New Footprints have arrived!

New Footprints have arrived is a snapshot at the wonder of new life and the years that follow.

A few weeks ago the world made room for new life at precisely 9:01 PM, October 28, 2007. New Footprints have arrived!. His name is Joshua James Vieira and he comes complete with all the tools to make his way across the planet, all in due time. He is also my grandson, blessing number four.

New Footprints have arrived!

New Footprints Have Arrived!, Joshua Vieira one day old feet

What is it about newborn toes and fingers that seem to hold the essence, hope and wonder of all of life itself? I held this little wonder, fresh from our daughter’s womb, even as his primary goal was to wiggle, suckle and sleep.

Ah, but the photographer in me was itching just as much to capture these early moments that seem to roll on by too quickly. Little feet, barely dry even, outstretched, moving, just because they can!

Time Travel

It is now nine years later. The grandchild tally has gone from four to six! I have lost more hair and have since retired. We are so blessed by the growing “footsteps” in our lives…all six, and all living close by too.

New Footprints have arrived! boy sitting in tidewater at beach
The tide won…!

And the image on the right is also Joshua still moving and taking in his world.

Kevin Lee

Story of the Acorn

Story of the Acorn is an accounting of how my first blog in 2007 came to be, and the lessons learned from the common seeds of the oak tree, called acorns.Story of the Acorn, Handful of acorns

The short story behind my first blog named “News from an Acorn” is simply this; it existed as a vehicle for me to share the wonder, power and awesome burden of living life in the shelter of God’s grace. News from an Acorn is about words, photography, my joy of knowing, hearing and working with young people, and not-so-young people in many settings everywhere. Hallelujah!

The full story of “News from an Acorn” takes longer to share, but seems worth the telling:
Over twenty years ago I met a little boy whose name was Joshua. Joshua liked to collect things and carry them everywhere in his deep pants pockets. There were sticks, stones, pieces of paper, whirligigs, little plastic men, and acorns. In Sunday School, with the lesson out-of-the-way, we’d sit while Josh pulled out, piece by piece, all the treasures he kept there. Each little nugget had a story and it was always good to listen as Joshua spoke.

Sadly, some people, even children, take the short way home to God. One day Joshua was with us, here, and the next, gone, his earthly life ended all too soon by reckless accident. His spirit hovered, heavy and beautiful, before rising up and onward, first as a balm and Light to those who mourned, and then freed, to wander where it may. His little body was laid to rest in 1987 nearby a Quaker Meetinghouse in Westport Massachusetts.

For weeks following Joshua’s leaving I carried one, sometimes more, little acorns in my pocket. Something about their smoothness, their certainty of purpose brought me both comfort and energy. Once or twice I visited Joshua’s grave and left him pocket stones, a stick I carried, and yes, one or two acorns just because.

“Nine Eleven” (September 11, 2001) was a tragic event and resulting phrase that changed our country and our lives forever. It also ended the lives of almost 3000 innocent people. Having canceled our scheduled retreat for that horrible month, I soon found myself planning out next gathering some weeks later, thinking about what to say and how best to comfort the many children who would gather under our care in heart and spirit as our nation mourned and fretted what would happen next.

I was riding my bike, headed to meeting for worship, actually, and not far from the meetinghouse. As I rode I was wondering, asking for guidance,  how best to wrap all that had happened in a way that was both honest and measured into a theme for our upcoming retreat of young Quakers. As the wind blew, a torrent of acorns hit the road I was riding on and many, or so it seemed, bounced off of my helmet with “clunks” and “pings.” I had to steady my bike there for a moment as it rolled over countless little brown nuts. As acorns reigned down on my helmeted head I thought, ah, “News from an Acorn!” In a flash I knew that something was coming, an idea, an approach, a way of truth-telling, and at that moment I had the theme for our next retreat. Suddenly I thought of the acorns that Joshua had carried long ago. and now I was hearing them bounce off of my head and thinking, they’re still teaching us something. Within minutes I rounded the corner of Joshua’s cemetery with the meetinghouse just up ahead.

“News from an Acorn.” Thank you, Joshua. Thank you God. We had our theme and a whole lot more

Kevin Lee (re-edited in 2016)