Place

The Time I Ruled the World

Before there was Barack or Hillary, there was me. Black. Female. President. In the photo above, I had just been elected Beaumont Middle School’s first Black President. I knew in my heart I had enough love to change the world—one heart at a time. Our student body council bonded quickly in the name of “equality” […]

Resisting Silence

Gravel crunches under my tires as my car crawls along the narrow lane. I scan the names on each of the cabins, searching for the one assigned to me. I finally spot it, with its grey weathered wood, nestled in the shadows of dense trees. A flutter of excitement knocks on my chest and a […]

The Fear and Beauty of Solitude

It was a cool October day and I was sitting on my favorite bench in my favorite garden in Pittsburgh—a little slice of green tucked in the side of the corner lot under a series of stained-glass windows lining the east wall of the synagogue.  Beyond the walls, the busy intersection loomed; but inside I […]

When the Morningstar Hovers

I am alone And its ok. For 30 years I had four breathing beings tugging at me, (*five if you count my husband **six if you count my mother who lived with us for ten years) at my sleeve, at my knee, at times at my throat). ((at my throat because three of the beings […]

Tasting Beauty in the Suburbs

Flashback Friday: This post was originally published on May 10, 2016. It had been a string of days with too much noise—me, children, politics, social media—so I took to the neighborhood walking paths to work things out in my body, while my husband constructed things out of wood (his own way of working things out). I […]

Finding Holy in the Suburbs Interview with Ashley Hales

I recently had the opportunity to chat with author, Ashley Hales, about her upcoming book, Finding Holy in the Suburbs. I’ve “known” Ashley around the internet for the last several years, and it’s such a delight to see her do this important work of helping us to cultivate a love for our people and places. […]

When Houseplants Are Zombies of the Apocalypse

Last night, after I finished packing for a long trip, I decided to move all my succulents outside for the duration of our weeklong vacation. I have nine pots of various sizes on the bookshelves in our front room: one tiny barrel cacti, four plants that look like desert seaweed, and assorted echeveria in dark […]

Restoration After Exile

“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says to all the captives he has exiled to Babylon from Jerusalem: “Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce. Marry and have children. Then find spouses for them so that you may have many grandchildren. Multiply! […]

5 Dos and Don’ts of Foster Parenting

This is not a heady article written by people with thirty years’ foster parenting experience. It’s a piece written by a former foster child with 14 years’ experience, from 4 years old to 18. It’s directed more at foster parents of preschoolers and older. I’m writing out of my own journey through broken family, trauma, […]

Our Collective Sigh of Longing

They say it is winter now but this doesn’t feel like anything I’ve ever known of winter. While others tug their scarves tightly around them the sweat still pools where my purse hits my shoulder. Maybe I’ll get accustomed to the tropical air before the real heat comes early next year. Getting used to the […]

Wij Zijn Hier/We Are Here

We are here and you’d like to forget it, have us more hidden then our black faces and tired, old eyes. Isn’t it enough to leave my own country as a teenager? Isn’t it enough to run on bare feet from my home that is at war with itself? Isn’t it enough to be homeless […]

What My Aging Auntie Teaches Me About Navigating the 21st Century

My Tía Naty is in her eighties and never learned how to drive. She’s lived in the United States for over fifty years, has grieved as a widow for nearly ten of those years, and speaks broken English—only when necessary. She elicits translators to assist her with her healthcare needs or her disputes over the […]