Tuned in

When I embark on the familiar path from a different entry point, it's as if I'm seeing the woods for the first time. It's the same path, and yet the trees and groundcover seem a bit changed. 

My feet hit the gravel and swelling tree roots, heel then toes, right foot, heel then toes, left foot, one in front of the other, as I try to clear my mind. I notice how the lake grass and woods hug the edge of the water. As I trek around the lake's bend, I bump into alternating scents of honeysuckle, pine, lakewater and tree oil. These are the essences of the woods that embrace me and have become my most treasured grace. 

I make sure to breathe in each tang that contributes to this wondrous bouquet. 

Honeysuckle. Lakewater. Pine. Tree oil. 

Breathe in . . . out. 

Pine. Tree oil. Lakewater. Honeysuckle. 

Breathe in . . . out. 

This natural lush succulence charms me, and I thankfully find myself a little changed too. 


I ❤️ Ethel

You're my Ethel to my Lucy. Have been since we met the summer of 1985. Particular memories continue to pop up on facebook, especially during May, your birthday month. I continue to correspond with your folks as we share our memories of you with each other. So grateful to write letters back and forth just like when we were in college -- you at Euguene Lang, me at Rutgers. 

Our girl, Dev, is just about to start her desert road trip. I believe she's inherited your amazing free and creative spirit. Almost 26 years later (since you've had Dev), I find myself nurturing N.'s free and creative spirit too. When I mention Tita Ethel, N. asks many questions about you and our friendship. 

Happy birthday beyond the stars, my dear brave friend. Feel you everyday on my hikes where the sky touches the lake. You'll always be the Ethel to my Lucy.