Summer’s Light

Perhaps it is the middle of June, but out  here on the island, the weather has finally just reminded us of what summer feels like.  We’ve shed our jackets and dug out our shorts to swelter in the heat.  I finally covered our porch in potted plants that I think might actually survive the night […]

I’m Mad at Anthony Bourdain

(posted a few days later) This morning the news broke that Anthony Bourdain had been found dead in a Paris hotel room. His death has been ruled a suicide, and although the details have yet to come out, it is inevitable that it must also be related to a mental health disorder. This is barely […]

Human Moments, No. 12

“Mama,” my small daughter says, as she stands beside my bed.  “I think I need you change my diaper.” “Okay,” I say, groaning and tearing myself from sleep.  It is 3:30 a.m. I follow her into her room, where she lets me pick her up and put her on the changing table.  Trying not to […]

A Wooden Bed on Which to Lay Your Head

My daughter lies on the floor of the hallway outside her bedroom door, an arm sprawled in front of her. The other is tucked in next to her side, her pale ruddy skin a contrast to the cheerful green of her dinosaur pajamas. She is soundly asleep and undoubtedly quite pleased at her independence. I […]

A Weekend in Blacksburg

My friend is studying to be a wild life scientist, a trapper and catcher of information about the world’s dwindling carnivore populations.  He’s approaching his graduation date, but I am only just now getting in a trip to visit him, because after two and a half years, I am finally ready to be separated from […]

The American Legacy

My daughter crinkles paper, blows on the tree to make it live, festoons herself with silver. So far she has no use for gifts. What can I give her, what armor, invincible sword or magic trick, when that year comes? How can I teach her some way of being human that won’t destroy her? I […]

Human Moments, No. 11

It’s 4:30 a.m. and the doors slams shut behind her.  Baba’s small and heavy footsteps scurry to my side of the bed. “Mama, Mama!” she says.  Half-asleep, I have already moved over to help her climb in and she does so, settling in under the blankets.  “Mama, Mama,” she says again, clutching my neck and […]

The End of Summer

Somehow, Baba’s summer break snuck up on me.  Each year, her day care closes for the last full week of August, as the school prepares for a new year.  Since I have the more forgiving job when it comes to vacation time, I take it off each year to take care of her for a […]