What to Grow: A Brief End-Of-The-Year Reflection

At one point this summer, after both of my grandparents had passed, I found myself in the greenhouse once again. Though for a while it felt as if everything had stopped living, my return to the garden taught me otherwise. Among the spindly carrot seedlings I had planted late, in vain hopes of generating a…

Choosing Wisely (or trying to)

Some choices can be easy: chocolate or licorice; baseball or hockey; Harry Potter or Percy Jackson. (Obviously, it’s the first option in all of those scenarios.) Others choices are not as easy: stay up late and finish a book or go to bed at a reasonable hour and get a good night’s sleep; scrounge around…

Gardening and Googling: Learning Curves

My grandpa’s greenhouse used to smell pungent and tangy – full of tomatoes. I remember them shooting up to the ceiling, ripening the air with hot green leaves, and my grandpa disappearing below them as he walked to the back of the structure, tending to his plants. It was always too hot; I hung back…

Seeking a Smaller World: Handmade and Homegrown

When life gets too “big,” what do you do to make it feel more manageable? Here are several of my methods for coping, some more productive than others: write eat chocolate play music make things with my own hands look at inspiring things on Instagram try to talk it out/cry exercise garden dream about living…

Weather Report: Chance of Growth

Gardening, if nothing else, has reminded me that life, at its core, is a cycle. In fact, it thrives on the changing of the seasons, and requires it. When seasons in our own lives change, it can suck. Transitions that make our heart ache, our memories reel, our body tighten with grief, or fear, or…

Living Lightly: Buying into Less in a rural, eco-groovy, hippie town

Recently, “zero waste” has permeated my Instagram hashtags, library-book check-outs, and Netflix documentary searches. The movement fascinates me, and inspires me to live with less in a world that is driven by “more.” My interest in living with greater awareness came two springs ago from a unit I taught to 7th graders on Food Waste….

Wild Dog Dancing

I’m writing to break the silence. For the past three months I’ve spent my mornings with eighth graders, in a classroom where silence was a virtue. My students were good kids and they taught me a lot (mostly about what not to do—lessons I often learned after the fact), and my experience in room 19…