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Sixteen hundred feet beneath the verdant sea cliffs of Molokai — the highest in North America — at the tip of a wildly beautiful cove pummeled by an aquamarine surf, lies a little piece of heaven that for a century doubled as a kind of hell. Its inhabitants were lepers, and beginning in 1866, this […]


      Common myna at dusk Honokeana Cove, Napili Point Maui, Hawaii      

The other half

So,  I was preparing to fly to Hawaii this morning (I just wanted to say that out loud) when I saw an e-mail from United Airlines (henceforth known as Death Star) saying my flight from Colorado Springs to Denver had been delayed,  causing me to miss my connecting flight to Honolulu, which was going to […]

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Happy ending

This story begins as too many do these days, another reminder of the human spirit in fundamental darkness: ignorance, meanness, alienation. But unlike those big stories — driven by bellicose world leaders with little intelligence and less heart — this tiny tale is redeemed by finer aspects of the human spirit: understanding, compassion, inclusion. Its […]

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I was in my back yard the other morning, talking on the phone, when a little finch fluttered awkwardly out of the air and fell onto the deck. I hung up, wrangled the cats indoors and set near the small bird a smattering of seed and a shallow dish of water. In case;  in case […]

The birds and the bees

I was enjoying yesterday afternoon in the best possible way: lounging on the deck, a book in one hand, a frosty pint jar of beer in the other. The book was excellent: intelligent, eloquent and occasionally poetic, full of eminently re-readable sentences. Not a one-beer book, in other words. But before I could return from my […]


As the few garden crops I’ve cultivated — tomatoes and kale and spinach — spend themselves and begin to bolt, I’ve been meandering around my yard investigating what Mother Nature planted without any input from me. There’s something different every year, and always a bit of delight:  Having not been in on the sowing, I […]