Higher Living Reflections

150 Minutes

The reminder I got from my doc to get 150 minutes of weekly exercise was a wakeup call. By my standards, I had been slacking. Oh, I’d get in workouts, here and there, but not on a regular, dedicated regimen. I could feel the results in my body, and it was beginning to affect my frame of mind. I was increasingly feeling tighter in both, which, in my belief, are indistinct from each other. The reminder from my doc, who…

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    Higher Living Reflections

    The Death Zone

    Because of the dearth of oxygen, the region above 26,000 feet (8,000m.) in mountaineering is referred to as the death zone. Only the hardiest or foolhardiest souls venture up to those regions. But in a sense, every person lives in the death zone. It’s part of life. One breath you’re here and before the next, you’re out of here. We prefer not to think of that because it’s a downer. After all, who wants to think of dying when they…

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    • Melanie Mulhall
      April 3, 2024 at 7:10 pm

      Well, I can certainly relate to this post. I turned seventy-five in March, and I’m on a one-woman campaign to challenge the assumption many people have about what it means to be seventy-five (or fifty, sixty, seventy, eighty): that we are somehow physically weak and mentally losing it. Neither of those are true for me.

      I work out at the gym ten hours a week, and by that I do not mean that I go and socialize for most of that time. I work out seriously in the weight room, as well as do some cardio and mat work. One of my many friend at the gym is eighty-seven. She’s no slouch. She does sixty pounds on the lat pulldown, does some free weight work (not just machines), and tackles the assisted pullup and dip. We’re not all falling apart.

      As for intellectual/mental capabilities, I’m still editing books, and I’m a better editor than I was ten years ago.

      I guess my point is that it’s a mistake to generalize about those with more than a little seasoning. Jerry, I know I’m preaching to the choir on that. You and I have had more than one conversation about it. Now . . . if we can just get a few others to join us.

    Higher Living Reflections

    A Privileged Life

    From climbing trees to heights to hitchhiking, risk-taking was part of my growing years. By the standards of my immigrant grandparents though, my derring-dos were hardly perilous. Nevertheless, I inherited that gene from them. Like they did, I migrated from the place of my birth in search of a better life. I found it in Colorado despite there being no guarantees I would. I had a vague dream, a gut-feeling, and an itch that needed to be scratched. Living with…

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    • Judith Janson
      February 14, 2024 at 3:49 pm


      This is a very profound and timely post. You and I have some similarities based on our family backgrounds. All of my grandparents came from Europe and worked hard to create lives for themselves. I also did not grow up with a privileged existence. I remember working in the camera department at Montgomery Ward during the 70s in Detroit and having a conversation with a coworker, Ray. He said that he was grateful to have grown up having to learn how to best survive in our world, without everything being handed to him. He felt he was a stronger person for it. I concurred. It is disheartening that so many young people today do not have the simple but meaningful memories that we have.


    • Laurel McHargue
      February 14, 2024 at 4:23 pm

      Jerry, what a wonderful tribute to your heritage…and what an astute observation of the things “plaguing” recent generations. One of my grandfathers, a tailor, would drive in horse-and-buggy to camps in Canada to make clothes for lumberjacks and other workers. His son, my dad, would go door-to-door as a child with baked goods his mother would make. I remember him telling me how horrible he felt when he would return for payment, and the customer could not pay. My other grandfather would go to the seaport each morning for whatever manual labor job he might be offered. There are many stories of our ancestors, and I believe all led lives far more challenging than ours.

      And here we are, far better off than they were, yet oftentimes complaining about . . . ridiculous things.

      Thank you for this Valentine’s Day reminder to focus on how fortunate we truly are.

    • Glenn Blanco
      February 14, 2024 at 8:05 pm

      My father hailed from Guatemala, my mother was Canadian. They met working in an army hospital in St John’s Newfoundland, Canada. Both were to sail as medics on a British warship in 1940 but were called back suddenly before the ship set sail for London. The ship, the RMS Hood, was sunk on that voyage back to England. I am neither rich or poor but fortunate to have had a whole life to live. Thanks, Jerry for bringing up a subject we all need to refresh to remember from whence we came.

    • David Edwards
      February 15, 2024 at 11:11 pm

      Great article! The times were tough but the people were amazing!

