Release and Gather—two contradicting terms in a seemingly backwards order. But that’s kind of what life is: learning to let go of what was to make room for what’s to come.

All sojourners have stories to share, and through these stories we help each other. These are some of mine, and I hope you’ll leave this space a little better, wiser, kinder, and feeling more connected. We’re all in this thing together.

This space explores people and community, food and leisure, matters of the heart, and navigating life in a small town in rural Mississippi. Once a month I publish a collection of what I’m cooking, what I’m reading, and what I’m noticing. It’s just another window to my world, and one reader said:

“I loved this so much...I loved all of the varied content, the details, the was a gift to read this virtual ‘box’ of goodies.” - Mary M.

Why subscribe?

It’s free! Yep, in a world full of things that cost a ton of dough, my words are free because I believe in living life with open hands.1

Subscribe to get full access to the newsletter and website. You won’t have to worry about missing anything because every new edition of the newsletter goes directly to your inbox.

So why is there a paid subscription option?

I’m glad you asked.

Release and Gather is a reader-supported publication. The same way you drop a few bucks in your barista’s tip jar or into the open case of the street entertainer, consider supporting stories that jolt you into action2 or soothe your soul.

A paid subscription3 to Release and Gather doesn’t get you anything extra, but it tells me you value the power of the written word—my written words.

Your support helps me:

  • help people in my community. Sometimes that’s paying for a meal or a prescription, other times it’s helping a young person prepare to leave for Job Corps with things like toiletries, snacks, and clean socks. Soon we’ll be restocking one family’s wood pile to help as the days grow cold. Your contributions help us help others.

  • offer free community events at our event venue and free rental to those sharing arts & education. In the past, we’ve offered community art nights, songwriter nights, and storytime events for kids at no cost to the public. Your financial support helps with art supplies, free books for kids to take home, and refreshments for those events. On December 2, 2023, we’re hosting a Christmas Celebration that will include free photos in our beautiful space, hot cocoa & coffee, cookies and treats, a free book for every child, and collecting items for our senior community members.

If you’d like to support me with a one-time donation, you can click this button and….

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Whether you are a free subscriber or a paid supporter, thanks for reading!


It’s part of that whole “Release and Gather” concept!


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Letting go of what was to make room for what’s to come.


Holly Rabalais

wife / mama / IT security professional / avid letter writer / lifelong journaler / master of the jiu jitsu mom stare / Oxford comma advocate / listener / adventurer / storyteller / believer in the power of connection