Tree tales, muted colors, birds, and musings

“New Year’s” never has been that meaningful to me, coming as it does in the middle of the year’s school activity. It would seem more intuitively meaningful if it happened in the spring. But this year’s ending finds me noting some new things sprouting up even in the bleak...

A Wing in the Door

A Wing in the Door by Peri Phillips McQuay is by turns a beautiful and a frustrating book. It narrates the fate of a female red-tailed hawk taken illegally by a would-be falconer from her nest when only a month old. The hawk — named Merak — is confiscated...

Christmas Eve hawking and walking

We went for a walk on Christmas Eve morning. On the way to the trail, we saw this guy hunting for his breakfast. He posed for us in a variety of postures. He looks chilly with his feathers all fluffed, doesn’t he? He changed branches after studying us coldly...

The Messiah

Last year, I wrote a post about the reasons I love Handel’s Messiah. It’s one of the posts that was lost when I switched hosts. But again I’m thinking of this sublime weaving of art and truth, delighting in it in my kitchen, in my car, and with my...

Outliers

My pastor mentioned Outliers in a Sunday school class. He’d read part of it, and it sounded interesting. I picked up a copy at the library to read, but I wasn’t expecting it to provoke so much thought or to have such an impact. It’s really given me a...

I Saw Three Ships

The girls and I read Elizabeth Goudge’s I Saw Three Ships last year for Christmas, but it didn’t wow any of us. In fact, none of us even remembered it. This year was different. It’s a short chapter book, and we read through it in a more concentrated way...

Literacy and empathy

When we talk about the death of the novel, what we are really talking about is the possibility that empathy, however minimal, would no longer be attainable by those for whom the novel has died. If the novel has died for the bureaucrats who run our country, then they...

Rufous Redtail

I read this book when I was around 10, and I’ve always remembered it as one of the best. I didn’t remember all the details, but I remembered some of them. Mostly I remembered it as a book that had a strong impact, opening my eyes to new knowledge...

The Lost Art of Reading

David Ulin’s Lost Art of Reading has been a thought-provoking little book. Described as a “ruminative essay,” this compact reflection on the distinctiveness of reading, and its role in an increasingly networked information age, doesn’t really make an argument against technology or predict the death of reading. But it...

Bursting with God-news

Upon entering, Gabriel greeted her: “Good morning! You’re beautiful with God’s beauty, Beautiful inside and out! God be with you.” (Luke 1:28, The Message) This afternoon I heard the song “Breath of Heaven” on the way home from the grocery store. It’s a song I’ve always assumed I liked,...