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When I say that I am grateful for shelter, here I am speaking of that which offers protection from what ever it is that threatens to destroy or maim us. Whether it be family, friends, a chapel or place of worship, prayer or words from our holy writings, I am speaking of those things that offer respite from life’s vicissitudes we all encounter at one time or another. Those places that we retreat to, or seek out, when we need to get away, clear our minds and heal our souls. When I think of shelter I think of our apartment or house, a place that protects us from nature’s elements. I also think of the bookstore where I can sit and write or read and nourish my mind. But today I reminisce about a place under beautiful Cherry Blossom Trees, their fronds reaching to the ground, where I could steal in under its branches, sit in the cool of the shade (even on the hottest of days) and be sheltered from sight, a place where I often meditated. Given the crisis of the past week, I am grateful for the shelters we find, places of prayer, places to ponder the meaning and purpose of our lives, the places of retreat that give us space to regroup, refresh, then re-engage. I am grateful for our many shelters in life.

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