I remember a time, when I was young, digging a foxhole, my brother eating the dirt that I threw aside, and my sister reading in her room. My mother’s voice rang from the backdoor, calling us to the table. We sat down with dirt under our nails and feet caked with earth. Sometimes we blessed our food and sometimes we did not. The true blessing was being together. Amidst the pandemic, we find ourselves together again in our childhood home that my parents planned to sell, because it is too big for just the two of them. My mother still calls us to the table every night, half humored and half amazed that we’re all here.

Beth Swensen, my mother, takes a moment to herself while repairing the fence in the backyard on Sunday, May 31, 2020.