Louis L’Amour and the Moral Imagination

By Kevin Morse

My brother, Orrin Sackett, was big enough to fight bears with a switch. Me, I was the skinny one, tall as Orrin, but no meat to my bones except around the shoulders and arms.

The Daybreakers, 1984

The other day I read those words for the first time in about twenty five years and the strangest thing happened.

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When I Think of Heaven

By John Barber

I met my then-future wife in college. Our first date was on December 17, 1996, and just a few days afterward, we each went home for Christmas, her to Hot Springs, Arkansas and me to Orlando. We were a time zone away from each other, and cell phones were yet to be a thing. I knew I’d be talking to her sparingly, and I also knew I was deeply smitten. It’s a hard place to be—young, in new love, and a thousand miles apart.

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It’s All Gonna Be Magnificent

By Matt Conner

I didn’t want my own son.

Perhaps that’s a bit too honest, this essay a bit too public. But the sentiment was true, and truth, I’ve been told, can set us free.

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Easter Is Just Getting Started

By Andrew Peterson

And now it begins. After forty days of fasting, after the harrowing darkness of Good Friday, after the long silence of Holy Saturday, after the dawn of Easter like a slow explosion of light over the greening hills of the Northern Hemisphere, we move into the joy of Eastertide. As much as I love that it all leads to Resurrection Sunday, I think my favorite part of the whole drama is today: Easter Monday.

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The First Harvest of the Year

By Becca Groves

As soon as the snow begins to melt and the temperature breaks above 32 degrees during the day, it’s time to begin the maple syrup harvest. Which means in Minnesota, it’s tree tapping time.

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Eight Ounces of Canned Poem

By April Pickle

One Saturday, my friend Rebecca Reynolds bundled herself in three coats and hiked up Roan Mountain with a jar in her hand. Standing on the mountaintop, she opened the jar, read a poem into it, then sealed it shut and carried it back down the mountain.

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Yours Also the Night

By Julie Spencer

The day is yours, and yours also the night…
—Psalm 74:16

Sometimes when I cannot sleep, I wander through the house, looking at all the other people who are sleeping. There’s a satisfaction in knowing that all my loved ones are contentedly asleep, with their blankets cozily snuggled under their chins. I feel a flash of jealousy, too, sometimes, a sense of martyrdom: “Well, at least someone is getting some sleep around here.” Cue the dramatic sigh.

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Desert and Flood

By Candace Bright

She opened up about her suffering and we drew our collective breath. A dozen voices hummed musically when she confessed that perhaps she had been blind. She had poured herself into an effort for years, only to miss problems that had scorched the ground she had cultivated. Handing it off to others in a turbulent ending to her season of investment, she now grieved what had been lost. Time. Opportunity. The struggle to bring forth good only to find herself in a desert partly of her own making.

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First Annual Seed Sightings: A Glimpse of Things to Come

By Gina Sutphin

How many of you have specific events that are a yearly marker in the journey towards spring? I have several. My computer currently has a browser open counting down the days, hours, minutes, and seconds until the First Day of Spring. The start of Daylight Savings is marked on my calendar with a picture of the sun, flowers, and butterflies. But the earliest—and always completely unplanned—marker of spring’s coming is the First Annual Seed Sighting.

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When Dreams Wake Up Different

By Jennifer Hildebrand

When I was a kid, practically every story that danced across the screen hinged on a character who was running down a dream. A big dream. I just ate that stuff up, because I was completely certain that dreams had to be these colossal, magnificent feats worthy of being chased down, maybe even worth dying for. And planted deep in my young heart, I was already tending one of my own.

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What the Wind Goes Whispering: An Exploration of Longing in The Wind in the Willows

By Chris Wheeler

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame is perhaps my favorite book, or at least in my top ten. I rarely re-read books, but this one is an annual read for me, and only recently did I think to explore why I have loved and continue to love this story so much.

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How To Grow Good Wool

By Suzanne Tietjen

I used to be a shepherd, keeping natural-colored sheep for their fleeces. Most sheep grow white or off-white wool, but ours, bred from the occasional black sheep any commercial shepherd would reject, grew amazing-colored wool: ebony, silvers, grizzled grays, and countless shades of chocolate.

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