agnestirrito

"Whatever you think you can do, or believe you can do, begin it, because action has magic, grace, and power in it." Goethe


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Holy Week- Wednesday 4/1719: Will you walk “this week” with me?

(Second grocery trip of the day)

Do you always stop once you find the things on your list? Or, do you even have a list? 🧐

Sometimes a few extra items land in the cart: today that meant watermelon for my eldest grandchild (she will be so excited ☺️) and sausage for my son (he’ll be happy to get sausage balls soon)…little things we do along the way. I learned I feed people. It seems to be a life theme. 😉

This second stop was for the perishable items. I had a busy day, so I split the shopping up to save time in the long run.

My feet carried me many places today: work, grocery store, flea market, tutoring appointment, gas station, more grocery, bank drive through, home. Some unplanned stops along the way, but happy to have the time to take care of the day-to-day essentials and an extra errand or two.

Happy Easter is already on a lot of people’s lips.

It’s nice to hear. I know we are still on the road, and we have Holy Thursday and Good Friday to witness…and Easter vigil on Saturday, but some folks are ready now. It was nice to hear Be blessed ma’am as I left the last grocery store today. I’m glad I don’t take such greetings for granted.

I am glad I live where I can walk in a place and find what I need most days, and even things I didn’t know I needed.

The day-to-day is really more important than we might think. The small interactions when we look someone in the eye, wish them well, or the moment we select a piece of fruit a child will enjoy. Maybe some little chocolate bunnies, too…because you know…those baskets don’t fill themselves.

Wherever you walked today, I hope someone felt blessed by your presence. Or you by theirs.

✌🏻

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Holy Week: Tuesday 4/16/19–Will you “walk this week” with me?

(Two sisters and a stranger at a play area in town)

Sometimes our feet end up in an unexpected location. I didn’t plan to meet my grandchildren and daughter-in-law for breakfast this morning, but it was a nice surprise and change of pace.

While there, other children were playing, too. One, a little bit older, helped our little ones put their shoes on when it was time to go. I watched the interaction through a glass partition. I could see the kind body language, the thank you mouthed by my grandchild. The mutual smiles.

Kindness among strangers. Even young strangers…and that was a sweet moment to witness.

When was a stranger kind to you? Or you to them?

I hope you smiled, too. 🌟


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Holy Week 2019, Monday: Will You Walk “This Week” with Me?

(Me, before an evening class. Hope, Arkansas.)

At the beginning of this day, I had an idea. Then Notre Dame came falling down in flames, and really…well, fill in the blank…because if you’re alive on this planet, you surely know this structure is iconic. A terrible day to mark down in history, truly. And somehow, it seems to be worse that this happened as we begin Holy Week in the Christian world.

But, as I went about my day and continued to ponder what I want to do that is meaningful this week, my first idea still stands.

Let’s walk together. This Holy Week. Will you join me? Walk anywhere, post a picture if you’re so moved, or just join in anonymously. That’s good, too. 🙏🏼

Walk with me, knowing we know nothing. We know nothing about what is around the bend. We walk. We write a line about it. We live and learn. We listen.

We all saw that play out in flashing fire today.

But before I knew what I know now, what was beyond my immediate control, I walked.

I started early, and was greeted by not one, but four cardinals on the rocky road near my house. This sighting truly lifted my heart, and at that moment, I did not know that half a world away, Notre Dame was engulfed in flames.

I returned to the house, saw the news, and of course my heart fell.

“…but the gates of hell shall not prevail against it…” kept ringing in my ears, and the voices of the Parisian people lifted in unison as their cathedral burned…their joining as one voice moved me to remember that the human spirit cannot be touched. We can always fly. Always.

Just like those morning birds…

Then, as I was leaving for work, my older dog was barking nonstop, warning me of an unexpected visitor. Huge snake. The symbolism is not lost on me.

Everywhere, some kind of turmoil. Daily.

So, lots was on my mind as I arrived at my next stop. More symbolism: Hope is where I work on Mondays. And tonight, I walked there, too.

I walked a short paved path that I always think I will, but never do. But today was different. I walked and prayed for Parisians, for firefighters, for travelers. For those who hoped to visit a beautiful place of worship, and for those who won’t get to see that dream come true…not in the way they hoped.

And I realized yet again, we are all here for only a minute, then we are gone. Nothing is sure except our spirits.

So, I’m walking into this week with no preconceived ideas. Just walking and listening to what might need to be said. Will you join me?

Let’s see where we might walk tomorrow…


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Palm Sunday 4/14/2019

A simple palm.

It’s not an object I think about much, but when this day rolls around each year, I have vivid and specific memories:

the man walking away in New Mexico last year, his back pocket filled with them…

the time several years ago my daughter quietly fashioned crosses out of them in the back pew of a church, to the delight of several people around her…

the reverent way my mom made sure every crucifix in the house was adorned with them…

…and today, my two granddaughters waving them at me as they greeted me at Mass. I was thinking I might hear en guard at any moment, but the novelty wore off quickly.

Small moments that last in the mind’s eye.

