Happy 420: Side-tracked by a Bible

April 20, 2024

I had high hopes for this year’s 420. I envisioned telling a tale of Ravens, and how they embody the magical archetype of the Trickster, divine paradox, the secret to life. But something happened yesterday that completely shocked my system. I am still reeling….

On the eve of 420, April 19, 2024, tucked within a chest of keepsakes – diaries, sketchbooks, yearbooks – I found my childhood Bible, a gift given to me from my mom, Lorraine Martin, on October 29, 1984.

I know the exact date because it was written by nine-year old me on the very first page: Presented to: Kerri Martin. From: Lorraine Martin. I suddenly remembered my mom died over a year ago (Jan 6, 2023) and was overcome with emotion, brought to my knees in a wave of tears.

I hadn’t ‘forgotten’ my mom died of course, I just hadn’t felt the intensity of it all for awhile.

Such a random, yet meaningful find, this Bible is, and what an amazing gift from my mom.

My copy of the Holy Bible: New International Version. NIV Children’s Edition. Published in 1978 by Zondervan Publishing is well worn, stained, with clumps of tissue-thin paper floating freely, no longer fastened to the spine. And, interestingly, it is missing the first 48 pages, starting on page 49 (my age, which is kind of weird, isn’t it?)

The most important part – the first three words: In the Beginning – is missing from my copy of the Bible. Coincidently (or not), I have also been working on a blog post about the first three words of the Bible, and how they inspired my new series: In Reflection, since January. It’s an interesting story, so please stay tuned!

On the cover of my Bible is an image of a deeply compassionate being filled with light and love. Jesus Christ, lovingly looking down at the content little lamb he’s cradling, surrounded by two adorable children. I loved that image when I was young.  And I loved that book. I tried to read it multiple times, but…

I took a picture of the cover, with the intention of sharing it in this post, but for some reason, I find myself wondering if Zondervan Publishing (yes, they still exist) might sue me for copyright infringement!? Or something related to unauthorized sharing of images from their copy of the Bible!? I know it sounds crazy, but it’s been a bit of a long 420 and the clock is ticking.

Finding this Bible last night was such an unexpected jolt. I have been thrown off course. In addition to my story about Ravens, I had planned to provide an update on my year of self care, initiated exactly a year ago, but that will have to wait. I got side-tracked by a Bible.

Typically, these yearly 420 posts are about my dad, Willard, and for the past two years have featured Great Horned Owls. This year, I am featuring some of my favorite photos from a trip to Sedona, Arizona, taken with my family, earlier this month. We celebrated my mom and spread some of her ashes in one of her favorite places. Enjoy 🙂

Happy 420 all!!! Until next time, continuing loving life and all things wild 🙂


  1. Marnie Schaetti

    Beautiful photos, as ever, Kerri. And what a find that Bible must have been. Brought your mother very close, I bet. ❤️

    • Kerri Martin

      It sure did – thanks so much Marnie 🙂

  2. Michelle

    Funny how life circles around and can
    bite you right in the butt when we are least expecting it…
    As usual, awe inspiring photography! That is one
    chill looking frog lol
    All the best, my friend…

    • Kerri Martin

      Totally! Thanks Michelle – that frog was very chill 🙂

  3. David Balcaen

    Huh? I read your post. I too have been dealing with the death of my mother. I delayed doing ANYTHING ABOUT IT for 9 months, I work and that was my excuse. Then I couldn’t talk much at a meeting one day. I just did not have anything to say. Long story short I made a call to our company’s psychologist and started a three month period of intense action to deal with my mom’s affairs and burial. I had not grieved. I was “too busy”. until my psyche said to me: “You have to stop and deal with this, You cannot force yourself by it. Stop and grieve.”

    I hope your grieving process is working out okay. Two years on I still have moments when I have to stop and remember, maybe a tear or two, it is all fine.

    • Kerri Martin

      awww I’m sorry for you loss David – thanks reading and commenting on my story 🙂

      • Kerri Martin

        Yes! I completely agree – it is very healing

    • Marnie Schaetti

      And 40 years on, I still have times when I need to stop. I think it’s how love and loss work.

  4. David Balcaen

    And photography helps. It connects me with the land, the creatures, the sky….I find wandering around looking is very contemplative, and the photos are simply the result of taking the time to look.


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