Lara Vesta

Jefferson Monthly Contributor

Lara Vesta is a writer, artist and Celebrant who loves good pens and playing outside.  She teaches classes in self-care, ceremony and storytelling both online and live, and is currently working on her second handwritten book.  She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and three children.   

1. They have two juveniles that follow too close, feathers puffing, wings in flurry, beaks open, loud in their demand to feed. To be fed. But it is too late for that, they are out of the nest. It is time for them to feed themselves.

This September my children will both be in middle school. A teaching has begun. I no longer need to pack their lunches or do their laundry. I still need to drive them to school and be familiar with all of their friends. We are balanced for a year or three between, like the crow child on its branch.


What do 50,000 dying bees look like?   A writhing scatter of black, swept by early morning brooms at a Target parking lot in Wilsonville, OR.   It is old news now, all the way back in June, but it sticks with me:  50,000 bees, feeding on the linden trees.  A neonicotinoid pesticide was applied to the trees to control aphids, which create a sticky secretion that was dripping on cars in the parking lot.

In September of 1998 I waltzed into the basement offices of Jefferson Public Radio on the SOU campus in a silk dress and green platform clogs. I was a recent graduate of said university, with a degree in English and a desperate desire to write professionally. In the year since my graduation I’d participated in some pretty spectacular failures: rejection from six MFA programs, well over twenty letters of refusal from small presses, pinned to a bulletin board at home, and my life savings blown on a solo trip to Europe.


Apr 1, 2011

“We are at the threshold. We are going to see change.

If we can create the vision in our heart, it will spread.

As women of wisdom, we cannot be divided. As bringers

of light we have no choice but to join together.”

—Agnes Baker Pilgrim


Mar 1, 2011

In October of the year following my divorce I moved three blocks away from my children’s father. I hadn’t worked outside the home for almost six years, my children were five and three, and I couldn’t afford the mortgage payment on our family home. I was having trouble finding an apartment with no work history and I was in graduate school at the time, still parenting during the days, and despairing as to how I would add a job into the equation.

Wild Carrot

Oct 1, 2010

“What will you do with your one wild and precious life?  —Mary Oliver

On this night the rain has come, and early autumn blows the petals from the sunflowers. Maybe by the time this writing is published we will have experienced that brief return to summer so blessedly common in Oregon.  Maybe not.  And so, I think of endings.  TS Eliot says in my beginning is my end, and Albert Goldbarth in his wildly beautiful essay “After Yitzel”, says nothing ever really ends, or if it does end then the impulse is to make it again.

To redo, do over, re-nova. 


Southern Oregon is the place I am always attempting to return to, the landscape of my dreams, the one that fills me with a longing that spills out when I reach that final stretch of I-5, what my children call “The Tallest Mountain,” Sexton Summit, and we begin our descent into the land I love.

I still call it home, even after all these years away.