    • Donna Taylor
      February 16, 2024 at 4:31 pm

      My grandparents left family and familiar surroundings in Eastern Europe to make the journey to Western Pennsylvania. My mother was five years old and remembered the crossing, playing with other children. My grandfather and uncles worked in the steel mill, one uncle died in the mill at age 26 after a fall. My parents, the next generation, were hard working and my father and uncles fought in WWII. I often tell people that my growing up was the best. While we had chores, our unstructured time outdoors consisted of creating stories and games, running around in the neighborhood alleyways and streets – not called indoors until the street lights came on. Thanks for the thoughts Jerry, important to remember.


    Higher Living Reflections

    From Illusion to Delusion

    (Note: This essay includes and expands on ideas first presented in the essay, “Illusions,” that appears in Food for Thought: Essays on Mind and Spirit, Volume Two.) To make good decisions unfettered by illusions, we must act on clear, honest, factual information. At times though, we ignore the truth in front of our nose and forge ahead despite ominous flashing caution and warning signs. Think of a person or group you thought would never do you harm but did or…

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    • Melanie Mulhall
      January 18, 2024 at 3:01 pm

      Thought-provoking. You took this somewhere I wasn’t expecting. I liked that. Tell us more. (I’d love a part 2.)

    • Angela M Skiffen
      January 22, 2024 at 8:05 pm

      Interesting read. Very thought provoking. We can all see a ourselves in this essay.

    Higher Living Reflections

    Putting It into Perspective

    We’re a curious species, we Homo sapiens. Among the billion-plus species that have gone extinct and those with whom we now share Earth, some precariously close to extinction, we’re the only ones, as far as I can determine, that believe we’re exempt from the laws of nature. But the truth is we’re like every other animal when it comes to survival and continuation of the species. And extinction is part of that natural phenomena. Perhaps the dinosaurs thought they were…

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    • Glenn Blanco
      December 28, 2023 at 3:45 pm

      Jerry, somewhere you and i ran into Ozymandias. Another way to look at the human experience is to recall that a roll of toilet paper turns faster as we come to the end.

    • Bonnie McCune
      December 28, 2023 at 5:13 pm

      We can only hope we go extinct before we put the kaboosh on every other living thing.

    • Melanie Mulhall
      December 28, 2023 at 6:36 pm

      Recently I had a conversation with someone who wanted me as a guest on her podcast, and I told her that I’m interested in the big questions these days. Who are you? Why are you here? I’ve asked myself those questions, and I’m interested in nudging others to think about them and answer them. I’m willing to speak to the answers I have for myself, and I’d love to hear those of others. But not just the superficial answers, and not just the answers about who they are in the 3D. Your question–What will I do with this precious gift of conscious life?–is another worthy question, and it flows from my two questions. You and I are on the same page, brother. 🙂

    • Donna Taylor
      December 28, 2023 at 8:11 pm

      It’s good to remember that we are here by chance – the comet hitting the earth and recovery, the ice age and recovery, etc. We breathe air to keep us alive – air in the making for eons. It’s so easy to be caught up in the news of the day, your reminder of the “real” reality is welcome. We are no less dependent on the earth than the dinosaurs.

    • D Powell
      December 29, 2023 at 9:57 am

      Your graph with the students reminded me of a time when I arrived to clean a house of a lady scientist. She got a funny grin on her face and told me to follow her into her living room and dining room. Once there she had me stand with my back as close to one wall as possible. She had me hold tightly to the end-edge of a roll of paper that was perhaps ten inches wide. She then backed up the entire length of the two rooms (about forty feet), unrolling the paper. He father, also a precisely minded sort, had made a scale graph of the distance between the planets in our solar system. The end I held was the outer, Pluto, edge and her end was the Sun. The perspective was a bit daunting – as is what you presented.

      You hit another one out of the park. Thanks.

    • Patty Pooh
      December 31, 2023 at 5:58 pm

      It’s amazing how many ancestors it took to put just one person here today. Very humbling. Loved this read and the comments afterwards. I think of that often too .. Can’t we use our energy on good things instead of the killing and destroying of people and properties?
      Thank you for sharing your gift of words

    • Rick Posner
      January 7, 2024 at 8:51 pm

      Nice reminder list Jerry! Thanks again for being open and kind.

