Anam Cara

“Never let the fire in your heart go out. Keep it alive.” Romans 12:11 The entrance into the new year has surprisingly been held in the embrace of anam ċara. “Anam ċara means soul friend,” John O’Donohue writes. “The anam ċara was a person to whom you could reveal the hidden intimacies of your life.…

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Listening

A curious rhythmic beat worked its way into my half sleep. It was barely dawn and as I listened, even before I opened my eyes, I heard first the chorus of birdsong that is the ritual of the Northwest Spring. I had taught myself how to tune into each voice of this holy choir, raising…

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The Romance of Friendship

Long before I knew romance with a boyfriend, I learned how to love, and love intensely, from my friend Ashley. “You are my SPNQ (SPOH-neek),” we would say to each other. It was code for “I love you,” invented some silly night at a girls’ retreat when we were maybe 15, 16 years old. It…

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The Mystery of Desire

Why do we go back for our small selves? It is enough, is it not, to survive into adulthood? To go back means the risk of awakening desire. And desire is a powerfully dangerous thing. To desire is to be alive.  I read a story over Christmas break, a novel written by a private investigator.…

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My Prayers

I remember the first time I held my granddaughter in my arms. She was minutes old. As I looked at her, she looked at me. She looked into my eyes, and I into hers. Her eyes were deep and rich, almond shaped brown with deep blue halos that only newborns seem to have. They were…

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Snow Therapy

I rested on my nordic skis at the edge of the meadow. The sun was just up, the sky perfectly blue. The snow sparkled, the meadow before me was a sea of glitter. It beckoned, promising a glorious experience, yet I felt small and alone, and reluctant to start across, for some reason. I took…

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Rusty Nail

Yesterday I felt the Spirit’s prompting to go on a trail run, my first one of 2019. It was a gray wintery day, and although it was approaching mid-afternoon, the sun had not made its grand appearance. I was in my home office with a lengthy to-do list, and it made more sense to stay…

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Holy Desire

I headed across campus and stepped into the student chapel. Spring was erupting, and doors were clumsily propped open to welcome in the breeze. I was on my way to the community outreach office where I led a team of fellow students. I had grabbed my mail on the way and saw an acceptance note…

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Darling Mom

“I don’t need you, MOM! I don’t need you!” I hear this screamed by a large, fit, and well-dressed man. He is a study in contradiction. He has a large pack which suggests to me that he could be homeless. He is huge, more than six feet tall. He appears mentally ill. He is screaming…

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The Olive Branch

The last few nights I have been sleep deprived. I squirm under my cozy covers in an attempt to relax, but my chest feels tight, as if my breath is constricted. My body is weary. I attempt to ease my mind, as anxiety-filled scenarios swirl around my head like an annoying replay. After a long…

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