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Presence and absence

What is it about spending time in a cabin in the woods? Inevitably, doing so results in a certain amount of introspection. Is it a question of what is here or what is not here in this isolated space?

Here we find massive trees seeking the sky, shedding their rainbow leaves with every gust of wind. Deer are everywhere, admired in the rough while feared on the road.

Fish from the pond that is 100 feet from our door silently beckon to us. The knotty pine walls, ceilings and doorways suggest hundreds of years of growth and maturity.

Likewise, the furniture reminds us of the past from which we descended. We can imagine endless hours of rocking on a chair, an aged treasure chest and floors that reluctantly but knowingly creak.

What’s absent? Police cars and fire engine sirens are missing but not missed. We hear no dogs, no children and no intrusive trash collection vehicles.

Most importantly, we don’t subscribe to alarm clocks, urgent requests for teachers or laundry day. Time is a surprise package to be opened daily. It is filled with beautiful, curious babies, loving children and the hope that is implicit to tomorrow. Shalom.

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