I am reminded that this connection is a precious gift.

Photo by Chrissy Boyd Miller

Another spring blankets Northern California with a rainbow of wildflowers and golden sunshine. Baby animals are opening their eyes for the first time, taking in the radiance of Earth, lush with new growth. Spring is when we crawl out of our winter caves and let Mother Nature nourish us with her bouquet. I welcome new hope in spring’s rebirth as I find connection and peace in my garden.

I don’t wear gloves when I garden because I love the feel of the cool, crumbly soil in my hands. The fresh soil feels like home. It smells so clean. Occasionally, when…


Photo by Tiwanna DeMoss

My sister Ellen died by suicide last year. She drove into an oak tree at 90 miles an hour. Her death was instant, but she had struggled desperately her whole life from abuse, trauma, and mental illness. Her condition was degenerative, and promised to eat away at her through a slow and increasingly painful existence. Even though the threat of her young death by suicide or some tragic accident loomed over us for years, her sudden exit from this world split through me like lightning.

Ellen was my very best friend, my big sister by only a year. Our entire…


Photo by Chrissy Boyd Miller

On August 16, 2020, A powerful storm grew above the Pacific Ocean, unleashing about 11,000 bolts of lightning along the Santa Cruz Mountains in Northern California. The lightning strikes ignited the brutal CZU Lightning Complex Fire (CZU fire), fueled by wind and dry weather, burning over 86,000 acres of coastal redwood forest and destroying at least 925 mountain homes.

Massive flames ripped through neighborhoods, transforming peoples’ homes and most precious possessions into ashen debris. Boulder Creek (pop. 5,182) is among the affected little towns that dot the mountains along the San Lorenzo River. It’s an idyllic spot — less than…


Finding Peace in the Redwoods

Photo by Lora Deback

My love of nature conflicts with my disdain for constant solitude. I am lost in the woods. I sit on our kitchen deck, listening to the babbling creek below wend its path from the mountains to the sea. The meditative chant of the water soothes me as it cantillates rhythmically over the rocks. I breathe in the deep clean smell of the redwood trees as they warm in the almost-summer sun, mixing with the green bouquet of ferns and mossy rocks and the slightest trace of animal musk. A calm breeze soothes me. As the…


Reflections of a Novice and Hopeful Yogi

Photo by Chrissy Boyd Miller

The morning sun filters through the redwood trees. I open my eyes, the dementia of dreams slowly lifting. I take my first awake breath of the day and contemplate my state of mind. No regrets from yesterday are seeping in, so that’s positive. I’m grateful for having remembered to set the auto brew on the coffeepot last night as the aroma of freshly ground coffee wafts down the hall. I follow my nose out of bed stealthily as not to wake the four-year-old sleeping sweetly beside me. Just as I’m setting my toes on the floor, he sits up and…


Finding My Energetic Balance With the Earth

Photo by Deniz Altindas on Unsplash

In yoga philosophy, the gunas are constantly fluctuating energies existent throughout the universe and therefore in each of us. These energies flow through all of nature and are inherent to our very state of being, influencing our reactions to everything and everyone around us. There are three constantly intertwining and changing components of the gunas: tamas (inert), rajas (active), and sattva (harmony). These three parts work together confluently and drift back and forth, together and apart. …


Pre-surgery feet, photo by me

A few years ago, a sloppy surgeon butchered my right foot. I went to Dr. Garrett for routine bunion surgery and left his office traumatized. He lopped off a full third of my second toe and made bending my big toe ever again impossible. I used to be a distance runner and suffered significant foot pain from my bunions whenever I ran more than ten or twelve miles, which I regularly did. I felt desperate to run pain-free. I also didn’t want to end up with big, old-lady bunions like my mom, so I sought a podiatrist. What I wouldn’t…

Chrissy Boyd Miller

Writer and Portal Keeper to the redwood forest

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