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 […]

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Restorative Landscapes for Restorative Justice

During over a decade of personal and professional experience with Los Angeles public schools, I’ve struggled to understand the impacts that school landscapes have on our children’s hearts, minds, and bodies. So, I was thrilled to be selected as one of four Fellows for the Landscape Architecture Foundation’s first Fellowship in Leadership and Innovation to advocate for changing school […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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Politics is Personal

Politics is personal. My grandfather Henry was born the day after Independence Day. We drove from Columbus, Ohio, to North Carolina each summer to celebrate his birthday and the Fourth of July on the Outer Banks. One summer, Henry gave us money to buy beach towels. We ran down the road to the Trading Post in […]

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I’m Coming Out

“Why didn’t you tell me?” I’ve been getting this question a lot, since our circles have begun overlapping. Accompanied by bewilderment or curiosity, the asker often conveys a sense of betrayal, as if they were somehow misled. So, I’ve decided it’s time to come out in the open: I’m a twin. As in identical twin. No, […]

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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 […]

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Skipping

I missed it: skipping. Skipping stones … skipping sisters … skipping heart beats. I showed my kids how to skip. We used to skip often down sidewalks … across lakes … into the ocean. Then we stopped. Because it embarrassed them, and I embarrassed them. These things that once made us smile, they were gone for […]

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