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The Power of Place

"Find your place on the planet. Dig in, and take responsibility from there." -Gary Snyder By the age of twenty-five, I found myself having lived in five towns with populations under a thousand and having worked in and fallen in love with many more. While some may see my choice to spend my time in …

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“Pay attention, be astonished, tell about it”: Finding hope in the three-step approach

"Pay attention, be astonished, tell about it." - Mary Oliver These words are plastered in my living room on a hand-painted (very amateurly at that) canvas as a continual grounding reminder of this daily opportunity and blessing we have. However, I recently have found myself particularly contemplative on all three pieces of this adage and …

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Embracing Uncertainty…One Haircut at a Time

“I think my ideal dialogue is one person saying, ‘Well, I don’t know,’ and the other person saying, ‘I don’t know.’ And then the other person saying, ‘I don’t know.’” - Teju Cole, On Being with Krista Tippett. This week, I decided to chop my hair off. Okay, so maybe that is a slightly dramatic …

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Goats, Emergency Exits, and Our Common Humanity

“We all sit around the fire; We feel a little warmer now; And we all sit around the fire; We feel so much better now!”- Hollow Coves, “The Woods” This past week I spent a couple days at the board meeting for the non-profit I recently started working with. Having been on staff for barely …

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The Embedding Versus Netting Dilemma

“Because everyone shops at the same grocery store.” That is what I always tell people when they ask me “why rural?” (or some ultimately synonymous version of that question). Usually, after I give this response, people look at me just as disconcerted as they did when they first asked the question. However, for me, this …

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Living Without Disappointment

In a recent staff meeting, a coworker reminded us of his mother’s common adage: “Never be disappointed.” Completely infeasible, right? In our current climate of social and political divide, the only way I could fathom to succeed at such an ask was to live a Walden-esque lifestyle away from the calls of civilization. And even …

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An Era of Acronyms

Last week, I spent three days in New Mexico at a meeting working to bring together rural leaders and practitioners to collaborate around conservation issues. The days were the epitome of inspirational- filled with bright exchanges on stimulating examples and ideas of building rural resilience across the country. However, our conversation also brought to light …

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