Inward/outward, an online site that is an outreach of Church of the Savior in Washington D.C., offered a post in December 2018 that has remained with me ever since.  The author wrote: “To keep my equilibrium, I have to remember the way I have come, and who brought me here, to help keep me grounded.”  She then outlined a “roadmap” for herself for the coming year. 

              If the year 2020 has left you rather “dizzy,” after the roller coaster ride it has been, perhaps the New Year offers the opportunity to consider what will help you “keep [your] equilibrium,” in the coming weeks and months as 2021 unfolds. 

              The book Without Oars: Casting Off into a Life of Pilgrimage describes shedding normal routines, breaking “with normal predictability in a very specific way: not to fill life with other activity, but to empty life of former activities.”  If nothing else, 2020 forced that break for me.  Sheltering in place separated me from most of the people in my life, from social activities, from most of the responsibilities I normally carried out.  Initially, I frequently was signing up for all kinds of things being offered online.  But I recognized that was becoming burdensome.  The empty space that had been created was valuable.  I didn’t want to fill it up.    

              Since our return from caring for our grandsons, I am back to regular walks.    I savor them now.  I always enjoyed it. But I think I didn’t realize how much that was integral for me. Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, the author of Without Oars, took time out to do a pilgrimage to Camino de Santiago in Spain.  “Walking is usually the most inefficient way to get from one destination to another,” he wrote. “But it frees one, even in subconscious ways, from the obligation to get everything done fast.  It also opens an entirely different view of the physical world.”

              I am reminded of a similar experience my brother described.  He was crazy about cars.  One of my earliest memories is of an old car he had acquired that was parked out in front of our house.  Sometime in his adult years he joined a car club that took trips in their Model Ts and Model As.  He loved the difference in driving very slowly, what one felt and noticed at a slower, more relaxed pace. 

              May we, as the opportunities arise to resume our usual activities, be vigilant to maintain some inner space, that more sedate pace that can help us to maintain our equilibrium, which contributes to our own wellbeing as well as to what we have to offer into the world around us.

              May we be bearers of hope, the “wait staff” of Hope’s Café for each other and all those we encounter.  Shalom, Kate

Hope’s Café Bonus:  Just a reminder:  Walking can help burn calories; strengthen your heart; help lower blood sugar; ease joint pain; boost immune function; boost energy; improve your mood and extend your life.  😊


            August 15 I noticed my calendar was still on July.  For me, perhaps for you as well, there has been a sense of timelessness during this period of Covid 19.  Usually, there have been markers over the course of the year such that even when time seems to be “flying,” I still have a perception of “in February we took a trip to (fill in the blank); “in May we had a big celebration for (fill in the blank); and so on.  When one day is often much like the one before it and the one after it, time seems to lose its meaning.

            Steven R. Covey says that you can spend time on useful things or useless things.  However, if you consider the term “investing” instead of “spending,” he suggests you will invest it in something that has meaning and value for you.  I have wondered how we will look back on this period; will it seem to have been “lost time,” nothing gained, or “valuable time,” well “invested”?

            Given that at this point it appears that we could be restricted from our normal activities for some time to come, this would seem to be an excellent time to take stock. Imagine yourself a year from now.  What would you like to look back on?

            Covey wrote about making a personal mission statement, stating that “Whatever is at the center of our life will be the source of our security, guidance, wisdom and power.”

             Just before New Year’s 2019, I came across a similar idea in a post from inward/outward where the writer suggested making a “roadmap” for the year ahead.  The writer began her roadmap with the words: “To keep my equilibrium, I have to remember the way I have come and who brought me here, which helps keep me grounded.” She then enumerated the things she would rely on to stay grounded and centered.  She concluded with these words: “This is just my road map– always being updated in the moment, as the spirit directs.”

            What will keep you grounded and centered through this period?  What will it take to look back a year from now to say “I grew through this time and I take satisfaction in how I managed this opportunity”?

            Blessings as you continue the “covid journey.”

May we be bearers of hope, the “wait staff” of Hope’s Café for each other and all those we encounter.

                                                             Shalom, Kate

Hope’s Café Bonus:  I share a poem that helped center and ground me:


                                                There are rumblings in my soul.

                                                The earth cracks open:

                                                Lava spills out

                                                Across the landscape of my life,

                                                Warming me/burning me.

                                                There are rumblings in my soul.

                                                The earth cradles me,

                                                Even as it shifts,

                                                Moving me in some direction

                                                I strain to perceive.

                                                There are rumblings in my soul.

                                                The earth propels me:

                                                Whether I stumble or find sure footing,

                                                I am sustained.

                                                There are rumblings in my soul:

                                                Prophets of the earth,

                                                Foretelling change to come,

                                                Change erupting even now,

                                                Gift of the universe.

                                                            —-Kate Stulce

                                                            Written October 2002

                                                            Sante Fe, New Mexico*

                                    * Descriptive of the spiritual journey I have experienced,

                                    which was only beginning to evolve when I wrote this poem.