About Margaret & the Courtyard

Margaret D. McGee

“In the Courtyard” is a reservoir of reflections, prayers, and poetry that spring from practices of mindfulness and attention. You’ll also find here books, classes, retreats, and other services that support mindful practices leading to authentic life.

I’m Margaret D. McGee, the owner of this site. Much of the material that appears here is written by me, joined by liturgists, poets, and preachers whose work I admire and enjoy sharing with you.

Paying Attention – Living Authentically

When I feel grounded in creation and connected through the stories and places of my life, I am better able to live authentically.

As a writer, speaker, and teacher, I work with various practices of attention and mindfulness to develop the sense of being grounded and connected in life.

Practices such as … keeping a nature journal walking and creating labyrinths … sharing our stories … writing poetrypraying in community … and celebrating special occasions at all stages of life … help me and others to slow down and meet wonder … see beauty … live with intention … travel a path of spiritual adventure and discovery … be open to truth … experience wholeness … and know that we are not alone.

My labyrinth path

Here I am with my family in Ohio. I’m the kid on the right, standing in front of Mom, who made the matching tiger cub jumpers.

I was born in Mansfield, Ohio, and moved to Washington State after completing a B.A. at Miami University and a M.A. at Ohio University, both in English.

After working as a car hop, secretary, academic adviser, and typesetter, I caught the wave of the software industry in the Pacific Northwest, attaining the position “master writer” at the Microsoft Corporation before leaving the company in 1994.

I’ve been a writer ever since I could read, and a professional writer and editor for most of my working life. My particular strength lies in communicating complex ideas in clear, accessible prose. You can find out more about my work as a freelance writer and editor at my freelance web site, margaretdmcgee.com.

I’m the author of Haiku – The Sacred Art and Sacred Attention, both published by SkyLight Paths. My first book, Stumbling Toward God, was published by Innisfree Press.

I’m a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Port Townsend, Washington, where I am a licensed lay preacher and writer of liturgical prayers. My litanies and prayers for high holy days have been used at St. Paul’s and other venues, including the Cathedral of St. John in Providence, Rhode Island.

As a liturgist and non-denominational celebrant, I enjoy developing unique and personal blessings and ceremonies for weddings and other blessed events.

My prose and poetry have appeared in such publications as Alive Now, The Living Church, Episcopal Life, Englewood Review of Books, Frogpond, The Heron’s Nest, Modern Haiku, bottle rockets, and  bear creek haiku. My plays have been selected for performance at the Port Townsend Playwright’s Festival and at Love Creek Production’s Short Play Festival in New York City.


The Courtyard’s banner shows an image of teamwork – a moment in the making of my home parish’s courtyard labyrinth – that melds into the image of a quiet walk on the completed courtyard. The banner’s black and white photograph was taken by Keith Fleming and appears courtesy of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Port Townsend, Washington. The color photograph was taken by Sigrid Cummings. The banner was put together by my husband, David Schroeder, who helps me make the Courtyard a place of beauty.

My deepest bow of thanks to all who have contributed of their creative work to these pages, and to every reader throughout the Courtyard’s life.