"A fresh snow makes the field appear unblemished, like rolling hills of polished alabaster. Upon closer inspection, we find translucent pockets, light and shadows, and dark threads beneath the surface. Lichen and bark, seeds and cones, twigs and snow fleas daintily decorate the thinnest outer layer that is crystalizing beneath the sun. The snow has a dormant quality, as if it could pulse with life at any moment, by us stroking it into being. Elongated shadows from a stand of high-columned birch, fan out; one large soothing hand with reaching fingers. Thich Nhat Hanh’s words resonate, “The flower is aware of the fact that it contains everything within it, the whole cosmos, and it does not try to become something else. It is the same for you. You have God within you, so you do not need to look for God.” I contemplate the matter we are all made of; pockets, lightness and darkness, energy, and deeply woven threads. The snow is made up of God, too, isn’t it? I pick up a piece of lichen, a milky green, ruffled thing, and place it in O’s hand, which dangles over my left shoulder. Here, I am saying to him, You can feel it, too."
"I will forever remember John Lewis as both the divine bumblebee and the worker ant, serving the better good of the colony. Whose death called upon us to look beyond ourselves, our reputations, our legacies, and our present situations, in order to see that this time is for reverence not fear, that it is a time to focus on how we heal and not just the grave pain and loss we feel. Whose death showed us that, in the end, the differences and experiences we believe are unique to us are not removed or separate from what unites and connects us; that our sometimes crude and fundamental understanding of each other, might also be the very key to our recovery process."
" All I really know of being born in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains is that I was and that the Alabama heat among the honeysuckle is as much a part of me, as the solid mortar between stone walls and the sap of Eastern pines bonds me to my New England heritage. My mother insists my first language was the language of the trees. Swaying and rustling, fluttering and bending. They did not speak in sonnets, nor did they recite verses about youth and longing and a need to be loved. But it was through the pin oaks scattering our yard, I shared an unspoken sense about the world and my place inside it, as an outsider child in a foreign land. "