Pond Turnover

We’ve been experiencing somewhat of a drought here lately, so when I woke up this morning to a downpour, I rejoiced. My own skin felt refreshed as I thought of the vegetable garden whose watering has been last on our busy summer to do list. I checked the basement. The concrete floor was wet, but it wouldn’t take long to dry out. I decided to check the status of the falls on this dam across the street. Beautiful, isn’t it? When I opened the door, the stench almost knocked me down.

I pulled the collar of my shirt over my nose. How to describe the odor? Sewage? Like the public bathrooms at the beach at the end of summer? While my husband, the scientist, wrinkled his nose and closed the living room window I had just opened, I asked him what he thought it smelled like. Mud, he said. Mud?, I asked. Yeah, he said, anaerobic activity. Decomposition. Indeed.

The pond has been stagnant for rainless weeks. (Perhaps sending precipitation for our little corner of the planet was last on God’s busy summer to do list.) This morning’s blessing of long-awaited rain really stirred things up. Because the water had been depleted of its oxygen, it gave off sulfur dioxide gas once the rain started disturbing the stratified layers of muck and such that it had developed in its stagnation. Hence the rotten egg smell. It’s unpleasant, but it’s part of the process.

Like parched earth, we may long for a blessing, but when it comes, it may cause discomfort as it changes things. Like closing a window, we may shut ourselves off from progress when new things begin to stir up a stagnant life. But beauty can spring from rot and decay, and opening that window–even if just a few inches at first–can also allow a pleasant breeze to pass through, and you may find that’s just what you needed.

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If you want to be a writer. . .

If you want to be a writer, write about your mother.

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That’s Gonna Leave a Mark

I’m so honored to have this piece of prose poetry in Dwelling this month. (See page 16.) Sadly, this will be their last issue. Please check out their archives before they disappear.

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While weeding the wood staging area in our side yard, I found a volunteer tomato plant. If you look carefully at the center of the photo, you’ll see it. It has a few yellow flowers growing at the top. Rather than dig it up and transplant it in the intentional garden a few feet away, I decided to leave it where it was flourishing. In fact, to help it along, I drove a wooden stake into the ground behind it and tied it up.

I think there’s a lesson there:

Only God knows where we’ll end up. Bloom where you’re planted.


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Sea Song

Surf’s up!

Pleased to have my poem “Sea Song” featured in Dwelling’s Beach House edition this month.

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Place Where You Live

A short piece I wrote about my little town for Orion’s “Place Where You Live” section.

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Number 331

Ya know when you’ve been trying to find a home for a while for a beloved essay?

“Number 331” was published today on Clerestory for their issue on “What heals?”

What a beautiful publication! I’m grateful to be a part of it.

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Uncorking Wonder

I’m so glad the piece I wrote about the joy of having a childlike sense of wonder found a home. I’m honored it was posted today on the Little Town Writers Guild website. Find it here.

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“Baby, It’s Warm Inside”

I am honored to have a prose poem up at Dwelling Literary Magazine this month in their “Greenhouse” issue. Find the entire issue here. My contribution is on page 14.

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The Aroma of Art

I’m honored to have a piece up at Aromatica Poetica. Find it here.

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