Dear Friends


Lime-kiln on the bike path, and bikes in the truck (no more little kid bikes)
I posted this poem on this day last year, after a magical evening with a community of people who have held each other and listened to each other and played together for thirty years:

“Try this:
Sit in a circle at dusk with people you love.
Let it be when the swifts are flying.
Let there be a catbird with a whiskery voice in a spruce tree.
Speak your stories into the bowl of the space between you:
stories like a rich meal, the bitter, the savory, the sweet.
Let it get dark. The darkness will listen, too.
You can hear people listening when you speak in the dark.
You may light a candle if you have a candle.
Laugh together. Cry.
Let there be occasional questions,
occasional grunts, occasional exclamations of oh-I-hear-that!
Make a meal of the stories before you,
and eat your fill. Be nourished.
Be together in your stories.
Know that all these stories are your story, too.
Let there be a benediction,
words sung or spoken into the full dark,
accompanied by the chittering of bats,
good words to keep you always
in this circle where you belong.”
Beth Weaver-Kreider


“Each of us faces a time when the holy well within needs tending. When we’re no longer able to bestow blessings on others because we’ve overgiven, or when something precious has been taken from us, or life’s demands are too great on our fragile system. But when the moisture goes out of our lives, and we’re no longer able to see beauty or converse with magic, we must ask ourselves how we can replenish our well-ness.” – Dreamwork with Toko-pa
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“We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.” –Dietrich Bonhoeffer
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“We never belonged to you. / You never found us. / It was always the other way round.” –Margaret Atwood
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“Would you like to have an adventure now, or would you like your tea first?” –JM Barrie
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“There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you.” ~Zora Neale Hurston
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“…The knowledge of the heart is in no book and is not to be found in the mouth of any teacher, but grows out of you like the green seed from the dark earth…” -Carl Jung
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“Listen. . .with the ear of your heart.” –The Rule of St. Benedict
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“One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world.” –Malala Yousufzai


Gratitude List:
1. Biking in the woods with my boys–yes, again. Cool under the trees, cooler crossing the creeks.
2. That new vacuum cleaner! We can see how much dust is picked up when we vacuum a room. Thank you, Linda!
3. Sharing quiet moments in the morning with a smallish boy
4. Peaches! And ice cream.
5. The trees in the holler that help to keep the coolness in

May we walk in Beauty!

Leaving the Winter Malaise

nieghbor   limekiln
Love they Nieghbor–under the Route 30 bridge, and walking the trail toward the old lime kiln.
limekiln2   comma
One of the openings of the old lime kiln, and an Eastern Comma Butterfly on a poison ivy vine. Inside, the wings are as orange as a monarch. Outside, it looks like a leaf. February is a rather disconcerting moment of the year in which to observe a butterfly.
bridger   where-the-spring-appears
Lamppost by the bridge, and the source of a trailside spring.

This winter hasn’t been particularly cold or cruel. Lots of warmish days, very few nights of uncontrollable shivering, very little troublesome travel-weather. Perhaps it’s the temperament of the times as much as the season itself that has gotten me feeling like I am in an endless tunnel with no way out.  I feel like we’ve cemented our routine of go to school, come home, snack, bicker, eat, sleep, and start again. I haven’t been pushing the kids outside, haven’t been pushing myself outside. I’ve been feeling trapped and claustrophobic. Like winter.

I guess I just have to feel that existential malaise every winter, no matter how mild the weather. Then there comes a day, shortly after Brigid’s Day, when a new breeze blows, the vanguard of spring flowers begin to appear, and suddenly I can breathe again. Today was that day.

Gratitude List:
1. This day. Warm sun.
2. Walking on the Susquehanna River Trail with my guys.
3. Skunk. I don’t like that smell–and this evening’s burst was an eye-watering reminder of why this hollow is called Skunk Hollow–but it’s a good reminder that the wild ones still hold sway here.  And a reminder to continue to resist in skunk’s fashion. Don’t bite–just make a big stink.
4. A butterfly in February! (I don’t suppose it will make it through the next cold spell, but it was a lovely visitor to see today.
5. Public shared spaces: parks and trails and visitor centers.

May we walk in Beauty!