Growing Green Hearts

World Environment Day has been observed every year since 1974. Which means we’ve known for at least 45 years that the environment needed to be taken seriously rather than taken for granted. This year, China is acting as host country with the theme of #BeatAirPollution, an appropriate choice for a country that faces some of…

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We Are A Cathedral

If you hit up any social media platform in the aftermath of the Notre Dame fire, you’d have seen that the global outpouring of grief has been accompanied by an outpouring of outrage that this event, this destruction, has garnered so much more attention than (insert pet cause, from apocalyptic climate change to biodiversity loss)…

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Fierce Revival

After two weeks of warm spring weather, blossoms everywhere, bees buzzing…it snowed. A lot. The balmy temperatures plummeted, and I wondered what would happen to the plants and creatures that had emerged from winter. It took a day or so for the snow to melt, and then I went out for a walk. It was…

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The Long View

I was out on my first run of 2019. It was the second day of the year, not the first. The first was foggy, grey, dim and dark. No views to be had, no motivation to get out and find some. Day 2 was a different story. The same mountains that were there behind the…

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Dawning Outlines

The sun rose on the shortest day of the year, drawing a bright line of light across the across the Alps. It’s easy today to focus on the longest night, the coming winter, the darkness of the months ahead. But I am choosing to focus on that ribbon of sunshine. This is one of my…

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The Marks We Leave

In keeping with this year’s trend of hot weather and no rain, October in our neck of the woods is, well, hot and dry. The lawn has the consistency of shredded wheat, and a pair of Eurasian magpies has been busily digging it up for insects. I’m still watering plants to help them stay alive…

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Dry Run

Just when I thought autumn had finally arrived with a two-day rainstorm, the winds changed and summer is back. It’s as dry as ever, and no end in sight. In keeping with this year’s extreme weather, I noticed something different on my running loop. Earlier this year, after a wet spring, a local meadow was…

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Dried Acorns and Mirabelle Vodka

Of all the things dropping to the ground this summer, rain was particularly scarce. The area of eastern France where we live is always hot in August. This year, though, after a rainy spring, June started heating up. And then July was hotter. As hot as August, but weeks early. The minimal amounts of rain…

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Making The Rounds

People ask me how I don’t get bored running the same loop after over twenty years. Out the door, up the road that leads out of the village towards the Jura mountains, past the little ch√Ęteau and then up through the fields that skirt the French border to Switzerland. The loop is a little over…

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Rock Fountain

We have a small flagstone terrace at the entrance to our old house in eastern France. It’s modest, and when we moved here, it was just flagstones surrounded by the gravel of the driveway. There was one additional element to it: An old millstone next to the front door. The millstone is basically a big…

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