My True Self Was Hidden in the Woods Long Ago

There’s no easy way to access the woods behind my grandparent’s former home in suburban Philadelphia. But before my grandmother sold the house, I took one last rambling trip into the woods with my fiancée, Julie. She needed to see this place with me before we lost our access to it forever.

The stone steps that I used to tramp down were covered with dirt and leaves;  no one had set foot on them in years. We wound our way through some overgrown bushes that had taken over the trail, and hit the old dirt bike track that a kid down the street used to zip around on all summer. In the winter that steep, narrow trail had been a kind of toboggan track. The steep starting point was made all the more exciting with the large bump toward the bottom that sent my plastic sled shooting into the air. The massive rocks that popped out here and there added to the excitement when we didn’t have enough snow.

We passed the massive tree that had fallen over and had served as the bench for countless teenagers who ventured into the woods at nighttime to make massive bonfires. In the morning I used to poke sticks around in the ashes they left behind.

2015-06-Life-of-Pix-free-stock-photos-trees-forest-light-jordanmcqueenLooking up from the fallen tree, we could see the ridge line where my friend had seen a deer for the first time. Those woods were jam packed with deer, and hardly a day passed without seeing a few. He was maybe nine or ten years old, and as a child of the suburban edge of Philadelphia’s city limits, could only shout, “It has a tail!!!”

But nothing in these woods compared to its real treasure: the stream. It wasn’t much of a stream. It was hardly wider than 8 feet at most points, and who knows what kinds of pollutants had run off into it. But this stream, had always served as my main destination.

Along the shallow points I built bridges out of carefully piled rocks. Along the deep parts I skimmed pebbles. In the winter I slipped around on its smooth, icy surface with my wooden ice hockey stick and a hard rubber puck. Some days I even carried my hockey net down so that I could practice elevating the puck.

I don’t remember thinking all that much about those woods as a kid. I just remember being drawn to them every day. I never had to weigh whether or not I “wanted” to go into the woods by myself. If the weather was clear and I had the time, I typically headed down without a second thought.

I wish I could remember when I stopped going down into the woods. Something changed in me. As I grew up and “matured,” I lost sight of the freedom I found in the woods. I started thinking about it more. Going off into the woods suddenly felt a little riskier, even though I was far larger and stronger than I had ever been as an elementary school child.

At a certain point I stopped wandering in the woods. I never came close to rediscovering that desire to roam in the woods until going away to college. Perhaps the weight of guilt to pray more prompted me to take more walks in the woods, but soon the tiny patch of woods became a sanctuary of solitude again. When Julie and I returned home for that last visit in the woods behind my grandparents’ home a few years after graduating, I was finally remembering that something significant and sacred had taken place in those woods.

But concurrent with this realization, the path to those memories was becoming obscured and uncertain–like steps covered in leaves and dirt.

These days I feel a tiny tug to get better at seeking solitude, to love it the way that little boy loved venturing into the woods. My days are crammed with screens, conversations, and tasks. Somewhere deep within myself, I can sense a part of myself trying to find his way back into the woods. Something craves that solitude, to make it automatic and natural and to feel completely safe and at home in my own company apart from the noise and worries of life.

Was my time in the woods was just the product of youthful leisure? Or was it the purest expression of myself, now overgrown? Did I just go through a phase that is now dead and gone, or did my young mind try to set something in motion that I have needed so desperately as I enter middle age?

I like to think it was a divine mercy that prompted me to take that final trip into the woods with my future wife, and to mark off that place, in our shared memory, as something significant and worth sharing. If I have any hope of finding my true self, I suspect that it can be found wandering in my grandparents’ woods.

Ed bio YAH

Finding Hope Beyond the Western Wall’s Shadow

Jerusalem is a slippery place. You can’t help but notice that after taking your first steps within the towering walls.

Your feet slip and slide, and if it rains, you slip and slide all the more. After growing up in the evangelical subculture that is obsessed with “slippery slopes” of belief and practice, I couldn’t help but chuckle at the thought of this major religious center being “slippery.” And sloped.

After a few idyllic weeks in the old city during my senior year of college, tragedy struck.

While spending some time with my friends in the western valley outside the old city walls, we heard the roar of ambulances zipping to the eastern side of the city. They were on their way to the Temple Mount area.

