It’s been a while since I checked in here on a Monday, so I thought Holy Week would be a good time to do it. I hope you are all healthy and happy and enjoying the occasional bouts of spring — at least here in upstate New York — that give us hope that winter really is going to end, and soon. It feels like a figurative end to winter as well, as more and more folks get their vaccines and the hope of returning to in-person gatherings seems like a not-too-distant reality. I held back on saying a return to “normal,” because I don’t think we should return to normal. I hope and pray that this pandemic has taught us what’s important and what’s unnecessary and what is simply holding us back from true happiness in this life. Let’s not forget the hard lessons we’ve learned over the past year. I say that for myself as much as for anyone else because it’s easy to backtrack and return to old — and not necessarily positive — habits. Path of least resistance and all. So here’s to holding onto the pandemic lessons that opened our eyes and hearts and letting go of the pandemic fears and anxiety. That being said, WEAR A MASK until we are totally out of the woods. On to our Manic Monday rundown…
Soundtrack: These days I toggle back and forth between Taylor Swift’s latest albums (Folklore and Evermore), the yoga class playlists I create on Spotify — you can follow my Spotify channel HERE — and my latest Audible purchase, in this case Beauty: The Invisible Embrace by Irish poet John O’Donohue. I have been totally enthralled with the gorgeous readings of poets O’Donohue and David Whyte. My previous Audible listen had been Being Ram Dass, which was pretty good although I will admit that I made it through “only” 15 of the 18 hours. I had to surrender at that point.
Bookshelf: I just finished Dusk Night Dawn: On Revival and Courage by Anne Lamott, which at times made me laugh out loud and at other times made me long for the Anne Lamott whose writing I fell in love with years ago. This one felt a little rushed, like she needed to get a COVID-related book out there before it was too late. I would have preferred a more thoughtful book that did not need to respond to COVID but responded instead to the human condition that exists with or without a pandemic. Maybe I was just cranky when I read it. Still worth your time, for sure, especially if you are a Lamott fan. I guess I just expect more from one of my writing heroes. I am currently reading a bunch of yoga-related books, including Radiant Rest: Yoga Nidra for Deep Relaxation and Awakened Clarity by Tracee Stanley. This is a book that’s as beautiful to look at and hold as it is to read. And, of course, I’ve been reading along with my own book of Lenten reflections, Not By Bread Alone. It’s always interesting to me to see what I wrote more than a year ago and how it applies to life today.
Menu: We opted to do a big Palm Sunday dinner yesterday since ham is not something our girls will eat — one vegetarian and one who eats only poultry. It was nice to set the dining room table on a non-holiday and break out the good china. Alongside our ham was homemade mac and cheese and roasted asparagus. We’ll be doing chicken/tofu parm and pasta for Easter dinner, so that’s something delicious to look forward to. Dennis has been cooking up lots of amazing meals lately — Thai chicken, pork chops pizzaiola, turkey dinners on random weekends. We’ve been eating far too well over here, and the scale shows it.
Viewfinder: I’m loving the signs of spring outside my window and the funny furry friends who keep us company every day. I remember at this time last year how consumed I was with the birds at the feeder and the bright green buds pushing up through the earth. Every single thing felt like a sign of hope in the midst of fear. This year it feels like a sign of hope that we have made it through the worst of the pandemic. I am already getting out onto our deck every time the temps rise and the sun comes out, sipping my coffee or wine (depending on the hour) and listening to the persistent cardinals high up in the trees calling to one another and the less showy but still delightful sparrows and juncos and robins pecking around near the feeder. Life is good. Here are a few shots:
Datebook: The big news at our house is that four out of five Pousts have received our first vaccines, all last week in four different locations. It felt like a great sigh of relief, and I can’t wait until we can get our second round. Easter is just a few days away, so that will be a day to celebrate, especially since we will see Olivia this week for the first time in months. I’ll be at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany on Easter morning for Mass with Bishop Scharfenberger at 11 a.m. Join us if you’re in town! And a few weeks down the road is Chiara’s Confirmation. Since she has chosen my dad as her sponsor (and Helena as her name in honor of my paternal grandmother) I’m hoping my dad and stepmom will be able to visit. We have not seen them since Christmas 2019, which is just crazy. Can’t wait to be together again.
GPS: Other than my excursion up to South Glens Falls to get my vaccine, my beautiful “lava-orange” Sante Fe doesn’t get much of a workout. I head into the office three days a week now and over to Jai Yoga School several times a week to teach or take classes. That’s pretty much the confines of my world at this point. Oh, and physical therapy for a back issue, although I hope that will wrap up this week. Essentially I don’t need a GPS and rarely drive more than six miles at a clip. I’m hoping that as the weather improves and our vaccines kick in that will change. Maybe we’ll even get to go on a vacation this summer, although that’s still a long shot. Here’s hoping, for all of us.
Have a peaceful and prayerful Holy Week. Spend some time in silence in the presence of God, even if you can’t get to a church due to COVID concerns. Just make some time to be present to this special time in our Church year. If you’d like a little Holy Week inspiration, check out this beautiful video message from Lutheran pastor Nadia Bolz Weber: