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It’s just a date, right? Nothing more? Except this approaching anniversary feels like a lot more.
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One year since my family and my community (and maybe yours, too?) “locked down.” One year since the virus became a problem “here,” and not just “there.” No longer just a news headline, now it was my local friend sick and maybe dying, my train trip to NYC canceled, my kids schooling at home. No longer a news item I could choose to ignore.
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I think it feels like more than a date because a year ago I could never have imagined we’d still be at least somewhat “locked-down” by safety protocols but also by my own lingering cough and fatigue that still (two months after getting sick) makes it hard some days to get out of bed.
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This isn’t really a story. Or, if it is, the ending still feels a long way off. I’m simply here learning to let go of control, learning to hold on to peace.
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Here I am, again, watching and waiting for spring. 🌱
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One year later, how are you?
I miss the thing that is everywhere right now. I miss color.
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The sky is white and the ground is white, and it feels as if blue and green are imagined things I once dreamed about. But haven’t I been told that white light holds every color?
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So here I am waiting for spring to reveal what is already here and has already been given.
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#amaplehurstwinter #savourtheseasonalshift #thisiswinter
Here’s how the story (of the weekend) begins: sunshine, snow, and an old stone wall.
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#weareplacemakers #amaplehurstwinter #seasonspoetry
My view today while listening to an opera singer open up Bach’s St John Passion spiritually and musically. ❄️ This gift was my work as I edited this last video for our Lenten Quiet Day in the Black Barn Online. Honestly, I think the ticket price (just $19.99) is worth it for this accessible yet rich introduction to a masterpiece, but we’ll have reflections on painting (Georgia O’Keeffe!), poetry (T.S. Eliot!)), and even pretzel making.
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You can learn more at www.blackbarnonline.com or follow the link in my “Lent” story above. ❄️ It’s pretty much my dream come true to cultivate a space where spiritual formation is linked to the arts and all of us—whether we’re artists or not—are welcomed into the experience.
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#throughtheatticwindow #blackbarncollective
I wake up tired. I go to bed tired. But I keep telling myself, if I had to get sick, it’s really not so bad to be sick in winter when even the sun sits heavy in the sky, and the light slides right through the window, as if seeking warmth or company.
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#thisiswinter #weareplacemakers #seasonspoetry #ourmoodydays #homeisaplaceofwonder
This is not just any tree.
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This is not just any boy.
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For those who haven’t read my memoir Placemaker (featuring this and quite a few other trees!), this is a white oak, but it is also a Penn Oak. Here in Pennsylvania, a Penn Oak is an oak tree that was already growing the last time William Penn visited his fledgling colony. This tree was planted around 1643. It might already have been 50 years old when Penn was last here.
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I tromped through the snow yesterday with this boy who shares my smile. He’s only been on this earth for 14 years. In every way, he is small next to this tree. Yet he isn’t small at all. Not to me.
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Years are funny things to measure by, aren’t they? They matter so much. They matter not at all. 💚
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#weareplacemakers #maplehursttrees #pennsylvaniaisbeautiful #aseasonalyear #thisiswinter
I make myself shrug on a coat, tug on my boots, determined to feel better, I WILL my legs to move, move toward the mailbox at the street.
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Startled by birdsong in the bare maple tree, I lift my head. Far, far above the tree, far up in the blue: a bald eagle, sudden grace.
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#homeisaplaceofwonder #rootsandsky #noticepausetreasure #nothingisordinary
It’s as if I wear a weighted blanket now. One no one can see. One month after the virus hit (yes, THAT virus), I don’t feel it much in the morning, but the heft of it grows, and I spend most afternoons in bed, my brain as heavy as my limbs.
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It’s not the story line I’d choose. I like the one where I “bounce back,” full of compassion for those who get very sick. A mild cold or an urgent crisis. I probably wouldn’t give much thought to what lies in between.
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What lies in between? Weakness. That’s all. A not-very-exciting story.
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But a story, nonetheless. One that unfolds in deep places, as if under layers of snow.
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Not a loud happening. Perhaps it is a quiet becoming. A forming. A shaping. And who knows what spring will reveal. ❄️🌿
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#amaplehurstwinter #throughtheseoldwindows #ourmoodydays #daysofsmallthings

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