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November 15, 2019


A few weeks ago I attended a hymn festival at Centenary United Methodist Church, in Richmond, VA, the church where I grew up. It’s a large old downtown church, its sanctuary warm and inviting with a high arched wooden ceiling, wooden pews with hand-carved trefoils on...

September 18, 2019


My handwriting is pretty bad. For years I labored under the illusion that it once was clear and legible, possibly approaching lovely. I imagined it had become corrupted first by the rigors of taking notes in college lectures and later by the vagaries of aging—arthriti...

August 12, 2019


As I write this, an afternoon summer storm is rolling in. Gone is the clear blue sky of this morning. Gone are the billowing white clouds of noon. Darkening clouds have dimmed the sunlight, making the afternoon duskier than usual but also making the greens of shrubs a...

July 15, 2019

Several times lately, while forced to wait for something, even for a short time, I have caught myself picking up my cell phone and aimlessly flipping through email or turning to a game. I’m not talking about long waits, the kind you might have at an airport between arr...

June 16, 2019

My almost 14-year old granddaughter has had her tonsils removed. She is terribly uncomfortable physically; swallowing anything, even pain meds, is murder. Equally agonizing is her uncertainty about the wellbeing of her voice, for musical theater has become her second h...

May 15, 2019

While out running errands the other day, I stopped at a traffic light behind a car with the license plate LOKATGD. I puzzled for a moment and then, by supplying a couple of Os, read the message as “Look at God.”

Look at God, Look at God, I said to myself. I glanced arou...

April 3, 2019

God has arranged all things in the world in consideration of everything else.

—Hildegard of Bingen (1098–1179)

Last week, with less than twenty minutes before my youngest granddaughter had to leave for her aerial silks class, she and I flopped in front of the television....

March 7, 2019

In preparing for the upcoming Appalachian Women’s Retreat, I found it quite challenging to think about the ways in which I might relate to Saint Hildegard of Bingen, our spiritual guide for the retreat. Hildegard was a German Benedictine abbess who lived from 1098-1179...

February 5, 2019

 Everything that is in the heavens, on earth, and under the earth is penetrated with connectedness, penetrated with relatedness.

—Hildegard of Bingen

I have a new spiritual practice of sitting down and having a cup of tea with my mystic “friend” and mentor, Saint Hildega...

January 13, 2019

Even in a world that’s being shipwrecked, remain brave and strong. 

—Hildegard of Bingen

Sometimes there’s a strange, wild splendor in what otherwise looks desolate. I’m thinking about the meadow I frequently walk. Now that it’s in full winter garb, some might describe i...

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