Amigurumi Daisy

Last night, the hills above Camp Pendleton caught fire, and so I was lulled to sleep by the sharp tang of burning brush, the earth around me blanketed for miles in smoke and ash. As sometimes happens while the earth burns, I dream of water. Of the sea and the kind of angry, black storm…

Grandma’s Quilt

On my way to check the mail yesterday evening I found two little girls lying in the still-warm grass. The elder of the two, towheaded with a face nearly swallowed by her round, red-framed glasses. The younger, a chubby Latina with a wide, gap-toothed grin. They were gazing up into the tall palms, giggling, surrounded…

Amigurumi Unicorn

There is magic in this world. Perhaps not in the turning of the appropriate card, the flick of a phoenix-core wand, the transfiguration of frog to prince. But certainly there is magic in a change of heart; the frightened soul made brave by kindness. Not ancient text pulled from a grimoire, not prayer to a…

Amigurumi Sheep

When I was eight years old I nearly slept through the 1994 Northridge earthquake. Nearly, not for the vigorous tumbling of the great earth, but instead for the violent shouting of my father, “Cassie! Cassie!” as his strong hands wrenched me from bed to join him and my small, frightened brother in the cramped “hallway” between…

Amigurumi Taco

Good God, I need a laugh. Lately the world seems less to orbit and more to spiral. Down, down, down we go! I am often surprised by this state of affairs. Perhaps I should take that as a win? Perhaps I’m not as cynical as I once supposed? It just…it seems to me the world…

Amigurumi Sunflower

I like sunflowers. I like how they turn their bright faces, always, to the light. How they grow wild in the hills that surround my home. I like how they push their thick, fat stalks through the cracked earth, how they scale and weaken the fences meant to protect the manicured lawns from the roaming…

Pastel Rainbow Blanket

I keep much of myself hidden. Do you? I worry I am too much. I know I think too much. I think spirals of worry that blossom into questions. And there are always too many questions. Like, am I a good person? Am I doing the right thing? Have I done enough to prove I…

Sassy Cactus Amigurumi

I feel summer on the horizon. It’s in the stale heat that blows through the foothills and settles each afternoon like an overworked dog in our parched valley. The succulents on my balcony, not so long ago fat with water and sending up blooms, have begun to shrivel back into themselves. We are preparing. Those…

Amigurumi Flower

My neighbor’s flowers are blooming. They are my first awareness as I breathe in the morning. Heady citrus and lily of the valley and one of the oldest scents I know: iris. Not the sweet blue irises of Van Gogh’s fields, but great bearded irises whose petals bleed deep burgundy and bright plum and pure…

Sunny Amigurumi

I walk this earth always with a song in my heart. While the song may change, the music never ceases. Lately, when the world is silent, Stevie Wonder and his piano sing to me. “You are the sunshine of my life.” Why? Why this song? Why right now? I am not one to turn the…

Amigurumi Doll

Today is the first day of Spring and the sky greeted me with gray. Sometimes you don’t get what you want. My first reaction is to complain. To lament the heavy boots when I was ready for sandals and sunshine on my freshly pedicured pink toes. To waste hours staring across the horizon at the…

Amigurumi Blue Bird

It comes as a surprise to no one who knows me, but I was a deeply artistic, creative child. I took as quickly to color and paint and clay, beads and yarn and texture, as any child takes to its mother’s milk. These things nourished me, fed me. Bone deep. When I was ten I…