The Suburbs: What I’ll Miss

There are many things I will love about living in Chicago again. But as I am preparing to leave Bolingbrook, I’m focusing on saying goodbye to the things I’ve loved about this place. What will I miss? Plenty of things. Wide open spaces – cornfields, soccer fields, parking lots, no buildings over 3 stories, vistas across […]

The Silo of Poetic Despair

I took these photos a few days ago, meaning to write about a silo down the street from our church. It’s surrounded on four sides: by warehouses, a Lutheran church, an empty lot, and a busy street. The property used to be a nursery (started by the family that used to farm the land?) but the property is now […]

Barber’s Corners

For a long time, there was a sad and empty stone marker in the corner of a parking lot at one of the busiest intersections in Bolingbrook. For 150 years, this place was “Barber’s Corners.” You’d miss the marker if you weren’t looking for it: The Bolingbrook Historic Preservation Commission installed a plaque here in 1979. […]

My Patch of Earth

I’ve always wanted to tend a piece of ground. I remember Sarah in The Secret Garden, who moves to her uncle’s estate and is sort of lost – a little girl in the vastness of a lonely house. She asks him: “Might I have a bit of earth?” “Earth!” he repeated. “What do you mean?” “To […]

Our Local Farm

Our weekly share of produce from Green Earth Institute farm. From the right: winter onions, salad turnips, spinach, snap peas, lettuce, tatsoi (an Asian green), and… a beagle. Green Earth Institute is just four miles from our house, in Naperville. It’s a 60-acre organic farm, complete with beautiful old stone farmhouse, and an island surrounded […]

Spiritual Geography

 The first morning I woke up in the Berkshires, in September 1998, my new boss took me on a drive. When we emerged from the woods on the brow of a hill, I literally gasped – at the spread of the mountains, the shades of green, the little houses and barns spread out before us. I […]

Farms I Have Loved

This is a farm right down the street from our house. Well, sort of. It’s a couple miles away. An island of agriculture in a sea of Naperville suburban boilerplate. The farm interns always seem to look appropriately scruffy and disinterested when I come to pick up my veggie share. There’s also a wind turbine, lots […]

A Tearoom in Corn Country

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to visit a tearoom in the middle of nowhere. Clotted cream, lemon balm jelly, finger sandwiches, the whole bit. We’re in Iowa this week, spending time with Adam’s family while he does some work out here. His grandmother invited me to join her “Red Hat” group for a trip to […]