    Higher Living Reflections

    The Meaning of Life

    I enjoy watching Valley of the Dolls, a movie based on the novel by Jaqueline Susann. The flick, in my estimation, is a bit campy, but I find the storyline and B-grade acting captivating. One scene in particular in which Neely O’Hara (Patty Duke) and Helen Lawson (Susan Hayward) get into a tussle in a ladies restroom room has stayed with me. After yanking off Helen’s wig, Neely tries to flush it down a commode. Helen is understandably enraged. Her…

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    • Bonnie McCune
      November 16, 2023 at 2:36 pm

      A thoughtful approach. When I think of “dignity,” I think of a judge or minister. But each of us has, or should have, a path to personal dignity, even if, like has happened in times past and will certainly occur in times future, that surpasses physical and financial and social boundaries.

    • Laurel McHargue
      November 16, 2023 at 4:28 pm

      “In the avian universe, Helen is an osprey not about to let a titmouse like Neely upstage and shame her.” I love this line. Totally agree with the idea that we get to choose how we react to situations, however dire they may be.

      Here, now, right this moment: What will I do with it (once I finish this note)? Every moment is the meaning of life. I want my life to be full. It will be full of joys and sorrows, and I will accept them all with as much dignity as I can muster.

      Thanks, Jerry.

    • Glenn Blanco
      November 16, 2023 at 9:25 pm

      Life comes to us like the proverbial Christmas gift. It’s well wrapped and dressed with a pretty bow. Just remember, “Batteries not included”.

    Higher Living Reflections

    Living Life to the Fullest

    Lonesome Dove is one of the rare stories that played well both in its original novel form and in film, in this case a TV series. The success of the latter was due in large part to the brilliant acting by Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones. They perfectly captured and portrayed the essential character of the protagonists, complementing and contrasting the other in the way author Larry McMurtry created them. Both men were noble, pure in spirit, and serious…

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    • Patty Pooh
      November 4, 2023 at 1:51 pm

      Love that movie ♡ I can watch it anytime it comes on. And I’m with you .. live the Gus way. But it’s like rainy or stormy days .. how else to better enjoy the sunshine if you don’t go through some storms ? Dance in the rain. Enjoy the party !

    • Rick Posner
      November 6, 2023 at 2:55 am

      Nicely put, Jerry! Been trying to focus more on feeling than thinking lately,

    Higher Living Reflections

    The Lion’s Den

    Could you walk away from all you have known to live the life you were meant to live? Remaining a priest is just one of the decisions Father Daniel Patrick Murphy finds himself facing. Now in his sixties, he also struggles with whether to stay in a relationship with Jonathan Slovanco, the man he’s loved with the depth of his soul for thirty years. And Father Murphy isn’t the only person struggling. Two of his former students are battling serious…

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      Higher Living Reflections

      Like I Used To

      As I’ve aged, I’ve wryly commented on, as you might have about your own, my diminishing physical capabilities, plaintively decrying I can’t do such and such—running, skiing, climbing—like I used to. And like you might’ve, I’ve occasionally spouted George Bernard Shaw’s lament that youth is wasted on the young. Our bodies usually peak in our mid to late twenties. By our early thirties, muscle starts to weaken, and the hard work of staying fit becomes increasingly challenging. And from then…

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      • Patty Pooh
        July 3, 2023 at 12:24 pm

        Love it .. not the getting older, slowing down part but love that we can still do what we enjoy .. with the same excitement, thrill and enthusiasm as we always had for it! And actually have found other things that bring me a peace and calm within that I’ve never noticed before. This, for me, came with age. Driving to work in the mornings, sun rising, kissing the tree tops on its way up through the sky, deer looking over across the fields from the edge of the woods, a buzzard with its wings stretched out as the sun dries them, a crane standing in the crick enjoying the quiet morning. Love it all. So peaceful. Love that you share it, too. And love you

      • Bonnie
        July 3, 2023 at 1:00 pm

        I believe the key to enjoying life has got to be having passions as well as staying as fit as we’re able. No matter what keeps your engine roaring, if you don’t have that love for something, your interest in staying fit will disintegrate. I knew a woman who lived to over 100 and continued to work on her life’s masterpiece, a biography of a gifted poet. Probably wouldn’t get me out of bed in the morning, but it did her. Might be art, music, tennis, cooking, a social justice cause, gardening. Doesn’t have to be the arts. Could be a religion. Whatever it is, it walks beside you minute by minute and enables you to have meaning in your life.

