Hold onto your earmuffs, readers, for this issue of The Phoenix Spirit will appeal to a wide and colorful swath of tastes and interests. For the tree-huggers and otherwise environmentally minded, flip to the back cover and read how you, too, can ReWild yourself. 2017 may be the Year of Forest Ecotherapy for you and yours. Have a penchant for horses? See Heather Jeffrey’s article about the therapeutic equine work being done at Acres For Life in Chisago City, MN. These gentle giants are muzzling their way into therapeutic plans across the country as treatment centers recognize that horses have … Continue reading
Someone asked me recently who my favorite teacher was. Ok, truth be told, it was one of those password questions on a website for Delta. But it got me thinking nonetheless – despite the lack of face-to-face contact. I thought of Sister Brown at Sacred Heart School. She taught me not to laugh at the class clown’s jokes for fear of being sent to the Bench of Shame in the hallway. I thought of George, a salty sailing instructor who taught me the difference between a beam reach and a broad reach and the trade-offs between thrill-seeking (it’s exhilerating!) and … Continue reading
Life is circuitous, at least mine has been, and often I find myself scratching my mop, wondering how I got to this particular place in time — and why. While the journey has been filled with twists, hairpin turns, and I’ve stopped millimeters short of a precipice or two, it’s been pretty darn good. Challenging, yes. Filled with moments of awakening should I choose to look at them, yes. And each day I find myself grateful and mostly at peace with the conscious choices I make. Twenty-one years ago I chose to get married, become pregnant, and move to Minneapolis … Continue reading
We’ve gotten uber proactive in our culture. Kids learn about sex and drugs at earlier and earlier ages . This is good, I thought, until my son’s seventh grade sex-ed assignment was to go to Walgreens and buy a condom. This wasn’t so good. We teach them at school, at church, and synagogue about the hazards of tobacco and obesity. We tell them that weed really is addictive and then launch into stories of second-cousins twice removed that 20 years later still mow lawns in the neighborhood. They lost a toe one year due to a combination of illegal substances … Continue reading
When you live long enough you collect moments —like a waterfall pools at the end of its descent. Or a nebula gathers more dust and gases. You collect awkward moments like your first French kiss. Walking down the hallway at work or school and discovering the 4-foot trail of toilet paper fastened to the underside of your right shoe. Or stopping at a friend’s house in the midst of a dinner party that – oops — you weren’t invited to. You collect serene moments. Like listening really hard on a still dark winter night and hearing the susurration of snowflakes … Continue reading
This issue of The Phoenix Spirit is about retreats. This is when I usually blather on about retreats being my favorite topic of the year and that there exists a retreat to fit every budget, temperament, and shoe size. But this year is different. While all of the above is true, I’ve ventured, rather involuntarily, into a retreat of a different stripe this past spring. Dolores, my 88-yearold mom, passed away on May 4. Her death was both expected and unexpected. People ask such things, and it’s a good question to ponder. Mom was declining rapidly with her physical health, … Continue reading
A few years ago a friend smiled wistfully as she listened to me stumble through an beginner’s sonata on our ancient Wurlitzer upright — the same piano I sat at for half-an-ungodly-hour day after day while growing up. “I’m so impressed that you can read music,” my friend lamented and I was shocked. She plays at clubs, weddings, big events and restaurants around town, and my brain couldn’t compute that she could be so talented and yet not read the notes on the page. “It’s like I have some sort of musical dyslexia,” she said, explaining the musical malady that … Continue reading
2014 was odd, I’m just sayin’. It was a year filled with surprises, big and small, tangible and intangible, some deeply felt and other scarcely noticed. My husband was laid off from his job at the beginning of the year, we launched our eldest off to college, and I continued to slog and plod my way through graduate school. My mother-in-law uttered her last emphatic words, “I’m ready to go – now!” and I attended a party to honor the first 365 days of a young girl’s life.