Travels With Charlie (Darwin): Galapagos Islands Revisited

The male booby, an almost three-foot-tall seabird, points its blue foot skyward to signal the start of its mating ritual. A few ceremonial moves later the pair trade twigs and nesting material. It’s clear the dance works; in every direction I see white, downy booby chicks nestled near their mothers in circles of cleared ground… Continue Reading

Lost and Found in Translation

On Rosh Hashanah morning, 5775 (2014), I stood with the congregation to recite the U-ne-tane tokef prayer. The second paragraph begins On Rosh Hashanah it is written, on Yom Kippur it is sealed, who shall live and who shall die. In the translation used by my synagogue, it ends, But repentance, prayer, and righteousness cancel… Continue Reading

Nowhere to Hide

I huddle under the doctor’s knee-hole desk, a six year old cornered by the nurse who comes at me with a hypodermic needle. I have run from that big, thick metal spear through examination rooms and the hallway, and now I’ve reached a dead end. The structure I hide under is dark, brown, ugly. After… Continue Reading

Any Day You See A Loon Is A Good Day

“Duck! Quack quack!” My toddler granddaughter grabbed the stuffed loon from the back of our family room couch. “It’s a loon. Can you say loon?” her mother gently corrected and flashed a smile my way. “You’d better know the difference or your grandparents will disinherit you.” My home is full of loons, reflecting the love… Continue Reading

Cooking With Grandma

In my growing-up family, the hired cook ruled the kitchen. From her I learned to make radish roses and carrot curls but not to cook. When it came to dinner or even to a special meal like the Seder, delicious food mysteriously appeared on the table. I had no part in its creation. My children… Continue Reading

The Key

I rub the extraneous key softly while I fumble through my key chain for my house key. The worn key no longer opens any door. It doesn’t start my car or my husband’s. It doesn’t open the lock that secures my solo canoe to the car in summertime. Nonetheless, it hangs on my key chain,… Continue Reading