The River at Dawn

It will be a long day indoors. Before the sun shakes out its hot wool blanket over the entire Northwest, I am risen to seek what fresh air may be found. In the 5am dark, we drive east on a faint blue path, a crack of light between black, enclosing trees. Just inside the borders … More The River at Dawn

Familiar Things

At last, a summer that doesn’t blister the skin. We have our hot days, but they come and they go. A weekend prickly with white-blue heat, a few sweater-cool mornings, then a whole week of those bell-curved Goldilocks days when you never want to be indoors. I’d almost forgotten what it’s like, these past four … More Familiar Things

A Good Place

We have journeyed to an island where the beauty of the visible – not small – is eclipsed by the enchantment of fragrance. I am safer than Odysseus ever was – and anyway my Penelope is here with me – but I might be tempted to believe unlikely and mysterious powers dwell in a place … More A Good Place

Between Two Tides

It’s far too hot to hike. Portland is having one of its moderately awful summer heat waves, and although it’s a perfectly good Wednesday afternoon and I’m restless, at least 15 Fahrenheit degrees bristle between me and a pleasant stroll around the bay. So I’ll sit here inside where it’s cool, and sip another glass … More Between Two Tides


The idea was long walks. Really long ones, like the entire Wildwood trail in one day. Walks long enough they could reasonably be called longwalks, one word. Jeremiah and I have been talking about this for a couple of years now, though the urgency mostly belongs to me. He’s game to make most situations into a … More Off-Trail


“So, where are you from?” Jeremiah and I were the only passengers in the front car on the Welsh Highland Railway’s Friday run to Caernarvon. If the manager couldn’t tell by our voices that we’re foreign, our enthusiasm must have given us away. Especially me, hopping from one side of the car to the other, … More Recognition

Love Letters Home

-1- The birdsong is different here. At home – at my house in Portland – robins are my alarm clock. Turdus migratorius are large, almost comical thrushes, with a massive red bib tied around their throats against the mess they’re about to make of some earthworms. They’re probably pretty, but I can’t separate them from … More Love Letters Home