Let us be the people who decide to be different from the crowd. Let us be the movers and shakers–the leaders–who show the rest of Arkansas how it’s done. Let us reject the narrative that it has to be either/or. Let us be weird and different from the whole world if that’s what it takes to also be wonderful. We can find the courage in our hearts to lock arms and stand together on the middle ground. Some might say I’m naive, but I know we can do it. Let this be the place where reconciliation begins!
This is a theme that’s been growing in my mind. Like those bulbs buried all winter in the dark, the other day it finally sprouted. I’d been watching people hoard, criticize, ignore, demand, and blame leaders, especially politicians. Fear and anxiety can spread across the world faster than a virus. I struggled daily trying to figure out my role, to come up with a spiritual vaccine I might offer. What could protect us from losing our better selves in the face of this crisis?
My favorite season is fall. Fall is football, hayrides, and War Eagle. It’s candles in pumpkins, a yellow harvest moon. Crisp mornings and cool nights. It’s Harper’s birthday, deer jerky, and Thanksgiving. It is waking up to scenes like this picture, to mountainsides ablaze with vibrant color. But it’s also darkness by 6:00. A prelude to winter, to bitter cold, to the death of many beautiful things.
Every day I leave the Triple F Ranch to enter the world of academia. In academia I spend a lot of energy in conversations about language, perception, and communication. I do a lot of critical thinking. In between classes I take forays into my writing life where I think about poverty, and justice, and hope and Jesus (and coffee and kids and fiction and memoir and Guideposts devotions). And sometimes I come home with a headache.