By Rachel Womelsduff Gough

RACHEL WOMELSDUFF GOUGH and her family ditched the city for a patch of earth in the Snoqualmie Valley, lovingly named The Birch Path. Cheered on by her husband and two blonde babes, Rachel learns by getting her hands dirty, whether it’s gardening, chicken farming, canning, neighboring, or adventuring with soulmates in wild places. She reads constantly and can’t live without coffee, flowers, and classic mystery stories. She writes at kindredmag.com.

Group dynamics

When my writing group started nearly seven years ago, it was an open group. Everyone who knew of it through word of mouth was welcome to meet at Shari’s diner on Monday nights for timed writes and sharing aloud. Each week it was a slightly different group as one person decided it wasn’t a good…

Do something unexpected

When my mother was young,  she was a somewhat apprehensive kid, afraid to try new things, on the shy side, easily hurt. She didn’t like to get dirty or touch bugs and animals. But when she was 12 years old, she saw the movie In Search of the Castaways, and everything changed. In the movie…

House plant barometer

Rhythms of work and rest are vital to our physical, mental, and spiritual health, but when you’re a parent there’s no break from the day-to-day care required. Parenting is a demanding job. You have to keep tiny humans alive every day while being nurturing and providing educational enrichment. There’s a lot of pressure on parents…

Better together

When you grow up in a religious family, unless you have parents who actively model and discuss otherwise, chances are you’ll internalize the implicit and sometimes explicit message that men are better suited for leadership, women should be submissive, and all will be well. This is only reinforced by popular culture, but in a religious…

Practices of community

I regretted it as soon as the words were out of my mouth. People started to stare at me, but instead of calming down or apologizing I kept shouting angrily, frustration mingling with embarrassment. Here I was, a grown woman, yelling at a grocery store employee because a sign taped to the credit card machine…

Motherhood vignette

My four-year-old son is having a rough day. His cardboard box spaceship wing broke, and his valiant efforts to repair it with packing tape are foiled when I see the tangled wad of sticky waste and tell him I’ll help him finish in the morning. His eyes fill with tears and his voice gets squeaky,…