Summer Gratitude

To everything there is a season. It's mid-August, and the leaves on the cottonwood tree are faded like an old canvas tent. Soon they'll fall crisp and dry to the ground, providing crunch to my steps. The black cherry has lost half its leaves, revealing more of the blue heavens above. Disheveled spider webs hang... Continue Reading →


“The mountains are fountains not only of rivers and fertile soil, but of men. Therefore we are all, in some sense, mountaineers, and going to the mountains is going home. Yet how many are doomed to toil in town shadows while the white mountains beckon all along the horizon!” — John Muir, in Steep Trails,... Continue Reading →

Go Be Still

Go be still. You'll need to dress for the weather, and in some places you may also want to wear bug spray. But just go. Go for a walk, wander slowly, pick a spot along the way and stop. Just stop. It doesn't much matter where. It can be in the woods, or a park,... Continue Reading →


I'm convinced questions are more powerful than answers. I am very curious, always seeking answers, but I long ago gave up the need to have all the answers. Convictions are fine, but sometimes we need to tell each other there is no shame in not knowing, in not being sure, in recognizing alternate perspectives. In... Continue Reading →

Profligate Beauty

How dull we are to the common beauty around us! We often think of beauty as something rare, fleeting, or elusive. I think this is wrong. If anything, creation is profligate when it comes to the dispersal of beauty. Beauty is everywhere. It's all around us. Extravagantly. Excessively. Bear's Foot is blooming in Tennessee right... Continue Reading →


This is a reminder to myself that sometimes, or maybe usually, I need to shut up, be quiet, and listen. True wisdom comes from listening not talking. (You can use this, too, if you like. But if you think I'm obtusely pointing this at someone else or to a particular situation, you need to read... Continue Reading →

Happy Birthday, Henry!

All day today I will be thinking of Henry David Thoreau, who was born July 12, 1817 in Concord, Massachusetts. Although he lived his whole life in the village of Concord, as a writer, philosopher, abolitionist, social activist, minimalist, naturalist, environmentalist, and avid hiker (though he preferred the word saunter), Thoreau was one of America's... Continue Reading →

Wonder Rekindled 

If you want to know the truth, I think my best walks aren't so much hiking as just wandering around the woods looking at stuff. As adults we always think there has to be a goal, an agenda. I say it doesn't have to be that way. A walk doesn't require purpose or justification outside... Continue Reading →

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