Despair creeps into me like cancer into the marrow of a bone. In church today my mind wandered: the sermon translated from Spanish struck hollow, and I sat with my hands in my lap looking at the stained glass windows and thinking of Ted Bundy, the Oklahoma City Bombing, and every kind of evil that sets itself against us. What refuge is there against such acts? We are in a dark room and powerful men are outside with knives. We barricade the door with desks and chairs but like termites they come on and on. Hush now! Sit beside me. Be still! Yes there is death, but take this bell pepper, red and proud, and take this bag of peas. Carrots and zucchinis together in the bottom drawer, onions and potatoes, solid as earth, in the big brown bowl. Salt and pepper In their place by the stove. Milk in the door. And so: we cook and continue on. And so: we commit ourselves to the growing of all good things- grapes and wheat, rice and Northern beans, hope, love, faithfulness, in the plot we have been given, in the raised beds of our lives.