For the Sea, All Watersheds’ End
January 12, 2021

In spring of 2018, I took a forty-day trip, traveling mostly by train, getting off to write and to visit my grown children. For two weeks I stayed among cypress trees in Northern California and walked each day to a shed where I wrote as quail bobbed by. There I was able to write the […]


Racial justice is essential to climate justice. Ecological activists wonder sometimes why we don’t revolt more strongly against impending climate disaster. It may be that our privilege as white people enables us to feel distant from the climate trauma already devastating many people of color, locally and globally. To look at the privileges that distance […]

How does a city watershed flow?
September 14, 2020

This piece describes the watershed of my city home, was written for Transition Town – All Saint Anthony Park, and was published in the Park Bugle in March of 2020. Half to three-quarters of your body is water. Of the earth’s surface, about 70% is water. Where did the water in you come from? When […]

Minnow Lake; How simple can a watershed be?
September 14, 2020

Here at the lake, we live as part of a small watershed. The water we drink fell some time ago as rain or snow and landed quite close by. Some of it fell directly into what my family calls “The Pond.” If you walk to the pond from our house, the trek takes all of […]

The Old People’s Friend
April 1, 2020

As she neared her 90th birthday, my mother began telling us that, in her youth, pneumonia had been called “the old people’s friend.” This friend took them, somewhat gently, over the hill. “I’ve lived long enough,” she’d say. “It’s time for me to go.” Though she had constant joint and nerve pain from a life […]


We are rocking in our body boats as we adapt to the realities (and unrealities) of COVID-19. In counterpoint, the natural world around us breaths more freely when we humans stop skittering about. Canals in Venice flow clear; the sky over Hunan clears; airplane and car noise decreases. Our hearts rush to those who are […]