Inspired by Derek Sivers , this page includes a sample of what I’m thinking about and working on right now. Last updated December 26, 2020.

I thought this period between Christmas and New Year’s would be a good time to catch up on my now page. I won’t pretend that this Christmas has been normal for the vast majority of people and I’m certainly squarely in that camp. Usually, we spend most of the day over at my mom’s house, surrounded by my siblings and significant others from far and near. This year, the rising COVID infection rates put a damper on that, so we swung by, as masked as bandits, and exchanged presents. I haven’t been in full health, either, as has been the case for a while. Sometimes things seem to get worse before they get better. That applies here to me personally and in a broader sense (as the media keeps reminding us).

All is not without hope, though. Even when many journalists try and dampen our expectations for change brought about by the vaccine, substantial news is coming out that sounds a note of optimism we haven’t heard in a while. As for me, I’ve got some new pieces of the puzzle as to why I haven’t been feeling well for the last couple of years. The diagnostic net was cast wide and yielded some solid data. The problems that showed up are treatable, but it will take a little while before I’m really feeling better consistently. So, I count myself in this boat with others, having to wait out a long winter.

One thing I found helpful on the subject of lasting through the dark and cold of winter is this piece by Elizabeth Dias from the New York Times. Some societies count the years or their members by the number of winters they’ve survived, just as this beautiful desktop wallpaper commemorates the survivors of COVID. This quote from the Times piece sticks with me.

“I have spent some long, scary nights waiting for the sun to come up. There have also been some long, barren seasons when I feared the sap would never rise again,” Barbara Brown Taylor, an author and Episcopal priest, reflected. “The hardest thing is to keep trusting the cycle, to keep trusting that the balance will shift again even when I can’t imagine how. So far it has.”

Sometimes it’s hard to imagine a different tomorrow when the bloom of spring will welcome us to new life. To be clear, I have nothing against winter itself, snug inside of a warm house by the fire. Nevertheless, even with modern comforts, the winter metaphor, with its long dark nights and short days, is a powerful one. As Christians, the celebration of the birth of Christ reminds us that, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light.” (John 1:5, CEB)

May we be able to perceive the light of Christ this coming year more than ever.

Robert Rackley @frostedechoes

Made with in North Carolina.
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