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Holidays with family

Jerry and I spent Easter last year, Thanksgiving last year, Christmas last year and New Year’s Day this year without our children. Because of COVID, of course. This year, we have had two doses of vaccine, and we spent Easter with our daughter Mary Elizabeth and her husband Jesús. It was a splendid day. Mary […]

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Music is the sound of heaven

“The truth is that music is not a melody; it is a place in time,” says Joan Chittister, a Roman Catholic nun and author. “It is somewhere to go where no one else, no noise, no interruptions can intrude….It takes our noisy, crowded lives and quiets us in the orbit of the sublime.   Music is the […]

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500,000 blooming blossoms

Jerry and I visited the Dallas Arboretum today for the first time since the pandemic began. And, spring has arrived at the arboretum—with 500,000 blooming blossoms. Yes, 500,000! It was glorious. I felt as if I had survived the pandemic—even though I wore my mask and was careful to stay at least six feet away […]

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Inspired by plants

Now, on my morning walks, I am beginning to see flowers in bloom. They are a most welcome sight after the brutal freezing weather that plagued us for a week last month. “I am always inspired by plants and their capacity to remind us that growth is possible,” says Raquel Willis, writer and activist, “to […]

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Listening and validation

In Sue Monk Kidd’s book The Invention of Wings about the Grimke sisters, early advocates of women’s rights and abolition, Sarah Grimke asks Lucretia Mott, “Do you think I could become a Quaker minister?” Lucretia responds, “Sarah Grimke, you’re the most intelligent person I know. Of course, you could.” In an interview, Sue Monk Kidd […]

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Longings seized her

Sarah Grimke, born in 1792, was studying with a tutor when she reported: “Increasingly, during those classes, longings had seized me, foreign, torrential aches that overran my heart. I wanted to know things, to become someone. Oh, to be a son.” I am reading about Sarah Grimke, an early activist for abolition and women’s rights, […]

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I ask no favors

“I ask no favors for my sex,” wrote Sarah Grimke, who was born in 1792. “All I ask of our brethren is that, they will take their feet from off our necks and permit us to stand upright on that ground which God designed us to occupy.” I am reading about Sarah Grimke, an early […]

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Wisdom from the Buddha

In her book Holy Envy—Finding God in the Faith of Others, Barbara Brown Taylor takes her Religion 101 class to visit a Buddhist monastery. They listen to a Buddhist monk, dressed in an orange robe, lecture about “cultivating happiness.” “Have we ever  noticed, he asks, how quickly our unhappiness with not being in a relationship […]

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Don’t be afraid

I received my first dose of the COVID vaccine last week, but now I am worrying about getting the second dose. “I feel anxious,” I told my husband Jerry. “Don’t be afraid,” Michelle Obama advises. “Be focused. Be determined. Be empowered” Okay. I’ll drink some tea. I’ll take a walk. I’ll think about the peace […]

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A union with purpose

This country isn’t pristine and it isn’t perfect, Amanda Gorman said in her poem at President Joe Biden’s inauguration. We the successors of a country and a time When a skinny Black girl Descended from slaves and raised by a single mother Can dream of becoming president Only to find herself reciting for one And […]

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