Isa’s Journal

Come Together Right Now

Isa with a Giraffe. 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…

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Chronicle of Philanthropy

Isa at her work table. 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.…

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Market Report

Love 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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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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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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Elk Dreams

Elk above my home. 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…

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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 Christmas amaryllis. 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…

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Something to Write “from” Home About

A drawing in my sketchbook. 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.…

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Secretary of the Interior

In house model Fiona with one of her favorite pastimes. In house model Fiona with one of her favorite pastimes. I was a newlywed when my husband and I watched the twin towers collapse in real-time from our loft building a mile north of the attack. We knew then that the world would never be…

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Double Twenty

Father Christmas among the Peonies Each year I pen a New Year’s letter to our kids. Here’s what I wrote heading into 2020. December 31 My dear hearts: Another year is filing out the door and it’s time for this letter. Two thousand nineteen saw great upheaval in our country, in our world, and 2020…

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