Mother’s Day Lessons

Mother’s Day Lessons

I’m a bit haunted by Mother’s Day—a difficult day for me at times. Over the past decade or so, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I am now motherless and am myself a child-free adult (that’s a fancy new term I just learned this week!). Both facts can be a source of some…

The Sway of Carolina Pines

The Sway of Carolina Pines

Trees: wise, sturdy, stoic. I have always loved trees—individually and for the forest they form collectively. These slender pines seem to be on a race to reach the sun, or at least the Carolina blue sky, with their piney tufts topping each barked pole and shading the ground below. But on a recent hike through…

Manassas – The Band and the Place

Manassas – The Band and the Place

Ever heard of the Stephen Stills band “Manassas?” Me neither, until this week. Apparently, this is the fiftieth anniversary of the release of the first (of two) albums by the band named “Manassas.” Stephen Stills (of the Crosby, Stills, Nash, and—sometimes—Young fame) formed this band in the wake of a chance encounter with Chris Hillman…

Alleghanian Orogeny

Alleghanian Orogeny

Alleghanian Orogeny sounds like a concept that belongs in a sex self-help book. But actually, it’s a geological term to describe what occurred over a billion years ago in central Virginia when the ground smashed together until rolls and ridges formed the Blue Ridge Mountains. Today, those mountains harbor wildlife, prop up sunrises and sunsets,…

Hungry for the Vote

Hungry for the Vote

On the first Tuesday (after the first Monday) of each November, I think of Lucy Burns, a suffragist who was jailed in the Lorton Workhouse Prison in Virginia for picketing. Burns frequently protested in front of the White House between 1916-1918 to influence President Wilson to support the right to vote for women, resulting in…