      • Scott Ruth
        July 3, 2023 at 1:29 pm

        This reminds me of a famous Stoic philosopher that had a permanent leg injury imposed on him by a cruel former master (he was in fact a slave). He never complained about it and when asked, he replied (paraphrasing) that “my leg injury is an impediment to my body, but not to my spirit”. Thank you for this perspective – it will serve us well if we contemplate it at any age.

      • Glenn Blanco
        July 3, 2023 at 2:32 pm

        It’s like that old country drinking song that says – “I’m not as good as I once was, but I’m good once as I ever was”.

      • Cam Torrens
        July 3, 2023 at 3:14 pm

        Thanks for getting me pondering this morning, Jerry!

      • rick posner
        July 3, 2023 at 9:01 pm

        And so it goes, Jerry. So it goes.

      • Karen
        July 5, 2023 at 2:37 pm

        Poignant and resonant, Jerry. Slower, but steady as we go!

      • Laurel McHargue
        July 5, 2023 at 7:13 pm

        Yes! That last line! I’ve noticed recently how I’ve been chastising myself . . . as I grab one more thing to take downstairs, as I turn too quickly through a doorway and smack my hand (and see the inevitable old-lady-hand-bruise appear), as I fall over because I’m sure I can put on my socks without sitting down. After I chastise myself, I laugh. I might never learn, but I’ll keep on keepin’ on, even it if kills me (because something surely will)!

        I love you.

      • Mary Pat Young
        July 6, 2023 at 8:54 pm

        Oh , Jeez! This resonates. I was going through this scenario just this morning. It’s
        as though you were looking in on me, Jerry! My Mom had a a saying , “You have to keep going to keep going”

      • Joe Johnson
        July 20, 2023 at 6:04 pm

        Glad I had a chance to drink from the cup of your wisdom this morning, Jerry. Makes me smile as I reflect on our hikes up to the marmots, the pikas, and the alpine lake above Herman’s Gulch!
        Joe Johnson

      Higher Living Reflections

      Achieving Swing

      Having thalassophobia—fear of deep water—as an integral part of my psyche, The Boys in the Boat is not a book I ordinarily would’ve read. But after a couple of literary-minded friends highly recommended it, I decided to give it a try. I’m thrilled I did because the story is far more than a historical account of the University of Washington’s eight-oar rowing crew’s quest for gold in the 1936 Olympics. It is a tale of grit and determination of working-class…

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      • Jess DiCarlo
        April 20, 2023 at 2:45 am

        Wonderful post! I found it because I have a Google alert set up for Boys in the Boat so that I can learn when the movie is released, which I hope is this year.

        An avid rower and writer, I’ve read the book many times, seen the PBS documentary The Boys of ‘36 many times, and am looking forward to the dramatic interpretation of the story.

        I never would’ve commented otherwise, and wanted to let you know how thrilled I am that the book translates for you as a non-rower. I’ve completely lost perspective as a huge rowing fan, so enjoyed hearing your perspective very much. Thank you! And I hope you see and enjoy the movie as much as I’m sure I will.

      Higher Living Reflections


      This might be heresy for Americans writ large, but basketball does nothing for me. Nada. Zilch. I never cared for the game. For me it is like watching a humanized, squeaky rendition of pong. I trace my dislike of the sport back to my youth. When it came to competitive sports, I was not very athletic. In fact, I was quite klutzy. The one athletic asset I had was that I could run fast, which made playing softball, if I…

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      • Bonnie McCune
        March 22, 2023 at 1:14 pm

        I was shorter, younger, weaker and less coordinated than any other girl in my class. I was always picked last for any team. I would have given anything to be proficient. Still I knew in my heart that team selection was based on popularity more than skill. The captains, who created the teams, were selected by popular vote.

        By fifth grade, I’d had enough. Somehow, probably through reading about the American Revolution, I knew we could change the system if we worked together. I and some of the other bumblers agreed to vote for one of us, and that person would select us for her team. I remember lecturing the other losers in my group, “We’ve got to fight fire with fire.”

        So that’s what we did. We voted for one of our own. She, in turn, picked us to be on her team. Oh, not the sole members because she, after all, wanted to win, too. But at least we weren’t the very last girls selected. My sense of social justice and populist power began that day.

      • Sunny Weber, Author
        March 22, 2023 at 2:19 pm

        Only you! You are so funny. I can see why you were a favorite teacher. Your honesty and humor taught your students and your fellow teachers more than the straight-laced, stone-faced teachers I had (you remember our generation of stolid statues at the blackboard?). Loved reading this~

      • Laurie Beckel
        March 22, 2023 at 6:53 pm

        Wonderful tale Jerry!

