It snowed late Friday afternoon and through the night. I took this photograph while Keith let the dogs out for their “hurry up’s” before bedtime. God willing, last Friday’s storm will be the end of this year’s winter weather here at Vanaprastha. 

The temperature rose on Saturday morning and melted most of the snow and ice. No shoveling or sweeping the deck this time. Later that afternoon, Cato and I walked down the mountain road and ran into a neighbor, also picking up his mail. We chatted about family, neighborhood news—and the weather.

“I can’t wait for spring,” he said, lifting his hands to the heavens. “I’m done with all of this. I can’t wait to get out in the yard and dig in the dirt and plant flowers.”

Also impatient with waiting, Cato jumped and put his paws on my forearm. “Off,” I said, showing him my back then facing my neighbor again. “You’re not alone in that sentiment. It’s been a tough year for all of us. We could use some gentleness.”

I wasn’t just referring to the weather.


version of today’s note from Vanaprastha appeared last June as a review of Scott Saul’s book A Gentle Answer. Click on the link below for my take on The Perennial Gen’s theme for March: Anger. Perhaps you’ll see yourself in this expanded message—as I did.

Be faithful and love well. 


  1. bigskybuckeye

    Carole, your sentiments are shared by many. It has been an incredibly challenging series of months going to last spring. One can feel life ready to spring ahead in more positive ways this time around. God’s peace to you and Keith, and may the snow be gone for good.

    • Carole Duff

      Thank you, Richard. Your comments reflect such grace and encouragement. Though the ice-snow lingers, it’s beautiful here. May the renewal of Easter spring forth for all. Blessings. -C.D.


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