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Take What You Need


Not far from my house, outside an apartment building, next to the vegetable boxes, where residents are normally busy tending their gardens, there is a little library. You know, one of those where you can leave a book and take a book.

Now, someone has built a little pantry next to it. It’s stocked with donations of non-perishable food and personal care items that people might need.

The sign reads. Give what you can. Take what you need. Look after your community.

I took a photo so you could see it.

Anyway, that’s what I hope you will do with these blog posts. Take what you need.

After my last post, a reader emailed to say she found my call to be more productive problematic. Another, to say he was tired of people telling him what to do—which of course wasn’t my intention, but I take his point.

Far from inviting you to be productive or tell you what to do, I hope my post was an invitation to find small moments of gladness and hope in your day. Resourcefulness and resilience of your own making.

On Wednesday when I posted, I was glad I phoned my parents at 7 am (it was 10 pm in Dublin where they live). If my mother, aged 79, with a chronic lung condition, gets sick, she will die. No treatment will save her ailing lungs. She knows.

And yet, she is worried about getting to the post office in time to send a parcel for my husband’s birthday at the end of the month. But she planted geraniums that day, and I was glad about that too.

I was also glad that I went for a short walk in the park with my husband before sunrise.

Glad I published a blog post. Today I’m glad I am writing to you. Honestly, it’s hard to find any words, let alone the right ones in this moment.

This post might not be what you need to read today, but I do know there is someone else somewhere who needed it.

Please take what you need.

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