Grief is a sacred journey

My Land and Home

For the Love of Trees: 2005

“Come on, Elaine, let’s dress up in our Hector regional costumes and take a photo for the party invitation.” “I have gardening to do, Vic. Let’s do it tomorrow.” “No, today,” Vic insists. “It’s a perfect day. […]

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When I Leave My Home: Love, Loss, and Continuing Bonds

I arranged glass canning jars on the wooden shelves in the cellar to please my eye—apricots between red cherries and crimson tomatoes, purple red plums next to pink tinged peaches. A rainbow of jams filled the higher […]

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Standing up for Mother Earth: “Forward on Climate” Rally

I left home at 4 a.m. on Feb. 17 to meet with friends and catch a bus to the Forward on Climate Rally in Washington, DC. Six chartered buses left Ithaca, NY soon after 5 a.m, filled […]

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Home with Hestia: Goddess of the Hearth

On bitter winter mornings, I am a devotee of Hestia, Greek Goddess of the Hearth. I descend the wooden steps from my bedroom, shoulders shrugged against the cold, put my dog Willow outside in the shivering dawn, […]

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New Year’s Resolution: Let Loss Open My Heart to Kindness

Peter’s red pick-up was parked in the road when I got home just before dark. Peter often brings his dog Simo to my land for a run, but Peter’s long dark silhouette stood alone against the snow. […]

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Solstice Blessings: A Family Ritual of Remembrance and Love

On the shortest day of 2010 when my sons were home to celebrate the holidays, I took a clipper and cloth bag on my morning forest walk and gathered evergreen boughs and pinecones. I picked up small […]

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My Hector Home: Protecting the forests of the Finger Lakes

Willow looks over the world from an upstairs attic window. “What are we doing inside, Mom?” she whines with soft little moans. “The sun is shining. Let’s go.” Willow is my walking buddy now that I’m on […]

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Our First Home: Cayuga Lake 1968

“It’s $110 a month,” Mrs. Schooley told us. “$110 a month?” I wasn’t sure we could swing it. “$110 a month, including heat and electric,” she said. That was one third of Vic’s graduate student stipend. I […]

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Lost and Found in My Own Backyard

I met Robin Botie in the oncology ward kitchen at Strong Hospital in Rochester in 2008. We leaned our weary bodies against Formica counters and whispered our sad tales while warming food in the microwave for the […]

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My Creative Dilemma: Push Ahead or Yield?

If I only push harder, I’ll catch a tailwind and launch my book. This month it will be finished, I said in August. I said it again in September. Burn those engines on high heat and surge […]

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