Friends General Conference

Together we nurture the spiritual vitality of Friends
Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

What Brings You Hope or Inspiration in these Challenging Times?

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“Still being able to attend Meeting for Worship, daily walks as Spring busts out all over, dropping off small bouquets and baked goods to neighbors, text chats with my lunch crew, and sewing masks and mailing them to friends and family are some of the activities that keep me going through all of this.”—Juliana Forbes

“I attach some pictures of a major landscaping project Carol and I have been working on in our yard. The finished product was its own reward, good exercise for body and mind (not dwelling on the current situation) and a positive contribution to our living space by reducing our carbon footprint and creating a place to grow vegetables. It was Carol’s idea to reduce the amount of grass we had to mow by ‘sheet’ mulching with cardboard most of our grass nearest the house. On the side where we get a lot of water run-off, we decided to install this dry river bed with stepping stones and create a bed for a vegetable garden. The river bed turned out to be 85′ in length and took almost 3 tons of river stone along with a full pallet of flagstones. There’s a certain Zen-like attitude that sets in with a project like this. In this case, we have all the time in the world; if you only want to set two stones and wheel only two loads of fill, then take a break for twenty minutes, what difference does it make? When loading the small stone, we had determined that twelve shovelfuls were a reasonable load to move with the wheelbarrow, so I would count. After the first three, I would say to myself, ‘well, that’s one quarter,’ the next shovelful made it one third, the fifth shovel was not worth noting, but six made it ‘half-done,’ seven, nothing, but eight ‘two-thirds!’, then nine became three-quarters and ten, eleven, twelve and DONE! Time for a five-minute rest. I now know how the first C&D canal was hand-dug!!! While I’m loading the wheelbarrow, I’m not thinking about anything else and I am totally ‘in the moment.’”—Richard Bernard