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  • Aram Mitchell

on the trail by the river near the comforting oak

We’re in the midst of one of those events that splits history in half. There was before this. And there will be after this. And right now we’re in between, living in a liminal space, with the ache of nostalgia over one shoulder and the unknown future over the other.

It helps me to remember that navigating the eerie in-between places is a significant part of what it means to be human. And that more often than not our seasons in the wilderness are stretches of plateau rather than razor thin thresholds. Times like this require stamina, endurance, a particular pace. This isn’t a time to try to sprint toward the horizon. Hurry and worry won’t get us there faster. Because that’s not how horizons work.

This is a time to consider, construct, and practice new day-to-day rhythms.

That’s why I’m here again, on the trail by the river near the comforting oak, because this is a thing I do. It’s one of the things, among others, that I do with my days. I have coffee with Lauren and the animals on the couch where the bird feeder is stuck to the window outside. I go to the basement and write. I do some work. I check in with family. I reach out to a friend. I go for a walk. I stop near the oak. I make supper. Watch old episodes of West Wing. Read. And sleep until the sun rises again to initiate another day.

In the midst of your rhythms I hope that you can find a patch of earth each day, some running water or a pond, a stretch of sky, somewhere the sun can touch your skin to remind you how horizons work. To assure you that we’re moving together. That yesterday’s unknown will be a little more familiar tomorrow. And that right now you just have live today.


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