Coming Home


I am haunted by the living. By those I have left behind. Each turn on these roads holds a lifetime of memories. And only now, as a mother, am I able to appreciate the worlds that I have forgotten. 


I had forgotten the whisper of the trees. The rustling of a thousand leaves at once. These secrets the forest tells.


Saudade. All the heartache in the world could not contain my sorrow when I first heard that whisper again. How could my heart have forgotten something so beautiful? How could I have lived without it this long and not felt its absence? How numb my soul must be.


How numb I am still without it.

Yosemite on My Mind

For me it seems that by advancing into unknown territories, I enter my life.
— Isabelle Eberhardt


Ever since I read this post by Orlando Soria, his images of Yosemite have been haunting me.





Now, more than ever, I think it is crucial that human beings not lose sight of the wildness of things, of the true nature of creation and the divine.  When one looks at the night sky, far from the city lights, it is impossible not to see a perfect design, and to realize one's own insignificance when faced with the vastness of all that exists.



We shield ourselves from this reality behind glass skyscrapers and freeways.  Yet, we are just as vulnerable as human beings every were.  Perhaps, more so, because we have forgotten how to survive without cozy homes and the convenience of a car, how to catch our food with our bare hands.  I don't want to forget this, my vulnerability.  I don't want my children to be ignorant of it.  As often as we can, as they grow, I hope we are able to remind ourselves by visiting these incredible outposts, in person. 



Send Me Some Winter


This time of year it is really hard for me to be in Houston, even though it is probably the most beautiful time of year.  The temperature hardly ever drops below 50F.  I know that's an obnoxious thing to complain about but when you have grown up in a place with seasons, they are in your bones.  As the months pass and the seasons barely change from warm, to warmer to beastly hot, it's disorienting, and like losing a piece of yourself.

I miss snow!  Probably because I was never a fully grown adult when I was in it, with a car to shovel out of a snow pile.  I miss the cold air in my lungs, ice skating on gray frozen ponds, sledding down treacherous hillsides, and at the end of the day retreating indoors to a much deserved cup of hot cocoa. 

Instead, on a proper cloudy day here in Texas, I like to put on George Winston's December, make sure the scent of pine is in the air, and make cut-out snow flakes with the little ones, so that I cannot feel my heart breaking so vividly. 

Here a some winter scenes for those of us in more temperate places.  I'm dreaming of winter in New England.



Current Obsession: Historic Lookout Towers of the Northwest

Recently, I subscribed to a new (?) (new for me) magazine called Sunset.  On their website, the tagline is "everything you love about living in the West."  I've gotten about six issues and the content seems to alternate between mostly travel articles one month and mostly interior design articles the next. Great recipes and gardening tips are featured, as well.  To be honest, the first issue kind of underwhelmed me, but the next was full of amazing destinations, like national parks and glamping options, including airstreams, tents, etc.  The next featured beautiful bohemian homes and each issue has been more fascinating than the last.

One of my favorite articles, among many, is about how historic lookout towers in the Northwest of the United States are being re-purposed as lodges.  I felt an instant connection to the content.  I have fond memories from my childhood, hiking with my Dad and sister on local trails and climbing to the top of the old fire tower in Woodbury, Connecticut. We could see all of the surrounding towns for miles, forest and fields in all directions.

Also, author, Aaron Teasdale's breathtaking descriptions got under my skin:

I sit quietly on the catwalk and watch the setting sun flame arcoss the horizon. Then, in cosmic payoff, the stars start sparkling in the twilight ... As I lie down for the night, celestial light emanates from every direction. The cosmos itself seems to pour into the tower ... I'm not in a lookout tower - I'm in a spaceship.

Yes please! I can't think of a better break from the constant noise and distraction of big city living.  Lookout towers quickly moved to the top of my list of dream getaways!  But wait, if you also are interested in this type of lodging, make sure to do your research.  You can find great information on the National Historic Lookout Register.  Some of the towers are far into hiking trails involving rugged terrain.  Some are not fully equipped, no running water, no stove.  If you plan a trip in the winter, plan on icy trails.  Some can be many feet in the air, which may add to their appeal for some, however, not for those who have a fear of heights.  Still, I think that view is worth a little effort and discomfort.

Have you stayed in a lookout tower? How was your experience?