Come walk with me

Come walk with me among the stones and trees, away from the distractions and we will reflect on what truly matters. . . .

Sunday, November 22, 2015


Sunday afternoon….quieter than the morning that came floating down…slanted sunlight of the fall….

I remember a day like this, yet so different. The sun coming in the kitchen windows, warm and full, quiet.  I wanted to save that day. I wanted to save us.

There have been other days….lost and lonesome, yearning for a warm bed, dreading the dark night. Others were just full, quiet as wood smoke, lovely as leaves, days without longing.

Photo by J Denise Coalson

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Down, Down, Down…..

We were just sitting around enjoying the live music at a local restaurant -- a couple of my friends and a couple of women I had never met. One of my friends is suffering from depression and we talked about what a struggle it is. Then she just poured out her story,

You know my dad was in the slammer for 17 years…he killed my mother…put her body in the trunk and the smell caused the neighbors to call the cops….

It was years ago but how she get past that pain? She can't. She simply can't.

The lady I didn't know was doing cross-stitch with her daughter. She began explaining how her husband had committed suicide. But that was not the worst part--he had been missing for two years.

How does she get past that loss?

On the stories went, each woman at the table sharing a little of her experience. I talked of my divorce, the loss of my home and how the husband I had loved so dearly had wanted me dead. I don't know how to come back from that. It has changed me.

Each of these women had been changed. We talked about the importance of talking, sharing, reaching out. We all talked about expressing gratitude each day for the little blessings that aren't really so little--food, our pets, being out with friends.

When I arrived home, I had an email from another close friend: Her daughter, from whom she had been estranged (after the ex told the child horrible stories about her mother) had passed away. My friend had longed for a reconciliation, a moment she could put her arms around her child and tell her she had always loved her.

What could I possibly say to comfort my friend on such a loss?

Such profound losses--at yet each of these women is generous, and loving, and positive. I am blessed.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Prayers for the Vulnerable

So much on my mind today….horrified by events in Paris and elsewhere around the world. Continued prayers for my friends who are directly affected by these circumstances, and those I do not know. Yet, in observing the outpouring of outrage and support, I am reminded of how much we tolerate here at home. 

Women and children in America are far more likely to be hurt or killed by someone in the home. This will not change until there is ZERO tolerance for domestic violence. It is rare to find a household that has not been touched in some way. 

The walking wounded are all around us. We desperately need more and better mental health professionals and facilities. We see the evidence of that every day. And while I am 100% for taking out the terrorists who would kill us, I am also 100% for addressing, in a meaningful way, the violence that surrounds us on a daily basis across the nation. 

Prayers for the millions in that situation right now.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


He was humble, meek even, this man who murdered his wife. The sheriff was giving me a tour of the jail and introduced me to him through the bars. I had never knowingly met a murderer before, though I have known several since.

He looked normal.

This was the first murder trial I covered as a reporter. I was 20 years old, naive. Each day, the sheriff brought this tall, lanky, quiet man into the courtroom. He was facing the death penalty. He was polite, kind.

He blew his wife's head off with a shotgun at point-blank range in front of dozens of witnesses, including policemen. She had left him because he threatened to kill her. He waited for her to get off work, forced her behind the wheel of the car while he sat behind her in the back, the shotgun against her head.

She was screaming.

It was quitting time. Factory workers poured from the doors into the parking lot. They scrambled back to call police. Some just stood and stared. He kept telling her, "Drive on, just drive on."

He wanted her back. He loved her.

She was screaming.

The cops told him to drop the gun, drop the gun, drop the gun.

He fired, they fired.

They hit him in the shoulder and as they approached him, he begged, "Don't hurt me, Don't hurt me."

He sat meekly in the courtroom.

Before he killed her, he killed her husband. She was the only witness and it was ruled accidental something or other. They built a house with the insurance money and then he said he was going to kill her.

She was tiny, tiny. Short, very slim, long brown hair.

She lost a baby while they were together. I found the tombstones the other day.

He got life in prison, and he got paroled.

She got a beautiful tombstone.

Friday, June 5, 2015

This Little Life

This little life
a whole person
a little spirit
contained for a time
touched my heart
then wisped away
I mourn you, long to hold on
to you
This little, fluttering life,
this precious, little life.

Monday, May 25, 2015


Memorial Day. Salute. Raise the flag. Lower your head. Utter a prayer.

Saturday, May 23, 2015


It is time to renew my passport. I have been watching travel shows on public television. Today, they visited Cologne and I longed to see more details, to see something familiar, to spy the priest who had stood with me through mass. More than anything, I long to return.

I long to see new places. Scotland. Wales. Ireland. The Isle of Man. The Manx Museum. Hadrian's Wall. I long to ride trains again. The Ice. The narrow rail up the the mountain to Lucerne. I long to get on a boat, to see the view from the midst of Lake Zurich once more. But I'd like to tour the Rhine.

I want night to fall on an outdoor cafe with little white lights and foreign languages at the next tables, clinking wine glasses and easy laughter.