Being mindful of what’s right in front of us can always be a challenge. Here are 10 new items from my end.


  1. Keep an eye on the pussy willows, about ready to harvest – a sure promise of spring. How gallantly, snowdrops in bloom – green shoots of hyacinths – even in receding snowbanks.
  2. Keep an ear open at night for peepers, coming to life in their thawing vernal ponds.
  3. Time for seaweed runs, too. Off to the beach to collect mineral-rich debris for the garden. What about picking something out of the canister of kites in the loft before I go? Spend a little more time by the surf? Rather than just dashing off and back home?
  4. As I’ve said, I welcome a faith that encourages questioning and action. I’ve come to appreciate the implicit yes in the Quaker queries. (Link to Light)
  5. Keep hoping to find my appropriate schedule, my right routine, my most balanced pace of life. Years before retiring, I’d draft what I thought might be ideal daily and weekly rounds – charts that drew my wife’s derision when she finally viewed them. (To be fair, some predated our marriage.) Yes, there’s so much I overlooked or simply assumed would fit in. And so much that’s come into my life since. My weekly choir rehearsal in Boston, for instance, throws me off-kilter, since it means getting home around midnight. Otherwise, I’d be rising before 5 or 6, as she does, and sitting to meditate as a yogi or just write. So what have I really settled into?
  6. We are getting days now when the top of the barn’s warm enough for yoga exercise and meditation in early afternoon. Not the schedule I’d projected, but one that’s organic to our situation.
  7. Maybe it’s just a fantasy: past/present/future all within this moment, if you pause.
  8. Fulfillment is ultimately not on my own time scale but the Holy One’s. How terrifying!
  9. Perhaps Verdi’s most compelling plot line until Otello, his 1850 Stiffelio tells of a Protestant minister and his unfaithful wife. Tellingly, it was censored at the first performance and then lost until 1960. In the background, at the time, the composer was living with a divorced woman. Could this be the basis for yet another masterpiece?
  10. Why do Americans keep reelecting the same members of the Worst Congress in History? Is there some death wish for democracy?


Right in the heart of downtown Dover, the mill. The retail store in the front sits out over the Cocheco River.
Right in the heart of downtown Dover, the mill. The retail store in the front sits out over the Cocheco River.

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