Love and Fear in LA

Image by Margaret Gerhart Sometimes things happen that make you question everything. Two weeks ago, I walked along 103rd Street toward the corner of Grape in Watts with several community advocates and a selection committee from the California Natural Resources Agency. Viviana Franco and Maria De Leon from From Lot to Spot, the non-profit who […]

Read more

Bimini

The constant gargle, whether crashing or calm, gloriously filling your ears against small or faraway sounds. At the ocean, it is just you and it. The broken sunlight forever chasing its changing surface, cloistering its depths from we outsiders. The bobbing lightness of standing shoulder-deep just beyond the break, rising on tiptoe in each swell, […]

Read more

Re-Nesting

Love grows best in little houses, so the song says. After seven years in a little house, I think it true. With three children and a one-time partner and his child in and out of my tiny two-bedroom house, my home has seen myriad living arrangements. With only me and one of my kids still at home, […]

Read more

Pterodactyl on My Back

I’m trying to get the pterodactyl off my back. You’ve heard of the butterfly effect … the pterodactyl is no less intertwined into every choice we make. With the Dakota Access Pipeline injustice, fear of fracking-related earthquake, and a general repulsion for war, I’m making a bigger effort to wash my hands of oil and its […]

Read more

Hummingbirds and Home

“He’s ready.” The hospice nurse had woken us a minute before. I sat in an overstuffed chair at one side of the bed, my mom on the other, the morning my grandfather died. He breathed in one last rattled breath and let go. As I looked across the bed to my mom, a movement behind […]

Read more

Hello Darkness, My Old Friend

I remember darkness. I found darkness in the Appalachians … and the Outer Banks … and Tucson … and camping in the Sierras. Two winters ago I drove my son to Mammoth so he could snowboard. I left Los Angeles after work and Levi fell asleep halfway up there. Past Bishop the sky darkened until […]

Read more

Reframing Lawn: From Fallow to Bygone

The fourth Drought and Beauty series lecture was last Friday, organized by the landscape architecture departments of Cal Poly Pomona, USC, and UCLA. Eleven of us gave quick, pecha kucha format presentations, followed by a brief response from two local writers. I chose to tell the story of one reason I work in landscape architecture: my […]

Read more

Sharing Beauty

Today was different. This morning I went out in my garden and watered for the first time in a month. I did a little pruning. Just a little … to remove the spent flowers from my favorite Poppy. I didn’t notice what was different at first, but I felt it. In fact, I didn’t realize what was different […]

Read more

Summer Rain in L.A.

We all needed the rain. Four years of drought left our trees, plants, soil, wildlife, and spirits in thirst. My eyes, ears, nose, and skin drank in the rain as it came … steady at times, in bursts and downpours at others. Thunder and lightening took me back to east coast summers at the ocean. After the […]

Read more

A Failed Housewife

“Do you like to cook?” he asked. “Well, I don’t really love to cook though I enjoy taking care of people. I only like to cook things that use one pot,” I said. “To make as little mess as possible.” “Oh, so you’re lazy!” he proclaimed over the phone. It was the first time I […]

Read more