The final days of expectation can bring surprising clarity. Courtney Martin pauses in this suspended space, and marvels at the end of the wait for new life, in all its gritty wonder.
A gift of verse as we reach the close of the season of Ramadan — testaments to the comfort of faith across a lifetime, from the safety of home to the surprising kinship of a stranger.
Often the most valuable lessons are fathers' teach us are the ones we didn't realize we were learning. A son of Korean immigrants expresses gratitude for a lifetime of tough-love education from his wartime father.
"Sometimes the pain of the world seems incomprehensible. And if there's anything that balances it, it's wonder at the world, the amazingness of people." Mindfulness meditation teacher Sylvia Boorstein gives counsel on finding joy and spiritual practice embedded in the rhythms of everyday life.
When grief or hardship strike, they are best borne out in solidarity. Trent Gilliss serves up readings on our collective sorrow and celebration in the passing of our heroes, and taking a new perspective on the grit of beauty, nature, and family.
Entering the home stretch of her pregnancy, Courtney Martin takes a closer look at the bizarre phenomenon from which we are all brought forth into the world.
Even with years of experience, the parenting journey is one of constant learning — about a budding life, and about oneself. Courtney Martin gives thanks for the grit and grace of new motherhood.
Nature cannot erase grief, but makes it easier to bear. A woman holds fleeting memories of familial warmth as she visits mid-coast Maine, and finds solace in the brave journey of the alewives from sea to lake and back again.
The daughter of refugees pens an open letter to her mother. She reflects on the inheritance of suffering, offering this ode to the resilience of the human spirit and gratitude for the opportunity to flourish.
Our corrective actions can have radiating effects, placing a burden on those who don't deserve it. A moving revelation of the extended trauma of mass incarceration — farther reaching than we might imagine.
The architecture around us inhabits the vernacular of our lives. Our executive editor with this week's letter from Loring Park welcoming our new columnist Sarah Smarsh, who joins a collective contemplation of where and how we navigate our lives in faith, family, and citizenship.
Pope Francis had an extraordinary week issuing a seminal document on love and family, travelling to a refugee "hot zone," and meeting Bernie Sanders in Rome. The common thread: the pope's willingness to accompany people where they're at and walk alongside humanity, whether it be a Syrian refugee or a U.S. presidential candidate.
To put the children first is a parent's most basic instinct. But when does self-sacrifice become self-destruction? Omid Safi offers a new understanding of the importance of self-care.
Our feet carry us forward despite the circumstances. A series of memories from a life growing up on the periphery of privilege, and finding worth in what we are, rather than worthlessness in what we are not.
When the demands of daily life drain us, a respite in solitude is exactly what we need. A testament to the power of aloneness to reconnect us with the steady sense of self we lose.
Paul Kalanithi's latest book spurs a pregnant mother to recognize the myth of meaning-making. Our columnist on reckoning with ambiguous endings, and the spectrum of imperfection on which we must all live and thrive.
Each year in New York during the marathon, an intimate gathering of Holocaust survivors come together. A tapestry of memory unfolds, telling the powerful stories of the survivors and the courageous people who protected them.
What happens when we go too far in pushing against the "other" — whether in asserting our identity or in protecting ourselves from danger? Reminders that we must also open ourselves to the vulnerability of acknowledging our dignified differences and common ground.
Our names are rife with meaning, stories we claim and others we discard. Listen to this group of "audio selfies," including one with Parker Palmer, exploring how our identity is formed by the names we're given, the ones we take, and the ones we long for but never quite materialize.
The love that siblings share is complex, and something that perhaps only they can understand. Jane Gross with a note of appreciation, frustration, perplexity, and profound love for her little brother — and the wayward path they've walked together.
Each year a mysterious gift is delivered to a woman's doorstep on Valentine's Day from a secret admirer. A reflection on expectations and love in all its incarnations.
A song of hard-working shipyards inspires the daughter of an African-American railroad man to honor her father, a man whose quiet strength fueled both his work and his love for family. A testimony to labor and providing for future generations.
The voyage of discovery comes from seeing the world with grateful eyes. A poetic contemplation of aging, attention, and gratitude.
A mother's poetic reflection on simultaneously striving to comfort and teach her children, and learn from her own mother, about the growth that can come from struggle.
A gracious and unexpected gift from the band Radiohead for the new year and a medley of guiding essays on revolutions and resolutions, ending arrogance, love of wide open spaces, embracing family and more. Our executive editor's Letter from Loring Park to kick off 2016.