Bonbons from Heaven

The height and depth and breadth of parables happen around us all the time. But sometimes, you must wait a lifetime to realize the significance of the moment. Kernels of truth dropped in mundane soil will bear fruit only when given space in your memory. My parable starts with a sticky preschooler I knew well and was trying to raise …

Going Metron

The bakery started as a small hole-in-the-wall, hidden behind a single glass door along a narrow Taiwanese alley. This mom-and-pop shop smelled of freshly baked bread the moment you opened the door. Joint-owned by a Kiwi chef and his Chinese wife, Chef Dereke named it Finga’s, for everything within was handmade. In time, Dereke and his wife Lily were no …

A Festive Flashback

Yellowed pages fluttered to the ground as I opened the manila folder. Like the sugarplum fairies of dreams, memories danced into my mind when I recognized the font. A simple Christmas dialog written on a borrowed typewriter in the Texas hill country one December.  As I bent to gather the pages into my hands, recollections of a nineteen-year-old-me arose with …

A Carolina Christmas

As I wound down the narrow road, I felt anticipation build. Every bend of the foliage and arc of the bridges increased my expectancy. When the shuttle bus rounded the last corner, I gasped as the 55-foot-tall Norway spruce and encircling evergreens illuminated the front lawn. Over a century ago, landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted suggested this spectacular approach to …

Lessons from My Granddad

Granddaddy’s eyesight was in decline by the time I was born. Maybe it had something to do with the kerosene lantern he read by in his early years. Despite his eighth-grade education, Granddaddy loved books before electricity arrived in his shack. His Bible and dictionary were tattered and worn from decades of use.  Because I was born late into my …

The Book

Although I love this spot, the location does not keep me here. It’s not the beckoning sun, gradually filling the stained glass and splashing the walls with gold, emerald, and indigo. It’s not the hushing silence interrupted only by the loudly ticking clock. And it’s not even the strong espresso, as necessary as it is, hinting of raw sugar and …

Wet Market Fears

The early morning wet market was mostly dry by nightfall. Housed open-air under a corrugated tin roof, the stainless steel display tables and wire shelves stood chained together and ready. Except for a night breeze, an eerie silence was the only sound awaiting the coming day.  Sometime before sunrise, generations of market vendors hosed down their stalls in preparation for …

The Day I Lost the Key

There is an exhaustion so absolute that you find yourself counting minutes before you can crawl between the sheets. In my experience, that overload usually involved an overseas flight and jetlag. No matter how we adjusted our flight schedule, crossing the international date-line always depleted our reserves. I suppose any continual twenty-six-hour trip will do that. Our plane trip had been …