Over a year since the last post. Realisa triggers nostalgia like a place I once lived but can’t return. And yet, I seek that home coming. It has been a year of the pandemic tinting and tainting most of life. It is like a faint whiff of cigarette smoke or a potato that has gone bad left in the pantry. You know it’s there, it’s hard to pinpoint, but it can’t be ignored.

Covid invaded, hijacking our lives.

But, in adversity there is always, always, always a lesson to learn. Why else might adversity exist? It is the necessary and vital component of making all things valuable. Like the labor of childbirth. Like the pressure to make a diamond or the friction to create a pearl. Forty years in the desert for deliverance. Sacrificing Christ for salvation.

So, we tucked in our chins and focused on the day-to-day. I sold my business and became an employee (owner). The vaccines arrived. My whole family got the jab and my fear of random, inexplicable death from a novel virus evaporated. We might get sick, but it was not likely to slay us.

We kept working. We slimmed down our existence (while NOT slimming down our waistlines). We planted a garden. We walked everyday. I wrote a novel. The boosters arrived and we decided to step back out into the world.

After two years, we planned a trip to Switzerland. I met my sister-in-law and her family. We introduce my sons to snow and mountains. Flat-lander, Florida boys meet the Swiss Alps and see the Matterhorn at 10,989 feet above sea level.

And standing high upon the Earth, at a peak above most places on the planet it demands a moment of retrospection and resolution. And it made me feel both ungrounded and firmly planted. The dichotomy was quite jangling. How can one feel both deeply entrenched to the world and adrift?

My New Years Resolution, as I wait to board a Lufthansa flight on Sunday, a flight we missed yesterday by 4 minutes, is that I seek to feel grounded and firmly planted. I will abflug (depart) from Europe and arc westward back to America and the flat lands of northern Florida. And when I land, I will endeavor to stand firmly, solidly grounded each day.

Grounding means drinking more water. Standing on both feet. Walking a path. Breathing deeply. Eating close to the ground, things fresh and locally grown. Holding onto the people I love. Sowing into the world the Fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. For a tree to bear fruit, it must be in a harmony with the soil, the water, the environment, sharing resources with a grove of others, interdependent and bound. Grounded.