The past few weeks have been difficult at work. We are finding our way towards a new version of church that is more hospitable and inclusive. Some parts of that work have been joyful, especially watching new leaders emerge. Some of it has been deeply, personally painful. It all came to a crisis point just as I was preparing to slip down to Ft Lauderdale to visit my girl for a couple of days. It was an exercise in spiritual discipline to disconnect. María and I did our usual: cruising up 95 to Butts Road and “Normstrom” for a new pair of shoes that fit each of my girl’s feet correctly. A couple of nice meals. A visit w someone I hadn’t seen for over four years. Lots of singing in the car. We also did something I hardly ever did when I lived in Lauderdale: we gardened. Some of our dearest friends are in the midst of sorta awful medical challenges and their yard still tells some of the story of Hurricane Irma. Maria and I weeded and cleaned and moved lovely plants back to where their splendor shines. The still familiar Florida sun was on my face and shoulders–so different and so like the sun that is up for much shorter days in Lowndesboro. Now, I’m waiting for a flight back out, grieving again about leaving my daughter who is quite simply the best. It’s early morning and I splurged on a cafecito and tostada cubana, getting my tropical on for just a bit longer before I go home.