Banjo, The Meadow & Me

Banjo was a pony with a striking tricolor pattern of chestnut, bay, and white that boarded on our small Oregon farm when I was a kid. According to my older brother, he was descended from Indian ponies. I’m not sure how accurate that is, but at the age of 10, if Jimmy said so, it was good enough for me. He was unruly, pig-headed, fat, and determined to get rid of anyone who had the temerity to get on his back. I loved him. Banjo succeeded in sending every male in the family flying, including Uncle Eldon, cousin Merle, Dad, and…

Flat Rock, Rippled Pond

One of the joys of my childhood was having unlimited access to the Willamina River that bordered our small farm in Western Oregon. With nearly one-half mile that was mine to explore, I was never happier than when I escaped to its edge to indulge in minute explorations of this moist, boggy, ferny paradise. Robinson Crusoe fantasies dominated my play. By the age of eight, a part of me longed to escape the tensions that were a daily part of life in my family. The river bank is where I learned to skip rocks, catch crawdads, check the boggy areas for minnows, and observe the development…

Are you “sensitive?”

If so, you know too well how rough it can be to get through a week of challenging, and sometimes horrifying, news.  Reasons for being a high-stress personality are myriad, starting in the womb. Was Mom stressed? Then she passed those nasty stress hormones on to you. Generations of trauma* flow through our collective DNA. It manifests in a variety of personality traits, from irritability, abusive behavior, and paranoia, to addiction and depression. My departed mom is a good example. I believe that she did the best she could, but she had neither a good start nor a good education, and married a…