The realization that the small moments carry the sweetest stories.

There were successive small sweet moments at Mass today:

A slow hymn played and Emma began whimpering. She feels the music. She and her sister always have. This truth gives me insight into the kind of people they will grow to be…caring, aware, attuned.

Sofia spotted her beloved “Aunt Betty” on the way to communion and stopped to let her know. To greet her, smile at her, visibly be thrilled to see her. Then, tears when we were back in our seats…that last few minutes until she could see her again feeling like an eternity.

To love, to feel love like that. That.

Emma, age 2 1/2, leading me by the hand to light a candle. Waving to Jesus on the way, holding the long match and patiently (as possible…she’s 2) waiting for the flicker to become a flame. Sofia, 3 1/2, arrives just in time to assist.

Lots to think about on this day. It’s a day of anniversaries as well. My own life re-started thanks to skilled doctors and blood donors 28 years ago. I’ve witnessed an extra lifetime of small moments that I said thank you for again today. And… because life is this two sided coin… a life taken 7 years ago: my best friend lost to me and so many who loved her because a drunk made a terrible choice to get behind the wheel of a car and drive.

So, a Palm Sunday candle is flickering in a century old church tonight with prayers of thanksgiving for a life spared and prayers of not knowing what words to say when a life is taken, so a tiny flame takes the place of the words.

I don’t have to have the words. Like two little girls remind me, my feelings are enough.

Sometimes, like the people in the Gospel narrative today, we are witnesses. Seeing all the things. Storing them in our hearts. Knowing that we each have a role to play on and off the page.

We enter Holy Week today…a week that I hope to continue some Lenten promises, spend some extra time in silence, and reflect on a lot of things. And hopefully, learn from the small moments and little children that the smallest acts of love and presence still matter the most.


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Lent/ Wednesday, April 10, 2019 -Black Holes and Other Gifts

The discovery of a black hole dominates the news today. It is newsworthy. Exciting. Breathtaking. Yet, think about how many people missed the memo. Shrugged it off. Didn’t care. Didn’t wonder or give it a second thought.

Are you in the I told you so camp or the Hmmmm one or the WOW one? Or… What black hole??

Regardless of which camp you land in above, the fact is we are learning more about our universe every day. Think of the people called to do the work. Their breakthroughs. Amazement. Plans to share the info with a world. A WORLD!

How will we be different because of this new knowledge today? How will our actions change now? Will we read more? Research more? Be more avid communicators?

Will our sense of possibility exponentially multiply?

We were given a gift today. So much to know. So much to ask about. So much to be witness to.

Don’t miss it in the busyness of life. Give yourself time to consider the gift of knowledge we were given today.


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Lent-Sunday 5/ Seeds and Storms

I’m writing this as thunder continues to rattle the windows of my little house. It’s been a strange weather day…stormy, sunny, stormy…like a record on repeat.

In between storms but accompanied by distant thunder, I transplanted this little camellia

this morning.

That’s it in front of a weathered brick that was part of my folks’ old farmhouse porch. The camellia “volunteered” this year…one lone shoot in front of a towering bush that’s been on the place for about a century. Yeah. They like it here.

So, off I went to dig it up because we have had rain. A lot of it. But even though we have, it was no easy thing digging this baby up. The root system was not what I expected. It was horizontal and spread out several inches in both directions.

Finally, though, I met success, and the new seedling starts its new life at the beginning of my driveway. There are plenty of pine needles and similar soil to where it had been living a few hundred yards away, so hopefully I’ll see growth in this new location.

All the while digging, pulling, chopping, and cajoling this plant to release its first home, I thought how many of us are just like that. Fixed. Solid. Secure. No problem. Growing fine.

But…how about a little change? Total fight. Ha

Maybe I’m thinking too deep. It’s just a plant, after all. But it made me happy to dig it up and move it to a place where it can shine on its own. And even this wacky weather blessed it by holding back the rain until I closed the back door. Then? Torrential rain ensued.

I took it as a hearty Amen. 🌱 🌧

What are you planting this season? I hope it grows well. ❤️


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Friday’s Five 4/5/2019

So much more than five good things this week…because we know we will find the good things when we look. And look, we must.

Birthdays 🎉 I celebrated well and felt much love and goodness from people who mean a great deal to me. Cards, texts, videos, messages. And a special toast with my son. 🍻

Children 👶🏼 I’ve seen my grandchildren this week, laughed with them, listened to them…the latest coined word is “flappers” (AKA flip flops) and I missed you. Oh my…that little sentence…

Clover ❤️ It is blooming garnet on the roadsides and brings my parents to mind. My father the farmer, and my mother the caretaker of photographing the beauty so we would always remember.

Mail 💌 I was a fortunate recipient of a lot of good messages this week. Is there anything nicer than getting real mail? It ranks way up there for me.

Candles 🕯 My daughter lit a candle for me in a church in Greece on my birthday. I lit one the same day in a park in a little town named Hope. My heart lifted with each strike of light.

So much more good, and I am acutely aware that the realization of seeing goodness is not common to all. So, I am grateful I see it.

I hope you do, too.