Photo by Elizabeth Halt
Photo by Elizabeth Halt

Entries organized under stories for the wide-eyed wonderer

good night from a great horned owl

March 27, 2017

who whowhowho who who.

it is the hoot of a great horned owl, floating through the dark night and into my bedroom window at thirty second intervals.

like the rattling bugle call of the sandhill crane, the low, deep, full call of the owl touches me deeply, in the place that is always wordless.

who whowhowho who who.

it says:

be still.
all is well.
be still.

(and of course, that’s not really what the owl is saying, because the call is not directed toward me at all. but at the same time – i hear both the owl and my heart say – it really is.)

the night the stars sang

July 5, 2016

elizabethhalt.com | the night the stars sang

it was 2am in the morning and i was outside with the pup. my friend orion had gone south for the summer; in his absence, i stood & marveled at the milky way.

days of rain had finally lifted. the now cloudless sky was the color of india ink and the stars were crisp + plentiful.

all of a sudden, i noticed the silence.

i live next to a swamp, so there is a constant din of crickets from dusk till dawn. that night, the crickets were silent.

all of a sudden, the silence was filled with a wordless melody. it was everywhere – above & around & within me.

as i listened closely, i realized that it was the stars, vibrating a song of joy + praise + thanksgiving.

i haven’t heard the grass speak – yet. but, i have heard the stars sing.

over two years ago, my friend relyn told me this. ever since, i’ve been watching, waiting, listening.

but until now, i’d been listening with my ears, when i should have been listening with my heart.

i am a tree hugger

May 9, 2016

elizabethhalt.com | i am a tree hugger

the day my grampa fell in the kitchen, i hugged a tree.

it wasn’t my first time.

the first time i hugged a tree, i felt a little silly.

i waited until i was sure no one was watching, and then i wrapped my arms around one. (i think i had read that hugging trees was a good grounding practice, and i lived primarily from my head at the time.)

as i let my body rest on the sturdy tree trunk, i felt my stress + anxiety fall away. after that, i went to the trees often.

the day my grampa fell, i really needed to hug one.

he couldn’t get up and my grama couldn’t get to the phone so he propped himself up with his arms and waited. my mom & sister & i stopped by their house on the way to a hike and found him there – a few hours later.

as i sat with them that afternoon, emotions roiled beneath the surface. i had been spending more & more time at my grandparents’ house, but that was the first time i realized that i felt sad + scared + completely out of my element.

when i was relieved, i drove directly to a favorite trail and walked into the woods.

“can i hug you?” i asked a tree.

silently, the tree said yes.

i wrapped my arms around the trunk, rested my cheek on its rough bark, and let the tears fall.

that day, something happened.

“there, there,” i heard the tree say, and i felt long thin arms wrap around me.

the day my grampa fell was the first time a tree hugged me back.

postcards from the wild

November 18, 2015

elizabethhalt.com | postcards from the wild : a squirrel named christopher

{an irregular series of postcards from our wild friends. this one is from a squirrel named christopher. previous postcards: viola, fred, constance, sam.}

it’s so fun to be me!

one of my favorite games to play is to run around & around & around & around & around a tree until i can hardly stand up straight and then i scamper up the tree trunk to see how quickly i can reach the top while i’m still dizzy.

i haven’t fallen yet, but i’ve come close a few times.

(you want to play this game too now, right? you can! or you can play the human version of this game which involves rolling down a very grassy hill and then walking in a straight line.)

your friend, christopher

orion, my friend

October 16, 2015

elizabethhalt.com | orion, my friend

i said hi to (the constellation) orion the other night. he is back in the northern sky after a summer in the southern hemisphere.

i said hi.
i thought friend.

his hello-reply boomed across the star-studded sky.

now i wonder: can a booming voice be silent?

in his case, it was.

i never hear his voice with my ears, but i feel it in my heart.

the color of summer

July 12, 2015

elizabethhalt.com | the color of summer

as seen through the eyes of a wandering fairy.

this reminds me of a story.

did you know that she used to have a twinkle in her eye? it went out for an afternoon walk one day and wandered into a field of flowers. the twinkle wanted to come home, it really did, but it nestled underneath a daisy for a nap and was wooed on awakening by a butterfly who saw it and fell madly in love. the two of them set up house together underneath an overgrown mushroom. when winter came, the twinkle grew tired of outdoor living, but it just couldn’t find its way back to its girl.

bedtime stories with atlas

January 14, 2015

today, following my excitement led me to create this.

because atlas likes me to tell him a bedtime story, and maybe you (&/or a beloved child) would too.

(want more stories? check out the story club! it’s like a fruit of the month club, only with lighthearted + delightful stories.)

a letter from santa claus

December 10, 2014

elizabethhalt.com | a letter from santa claus

{a story from the archives. because it makes me happy. because it is the season.}

dear savannah,

brrrrrrrrr, it is cold at the north pole right now. it might be just as cold as north dakota.

the elves in the stable are working round-the-clock to keep the water in the reindeer’s water dishes thawed. it seems to freeze solid every hour. when they miss a bowl, the reindeer bump their noses on the ice when they go to take a drink. almost all of the reindeer have bruises on their noses now. even rudolph.

did you write a letter to me this year? mrs. claus says i’m getting old because sometimes i forget things. i am getting old, but i never forget the important things, like where you live or how old you are. i do, however, often forget where my glasses are. (usually, they are in my beard. it is such a big fluffy beard that i often put my glasses in there for safekeeping and then forget about them.)

are you enjoying the holiday season? there is so much wonder and magic in the air right now. you can watch the snowflakes sparkle in the lamplight. you can giggle at the icicles on atlas’s chin. you can see the colorful shadows on the wall behind the christmas tree. you can watch the chickadees as they hop from branch to branch. you can find the green of the evergreens hidden beneath their winter coat of snow.

mrs. claus and i love this time of year. we drink hot cocoa and swap stories about the people we love. sometimes we feel sad because we miss the elves that have retired and gone back to their villages, so we cry for a while and then give each other a big hug.

(silly me. i am getting old. i don’t need to tell you about wonder and magic. you can find it anywhere. i heard how you found the mardi gras beads and made a rainbow.)

it’s fun to think of you getting older, savannah. i hope you know how special you are and how very much you are loved, exactly the way you are.

it’s time for me to say goodbye now. i need to bring some soup to the chief elf. he has a cold and his nose won’t stop running. it is dripping all over the presents.

don’t forget your friend santa claus, and please leave me a cookie! i love pumpkin raisin, just like your auntie nibby.

merry christmas.

love, santa claus

do you know someone who would love their very own letter from santa claus?

here’s a way for you to delight them!

hello gorgeous

September 2, 2014

elizabethhalt.com | hello gorgeous

once upon a time, there lived a girl named lily. her hair was the color of flax, her blue eyes were as wide as the sea, and she was wiser than anyone realized.

one day, lily looked in the mirror and saw a flaxen-haired blue-eyed girl looking back at her. the girl in the mirror looked just as surprised and delighted as lily felt.

the two girls smiled at each other.

“hello gorgeous,” the girl whispered to lily. then she blew lily a kiss and waved goodbye. lily waved and blew kisses back.

as the girl in the mirror turned away, her whisper floated through the mirror and landed in lily’s heart and she knew that she was loved.

the end.

bedtime stories with savannah

August 29, 2014

every night, savannah and i lie in the dark and tell stories. i thought you might like to join us, in case you have a 3 year old who wants “another story!” too.

(like this? it’s essentially a miniature version of the story club, so you might like that too.)