Virginia Watts


No Digging for Worms          large_P1080354_1.JPG

Earthworms have their own business, and it is holy.
They are lacing through debris, making it clean.
If you see them when you are turning the earth to plant a bulb
or root out a weed, let them return to their dark home.

They bristle their way through their loamy world
 with tiny hairs all along their body, bringing air to the soil.


Bits of holiday paper and glitter linger long after the holidays have packed themselves up (oh if only they really did that) and put themselves away in tidy boxes, hidden out of sight until we go looking for them again at the end of this new year. Christmas Chest The ornaments that we hung on trees, by chimneys, or around windows have left an imprint, even though they are not actually there.  That imprint is, of course, on our mind’s eye – that eye that sees so much more.  The mind

TIME ENOUGH -- A Short Story

The headaches began when the dreams began. time%20cropped.JPG

In the dreams, people would talk without pauses or inflection.  Sentences had no beginning, no end.  There were no commas, semi-colons, or colons.  No dashes – no question marks – no periods.  There were also no compound words – no “can’ts”, no “wont’s”, no possessives.

A Layered Life

Figuring out how life works is hard.  It takes most of us all of our lives to make sense of it.  But there are some who are luckier than others.  There are some who are fortunate to start with a foundation of enough love, enough trust, enough of the basics that make life comfortable.  And that makes all the difference.


Connections.      medium_002_3.JPG

I have been thinking lately about how we make them, how we lose them, and what they mean to us.  Do we intentionally stop trying to make them -- or do they just wither away without much intentionality at all?  What did they mean to us when we had them?  How were they crafted, forged, proved, tested, and trusted?  And how do we do that today?

INTO THE CANYON: A Chapter Book for Grown Ups

INTO THE CANYON: A Chapter Book for Grown Ups - Chapter 6

'What lies beneath may be more treacherous than the surface chooses to disclose...'

from student notes, archaeological dig, California coastline circa 1921. 


Cliff's list of requirements to earn a scholarship was succinct, and somewhat surprising.  High school gpa of only 3.5, an essay not longer than three pages, and a statement to substantiate financial need.


'Nothing contributes so much to tranquilizing the mind as a steady purpose — a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.'

Mary W. Shelley, English Novelist (1797-1851)


Looking Back

Why do we look back?  Why do we sort photos, read old correspondence, look at artifacts and articles that speak only to the past? 

I recently spent a week going through photos that came to me from my dad.  They started before the 1900's (yes, they did) and continued until about 1945.  In his later years, he was in the process of reviewing them and making some kind of declaration of who was who, and where they were, and when.

001%20dad.JPG  Albert, circa 1927

INTO THE CANYON: A Chapter Book for Grown Ups

INTO THE CANYON: A Chapter Book for Grown Ups - Chapter 5

“Did you know you’ve got ants all over your kitchen?” Char was back, and had seated herself gingerly on the edge of the bathroom counter. “Do you have any bug spray?”

“Under the sink.”  Good, maybe she’d leave Kate alone if she could go kill something.


Fathers' Day

Father's Day is coming up.  Sunday, in fact.  Well, it always is on Sunday. 

Maybe that's why I'm thinking about my dad, and his dad, and all dads.  I don't know if I would choose Sunday for Fathers' Day, if it were up to me. 

What's the Matter with Unions and Our Political Process?

What’s the Matter with our Unions and our Politics? [revised]

Why is there so much bad press about Unions?  What or Who do these bad-press people think Unions are?  And why does this bad press just keep spinning until there is no way to separate reality from fantasy or some other agenda that really isn’t about the business of unions at all?

INTO THE CANYON: A Chapter Book for Grown Ups

INTO THE CANYON: A Chapter Book for Grown Ups - Chapter 4

Kate tried to put Clifford out of her mind.  She was determined to make some progress, make some difference, in the chaos of her garden.  But she was so tired.  The scratch on her leg was bleeding, and it had begun to throb.

She sank into a chair like she had some internal injury, not just a scratch. 


Sometimes, when you wake up in the morning, the newspaper isn’t there. But there is someone you can call, and eventually it will appear.

"One brief shining moment..."



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