Category Archives: Reflections & Works of the Imagination

Reflections and fictional works to inspire, entertain, and provoke thought.

The Maternal Line: Eulogy for a Beautiful Woman

A father. His daughter. His daughter’s daughter. A river. No, that’s not right. The River. Theirs is a story that began long ago. But it hasn’t ended yet. And The River flows through it.

by Tamia Nelson | May 10, 2018
Originally published in different form in different places in other years.

Absent Friends Article on

The girl found The River irresistible. Whenever she could, she scrambled over the cliff that rose precipitously from the swift waters. The snowmelt‑swollen spring torrents carved deep potholes in the cliff’s sheer walls, and when the floods receded, the girl sometimes found stranded trout in those dark recesses, swimming frantically in futile circles. That’s when she taught herself how to tickle trout, catching the imprisoned fish in her hands before returning them to The River. It was a difficult job, even a dangerous one at times, but seeing the trout swim free was all the reward that she asked — or wanted.

When she wasn’t climbing the cliff, the girl often dabbled in The River’s shallows, turning over cobbles to see who might be living under them. … Continue reading »

A Declaration of Independence: Kicking the Bucket List

As flash mobs assemble on lonely summits and “binge hiking” enters the working newshound’s vocabulary, it’s time to take a closer look at the bucket list. Is it a benign phenomenon, just the latest New Big Thing to engage the attention of a networked nation desperately seeking diversion? Or is it something else — a final breach in the last wall protecting wild places, say? Farwell opts for the latter alternative. And today he makes his case.

by Farwell Forrest | January 26, 2018

Experts are springing up everywhere we turn today, like thistles in an overgrazed field. Yet who would dare complain? In our increasingly complex and interconnected world, expertise is sorely needed. Still, for those of us who aren’t experts — and that’s most of us, I suppose — it’s easy to become confused, particularly when so many of the experts offer contradictory advice.

The upshot? It soon becomes painfully obvious that no single expert has a monopoly on truth. This isn’t to say that there’s no such thing as consensus, of course. The subject of global warming … Continue reading »

A Winter’s Tale: The Last Chickadee by Tamia Nelson

We are only visitors to wild places. We’re just passing through. Our homes are always somewhere else. But many creatures know no other home. And what happens when that home is ravaged by a winter storm? What then? This week, Tamia tells the story of one such storm, and one such creature.

The Old Ones were afraid. They took pains to hide this from the young birds, but the youngsters sensed their elders’ growing anxiety, nonetheless, and little Taiga felt more and more uneasy with every passing minute. Still, he made the most of the warm breeze that ruffled the feathers on his breast. He’d already endured one frigid night, waiting with growing impatience for the sun to return from the great unknown country between dusk and dawn, while a skim of clear ice formed on the bay of the big lake. That night had seemed endless, and Taiga had been wakened repeatedly by the penetrating cold. Each time he hoped to see the sun’s red orb inching above the horizon, but instead saw only the … Continue reading »