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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On Weed(s) and Teens

  We pulled them out. The unwanted weeds. Brought by wind and in free city mulch. From who knows were. They took up residence in the pavement cracks and the bare dirt, and the gravel. We deemed them undesirable. Despite their wild beauty. Despite their many (medicinal and edible and material) uses. Germinated by winter […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Community … continued

Last Christmas I wrote about the community I found by accident … because of an accident. This season has me thinking a lot about the community we make on purpose. Our lives are wound up in our communities, whether we ask for it or not. Our communities make us feel welcomed or ostracized, safe or afraid, […]

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Wind in My Hair

What do my grandparents have to do with wind in my hair? A 1960s gold Plymouth Valiant convertible. My first memory of riding in a car. Top down, sun on my shoulders, wind whipping my hair into my eyes and mouth … pure joy. So, even though I work to design places for walking, biking, and […]

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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 […]

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For the Birds…

My grandma was a birder. I caught her enthusiasm for spotting and identifying our flying feathered friends on a trip to Sanibel Island in 1980. She introduced me to Great Blue Herons and Snowy Egrets, Ibis and Roseate Spoonbills. We saw Cormorants and Little Green Herons and Cattle Egrets. These most magnificent wading birds stood poised for us in […]

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