I am working on the third part of Maggie’s story, and pretending it’s raining. That way, I can keep my shades drawn. I can ignore the fact that it is another beautiful, sun filled day in Northern California.

There’s one thin wall separating me from the great outdoors but I have turned my back on a walk for a marathon session of Ken Burns’ “The War.” Immersing myself in the sounds, the images, the news reports – I can feel their hopes and fears. I can almost hear their prayers.

It’s 1942. Maggie endures the death of her brother, watches one friend go to war and another to an internment camp. She returns home to Iowa and learns that her young sister is leaving school in order to work full time. Similar scenarios are being repeated throughout the country. Hope, loss and attempts to move forward.

Even though the war is inevitable, it’s arrival throws the equilibrium of our nation out of kilter – as though the population has taken a collective mis-step. Everything changes – and the only way to manage these profound social and economic changes is to find a place to be and a way to serve.

And all I can do is immerse myself – grab anything I can get my hands on, talk to everyone I know who was there – and hope I get it right.

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