We ran through the winding streets of the Armenian Quarter and then worked our way into the narrow alleys of the Jewish Quarter. The slippery limestone slowed us down, and we hardly took any notice of how few people were on the streets at that hour. Perhaps we knew that history was happening, and we had to be there for it. Perhaps we had seen so many soldiers with guns that we reasoned they wouldn’t let things get too out of hand. Perhaps we just ran to trouble because that’s what you do when you’re a 20-something who doesn’t know better.

From a lookout post above the homes in the Jewish Quarter, we finally caught sight of the scene. The Western Wall, known also as the wailing wall, was deserted. Soldiers lined up outside the entrance to the neighboring Al-Aqsa Mosque with riot gear. Emergency and military vehicles had streamed into the courtyard outside the Western Wall.

Aswall-picture with most things in the Middle East, the situation had been far more complex than the preliminary reports and even the endless analysis that followed could capture. Had a politician provoked a riot? Had military pressures and land seizure created pressure that would inevitably explode?

I didn’t come close to understanding any of those events back then, and now today I know even less.

Most visitors in Jerusalem make that wall a top priority, and tour groups decked out in matching vests following color coded banners make their way to the wall to pray. It’s the place where so much history happened. I understand a little of the fear and the disappointment. I think I understand why people would throw rocks and shoot rubber bullets after decades of conflict, and I suspect that I would be among their numbers depending on which side of the wall I’d been born on.

That wall was most likely near the place Jesus said should be a house of prayer for all nations. On the day that the men on one side threw rocks and the men on the other side shot rubber bullets, the wall stood as a reminder of the things that divide us.  

I stood under the shadow of that wall to pray many times in the following months. I didn’t wear a shawl or bob or sway like the other men around me. But those prayers at the wall didn’t give me hope. If anything, I felt the weight of that wall, almost crushing me. Tucking a prayer scribbled on a piece of paper into the wall almost felt like I was making it stronger. How could a world with so much violence and division ever make it?

Slip-sliding my way down an alley in the Arab Quarter, I joined a group who visited an Arab Christian church. I didn’t think about the fact that most of the Israeli Christians were just about completely divided from this group who graciously welcomed a motley group of American college students. We sang together in a room packed with about 50 people. After the songs, a translator led us to a side room padded with red cushions where he translated the announcements, prayers, and sermon.

They prayed the prayers for unity and peace that I needed someone else to pray for me. These people who were suffering the loss of business from bottled up checkpoints and trying to send food to families who were hardest hit also had the words for peace that I couldn’t string together.

Profound and life-changing as that experience was, I didn’t return to that little church. I can’t quite tell you why. I wish I had. If I returned to Jerusalem, I think I would slip down the limestone streets until I found it. But instead, I returned to the wall. Perhaps it’s easier to visit memorials and icons of our ideals. Perhaps seeking out the places where suffering meets hope is far more costly and personally challenging.

It’s easy to stand at that wall and to remember what Jesus said. It’s quite another thing to stand among the people experiencing poverty, fear, and uncertainty, joining them in their prayers that remain the only hope I have for tearing down the divisions in their land.

Ed bio YAH

Making A More Joyful Noise

We were probably one of many rural Baptist Churches that passed around a metal bucket in order to buy a new piano. The song leader called it the “Joyful Noise” fund. While dollar bills were encouraged children delighted in slamming handfuls of change into the bucket.


It was one of the more unscripted moments in our rather reserved and tightly controlled order of service. One worship leading consultant called our style: “4 hymns and punt.”

The offering was also the last exciting thing before THE SERMON. It was my chance to let loose my considerable pre-teen energy that could hardly handle sitting still for 45-60 minutes with my sole consolation a highlighter and pen for scribbling in my Bible. No one had to tell me that I’d be in deep trouble if I started wandering around the sanctuary during the sermon. I fidgeted, scribbled, and underlined when every muscle in my anxious little body screamed for activity and a noise other than the pastor droning on and on.

piano-churchAs bad as the sermon could be, the music had the potential to more than make up for it. If you asked me why I went to church, music landed right below a pretty girl named Sarah in Sunday School class that every guy had a crush on. So yeah, music was a really big deal for me.

Years later, those old hymns stuck with me, rattling around in my mind in the middle of the night while rocking a fussy baby or distracting a squirming child during a diaper change.

