Mary’s night had stretched long. Contractions crested and subsided with increasing regularity. Firelight flickered on rough-hewn rock walls and wooden stalls. Pain washed in waves, until wet heat whooshed from within her and the pressure lifted. A writhing baby- her baby!- reflected light against wet skin, lifted to be seen and placed gently in her…

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A creamy winter moon sits high as I crunch across the lawn. Crimson grapefruit dried and sliced in thin orbs dangle from a blue spruce tree out front, natural ornaments in a recent experiment.Two tiny clementines and an off-white apple hang in dehydrated slivers beside miniature pine cones. The setting sun slants tangerine across the…

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I have a confession to make. I’m at it again. For the second time this year and in this neighborhood, I carried hand-published photo cards and a flimsy cardboard plate of food to our neighbors. “Hi, we’re the new neighbors from the yellow house on the corner,” the card started. “Merry Christmas…” Slipping and sliding…

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“Do you like amaretto?” he asks.  Grocery bags flank his feet. “I wanted to get you something different. Plain coffee seemed boring and not like a gift.” He hands me a bag of whole coffee beans, knowing I like to grind them fresh for each brew. We are learning new ways to speak love, my…

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Snow falls heavy, quiet. The red pines shoulder more of the burden and sink low, acquiescing. Emerald arbor vitaes shudder slightly in the cold, winter snows settling deeper in their cracks and crevices. Tiny trikes disappear into deck drifts, and a wee man’s steps already erode away. Swings sway gentle in the breeze, and flakes…

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Decades ago in a church, a brown-haired, only slightly-known matriarch whispered warnings in a hallway. Warnings whispered into young twenty-something ears. They went unheeded and life changed. Unfolded, dramatic and different; but still… good. God, in gentle kindness, wrought beauty.                                                        ——————————- In a second season of my life, the Creator leaned low and uttered…

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Bouncy European pop music reverberates up the stairs as my daughter practices her gymnastics floor routine for tomorrow’s competition. My senior son crams for finals, stopping upstairs for an ice cream malt and more pizza. Preschooler sleeps already in his tall bed, despite the noise, while my man plays games with two friends at the…

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