Prayers for a Good Dog

“Whatever you do, don’t get a golden retriever,” my mom said. “They shed too much.” For once, my preternaturally insightful mom was wrong. Not about the shedding. Sushi, the happy-go-lucky, 2-year-old golden retriever we adopted from a breeder shed like a kennel full of dogs. On Nair. What she was wrong about was the not getting her.

When your dreams seem dead

A shriveled up section fell off my kitchen Christmas cactus this past winter. It looked dead. Undaunted, my first-grade son scooped up the broken section, stuck it in a jelly jar of water and set it in a window. There it sat – week after week after week – looking sad and hopeless. My son watered it, but I didn’t see any visible change. Last week I was about to throw it away. But when I picked up the jar, I spotted two red nubs on the tip of a fat leaf. This plant – which looked lifeless – had grown roots! Thin white ventricles spread across the bottom of the glass, reaching for the water. As soon as I showed my delighted son, he filled the jar with soil and set it back in the window to grow.

THE MEANING OF EASTER

THE MEANING OF EASTER

HAVE you ever wondered about the meaning of Easter? Ruth was sixteen-months-old and fresh from Uganda when friends brought her to their little Baptist church in Maine. In the nursery worked Hazel, a petite woman with short brown hair and a quick smile. Unlike many,...
BIRTH IN MULAGO HOSPITAL

BIRTH IN MULAGO HOSPITAL

“She was born in Mulago Hospital and abandoned at birth.” From the moment I heard those words about Ruth, the floppy-limbed, dark skinned, bright eyed sixteen-month-old baby who would become my daughter, I’d drawn a mental picture of the place...
WHAT CAN’T BE SEEN

WHAT CAN’T BE SEEN

Early last spring, I mentioned my need to grow things to one of my late daughter’s teachers. It’s that backward pull again, the roots of childhood lacing up my legs like pea vines. I’d felt it for years–this need to plant–but it was...