Listen Closely

Everything has a rhythm.

It’s the whistle of wings overhead. The faint honk of a faraway goose. The gentle rustle and crunch of leaves under paw or hoof. It’s the sound of your own bated breath, shallow and unwilling.

In the fields and the woods, along the water’s edge we sit, listening closely. Silent, still. yellowstonelittlecamera-207

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Becoming “Us”

I met him in a grocery store in my hometown. It was a Saturday afternoon. I’d been back in the country for barely 3 days, back in that town after 4 years away. He and 3 friends were making a quick stop on their way from a rugby match near Vancouver back home to Seattle. I would later find out that he’d been single again for a mere 48 hours.

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Finding the Middle Path

I remember riding the train from the Fiumicino airport into Rome. Through my jet lagged haze I somehow noticed the gardens – everyone had one. There were tomatoes and herbs growing in pots on balconies, under the laundry lines. Rough, ramshackle fences nestled nearly up to the tracks protected little green plots of food, little oases among the dirty, semi-urban landscape.

Italian Gardens

The next several hours were filled with confusion, frustration, and utter exhaustion.

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I Used to be a Vegetarian

Really. I did. For 12 years in fact.

I remember the moment I turned away from meat: I was 14, helping my fellow 4-H club members clean up our leaders’ yard in preparation for their son’s wedding. At the edge of their property, through a snarled old barbed wire fence, a small group of cows meandered by. A few stopped to watch us, including one particularly interested little calf. He stood there, inquisitive, chewing cud and dipping his tongue in and out of each nostril. He stared, I stared back, and that was it. I had a melted heart, mushy brained 14-year-old moment that went something like: “they’re so cute! they’re so curious and alive and conscious! I can’t eat that! I can’t be the monster that murders them!”

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