Jacapone da Todi.

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To feed and be fed

thanks.jpgA Thanksgiving reflection, from “Still the Eating,” a longer essay of mine published by Under the Sun Magazine. Best wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving!

It’s late afternoon on Thanksgiving Day. November darkness hangs in window frames on the wall, and our family and dinner guests keep to the interior of the house, in the kitchen or by the fire in the living room.

My mother is here from Montana. She’s a widow and lives alone, which she insists suits her just fine. “I answer to no one,” she says.

John has arrived with his signature squash soup, small gifts for the kids, and several bottles of excellent wine. He’s single, and hasn’t missed a Thanksgiving dinner with us in all the years we’ve been hosting them. (more…)

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What makes a town? What do its buildings, its streets, its cafes and shops say about its inhabitants, who they are, who they want to be? Tonight is another chapter of our aspirations and fears: the final design presentation for the Winslow streetscape, 6:30-8:30 pm at City Hall.

Images of Winslow Today:

Places have to be planned with the possibility of things happening, but those things cannot be planned too explicitly…–Robert Venturi, architect. (more…)

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bloedel2.jpgUpdated: As if there’s not enough on our civic must-support list, the Bloedel Reserve is coming up short to the tune of $200,000 a year, according to a Puget Sound Business Journal story posted last week.

This 150-acre nature reserve, formerly the home of Prentice and Virginia Bloedel, has soothed many a Bainbridge soul with its gardens, wildlife and nature walks. For years it has maintained a genteel distance from clamoring tourists, open only to those with reservations–no pets or eating allowed.

As Bloedel Executive Director Dick Brown explains in his comment below, the Bloedel’s endowment is in good shape. But they need an extra $200,000 each year in order to pay for needed maintainance and improvements. Brown has sent out an appeal to donors for the additional financial support.

If you’re like me, your Bloedel membership renewal card has been floating around in your kitchen mail pile since last summer. Get it out and renew! You can also click here for online registration.  Consider making a larger donation while you’re at it. The Reserve is open space, wildlife habitat, community treasure, kids’ outdoor education, and Zen meditation rolled into one. And at least for now, we don’t have to beg our City Council to save it from becoming a high end development.


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