Over the next few months I’ll periodically share excerpts from Writing the Sacred Journey–I’m taking a break from writing about writing to actually do some writing!
When I was attending Sleepy Hollow High School, I’d occasionally forsake the rowdy bus ride home and walk two miles down the steep streets of North Tarrytown, New York, over the infamous bridge where Ichabod Crane is said to have disappeared, and down to the Hudson River… Once I reached the beach, I…ran to a log polished silver and reclining on the sand. Here I could have the river to myself–the murky water and the private tuck of shoreline that lay flat like a vast, open palm. In that rare moment of solitude I felt a terrific ache. I wanted to cleave my heart to that dynamic, undulating force that smelled of sea salt and spanned boundless distances. My teenage life was small–fretted with self-consciousness and my peers’ misguided expectations. Still, I knew the passion buzzing in my adolescent body was also rolling in that tide. I watched the waves push and pull, and the coarse sand simmer before absorbing the water. I breathed the moist, kelp-scented air. Passion fused me to the river, but there was no release. I was still my lanky, lonely self. I could never dissolve into such magnificence. Continue reading
Our mid-April blizzard (and ensuing school release day; arg!) has melted down to patches of wet, icy snow on Minneapolis’s boulevards. This is the kind of loose snow you can easily scoop and pack that only appears in the spring. Our family after-dinner walks to the lake have naturally turned into moving snowball fights. Sun warms our shoulders, loons dive down at the lake, an occasional heron flies overhead, and we sling snowballs at each other. We reenact the dual between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. We hurl them into the lake. We aim at stop signs. They splat, leaving a wet smear. They soak through our mittens. Continue reading
Yesterday, watching dozens of bundled children careen down the sledding hill toward the creek, I had a pure Minnesota Moment. Big, heavy flakes filled the air; the kids were exuberant, flying over the jump, then trudging back up through deep powder; every so often some fat tire bikers passed by over the frozen creek bed; I felt how fortunate we all were to have hefty snowsuits, parents included, and wool socks and the fortitude to be glorying outdoors.
Eleven degrees and a snowstorm seem balmy only after a stretch of truly hard cold. Continue reading