“Victory in Jesus,” “Come Thou Fount,” and “Be Thou My Vision” crossed my lips many late evenings, and as I continued to sing these old songs at night, they crossed into the rest of my day as well. I catch myself singing hymns while doing the dishes, weeding the garden, or taking a walk.

Music is also a vital part of church for our oldest son. We have a drum-driven, rock style of worship. He calls it the “drums and cymbals.” Naturally, he’s crestfallen if the drums take a Sunday off.

Each Sunday our otherwise shy little boy who isn’t quite four, runs down to the front of the auditorium where our congregation meets, so he can run around while the music plays. He jumps over the power cords running along the floor and claps his hands, only pausing to spy on the drummer.  

I suppose you would call our music a blend of the old and new, with a few hymns dropped in with a majority of contemporary worship songs. I have mixed emotions about our son growing up with this kind of music as his backdrop to faith. While I’m a firm believer of writing new songs and still honoring the music of our past, I can’t see him singing most of these songs 25 years from now while cradling his own child in the middle of the night.

I know that I have now become the stereotype of all stereotypes for old timer Christians who gripe about the new worship songs that aren’t as good as the old hymns.

I certainly don’t want to limit him to the old hymns, and let’s be honest, there were plenty of dull songs at my old Baptist church with their fair share of meandering melodies. Even the promise of the change bucket couldn’t save those Sundays.

For all of my reservations about the music written for the church today, I like to hope that my son has something better for his Sunday morning experience. Church is legitimately fun for him. He can fully be himself throughout the service these days rather than waiting for the “excitement” of a change bucket. Perhaps the songs imprinted on his mind from his early days won’t be the same caliber as the old time hymns. I can live with that. At the very least, I can take on the responsibility of teaching him my favorite hymns.

Most importantly, I hope that he will learn how to tell the difference between a church where he is free and able to fully be himself, rather than staying buttoned up and waiting desperately for that one moment when he can let himself come to life. No matter what the band is playing, I’ll take the smile on his face as he runs with complete freedom and abandon.


Ed bio YAH

I’d Rather Mop My Church Than Go Home

Every Saturday afternoon our church gymnasium transformed from a basketball court or hockey “rink” into a sanctuary. In fact, our church was little more than a gymnasium with a maroon floor and a few offices with thin carpets around it. If our church youth group was in charge of church set up in the afternoon, we’d sometimes play hockey in the morning, go out for lunch (Wawa hoagies were my personal favorite), and return to help with the set up.

However, some Saturday afternoons I joined adult home groups and Sunday school groups at church as they hauled out racks of chairs manhandled the wooden platform into place. I gravitated to the large wet mops that followed the dust mops along the floor, leaving a smooth, shining surface before we did the heavy lifting with the chairs and section dividers.

church seats-yahI’d also tag along with the church janitor if he ever needed a hand. I’d become so accustomed to helping out that when he went away on vacation, he hired me to take over for him. I brought along two friends who split the pay but made the work go much faster. This earned me a key to the church while still in high school.

There’s no denying that I like a tidy space. I like things in their place. I’m that person who rearranges the dishwasher with the big plates in the back, small plates in the front, bowls in the top center, and glasses on top sides. I’m the sweeper and the arranger of stuff in our home for sure, and I embrace that role. That isn’t all of it.

My high school years were tumultuous and divisive. Life at home was full of highs and lows. I didn’t just find friends or community at this Baptist church down the road from our house. I found a peaceful sanctuary. I wonder if I instinctively knew that I could relax in my church. It didn’t matter if I was listening to a sermon, playing hockey, or mopping the floor.

Looking back, I can see that I needed a place to be at rest, and when it feels like a divorce is tearing everything at home to pieces, it can be quite restful to set up a gym with 400 chairs in a semi-circle with a group of friends—or strangers. It doesn’t really matter. For some reason there’s nothing like walking into a dusty, chaotic gym and turning it into a clean, orderly space with carefully arranged rows of chairs and a backdrop of fake plants.

Mind you, I wouldn’t have complained if my church had sped up its transition into more contemporary music. In retrospect, the most relevant and relatable aspect of my church was the way I always felt welcome and at home. I’m sure our janitor could have worked a little faster without me tagging along, and I’m sure those set up crews didn’t need me to mop or set up chairs.

They didn’t need me, but they always welcomed me.

I just had to show up ready to use a mop or a move a few chairs.

