I was feeling a bit lonely and isolated here in the city. We had our first snowfall, and it was a wet, heavy snow that took out quite a lot of the forest canopy of the Forest City. While Nicholas and I walked over to the seminary, we saw many broken, forlorn trees, mostly maple, shorn of their upper branches, and we thought, “Look at all the free firewood!” We do not have a woodstove, a chain saw, or a truck in running order, but that’s just what we thought simultaneously. Thee can take die stille out of der lande, but we still know good hardwood when we see it lying in huge chunks on the sidewalk. We may be the only country people in the city, because no one is taking advantage of an obvious gift from God.

We are the only Plain people I know here. I never see a prayer cap except on the rare Sixth Days we might get to a farmers’ market. So I did what thee may do when lonely and far from home: I looked at “family” photos. The Conservative Quakers have a lovely website that focuses on their get-togethers, and they have many photos of the beautiful meeting houses, museums, and events. Go through the “Quaker Jane” website for an easy link.

It was so heartening to see other Plain people dressed in a variety of ways, but obviously Quaker Plain! Prayer caps, aprons, long dresses, bonnets, men in braces and straw hats. I admit, I long for a Plain community at hand, rather than at a distance.

We wait upon the Light of Christ to shine upon the path we will take.

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