Ways of Seeing: What a difference a rest makes

As someone who finds it hard to nap, resting as a practice is a revolutionary and challenging act, but during the holiday season I gave myself that gift.

Ways of Seeing: Positive attitude is the best policy

Emotions aren’t just internal; they are shared with others and can influence others. In other words, they have a social function.

Ways of Seeing: Students offer their take on war

For several years, one of the assignments for my Community College of Vermont students has been to explore the concept of war and the possibility of world peace.

Ways of Seeing: Productivity is tough to measure

For the past few years, I’ve had an aversion to the word “productive” or any terminology that hints at it.

Ways of seeing: Gardening is truly an act of faith

I never realized how much faith and patience I had until I’d harvested my first crop of garlic over twenty years ago when I lived in Charlotte.

Ways of Seeing: Winter feels different this year

My summer tires were switched over to winter ones on a warm, sunny December morning. It was one of those days that made me forget that it had snowed a few weeks earlier and that I was welcoming the warm breeze on my face while standing in front of Heffern … (read more)

Ways of Seeing: Racial justice: Where do we go from here?

Some time ago, an acquaintance invited me to become a regular contributor to a regional publication, then added, “You could write about race.” My immediate response was, “I will not be doing that.” To her credit, she understood my reluctance to be limited … (read more)

Ways of Seeing: I choose to learn from this time

It’s raining and I imagine the water washing away the fear. The squirrels running in my yard don’t care about rain or coronavirus. They flit up and down trees, twitching their tails, digging furiously into the ground, scratching themselves, then staring i … (read more)

Ways of Seeing: Connecting with nature refreshes

Recently I listened to an interview of Micah Mortali by Tami Simon, of Sounds True. Mortali, who is director of Kripalu schools, spoke about the practice of “rewilding,” which he explores in his new book, “Rewilding: Meditations, Practices, and Skills for … (read more)

Ways of Seeing: Handling short days, long nights

When late October arrives, lots of people are planning this year’s Halloween costumes, buying candy for trick-or-treaters, or otherwise filling their days with happy anticipation of a sugar-filled holiday. Not me. I am thinking about the time. Every year … (read more)

Ways of Seeing by Ruth Farmer: It’s not easy to put down a book

This is a confession. I am a hoarder of the written word. I am surrounded, subsumed, obsessed by ideas, humor, thoughts, possibilities, fantasies, and happenings that are manifested in books and articles. This obsession is very obvious in my personal surr … (read more)

Ways of Seeing: Sometimes going off-script is best

The goldfinch hung on my window screen, its bold yellow back with black stripe shone in the light as it held on casually, confidently, pecking every few seconds on something I could not see. Bugs? Seeds blown from the trees to lodge in the grating of the … (read more)