I’ve read a lot about children who have parents go through a divorce and how they need an anchor. They need a stable place or relationships where they can feel a sense of peace and stability. For me, it was my church. My church was far from perfect, but for a season when I needed an anchor, it provided one when I needed it the most.


Ed bio YAH

Banks Don’t Give Lollypops to Adults Who Spend All of Their Money

Banks are where grown ups go to do important things, like taking out home loans, cashing big pay checks, or making investments like a Certificate of Deposit. Today, I was doing the rough equivalent of smashing my piggy bank to keep from going broke while waiting for our Vermont home to sell.

As I walked into the well-appointed lobby at northeast Connecticut’s Liberty Bank, with its sleek leather furniture and fancy tile floor, I felt like a kid again. There were lollypops at the counter and hot chocolate packets alongside the coffee maker. It’s as if the friendly staff in their navy blue blazers knew that someone would need to sweeten his quarter-life crisis while sitting in the waiting area.

We just had to last one more month until our house sold.  

Just a few days earlier, I didn’t think we were going to make it until the sale went through. It had sat on the market a few months too long before finding a buyer, and our reserves dried up as my work hit three major setbacks in a row and we waited for my wife’s salary at her new position to kick in. It seemed like every potential source of income dried up just when our bills were doubled and our new salaries non-existent.

bank-organizedI had been praying (Read: Despairing) about our finances, when it hit me: we still had several emergency funds sources to draw from. One of them, the easiest and fastest to access, were my savings bonds. They were just what we needed to make ends meet.

I sat with my briefcase on my lap which safely preserved the neat appearance of an envelope holding a small stack of matured savings bonds from 1987, gifts for my First Holy Communion back when I was Catholic. They were still crisp and sharp on their edges,  kept in a plastic sleeve all of these years. Apparently Catholics often give them as gifts to mark the occasion. I started the day of my Holy Communion without any clue that I’d be receiving the bonds, but after a few $100 savings bonds piled up, I started to think anyone who gave me a $50 bond was being cheap.

When I was called back for my meeting, I jumped to my feet. Would they reject the bonds? Would they say I’d made a mistake and they were only half of what I’d thought?  In the past four months, worrying had become my default.

I stepped into the back office to meet with a well-appointed woman in a business suit, accustomed to dealing with mortgages in the half million dollar range, this was Connecticut after all, rather than cashing a grown man’s Holy Communion bonds to keep his bank account from hitting zero. After a few minutes of tapping on her keyboard she printed out our new balance statement and handed it over with a smile.

“Have a nice day,” she said, as if I was one of those responsible adults who take out loans or earn interest on “things.” My relief was clouded by the shame I felt for being such a screw up for failing to provide for my family when we needed it the most.

In the following months our house sale flew by without any problems, I landed a steady job selling books online for a quirky used bookstore in town that more closely resembled a yard sale, and my hit or miss article writing income was replaced by steady writing work for a manufacturer. In the words of Monty Python, “I got better…” However, I’m still not entirely at ease among the perceived “adults” at my local bank these days. Remember, I’m still a writer!  

Cowering in the couch at Liberty Bank, wondering if my bonds were valuable enough became my rock bottom moment. But, when you’re going to bottom out, the lobby at a fancy Connecticut bank isn’t too bad of an option. I would have served myself some hot chocolate if I’d known that things would turn around so quickly.

Ed bio YAH

The Road to Urban Chain Restaurants Is Broad and Our Youth Group Took It

I wish I’d caught the name of the worst youth conference I’ve ever attended. Perhaps overlooking the event’s name serves as a clue of just how forgettable it was.

In my second year as a youth ministry volunteer at a rural church, a group of friends and I accompanied our youth pastor and a pack of twenty-five high school teens for a huge youth conference in downtown Indianapolis. The flat, straight, and narrow roads of the country gave way to the flat, straight, and wide roads of the city as our church van rumbled down the highway.

Our teens were chomping at the bit, and I’m pretty sure it had something to do with escaping the confines of their tiny rural communities for the endless possibilities offered in the big city.

open-road-2-1446566-638x444After settling in our hotel, we mobbed the city streets, stopping by toy stores and candy shops in the downtown mall. Once outside the confines of the church van where they pumped ska music non-stop, the kidswere hanging off of street signs, hopping over parking meters, and buying prank gifts for each other. They were restless to the point of being squirrelly, loud, and always on the brink of breaking a law.

