Reflection on Your Anniversary

Dear Peter and Wendy,

Twenty years is an awfully long time- a score, in fact! Today, on this beach, as you celebrate your score and renew your wedding vows, my prayers and heart are with you. The infinite grains of sand beneath your feet were once heavy rocks burdening the land and sea. Over time and with God’s direction, they have fractured ad infinitum to the powder that now caresses your toes and cushions your heels.

There are rocks of every imaginable shape and composition in a marriage. Some feel like immovable boulders. But with the intentional language of love, the persistence of commitment, and the continual touch of desire and affection, those rocks turn to stones turn to gravel and to the velvety carpet of sand you now stand upon. This process takes time, courage, negotiation, and most of all, love.

For a quarter century, I have had the privilege of witnessing the development of your relationship. It has instructed much of my own marital experience, inspiring forgiveness and providing hope. There has been ugly and beauty and mystery and fear along the path. But your incredible dedication to partnership and trust have sustained you and healed you from the scraped knees, stubbed toes, and blistered heels of the journey.

The honor of standing witness at your nuptuals 20 years ago was one of the most cherished gifts I possess. I gained a second best friend that day and am filled with gratitude for the thousands of times and ways I have watched you struggle, grow, and celebrate together. You have worked so very diligently to feed your marriage with love, kindness, generosity, and patience. Today your children, the tangible gifts of your love, stand with you to witness the fruit of your labors. You have taught them that marriage is not a Disney film; that it has textures and layers and trials. But with faith and devotion to the process and the long-term, it is not only attainable but joyful.

Bend down and scoop up a handful of the fine silt your work has wrought. Let the grains slip between your fingers and breathe deeply in the assurance that your labor has been worth it. Rest in the knowledge that you have created the material from which concrete foundation is built. Thank you for sharing your journey with us and for continuing to inspire us with your example. May God continue to bless you today and for the next four score of your journey!


A Walk in the Woods

Forest bathing in hemlock pheromones
Phytoncides and lichen
Stick like soap suds to human flesh
Tickling the somulent sinuses


Crunching, snapping roots, branches and sticks
Natures percussion section
Staccato but predictable,
Signaling the imminent threat of us
to the careful camouflaged creatures
Decorating the flora
Minding their own businesses
While we attempt to reverse our urban bankruptcy


Wind wildcatting through the naked trees
and tossing crispy foliage from last fall
through the underbrushlike a decaying salad
dehydrating and dressed with spores and invisible insects

starving and parched

Rubber on rocks,
slipping and squeaking from the creek’s spring elevation
Reishi burls swelling from a old dead hemlock
just a squirrel’s lunge
from the dinner plates and shelving of last year,
along the spine of a pregnant striped maple
Thousands of delicate chartreuse stars twinkling against the drawn stage curtain
of soft sprawling hemlock

applause and ovation

A lonely chainsaw crying in the distance
Her Sobs diffusing into the hiccupping of woodpecker work
And the thunder water of White Mountain run off
hitch hiking through the wilderness From the continental divide
Circling the divine drain


Kripalu on a Wednesday

Ballooning my lungs with rest and wonder,
I Woke up bathing in sunlight on a Berkshire April morning,
a gray dove and my mother’s snoring cooing me into consciousness.
we snuggled against the cinderblock walls
instead of our husbands,
burritoed into our heavy cotton blankets
and listened to the world come alive-
birdsong and mowers beneath the window,
footfall in the hallways
steam heavy with essential oils,
oozing from the showers
as we sipped tea white and green and redbush
still in bed
selecting leggings and flipflops as appropriate llunch attire

meeting women who have drawn and dared
in and out of the dining hall
who fear change but love adventure
and sense The energy in people,
The good in the universe and the potential in strangers
Who know The artist in us all,
and free to fail or fly.
The unalterable cycle of creation and destruction
and imagination and courage
And men who cry and notice things
About themselves and dare to talk about it
And flutter their lips in Ujjayi
Or enter the swami’s sanctuary with meta spirit
And respect for both science and art
Suppressing the desire that inflames the mind and tickles the ribs
In mutual respect and silence
For just a little while.

Third eye open and body humming
With an expansive choir of om,
A wide kneed childs pose tethered my belly to the earth,
Emptying me of expectation
lengthening my spine
and creating space for twists and torques;
Cultivating Prana with intentions –
courage and patience-
Slo mo vinyasa,
Sexing me
to an orgasm of self-knowledge
I am;
I can;

Breath is food;
my body a map of rivers, ranges, divides-
muscle, blood and bone woven beneath this fragile flesh-
cartographer’s delight ,
divine miracle;
an infinitely developing creation,
nourished by love and trust.


The Ithaca Revelation

retreating from retreat
nourished and still
Sitting at the café
Counting down the heartbeats
Until the train whistles
And the ties lead back to you
Warm in bed,
cat tangled in your legs
Pillows littering the emptiness
Where my body should be
Will be
In just a few more hours

One hand on belly, one palm to heart
One intention
To return to Penelope
After such internal exploration
Discovering that home is sanctuary
And you are home


Kitchen Tips from Kripalu

How to box grate a lemon zest
and teach garlic to breathe,
erasing the evidence in the stainless steel sink
Before remembering the tomatoes roasting in the oven
and the sweating allium in the saucepan;
never pay for a single sprig of dill at the grocery
when you can steal it;
Cashews, nutritional yeast, salt and garlic powder
transform into parmesan;
don’t bother to dice if you’re going to blend;
that the universal recipe rule
is the one never committed to paper-
you can always add more
but you can never take away-
Which is the opposite of how we often love


Lessons in Lennox

Saint Helens meditation meadow

The nearly naked Trees were talking
Hugged by whips of forsythia and daffodil flutes,
Spring’s front-line soldiers,
and I could almost smell the worms
in this meditation meadow
where the perfume of warm rain on asphalt greets
Berkshire wild compost in motion-
The Unbottled Fertility of an April morning-
Laced with paisley conversation
Between mother and daughter
Meandering and looping like peeper-hemmed oxbows
And their long liquid lashes
Then shifting left to obey
A GPS-mandated U-turn
Toward the highway
Where the pattern morphed
and sped toward revelation and connection-
words dipping and spilling and bubbling
boiling from the lips and confusing the earth,
with its willingness to receive-
any angle of the sun,sobbing of the skies, or human attempt to love.

Mom at courage meditation stone