The Garden

I wrote this essay almost twenty-five years ago and have been thinking of it as I plant this year’s seeds, in a different garden in a different yard.  Under the guidance of Mrs. Keller, we kindergarteners first learned to grow vegetables, tucking handfuls of beans into the folds of damp towels. The sprouting of their … Continue reading The Garden


Sarah had flung herself into the easy chair next to mine upon arriving home after a particularly difficult day at school. Then my fourteen-year-old daughter erupted, sobbing and screaming with frustration. I sat with her. After the flood abated, she sniffled, “Can I sit in your lap?” She draped her tall body over my smaller … Continue reading Mothering

Make No Mistake

A perfectionist from the time I can remember, I learned effectively from my mistakes every day. Through cuts, scrapes and broken bones, I learned to climb gaspingly high into treetops, navigate slick rocks across rushing creeks, and coast my bike with no hands or feet. Most learning from mistakes as a young child was painful … Continue reading Make No Mistake