Argiope Aurantia

I spent last week in the small town in Nebraska where I grew up.  Although the days were warm, autumn was in the air.  None of the trees were turning colors yet, and the greenery in front of my parents’ house was plentiful.  Near the driveway was a plant that had poofy white flowers that . . . Read More


What Gives Me Hope

Thursday morning a coyote crossed my path on my morning walk, just as I was listening to a conversation where the participants were sharing quotes that inspire hope.  Here’s one of the quotes: “People say, what is the sense of our small effort? They cannot see that we must lay one brick at a time, . . . Read More


Come Through

On Sunday we received news that our long time friend, Deborah Cox, passed away.  Deborah and her family have been a part of the Seed’s history for decades.  Prior to retirement, she served as the assistant director of the ASU Center for the Study of Race and Democracy.  It was through Deborah and her family . . . Read More


Uprooted

I don’t know how I missed it, but I managed to sleep through the storm that blasted through the valley on Monday night.  My first clue that something was up was when I noticed a large tree fallen across the sidewalk on my morning walk.  As I drove down Baseline on my way home from . . . Read More


Returning to Ground Zero

We’ve entered our fourth day of school and, all things considered, we’re off to a good start.  We have many wonderful new families, along with our wide range of returning families.  It’s been a delightful experience to see our students back in person who have been at home for the past fifteen months.   Additionally, . . . Read More


Graduation Under the Trees

If there’s anything the 2020-2021 school year has given us, it’s an overabundance of opportunities to be innovative.  After missing their graduation a year ago, we wanted to make sure our 3rd-5th graders had a memorable ceremony.   Although some of the mitigations for COVID-19 have eased up a bit, we still have to follow . . . Read More


Footprints in the Mud

One morning on the playground a student ran up to me and announced that there were animal tracks in the mud under a tree.  I wandered over to check them out, and sure enough, there was plenty of proof that we’d had a four-legged visitor, or visitors.  My first guess was that it might be . . . Read More


Ten Years

Monday, March 15th, marked the ten-year anniversary of my breast cancer diagnosis.  It happened over spring break in 2011 on my first-born child’s birthday.  It was a surreal day, and one that significantly altered the course of my life.  I had “the good kind” of cancer, ductal carcinoma in situ, and managed to get through . . . Read More


On Solid Ground

It’s been a good year for peas.  All along the sidewalk on the south side of the building, tall vines are loaded with white blossoms and forming pea pods.  Peas are one of most popular crops in Seed gardens, and they rarely make it into the building.  As soon as each pod grows full of . . . Read More


Ally

Every year our studies around social justice manifest in an organically unique way.  There’s always a plan, and what actually happens emerges totally from the kids.  Last weekend I was talking with one of my former 2nd graders, who is now a young mom, and she said, “I know you’re really into social justice right . . . Read More


Cracking Open Who You Are

What I’ve always loved about this time of year as a teacher is the opportunity to explore human rights issues with children.  Even though I haven’t been in the classroom for over ten years, I manage to keep my fingers in the pie, so to speak.  It’s one of the most organic parts of my . . . Read More


Growing into Goodness

Yesterday was another day of challenging news, and although I’ve vowed to give myself some space from all of the listening and reading, I’m having a hard time staying away from it.  I want to know what’s going on in the world.  I want to be informed so I can be a better teacher, leader, . . . Read More


What Am I Marching For?

The other day I noticed this beautiful sunflower on the verge of blooming.  Two bees were scurrying about in the center where seeds will eventually form.  It was perfect timing for a day early in the new year.  Months before this moment of unfurling, I devoted considerable time and energy to protecting the seedling that . . . Read More


Approaching the Solstice

Last week we were out walking in the neighborhood one evening and passed a father and his daughter in the process of setting up their holiday lights.  We could tell they were a team.  We commented how beautiful their lights were, and the dad said, “She’s in charge.  It’s all her idea.”  It was clear . . . Read More


Be Safe, Be Well

Normally on this day we’d be hustling around, setting up tables, plugging in the warmer, and preparing for our all-school feast.  The building would be filled with unbelievably mouth watering smells, and aluminum containers would be lined up for the eventual food service lines.  Eventually families would start arriving, and after a large gathering in . . . Read More


The Problem with Thanksgiving

It’s a week before Thanksgiving, and we hit a record 92 degrees on Tuesday.  Hardly anything surprises me these days.  In addition to the unusual weather, it’s a time of profound change, both externally and internally.  Certain world events have triggered profound changes in myself, one of the most significant being the killing of George . . . Read More


Seasoned Warriors

Wednesday was Veterans Day.  I held my own personal celebration by calling my 95-year-old father, Jim Kenner.  He’s a veteran and continues to be involved in his local American Legion post.  In fact, he was the recipient of a 75-year continuous service pin in March, right before the pandemic hit.  We were able to be . . . Read More


Thank You

The sunrises have been extraordinary lately, unfortunately due to smoke that’s filtered our way from the west coast fires.  Each new morning I see another bright orange sun, I think of the people who have lost their homes, family members, and healthy air to breathe. It was shocking to read in the news yesterday that . . . Read More


Stretchy Outsider

 It’s easy these days to become inundated with news.  There is an article for everything from how to entertain your kids during a pandemic to the latest developments in vaccine trials.  Painful news about yet another shooting in another city is too frequent.  Alarming photos of fires ravaging the west coast are heartbreaking.  Podcasts are . . . Read More


From the Stars

We’re now closing in on our second week of school in its new COVID-era manifestation.  I have to say I’m totally impressed with our teachers who, under incredible responsibility/stress, are making this happen for both our in-person and virtual students.  We still have refinements to make, and we are progressing.  I want to tell you . . . Read More


Time to Wake Up

Normally we’d be on vacation right about now, looking at scenes such as this one on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state.  We would be revitalizing ourselves by walking beaches on either coast, perhaps taking a ferry from one location to another.  There was always a body of water involved.  Last night, as we took . . . Read More


From the Ashes

 When we were in Darjeeling a year and a half ago, we visited the Tibetan Refugee Self Help Center.  The center provides artisan training and support of residents of all ages.  People who live there make a variety of handicrafts, including jewelry, weaving, and clothing.  They also make prayer flags, so I loaded up on . . . Read More


A Seat at the Table

 These past few weeks, as we’ve been planning for the Seed’s re-opening in August, a steady stream of podcasts and articles have filled up spare moments. I’ve been listening to a variety of voices, all devoted to one thing, making this a better world for all human beings.  As I read and listen, more and . . . Read More


Tomorrow’s Yesterday

When I was a kid, May 1st was a day of connection.  We’d make little baskets and fill them with lilacs, popcorn, and candy, then deliver them to friends’ front doors.  It was a sweet way to remember close friends.  It’s not a practice we see around here.  And with social distancing in place, as . . . Read More