Blog

5 days ago

Mary Pipher

On July 4 at dusk, the full moon rose over the lake and the pines. As the sky grew darker, fireworks saluted the moon. The fleeting lights of the moment hailed the eternal. No matter how showy the fireworks, they could not touch the moon. I was grateful for that. Grateful I could find in the night sky something beyond this moment in time. (Photo credit: Heidi Piccini.) ...

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1 month ago

Mary Pipher

Lately, I have noticed that even my most careful friends are growing weary of the stay at home orders. Most of us are much more cautious than governmental guidelines, but we are doing things such as seeing our friends, getting haircuts and hugging our grandchildren.

Many of us haven’t really been out in three months. When we first sheltered in place, we were fearful of death. Our brain stems or lizard brains had us on high alert. Many tragic stories kept us that way for several weeks. However, it is not physiologically possible to stay on high alert for three months. By today, we are careful because our forebrain reminds us this is the right thing to do. However, our midbrain, the mammal brain, is telling us something different. We want to see our friends and family, go out to eat, or shop at a farmers market. We want to be the social humans we are designed to be. This is a simplification, of course, but essentially our lizard brain is exhausted, our mammal brain wants company and our forebrain, which is the weakest force field, orders us to be logical.

During the bombing of London during WWII, at first almost everyone ran for the bomb shelters, but after a while, many people ignored the signals and slept at home and worked through the raids. They no longer could respond to fear. We may be reaching that point. However, if we do loosen up our restrictions, let’s do it as safely as we can. Wear masks, stay outdoors at gatherings, keep up with social distancing. Right now incidence and death rates are decreasing almost everywhere. If we relax a little but do it properly, perhaps we can start interacting face to face with our people again.
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1 month ago

Mary Pipher

Summer heat has arrived. The catalpas are in full bloom with their blossoms falling like snow on our sidewalks. The roses, daisies, indigo flowers, irises, bachelor buttons and primroses are bursting resplendent from our gardens. The strawberry moon is just beginning to wane from its golden splendor on Friday night. And last night, for the first time since late February, I went out on a Saturday night. Jim’s band played at a winery and I sat with friends in the sultry heat deeply enjoying myself. Music, non-virtual people, and a change of scene gave me hope for the future.

And, as my life grows a bit easier, I feel more hope for our country. Maybe COVID 19 is on the wane and maybe, after 400 years, we will finally address racial inequality in this country.
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2 months ago

Mary Pipher

This morning before sunrise, the sky before me was a gorgeous fabric with powder blue and banana yellow stripes at the bottom and pleats of gold and gray above. Holmes Lake glowed metallic pink in a newly-greened park. All this beauty was a counterweight to my sad heart. ...

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2 months ago

Mary Pipher

Last Friday, Jim and I went morel hunting with my son and daughter-in-law. Instead of Lincoln Journal Star, NPR and the New York Times, we had river, oaks, frogs and morels. On Friday night I sautéed our portion of mushrooms in butter and olive oil. As much as I enjoyed hunting morels, I liked eating them even more. They taste like ancient deep forests, like something that has been here long before humans became a species. When I eat morels, I feel as if I am tasting time. ...

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