We no doubt had a social hierarchy in the youth group, but in the cause of finding junk food and raising mayhem in the big city, they worked together like a single organism. As we settled into our seats at the conference, I heaved a sigh of relief. At least for the next hour or two, they couldn’t climb anything and had to remain in their seats.

Mind you, they kicked each other, tried to flip their chairs backwards by “accident,” and were surely the rowdiest segment of the audience. Aren’t speakers meant to drown all of that out? I imagined that we’d at least get a little bit of peace once the worship band kicked things off.

As it turned out, we were just hopping onto the broad path to mayhem.

I don’t know how anyone chooses a worship band for a conference, but I suspect a top prerequisite would be effectively relating to teenagers. These guys were hardly qualified to do the music at a pre-school birthday party.

Maybe Christian camp songs in Indiana are the kinds of things that you had to be there to get. I don’t know. They launched their campfire-worthy worship set (if we dare pay it the compliment of calling it a “set)” with a song that had an off-key chorus with the following line, “So the BUFFALO said to his BROTHER…”  It even had a series of truly embarrassing hand motions that were either buffalo horns or an attempt to signing for help.

Our kids were joining right in—ironically, of course. They were buffalos, they were sincere worship ballad singers, and they were very, very rowdy teens “on fire for the Lord.” They giggled and wiggled and waved their arms around during the whole set, doing spot on impressions of the hapless worship leaders who were clearly out of their depth. Sitting a row behind our kids with friends who were also chaperoning the trip, we made our own wisecracks as the songs spiraled into oblivion.

After the worship team shuffled off the stage, the tall, lanky speaker ambled up to the microphone, snapped it from the holder, and paced back and forth—doing the sort of thing I imagine he assumed youth speakers are supposed to do.

“Oh, no…” I thought.

The jokes and snickers started immediately from our group. I reasoned that it was OK because they made them at a very tasteful volume, hardly audible outside of our little corner.

And this speaker was really asking for it.

“Do you know what Goliath was like?” he started. “He was huuuuuuuge! He ate like 70 Big Macs for dinner and carried a sword that was heavier than a car!” Throughout this he mimicked each action: eating multiple Big Macs, carrying a massive sword, etc.

The Biblical exposition actually spiraled downward from there.

The youth pastor at our church had signed us up for the most dysfunctional youth event in America. We could even hear someone in the hallway ranting to an alleged organizer that he would never bring his teens back to this event.

None of this mattered all that much to our teens. Sure, they were bored out of their minds, even with their own running commentary as they popped Mentos to each other and made plans to drink the hotel room coffee that evening so they could watch TV all night.

Soon enough, they were parading back out to the street to hunt down candy shops and buy dinner at another chain restaurant that served salty American fare while they jammed straws up their noses and wore french fries like fangs.

They were in the city with their friends and relatively relaxed college students serving as their chaperones. What could be better? An off-beat conference was a small price to pay for that.

The world was a huge, straight, hilarious road stretching onward forever with ska music, construction cones serving as megaphones, and “kick me” signs to place on our youth pastor’s back. The worst worship band and conference speakers in the state of Indiana were just a convenient backdrop.



Ed bio YAH

This Is Not My Home, But I Hope It Will Be Yours

This is our fifth year in Columbus, OH and among the various tasks I’ve taken on in this city, perhaps the strangest one is greeting people on their way into our church.

I used to dread driving through Columbus during my 12-hour sojourn to college. I passed through the rolling Appalachians, the hills of eastern Ohio, and then the relentless flat that dominates central Ohio.

downtown-columbus-ohio-1331979-638x455As I wove my way through the interchanges of Columbus before hitting the farmland again, I often wondered how anyone in their right mind would want to live surrounded by concrete and corn in a flat landscape bereft of salt water and mountain peaks. Twenty-somethings sure can be opinionated despite the limited perspective of the highway and a few years of life experience.

These days I call Columbus, Ohio my home—at least for now. I never thought I would say that. My wife’s career path landed us in Columbus for a temporary time that is quickly drawing to a close.

When I hold the door open for families once a month at church, it’s as if I’m a foreigner who helps others settle down and find their places. I’m a foreigner who didn’t choose to live here, who has struggled to find his place, and who knows he’ll be moving on soon. Yet I welcome families with small children, young couples, and blended families of every shape and size to a place where I hope they’ll feel comfortable staying, even if my mind is frequently occupied with our eventual leaving.

