Introducing… The Hearthling

(rhymes with Earthling, not Darthling)

Well friends, I know you know by the fact that I’m writing to you on two consecutive weeks (let alone months, or quarters) that SOMETHING IS UP! After my gas station revelation during the winter, I have been pondering long and hard. I have been listening inside, I have been balancing my chakras, I have been researching urls. 

And today, with excitement and trepidation, I introduce you to my new thing: The Hearthling.

What is The Hearthling you ask?? I invite you to come along on the ride, maybe helping along the way, as we figure it out.

Backstory: About fifteen years ago I met a former boss, someone I admired, for lunch. I had an idea, a tiny kernel of a glowing seed inside of me — not a quick thought I had dreamed up that morning but something deeper that had been whispering to me for a while. The purpose of our meeting was just to catch up, not to discuss my idea. But during the meal, when he asked about my plans, I mentioned it. Something like: I have this idea to write something, like a blog, called Hearth: Heart, Art and Earth. I have no clarity on any details yet, but it might have a category called Stone Soup.

My boss was a practical type. I think he nodded and made a suggestion of something more rational, more well-traversed, that I might pursue. And that was that. I didn’t have the confidence or vision or experience or whatever I needed then to take a tiny step in its direction.

Fast-forward 15 frequently satisfying if at times tumultuous and increasingly unpredictable years. In February I was asked a question: What three words best express what you value in life? Three words? But there are so many things to value, I thought. I could write a very long list. But I struggled to write a short one — to choose.

And I’m a little embarrassed to admit this but I was tidying again. Holding the things, asking if they sparked joy. Only this time it was different. This time I could tell. I knew that my red knit hat with the multicolored tassels that I got at the Nepalese restaurant near Mount Rainier felt different to hold than almost everything else I picked up in the house.

I could feel a different energy, that something was moving and something was being let go. I wanted to take the time to see a clear answer to the question. Eventually I was sure. I wrote my words:

LOVE: The spark in me reaching towards and nurturing the spark in others (and in myself). This includes Contribution, Connection, Collaboration, Care, Effort, Persistence.

CREATIVITY: Responding to life and the moment awake-ly using practices and tools for active, celebratory listening and expression. Creative practice is like a treasure hunt for understanding and a means of listening and sharing. I value learning from the creative practice of others, including creativity in ideas, solutions, systems. I like seeing the variety of possibilities and the different ways different people understand and approach questions. This includes Celebration and Playfulness.

NATURE: Being aware of myself as a small part of the beautiful, interconnected whole of the living world and feeling a part of the cycles and richness of nature. I have made many of the most significant decisions in my life to spend time with people who have a similar feeling about nature or to do work that protects or restores nature.

Later that evening I was standing at a derelict gas station on a busy road overlooking an unkempt stream. Petroleum fumes wafted while traffic lumbered past, slowed by ongoing construction. There was a soft breeze and it was not bitterly cold. I saw an unidentified group of birds lifting into the sky and flying over the stream. My eyes followed them in the sky.

Heart, art, and earth, I thought to myself.

Or rather myself said to me.

And there was a quickening. Heart, art and earth. Love, creativity and nature.

It’s time myself said to me.

And ever since then I have been determining what it is time for.


  1. I have a whole other website,, that you might not know about.
  2. It’s not a great looking site and not the best for reading text either, which I acknowledge is not ideal for a text-heavy site.
  3. That is where The Hearthling is currently living while I figure out some other logistics.
  4. The current issue of The Hearthling is not the first issue but rather the almost first issue.
  5. If you click that link it will take you to a page with words that I like.
  6. Please know the formatting will be improved and that I do care about your reading experience.
  7. Subscribers (that’s anyone who got this post directly as an email), for now you will get notified in this manner (a link in a Jenny Goodguts post) when there are new issues at Hearthling. There is currently no way to subscribe to the newsletter.
  8. Eventually the list will be segmented and you’ll be able to choose to stay on this list and also join that one or receive one or the other or none.
  9. I wanted to write (sad face) at the end of the preceding line but decided against it, I wasn’t sure if I want cutesy to be my style. But then I added this line, for transparency.

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