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5 Quick Things #272 🍐
old books, new poems, garden plans, & snow chapels
Happy (?) Lenten season to you. Is that a thing, to say "happy" with Lent? Either way, you get my drift. It's been a whirlwind, exhausting week around here and I figurativelycrawled into bed last night and hit my pillow hard. I'm now propped up in that same bed with coffee in hand, sleeping dog and cat within view, and listening to our new chicks in the hallway scratch and chirp.
Yep, we're adding to our brood of chickens! 🐥 I'm reading up on the ways to introduce them to the older girls that safely and sanely, so share any tips you got in that regard in the comments below.
And if you'd like to participate in Lent but aren't sure where to begin, or if you'd like something short and open-and-go, you might want to consider my Lenten guide, Bitter & Sweet: A Journey Into Easter. It's never “too late” to begin — just jump in. Remember, the purpose of Lent isn't to “do” it perfectly, because spoiler alert: you won't. The purpose is simply to say no a bit more to yourself so you're free to say yes a bit more to God. It's the most human of journeys.
5 Quick Things ☕️
1. 📻 New episode of A Drink With a Friend! 📻 Aren’t old books too hard for kids to understand? Maybe. Or maybe not. I chat with new friend Noah Tyler about his challenge of reading aloud to his young kids from the original Harvard Classics set (also known as “Dr. Eliot’s Five-Foot Shelf of Books”). We talk about how books have the proclivity to form our minds and hearts, what it looks like to homeschool in an urban setting, and more. (Seth will be back in the next episode!)
2. What does it look like to pursue an intellectual life as a woman? Whether she works full-time with a busy career, has her arms full with babies, or something else all together, the life of the mind is for ALL of us. This essay does an excellent treatment of the idea (as well as of the book I contributed to about this topic).
3. “[My brother] and I shared just one class at Stanford, an Italian language course. I was 18 years old, and was curious to see how my older brother operated in a classroom. One day, he brought a guest visitor to our class, Ezra Pound’s daughter, who was also an Italian princess. Our professor was astounded—and so was I, needless to say. What kind of student hangs out with princesses and brings them to class? Only my brother Dana.” A lovely tribute to a poet brother, plus three new poems set to music.
4. If you’re in the throes of garden prep, like me (or maybe you’d like to start!), this is a really great step-by-step guide for designing your garden layout on paper.
5. And finally, a snow chapel! Complete with carved out confessionals, side altars, and stained “glass.”
Currently Reading, Watching, Listening 🎶
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“To believe in suffering is pride — but to suffer, believing in God, is humility.”
— Thomas Merton #
In the Commonplace 🤝
If you’re a subscriber and haven’t yet, join in on this week’s Grat Chat. Every month I ask you to list ten specific things you’re grateful for and then to read other peoples’ lists. I promise you, it’s a game-changer for your mood and outlook on your day. I love reading all your lists! You guys are the best.
Right now, what sounds like a fun way to spend the evening? 🌅
…I have a sneaky suspicion a number of you are currently cold. I’m with you on your choice, though admittedly my answer to this one changes frequently throughout the day.
Find this week’s poll here.
Quick Links 🔗
Become a paying subscriber of The Commonplace (and thank you!)
Question(s) For You to Ponder… 🤔
What’s your honest hope for this season of Lent?
Have a good one,
p.s. This is a fantastic birthday gift idea.