Assembling Christmas

The other night we erected our yearly eight-foot Fraser Fir. It fills one corner of our big living room. I watched from the couch as Russell and Betsy trimmed the majestic tree. This year I was feeling nostalgic, thinking about Christmases past as they assembled this one. As my only contribution I offered some coaching if I saw a significant void in the field of decoration. In nearly a decade as...

A Whole Lot of Shaking Going on

We had a little earthquake last week. Its 6 a.m. epicenter was near the town of Columbus, North Carolina. It wasn’t much, just a 3.1 magnitude shaking for a few seconds, but the local paper reported it was enough to make some poor child up there wake up thinking that his brimstone preacher was right and the end of time had arrived on schedule. It touched me to hear about that little...

Coyotes

Out here our house is turned to the linear wildness along the creek like a big ear. We listen for what happens in the timber and thick undergrowth below us with the fascination of someone sampling a new CD. If I hear a bird I don’t know, I try to track it down for identification, adding its name to our “play list” of what this place might spin in our direction. I scribble the...

Where the Wild Things Are

One percent of the land in the lower forty-eight states is what might be considered “wilderness.” Ninety-nine percent is utilized in some way for human profit-urban areas, suburbs, logging, mining, grazing. In 10,000 short years we humans have found ways to extend our shadow over the whole reach of a peopleless continent. The first 9,500 years Native American economies created the...

In Dreams Begin Reality

I’ve been thinking a great deal this week about vision-how it happens, how it affects community, how it morphs (and sometimes transmogrifies) from wild, bold ideas into something people can work inside and celebrate. It takes time and resources and luck for a big idea to get from a human brain (or a committee of brains) to bricks and mortar. In the beginning maybe one person has an idea,...

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