      • Glenn Blanco
        March 22, 2023 at 7:29 pm

        Jerry, I understand your confusion. The mascot of UConn is the husky. Looking at the UConn mascot, it does look like a Yukon mascot ala Sgt Preston. Great story, a real “bracket buster”.

      • Steven Craig
        March 22, 2023 at 9:21 pm

        Growing up in CT, and then attending Colgate which barely has D1 athletics, UCONN has always been my team, no matter how you spell it…

      • Dawn
        March 22, 2023 at 10:07 pm

        Love it! <3 Was never a basketball fan, either. Guess my height was my reason, but I could barrel well. 🙂

      • Donna Taylor
        March 22, 2023 at 10:45 pm

        Since we went to the same high school I remember well Mr Wargo. I also had a dread of being forced to play girls’ basketball and I’m sure I was not wanted on either team. The girls were brutal in pushing and shoving and I did not have the desire or ability to partake in the fun. My participation in competitive sports is nil. But I did cheer on my brother who was a basketball star at a competing high school and very much enjoyed the excitement at his games. Thanks for remembering!

      • COmtnLady
        March 22, 2023 at 11:31 pm

        What a great essay!

        It always seemed like there had to be some “secret” I had never been made privy to. The other kids could jump, but I just couldn’t ever get even a few inches off the ground. When all the 4-H kids were swinging up onto their horses like the Indians in the movies, I was splatting against my horse’s ribcage like a cartoon fly on a windshield . “Intellectual” I had in spades, “physical” was hopeless. It was nice to be the second outfielder though – no one could hit a ball that far so I could study the flowers and insects and enjoy the sunshine without having to worry about rules to an irrelevant game. (There were times they put me so far out that I couldn’t hear them calling that gym period was over.)

        The coordinated just don’t understand that it isn’t being obtuse, I was trying my best, its just that there are genuinely things that my body just doesn’t do. Non-physical Nerds of the World Unite!

        Yukon is something I can get behind much easier than U Conn. (Can we get non-squeaky shoes, please? That’s what I dislike most about basketball.) And Huskies would be a fine mascot for us Mountain People!

        Thanks for writing this! Gold Star to you!

      • Angela Skiffen
        March 26, 2023 at 2:22 am

        Yukon!!! 🤣😂. Even I know UConn and I’m not a basketball fan by any stretch of the imagination. Seriously though, I remember Mr. Wargo and constantly hearing “foul, Fabyanic!” Like Donna Taylor, I remember the girls shoving, pushing and scratching. Unlike Donna, I fought back. I punched them!!! Never did think it was fair that the calls weren’t on them.

      • Joe Holub
        April 2, 2023 at 1:08 am

        Bravo! You wily fox!!

      Higher Living Reflections

      Happy Imbolc!

      I love February, primarily because it is my birthday month, though I chafe about how it got short-changed in days. But given that it is often the coldest, most bone-chilling stretch of the year in the northern hemisphere, I do not mind cutting it short and rolling into March. Throughout the ancient world, the month of February was rich with tradition. Its name is derived from Februalia, which was the period set aside in ancient Rome for purification rituals. From…

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      • Sunny Weber, Author
        February 1, 2023 at 3:09 pm

        What a beautiful piece of writing and reflection! I love learning about past peoples, traditions, and cultures. This has been a long and depressing winter and your essay lifted my spirits! I will bask under my Happy Light (full spectrum for SAD) and wait for the warmth and light of Spring! Thank you, Jerry~

      • Laurel McHargue
        February 1, 2023 at 4:15 pm

        Today would have been my father’s 99th birthday! Like you, Jerry, he was an ardent crossword puzzler, and this morning (as I remember him), my husband and son and I complete the NYT Wednesday morning crossword! I have a feeling Imbolc may someday be the answer to a clue!

      • Mary Pat Young
        February 2, 2023 at 4:15 pm

        I made an urgent note in my journal several days ago stating…” I must make a list of all the things I need to …….” . And just last night, I heard a friend comment, mostly to himself, “ I need to make a list. Obviously these forces at play are deeply rooted in our psyche and subconscious. Thank you, Jerry, for the explanation.

