Easter renewal

For the past several years, I’ve used Easter weekend to get out into nature and feel the emerging Spring fill me with new life. Yesterday in the middle of a six mile hike through Forest Glen, I knelt down beside a small creek, closed my eyes, bowed my head, and just listened to the forest.

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Our own persistent river

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I spent our lunch break yesterday sitting by myself along the river, the chatter of scouts within earshot but not distinguishable. My mind raced through all that has happened this year, as I watched the water swirl in eddies and around obstacles. The challenges change our direction, sometimes alter us in irreversible — often beautiful — ways. Our journey, our own persistent river, is our beauty, isn’t it?

Renewing myself at Emiquon

March has been a month unlike any other.

My work responsibilities have expanded and new opportunities for professional growth appear daily.

I’m helping guide a group of 10- and 11-year-old boys as they learn what it means to be leaders as Boy Scouts.

I’m doing my best to give my son my undivided attention when we’re together.

I’ve been intentional about being present and investing in those relationships that I hold dear, those close and across the miles.

I’ve even been able to dabble in the world of garden speaking, presenting three workshops to Illinois gardeners whose senses have awoken at the hint of spring.

I’ve never felt more engaged in life, yet I’ve fallen down when it comes to taking a moment to recharge myself in the best way I know how — getting outdoors and allowing Mother Nature to fill me with renewal.

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A Christmas reflection

The sun arrived in the middle of Christmas morning, streaming through the windows in beams that cut across the ripped and crumpled wrapping paper on the floor. It’s been such a grey December, even fleeting rays among the remnants of a Christmas Eve rainstorm brought cheers. Winter is only a few days old, but we’re already weary of its heavy pall.

As the afternoon unfolded and the thermometer rose, a desire to breathe fresh air fought through a head cold that was threatening to pull my entire body into malaise. I was alone on Christmas afternoon for the first time in my life. This has been a year of great transition, this last month the hardest, as I navigate the emotions that surround holidays in our newly-defined family. Read More

The garden breathes again

Last week’s heavy snow continues a hasty retreat into our once thirsty, now saturated soil. The air carries a freshness into my lungs, chasing the stale residue of winter with each breath. The morning sun illuminates the garden and reveals the spring beneath the snow.

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Still standing

One of the first things I do each morning before getting out of bed is check the weather report for the day. I’ve been hoping for a white Christmas, but the forecast hasn’t looked too promising as we get within a week of the holiday. So it felt like Christmas morning for me when my weather app was showing “light snow showers” and a wintry landscape in the background. I jumped out of bed a little faster than normal and looked out the window to find the garden slightly frosted, but without snow. Not a single flurry danced in the air. Another lesson learned: the most accurate current weather forecast exists right outside the window.

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