Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

In spite of ourselves we’ll end up a-sittin’ on a rainbow
Against all odds, honey we’re the big door-prize

-John Prine

COVID-19 upped the ante on me last night with the death of my most beloved singer-songwriter, John Prine. I knew he had been hospitalized in critical condition, but then read that he had stabilized. Since I knew he was ill, his death was not totally unexpected. But the back and forth of the news created space for it to feel like a surprise.

I’ve seen John Prine perform over a couple of decades, at venues in Salt Lake City…

Photo by Olia Nayda on Unsplash

During a winter break from my kids’ schools, pre-COVID-19 restrictions, our family took a trip to Boston to visit Legoland. Coincidentally, another family from my older son’s class did the same thing, on the same day. We met at the park and palled around with them for the morning…now a strange and distant possibility.

My boys had a rough start, balking at the long entrance line followed by a bypass of the gift shop. Then we got right into queue for a ride. Boston’s Legoland isn’t huge, and the crowd was manageable, so I joked to the other mom that…

Homemade Hawthorne Syrup

I once heard the Australian aboriginal walkabout described as a spiritual tool to recognize that everything is the world of spirit, and nothing is mine. Can you imagine if every Western capitalist had such an insight? (Or more radically, I suppose, a community to support its implications.) For me, anxiety abates just pondering the shift from acquisition, thinking and responsibility to receptivity, listening and interconnectedness. In aboriginal culture, deepening into the world of spirit through this ritual of a walkabout is how a boy becomes a man.

I went snowshoeing the other day, from our property into the back pastures…

For the past year and a few months, I have been reading the book Facing East From Indian Country by Daniel Richter. I took it from my brother’s bookshelf on a Thanksgiving visit in 2018, and will someday do the right thing and buy him a new copy since I haven’t given it back. It’s one of those books that never feels done, as you mull things over and go back to read them again.

Richter’s book is a historian’s labor, underpinned by the longing for a more nuanced understanding of North American colonization. He looks deeply and in new…

An experience of one thousand days

Returning home from the woods in early light, my dog lagging behind, I heard a bird call from somewhere above. The sound brought me back to another morning more than 10 years ago, outside a cabin in the San Luis Valley of Colorado. I hear lots of birds and they don’t always create this sense of connection through time. But the bird, the emerging light, the smell of earth and something about the air conspired to bring these two moments together. I could feel time as a sort of unfolding and looping back, rather…

A yoga moment

I undertook the task of sheet-changing this afternoon, with my toddler playing nearby. While wrestling the king-sized flannel beast of a fitted sheet, I turned my sights to Angus and we delved into steamrolling each other across the bed to shrieks and giggles. I wound up lying on my back and he on his back, on top of me. For some reason he didn’t scramble off and we just stayed there, breathing together in an upward looking pile. …

A poem for my husband

We meet at this small wooden table most Saturday nights.

I don’t know its history, only that it was offered by family and sits simply in our home, propped level with shims

I wonder where it will end up, in a future house and in our lives, as the years go by

Will we start meeting at a more permanent piece of furniture, or perhaps out in the wide world, beyond our front door?

On Saturday nights, I try not to think of tomorrow, or the string of days beyond

How full can this moment…

Crestone, CO. April 21, 2016.

The other day my son, 3 years old, pulled out the Candy Land game from its home on a shelf. Thinking he might be ready to play the game “for real”, I prepared myself to teach him the basics. I organized the cards in a neat pile and we chose our guys. He was green guy, I was red guy, and blue guy was a stand in for his dad. I explained to him that he could draw the first card, and we’d see what it said. …

Crestone, CO. March 17, 2016.

I will soon be celebrating my first piece of published writing, in an anthology of “stories that heal”. I wrote about the experience of losing my home, all of my possession and two pets to a wildfire in Boulder, Colorado.

Coincidental in timing to the publishing of my story, my husband and I stumbled upon the house-tidying method called KonMari. We both saw references to it online. I mentioned it to him and he had already put the book in his Amazon cart! We purchased it on Kindle (so as not to accumulate any more…

Crestone, CO. January 17, 2016.

This morning my 3 year-old, Odin, wanted to help put his 6 month-old brother, Angus, down for a nap. He brought in a Thomas the Train book, read it in about 10 seconds, then climbed into the rocking chair. I explained to him that mama needs to sit in the rocking chair to feed Angus. He got down, instructing me to bring Angus over to the bed, as he was “growing booboos” just like mama’s to feed Angus with. “See”, he said, “they’re popping out already!”. …

Erin Anderson

Vermont-based mom of two kids and a flock of ducks.

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