This morning our kids weren’t in full-on revolt, so I left my wife at home to get them out the door on her own, while I headed to church early to pray with the other greeters and pastors. We are interceding for an elementary school-aged child in our church who had a rough week in school, and we pray that she’ll have peace, courage, and good friends. We also pray for a resolution with her teachers.

While we pray, my mind is still trying to get past the struggle of getting my three-year-old son into his church clothes that morning, and then I begin to wonder where he’ll go to school next fall and if he’ll have a difficult transition. It probably won’t be in Columbus. Perhaps he’ll finally get past his pajama obsession by then.

“I want to wear my pajamas to church!” He shouted at me while I held out khaki corduroys and a plaid shirt. He would never leave the house in anything other than his fleece pajamas if we didn’t beg, barter, and bribe him to wear clothes. Reluctant though he is to let us inch the zipper down and unsnap the button at the top, the promise of switching back to his pajamas after church placates him.

Our pastor has been praying for the struggling girl while I’ve been trapped inside my own head with fleece pajamas. If anything, I need to go to church in order to be challenged to move beyond my own difficulties and concerns. My worries about my child’s future is someone’s struggle today. I also fight to find time to greet because I’m trying to see people eye to eye, face to face, when my work day in, day out, involves computer screens, social media profiles, and brief bursts of video.

There are many reasons why I have struggled to feel at home in Columbus. It’s not just my prejudice about landscape. It’s about a season of life where money, time, sleep, and just about everything else appear to be in short supply. We have two small children, two careers in transition, and days that are always scheduled to the minute. I wouldn’t change a thing about my work or my family. It’s just the season we’ve been in for these five years of transition, but it sure has been hard to be present for others.


church-doors-1524762-639x852As the greeters set out to our assigned posts, I’m the lone greeter for the main parking lot. Twigs shoved into the doors prop them open.

A single mom with a pack of boys leads the charge up the steps, and they flash through the door before I can get a word in. A young couple I have yet to formally meet despite attending for years follows, ducking past my greeting. I finally catch the eyes of the next few couples, and we chat before they run off to keep track of their kids.

Oftentimes I try to keep things short, especially with the elementary school-aged kids.

“Hey, I love that super hero shirt!” I say to one young boy.

“Are you a ballet dancer?” I ask a girl in a tutu.

I interact on Facebook with quite a few people from our church, but some only engage in conversation with me when I’m a greeter, which is one of the stranger aspects of of our brave new world of social media and in-person Christian community. While greeting I also have a chance to follow up with the people from our church I run into during the week at the clunky, neglected cafe where I work each afternoon because of its big windows that let in the warm sun even if the coffee is usually lukewarm.

Two young women approach with a young girl, and they keep their eyes down and away. I struggle over how welcoming to be. I’m pretty sure they’re new, but I’m not certain. Truth be told, I’m an introvert, and the only thing that makes greeting possible is that I can overcome my social anxiety by embracing my “role” as a greeter. I’m not naturally gifted at drawing people out, and I don’t want them to feel pressure to be friendly.

“Welcome!” I say. “We’re so glad you’re here. There’s coffee just down the hall.”

They meet my gaze, nod politely, and walk in. I’m immediately seized with regret that I mentioned coffee and not the children’s church check in table.

I welcome a few more families, but I keep wondering how those young women are getting along. Did they find the children’s check in table? Is someone talking to them? Are they in New Church Hell where everyone seems to know everyone else?

Ten minutes into the service, I swing by the coffee table for a refill before tracking down my wife and kids. I arrive at the precise moment that one of the young women steps out of the auditorium with her daughter. She’s looking around—a bit confused, but she relaxes when we make eye contact.

“I don’t think I’ll get too much out of the service if my daughter stays with me,” she says. “Do you have something for kids?”

“We certainly do,” I say. “I’m sorry I didn’t mention that before. Here, I’ll show you the way and introduce you.”

We set off for the check in table, and in that moment I pray that she will feel like there’s a place for her at our church. In the back of my mind, there’s a moving van in my not-too-distant future, and a very unsettled notion that this isn’t necessarily my place—I’m not sure if it ever has been. It’s been a far better place than I would have expected for this season, but the door on this season is closing even as I walk this woman and her daughter toward the check in table.

How strange it is to welcome someone to a place that you’re waiting to leave.


*******Ed bio YAH