I’m waiting on news about my ankle after two tests. In the meantime, I have been so busy at work, with term-end grades and decisions about students’ placements next year, that I haven’t taken proper lunches nor have I had any time outside except on the weekends or the occasional patio dinner to relax my mind. Two weekends ago I did garden work and then read on my hammock for hours. I am not a math person, but it’s all I do this time of year, and it’s making me feel sequestered in a tiny space–my mind in spreadsheets and formulas, my occasional foray elsewhere into social media with more screen-limiting boxes and cages. I long for that trail, and[…]

It has been a great year for me. I kept up running and began trail running; then I began hiking between runs. Though the past few weeks have been wrought with ice, snow, and a fractured toe, I’ve returned to running on a treadmill and hiked or snow-shoed in the snow. Coming home from work today I heard the song by Great Big Sea (one of my favorite songs), called When I’m Up (I Can’t Get Down), and it inspired me to write some thoughts as we enter a new year. This song captures my feelings throughout the year as several things happened that tempted to stop me in my tracks–such as a bad fall when running or watching Donald[…]

I am working on a eco-weird story, a new novel, but am finding a hard time to be able to really sit down and write. I’m up to chapter 4, though. As I noted earlier, part of it is set in Ireland, and it helped very much to go there and see some of the exact places I had imagined in my head, especially the Cliffs of Moher and the real Lake Isle of Innisfree. It has been so hot here lately that my run this morning was a “beat the heat” run at 6:30 am, and even then it was sweltering hot. I listened to the same album I heard when running across the cliffs in Ireland (“Silverball” by[…]

The Ireland vacation now seems like a magical dream. We planned the trip some time ago simply so that my mother could visit her ancestors’ homeland and her own dream “place to go in life” before she got too old. It is a place that I have always wanted to go as well, mainly being inspired by Yeats’ poetry. And when it came time to plan this summer holiday, many of the places we visited were because of Yeats’ early poems and his dreaming of nature while in the city–including the woods mentioned in “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” and “The Stolen Child,” among others. But first things first. What greeted us upon arrival in Doolin, after a drive from[…]

It is that time of the year to reflect and, regardless of whether one likes to partition life into time segments like years, I think it’s useful to have a time of year to do real reflection on the past and to renew hope for the future. I love this time of year. It means I get to see my family soon, at least some of them, and some of them is good enough. We will meet in southern California in just a little over two weeks. Today I am coming back around to normal after about a little more than a week of flu and cold. It’s the first time I’ve been really sick for almost two years, so[…]