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view-cathy-feat-longBy Cathy Hird

December gets darker each day until the solstice. It gets colder and stormier beyond that. Still for me, this month is a time to ponder hope. What do we hope for? How do we move toward that vision? In the darkest and stormiest times, what helps us to hold on to hope?

The ancient wise man Isaiah in a dark time in Israel wrote of the mountain of the Lord as an image of hope. He described a hill where the wolf and lamb lie down together, where cow and bear feed side by side, where there is peace.

hand-featBy Cathy Hird

When I started farming, we did our hay in square bales and fed it in long wooden feeders. We tried to make sure there was a space for each ewe's head so they could all eat as soon as the hay was put down. Still, the end of every winter we would find a couple really skinny sheep. These were the ones who got shouldered out of the way so that the big ones could eat more.

cathy-silence-regBy Cathy Hird

Recently, I watched someone play a djimbe style drum and noticed not just the way they made the drum resonate but the way they moved their hands to make spaces between the beats. To create the rhythm, the drummer had to tap with fingers and hand but also had to create silence between the strokes.

cathy-connections-regBy Cathy Hird

The word between calls to mind the network between people, the links that connect places or things. Two people are connected by blood ties, by where they live, by the tasks they taken on together and activities shared. Two places are linked by the road between them. Wires connect telephones.

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