C.S. Lewis

Love Overcomes Fear

December 8, 2019
Philippians 1:27, 28

Meditations for Advent: 1. Moving Toward Joy Are you ready to celebrate Christmas? or is something missing this season? This has been a hard year on many fronts. Many have suffered grievous losses. Hope and peace and joy may seem very far away. That’s how I felt after Lev died. The very thought of the Holidays terrified me. To prepare my heart, I turned to …

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One Last Time: The Amalfi Coast

October 24, 2019
from Villa Rufolo

After four cruise stops and two lengthier stays along the Amalfi coast, you would think I had seen enough of southern Italy. But how can one grow tired of the most beautiful place on earth? I jumped at the opportunity to plan a once-in-a-lifetime trip with friends. Recently retired, they wanted to travel; and I knew that I had at least one more trip on …

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reclaiming joy in lower case

June 21, 2018
large island t-shirt

In many ways, my memoir, Reclaiming Joy, is a love letter to Nantucket, for this is where I first experienced sustained joy after Lev’s death, which I described in last week’s blog. Though I know intellectually that I had many moments of joy even in the midst of the thick fog of grief, my memories of the pain and anxiety are much more vivid. Sheryl …

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Really? I’m an author?

October 13, 2017
Ella at desk

With a contract for RECLAIMING JOY, I can now legitimately call myself an author with a forthcoming book. Those words have very specific meaning in the publishing world, and I have to pinch myself to make sure I haven’t dreamed it. After having an unfinished manuscript hanging over my head for more than three years, I am not quite sure what I do next. I …

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Home Alone on Nantucket

June 22, 2017
Welcome to my happy place

Hard to believe I have been in my new old house on Centre Street for 10 days. This morning I can finally say, “Home alone!” Home. Those first few days—indeed, every day until just this moment—this was a lovely but sterile rent house, not home. I have discovered here that I have an incredible nesting instinct. I could not sit at my desk and write …

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Memory + Anticipation = Joy

June 8, 2017
Joy! Corpus Christi bayfront

Both heart and mind are overflowing in anticipation this week. My bags are on their way to Nantucket, and in just a few days I will be too. Already I am imagining moving into my summer home, debating where to go for lunch Saturday (fried clams or lobster roll?), worship the next day in my summer church, brunch with Nantucket friends and then—two days later—the …

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How Do You Find Purpose in Life?

June 9, 2016
Girl Scout troop

When Lev died, I did not have a clue how to “do” widowhood. Books and advice from others were of little help. I looked at other widows in search of role models. Those who had built purposeful, fulfilling new lives encouraged me. If they could do it, so could I. Eventually, I found books that also inspired me—usually memoirs of grief, which told me that …

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What Makes Nantucket Special

June 19, 2015
Congregational Church from the pierblack-eyed susansCongregational ChurchColonial houseChatham scallopsCru--hot spot at the wharfEarly shingle houseElla, Nantucket, Aug 2014Nantucket at duskFederal house with widowFlags flying at the pierflag flyingFlowers for salefront porch in the historic districtFried clams at the hotelGalley Restaurant at Jetties BeachLobster roll at the Dunemore flowers for saleOcean-front homesNantucket Whaling Museumold windmillSconset lighthouse, NantucketOutdoor dining at CruSunset at Jetties BeachThe hat shop ownerTiffany windows, Episcopal churchThe Lilley StoreTraditional house & gardenThe Nantucket uniformTraditional Nantucket shingle houseTypical fogUnitarian-Universalist Churchvegetables from Bartlett FarmWhite Elephant Hotel groundswindow boxWhite Elephant Hotel

Sanctuary: A sacred place, a safe haven. Nantucket. C.S. Lewis wrote a lot about joy—even a book, Surprised by Joy. Another of his books is A Grief Observed, a classic on grief that remains on best-seller lists 54 years after Lewis wrote it. His books were the most helpful material I read after Lev died, and I have given much thought since 2009 to the …

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