Push The Boundaries

A young widowed friend of mine tells me the other day that at long last she is remodeling her home – the home that her husband purchased before they were married. The home she shares with their seven-year-old son. Lisa loves the house but the structure was feeling cramped, especially the alley kitchen.  “It’s so strange to be tearing the walls down,” she says with a half-smile on her face. “Bart was the cook; this was his kitchen.”

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Soulful Sundays

Today we began a new fall tradition – Sunday afternoon family bike rides.

At ten years old, the twins enjoy bike riding. It’s non competitive (barring the occasional “go faster slowpoke” comment) and they can go at their own pace. We rode our favorite trail today – an eleven-mile stretch of the Highline Canal, through Cherry Hills and Greenwood Village (south of Denver for those of you not from Colorado). It was one of those spectacular early autumn days; the air was crisp with a faint breeze, and the sun, steady and glistening.  The leaves are just beginning to become more golden, lighting the landscape in a warm wash of color.  This is a particularly scenic route we rode with open fields, wood bridges, horses, stately homes and snow-peaked mountains in the distance.

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Everything At Once

Each one of us brings an association to this day, September 11. Perhaps you were there, in New York.  Perhaps you had family or friends who died on one of the planes or the towers. Perhaps you weren’t anywhere nearby but lived in Paris or Singapore or Montana or New Hampshire. Were you home, watching the news, live, or did someone in your orbit—your husband, wife, co-worker, mother, brother—call you in a frantic state, urging you to turn on the news, suggesting in the meanwhile, “You ought to call So and So.” At a moment of such epic crisis, the world shrinks, and there just might be a single degree of separation. Even if your association is more distant – there are no So and So’s to check on and you bear witness only via the television – how and when you heard the news, and what you felt that day, and in the months and years to follow, has likely changed your world sensibility.

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Good Karma

While driving home from school today my children and I witnessed a sad yet familiar sight: an elderly homeless man in a wheelchair holding a cardboard sign that read, “Had stroke. Can’t work. Need money. Please help me.” We were stopped at a major intersection in Denver less than a mile from our home. The man had a raggedy white beard and hardened complexion. He wore a tube hat and oxygen prongs that attached to a tank hanging from the back of his wheelchair. We were stopped at a long traffic light, the plastic bin he dangled for donations inches from our car window.

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Many Mothers

On Thursday we took Dylan to the University of Colorado at Boulder. It hardly matters, I think, that the school is less than an hour from our home. He has fled the nest, moved away, one step closer to living an independent life. He was ready, and, I suppose, we were, too. He deserves to fly on his own.

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Meander…You Never Know What You Might Find

Scene: Four African-American men in Glasgow, Kentucky, hunting friends for fifty years. They tell the same stories, laugh at the same jokes, complete one another’s sentences. Intimate beyond intimate, the men transcend time and place. The world changes around them but they live simply, and amidst nature. It’s a quiet, reverent lifestyle.

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