Hello from the farm on the Easter Shore of Maryland.
Now a city girl my roots are deep and strong in the soft earth of the farm. When our family escapes to the farm I find myself holding my breath to savor the smell of fresh, exposed earth in my lungs. As the calendar rolls from Advent, to Christmas and then into Epiphany the farm and farmer rest.
With January underway I look around and wonder how everyone is feeling. There’s so much expectation with the New Year. I tend to really build it up in my head… “It’s a fresh start… for my career, my family, my health, my home! I’m going to seize the day! I’m going to be SUPER ME!” And I know a lot of you have a similar inner dialogue.
But then life plays out...
- Andy Soper
I have believed for some time that the bottom is going to drop out. I fear that the second law of thermodynamics is true for all things – the foundation of a house, the relationship between lovers, the clear understanding of a passage we’ve known for centuries. It is all in a steady state of decay. Decay will win.
My profession – if one can call it that – leads me to interact with industries that strip mine humanity. I get paid to work in the wreckage of human trafficking. Colonialism at its finest. Exploit the natural resources. Ascribe a value to the population being subjugated. When finished, assert power on a new caste. Repeat until you are overthrown or colonized yourself.
This is not the land of hope. I’m not sure what can survive there.
Wait! Please don’t go! Don’t think, “ah, another kale recipe” and scoot on by. This one. This is a keeper.
First things first: double this recipe. Always. It’s that good, and you’re always going to hope for leftovers. As a family of four, we eat a good portion for dinner, then I sneak a bowl as a late night snack, a small bowl for breakfast the next morning… and then generally inhale the rest straight from the Pyrex when I return from the gym. YUM.
Hello from the Waterburg Game Preserve, South Africa, where the cool air amplifies the crunch of the dry grass on morning walks. A long stare at the sky puts Johannesburg’s busyness into perspective. Capturing moments, and the surrounding beauty, reminds me of life’s true purpose... gratefulness wells up within that I am here to enjoy it.
- Jared Ayers
Crying and staring in public aren’t things that a typical educated person in the Northeast would ever be caught dead doing. But in the spring of 2010, both happened in abundance at an exhibit entitled “The Artist is Present,” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Marina Abramovic, a Yugoslav-born performance artist, invited passers-by to become participants in her exhibit. The setup was simple, elemental: a table, with two chairs; Marina in one, in a long, sweeping white or red dress. And in the other, anyone who wanted to sit down. Anyone who wanted to could sit down across the table from Marina for as short or long as she or he liked. For two and a half months, for every hour the MoMA was open, Marina sat there.
- Adam Lorenz
God with us: three simple words that hold so much meaning and potential for us all. They can serve as source of power, strength, and confidence. There is a temptation that lay just under the surface to see our Emmanuel as far off, dominantly ruling His creation. In doing so, we’d dangerously trade out ‘God with us’ for ‘God over us’.