— Katrina Kenison

Be the one who, when you walk in,
Grace shifts to the one who needs it most.
Even if you’ve not been fed,
Be bread.

~ Rumi

Spring is coming here in New Hampshire, but slowly. In my garden the first blooms of delicately hued hellebores and sunny daffodils are welcome reminders that we really are emerging at last. For both plants and people there are better, brighter days ahead. And yet, after all we’ve been through during this long hard year, perhaps it’s only natural to find ourselves stepping hesitantly into the new season. The weather app predicts six…

(answer, and you may win a book!)

— Katrina Kenison

Yes, it’s been a year.

A year since we counted the rolls of toilet paper in the closet, filled our pantries with rice and beans, gave up looking for hand sanitizer, closed our doors, and watched our country shut down with an abruptness no one could begin to process at the time.

At a family Zoom gathering Sunday night, four of us gathered around the virtual dinner table and exchanged still-fresh memories from last March, especially the moments when it first dawned on us that life as we knew it had already slipped away.

For me there was a teary…

“In times of deep darkness, we not only need light, we need to be light for one another.” ~ Parker Palmer

It’s quiet here. After ten and a half months of intense family togetherness, with first three, and then four, of us living together under one roof, my husband and I are once again a couple. The house is still, the solitary hours unspooling like thread. I could sit on the couch staring out the window until dark, and no one would know or care or wonder what’s for lunch. This morning I automatically filled the coffee pot with nine…

We’re only here for a minute.
We’re here for a little window.
And to use that time to catch
and share shards of light
and laughter and grace
seems to me the great story.
~ Brian Doyle

As I sit in my kitchen typing, looking out at the mountains I know so well and listening to the comforting, familiar sounds of our house being fully lived in, I can almost trick myself into believing for a moment that 2020 didn’t happen.

There’s no sign of it in the frozen winter landscape beyond our windows. The birds at the winter feeder come and go as they always have, bright spots of life and color against the grayness of the bare trees. In the living room, the lights on the Christmas tree twinkle for one last December day. …

We were supposed to fly to New Orleans on Friday to meet our son Henry for his spring break. Instead, Henry was able to get a last-minute flight home to New Hampshire. He closed up his apartment in Tuscaloosa knowing he might not return till fall, shipped a box of books, filled two suitcases, and patiently listened to all my instructions about sanitizing his seat on the plane.

Henry’s senior musical theatre students were supposed to be in New York city this week, auditioning the numbers they’ve worked on all year before a roomful of agents and producers. Instead, they…

By the time I step out of the shower, my husband is already downstairs in the kitchen. The rich, cinnamon smell of French toast wafts up to the steamy bathroom, mixing with the scent of my citrus body lotion. The day awaits. But for a moment here, after I towel off and run a brush through my hair, I stand still, quiet, noticing everything.

At the table, my husband has laid out a placemat for me, my cloth napkin in its ring. Dawn light pours through the tall windows. I measure out coffee, cut up fruit, choose a mug from…

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. ~ Viktor E. Frankl

Snow falls softly as I type these words. We’re in the hushed depths of a New Hampshire winter here, eagerly noting each extra minute of daylight, resisting the urge to count the days till spring, still a bit astonished by the way a few inches of fresh powder so completely transforms the world beyond our windows. …

“What is happiness except the simple harmony between a person and the life they live?” ~ Albert Camus

I have a friend who rose before dawn for six hundred days in a row. On every one of those mornings he took a cold shower, practiced a Kundalini yoga kriya, and exhaled a hundred vigorous Sat Nams into the dark. Along the way, he reported, he fell back in love with his life. He lost weight, found contentment, parented three kids and took a second job. He began teaching yoga himself and wearing white.

His dedication to the spiritual path was…

Sixty is not middle-aged. Not even close. Sixty is a reckoning with the truth of mortality, with change, with a new sense of myself as finite.

Sixty is an expanded awareness of time passing. It’s wondering where the years went and, too, marveling at the breadth and depth of the journey — past, present, future. Sixty is standing on a threshold, contemplating the beginning of the end. To reach this place, alive and relatively unscathed, feels like both serendipity and blessing. Sixty is a more respectful understanding of fate. It’s the small but real comfort of being the youngest of…

“The simplest acts of kindness are far more powerful
than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

The other night at dinner I sat next to a dear friend I rarely get to see. For his 60thbirthday, Randy and his husband had taken over a small restaurant they love and were hosting a beautiful meal for about two dozen people. “No gifts,” the invitation had said, “just dinner with good friends.” …

Katrina Kenison

Author of The Gift of an Ordinary Day, Magical Journey, and Moments of Seeing. Writing about kindness, truth, presence: you know, the intangible and invisible.

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