      Higher Living Reflections

      All the Lonely People

      I have no statistics to support my thesis, but I posit loneliness runs a close second to love when it comes to song lyric topics. Often they are entwined. In her 1950s hit, Patsy Cline sang about being lonely and blue because someone left her. For me, “Have You Ever Been Lonely?” is a sentimental, maudlin tune, but I suppose for the lovelorn it tugs at heartstrings. “Eleanor Rigby” by Paul McCartney and the Beatles strikes an entirely different chord.…

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      • catherine scott
        January 19, 2023 at 9:09 am

        Thoughts that stick to my ribs, Brother Jerry. Thanks! Love; Cat

      • Angela Skiffen
        January 22, 2023 at 5:57 pm

        Excellent read but Isolation has nothing to do with feeling alone. You can be in a room full of people or living with someone and be very alone.

      Higher Living Reflections

      The Art of…Whatever

      “Unhappiness is always to feel oneself imprisoned in one’s own skin, in one’s own brain.” – Jacques Lusseyran, founder of a WW II resistance group, survivor of Buchenwald, and blind from age of eight. I was taken in by a good friend’s animated description and detailing of angling. He was coolly passionate during the telling. I learned much, from the sport’s complications and the skillset needed for a successful catch to the ethics of fishing. But more so, I was…

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      • Laurel McHargue
        December 21, 2022 at 3:55 pm

        Wonderful! I just read “Gift of The Magi” (had to after reading your piece), and what a lesson! I always learn something from you and your writing, Jerry. You are a gift.

      • Nancy Oswald
        December 21, 2022 at 4:26 pm

        Thank you, Jerry. Your piece was wonderful and well-timed for me.
        Have a wonderful holiday season.

      • Glenn Blanco
        December 27, 2022 at 6:34 pm

        The Gift of the Magi has always been one of my favorites as well. Jerry, perhaps you can help with trying to separate an art from a science. I have heard fishing is a science as much as art. Maybe there is no separation between an art or a science. When I was teaching, I always thought that was an art. Today, with the emphasis on testing and norms, it seems more a science.

      Higher Living Reflections

      Leaves Turning to Brown

      I had always loved the fall. Not only it was all the usual about rich colors, crisp air, and pumpkin pie, it was also when my life returned to what gave it meaning. From first grade through retirement, school and education defined it, first as a student then as a teacher. My two other major gigs were also in sync with the calendar. After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh, I helped manage Miracle Lanes in Monroeville, PA. I looked…

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      • Laurel McHargue
        November 16, 2022 at 2:37 pm

        More! I want more!

      • Bruce W. Most
        November 16, 2022 at 3:55 pm

        Sorry, Jerry, but I love fall. Warm days, fall colors, cool nights that are a pleasant break from the increasingly hot summers. Yes, fall ushers in winter, but I don’t mind winter, either. A time to hunker down and write more. Days of snow and sunshine. (Since I live in Colorado, I can’t speak for those who live in the winter gloom of the northwest and northeast.) Followed by spring, where life blooms anew. I like that, too, even if it can be windy and wet. And on into summer. I’m not a fan of the worst of the heat, but I can play golf and tennis and travel. I guess I like every season I enter, for it means I’m still alive and still with friends and family.

      • Melanie Mulhall
        November 16, 2022 at 3:59 pm

        He’s an inspiring man. Another Buddhist whose work has inspired me is Thich Nhat Hanh. Check out his book True Love. Like you, my relationship with fall has changed over the years. For many years, fall was a time of beginnings for me–a carryover from my school years. The year my husband died, that changed. As I put the flower garden to bed and put the accoutrements of summer in the garden shed, I realized that by the time the garden woke up and I brought out the fair-weather things, my husband would be gone. And he was. I’m better at beginnings than endings, but as I age, it seems to me that endings are in my face more than they once were, so getting comfortable with them would be good. After all, every ending ushers in a beginning. Looking forward to the next installment.

      • Donna Taylor
        November 17, 2022 at 12:59 am

        I can relate to your your sentiments – especially as relates to late fall, when the leaves are mostly gone, darkness comes early and the coats, gloves and ear muffs come out. I miss the welcoming summertimes, walking outside into sunshine without effort. We both grew up in western Pennsylvania where gray days were the norm – I recognize what I call “Pittsburgh days” in whatever city I happen to live in. Like you, I turn to books and focus on pleasant aspects, the warmth of home after coming in from outside, cozy coffee shops and the play of light on indoor spaces. Appreciate your thoughts on this, look forward to more, thanks Jerry.