Isa’s Journal

Magical Thinking in 2022

“Character — the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life — is the source from which self-respect springs.”Joan Didion Every year I pen our kids a New Year’s Letter, but frankly, it’s also a primer for myself. So here’s the 2022 edition: My DEAR ones: Another year means another annual letter. This has been…

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Come Together Right Now

Giraffe Magic I lay the kibble in the palm of my hand and waited for the 14-foot Rothschild giraffe to amble over. On a long-delayed family trip, we were at Giraffe Manor on the first stop of our Kenyan tour. We were now vaccinated and more than able and willing to step onto another continent.…

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Chronicle of Philanthropy

My parents gave me a great deal — love, stewardship, security — all of which I took for granted until I sauntered out of their immediate care. But more importantly, they impressed upon all of their children the importance of paying it forward, of passing along good fortune to others. For decades my parents stewarded…

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Market Report

Loved seeing old friends Cindy and Luis Urrea! This summer, the studio joined a new community. We cannot afford a classic brick-and-mortar pop-up in Aspen, so our studio director Jennifer convinced me that the studio needed to join the ranks of the Aspen Farmer’s Market. So we applied, made the cut, and hustled to get…

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Life on Earth

“The whole of life is coming to terms with yourself and the natural world. Why are you here? How do you fit in? What’s it all about?”David Attenborough When I was seven, I released a candy wrapper out of an open car window to see it take flight. My father caught me in the act…

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woMangrove Story

If you wonder why I do this, it’s for the women on Chira and the many others like them we work with around the world. Meeting these communities and seeing firsthand how vulnerable they are to the impacts of climate change is a life-changing experience every time, even after more than a decade working on…

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Elk Dreams

There is no succinct beginning or end to a garden season. Rather, the seasons are on a constant loop with variations in tempo. Winter is when I regroup and lean into the next pattern, the next beat. A Colorado winter always induces a big sleep. I see my flowers and vegetable gardens disappear layer by gentle layer under…

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Into the Blue Again

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Anais Nin Every year I pen a New Year’s Eve letter to our kids. And then came this annus horribilis whose tagline should be: Wait, What? Really? WTF? Here’s an abridged version of my annual…

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Something to Write “from” Home About

These days constant upheaval is our new normal. The daily data is grim and this COVID tsunami will only get worse. But all around us, there is a generosity of spirit. People are dropping off food. People are planting victory gardens to feed others. Our health providers are global heroes. People are sharing their own…

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