All posts by Sonja Hakala

I have been a professional writer since 1987. I've written for newspapers, magazines, worked in the book publishing industry, and published novels and non-fiction books. In addition, I've guided numerous authors through the process of independent publishing, and offer workshops in that same vein. I'm the founder of the Parkinson's Comfort Project and over the course of six years, we gathered and gave away over 500 handmade quilts to people with Parkinson's disease.

Making My Way Back to You, Girl

Sometimes, we just need to stop and remember our place in the world, beneath the sun, above the earth, among the trees.

Of all the treasures we lost because of Irene, it’s the river bottom land that I walked nearly every day of the 18 years we’ve lived here that I miss the most.

Try as I might, I cannot become accustomed to the way it looks now—covered in three feet of silt, gobs of grit-filled leaves strangling the branches, trees down everywhere, huge piles of debris.

To us, this was a paradise, a small green place where we recognized and looked for certain plants at certain times, where we watched the population of waterfowl grow, where we watched pink sunsets from rocks that jutted out into the water. There was a small tree, most likely a dead staghorn sumac, that loomed over the trail at a certain point. When it snowed, the white drape made it look like a magical dragon’s head.

Yes, I know. I am still grieving.

But some days, I just have to focus on the fact that the sun still rises every morning, that Orion has wheeled out of the sky until the weather cools once again, that the phases of the moon do pass with a reassuring regularity. Last night, two bright planets stood together in the western sky, reminding me, yet again, of my place in this wondrous universe.

The nature of the world took away the special place I loved so dearly. But the Great Mother herself reminds me every day that she has not abandoned me.

But there are times when this kind of gratitude comes hard.