This time of year, folks in our part of the world are mesmerized by college basketball. To admit that one does not share this passion is something akin to heresy. In all honesty, though, that is the case for me. I realize that I am risking my credibility to acknowledge this fact (particularly as a UNC grad), but even though I don't really follow the game, I do understand the appeal.
There is something else that I have been following closely, though. There is another drama that is unfolding this month in North Carolina, and I have been enthusiastically watching and cheering from the sidelines as I hope for a big "win" for a cause that is dear to me.
It is early January and after a busy holiday season, a winter stillness is in the air. I just brought in a box of fresh produce, kindly delivered by a business that supports local farmers, and I am feeling grateful for anything fresh that can be grown in these shorter, colder days. If you ride around the North Carolina countryside this time of year, many fields are lying fallow – resting and waiting for spring.
Just two years ago, my family was in a very different situation. Living near the equator in northeastern Brazil, the days were always warm and long enough to grow an abundance of produce, as long as enough water was available. In fact, farmers there had to be careful not to wear out their soil. They constantly had to add rich compost back to their gardens so that they could continue to produce, day-in and day-out.
This weekend, our family enjoyed a visit to the beach with my parents. It was a short trip, but the weather was glorious, and we packed some of our favorite beach activities into the time that we had together.
We spent a good bit of the day on Saturday engaged in a big sandcastle project. My younger daughter, Kyra, got us started, and before long we were all engaged in some aspect of its construction. As we worked, it was evident that we were all cognizant that, sooner or later, the tide would rise and our work would be undone. Nonetheless, we undertook the project with great gusto. As we worked, I couldn't help but notice where each of us chose to apply our energies.
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