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Salt sprinkles upon summer’s vegetables, steamed just right, pleasure my taste buds and prompts taking more forkfuls until satisfied. Without salt, blandness settles upon my tongue like crud, shrinks hunger, and diminishes satiety. Indeed, salt seems to enhance foods like symphony conductors, their musicians—The end result satisfies, deeply.

Toward this fulfillment many yearn today, given the multi-faceted impoverishment that cripples psyches, that discounts the spiritual, however expressed. Such evil mirrors the mythological Hydra, a gigantic water-snake-like monster with nine heads, one of which was immortal. In ancient Greece as well as today, such monsters spew unbridled terror resulting in cookie-cutter posturing in boardrooms, courts of law, churches, and universities. Change is suspect and frowned upon.

In view of this deplorable situation, how retain salty spirits? How access humor still lodged in our depths? How inhale winds of harmony, of shimmering colors, of nature’s imprints? I ask myself these questions, daily.
Of necessity, I watch Jesus in the Gospels salt his followers with counter-cultural behaviors: There is blessedness in being poor in spirit, in being meek, mournful, merciful, clean of heart, peacemakers, open to suffering, and hungering for what is right—all reversals of wayward instincts on rampage for power, prestige, and sexual aberrations.

Jesus says further, Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with one another.

Thus a fresh discipline emerges from within that lightens our steps, no longer trudging to the tin-horn band tooting nonsense. Boldly, we step out of line for a different path that works and follow it with the like-minded. It works.


A woman of zest, her life-long stitching delved into her brokenness and produced intricate patterns of liveliness, both within and without.

She was an only child, born into the short-lived affluence of the Central West End until she and her mother had to move into a cramped apartment in Clayton. Her mother’s earnings from a dress shop in their old neighborhood supported them as she grew up. Interest in fashion design led to studies at Washington University and sparked her passion for sewing: her future way of enlivening others with colorful apparel and home furnishings.

To support her three children following a divorce from an alcoholic husband she opened up her sewing machine and set to work. Word of her talent spread and many found their way to her door. How her brown eyes danced within their satisfaction.

As years passed still other patterns developed: tending the needs of her invalid mother; of her former mother-in-law, a stroke patient; and even of her former husband until they died. No matter that her days/nights were impossibly full, she still made time to serve in the Legion of Mary and in Birthright.

Continuous involvement with her adult children and their families formed more patterns, testy at times, until resolved.

However, decades of heart ailments crimped some of her stitching but only quickened her prayer for others. Her last peaceful breath occurred on the morning of January 20, 2016. Imagine her surprise, experiencing the unique pattern of her fully developed woman-spirit in pristine pinks.

We will miss her.

Her name was Betty.



the rush of a toddler’s hug

the overcoat of the autumnal sun

the throb of a lover’s heartbeat


the explosion of blackberry sweetness

the piquancy of herbal tea

the mellowness of creamed corn


the aroma of baking bread

the musk from spring rains

the bouquet of yellow roses


the tinkling of wind chimes

the shouts of scarlet peonies

the snapping of burning logs


the glistening of spider webs

the luminescent of Saturn

the quickening of rainbows


Such gifts are all around us. By savoring them, we open our dark places for new seeding and thrive!





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