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Is This Land Your Land?

Sometimes stories gestate for years before taking form. This one bloomed from deep curiosity rooted in a sense of personal responsibility. I realized that my understanding of the land upon which I live was incomplete and imbalanced. While I of course knew about the people who have lived here since time immemorial and had a schoolbook understanding of the history of European colonization in the region, I didn’t live day-to-day with an embodied knowledge of the ongoing impact of these histories and traumas. I vowed…

Character Study

This past fall, I had the good fortune to be able to travel to Denver to report on a very happy development: The City of Denver officially recognized La Alma Lincoln Park as a Historic Cultural District, one of the first in the country celebrating Chicano history. The neighborhood of trim late 19th century homes is rich with stories from the 1970s Chicano Movement and famed for the nationally significant contributions of its Raza, mestizo, Hispano, Mexican American, Mexican, Latino and Chicano residents. Read the…

On Cancer and the Natural World

Nearly two years ago, at age 39, I received the shock of my life: a diagnosis of breast cancer. In the face of an existential threat, it's not uncommon for people to radically readjust their lives, to let go of concerns that suddenly seem trivial and pay more care and attention to what really matters. This was certainly my experience. In many ways, I feel like the ordeal of cancer deconstructed my life and my self like a mechanic with a busted engine, and it…

Eating for Two

Recently I had the opportunity to speak with a woman, a counselor and fitness instructor from California, about the harrowing experience of recovering from anorexia nervosa. Her unhealthy relationship with food started at the heartbreaking age of eight, and she suffered for more than four decades before finding true respite. What finally worked? An eating disorder recovery coach. Thanks to the establishment of a rigorous and credible certification program four years ago, coaching is a growing trend in eating disorder recovery. The practice is designed…

I Was a Bad Dog Owner…

Pet adoptions famously spiked during the first year of the pandemic. After watching a couple of my friends' dogs chase a hare, likely to its death, I got to wondering: As more people adopt, what is our responsibility as dog owners—to our fellow humans, other dogs, wildlife and our communities? These are questions I had never pondered as an actual dog owner myself, to my current chagrin. The bar for good dog behavior in my town, admittedly, is pretty low. Dogs are all over the…