Sunday Best – December 26, 2021

You have to pick the places you don’t walk away from.  

   – Joan Didion, A Book of Common Prayer


Every season brings its own traditions, its own rituals. Whether church services or cinnamon buns or morning runs, the power of repetition and reflection runs deep. 

Even when all details seem to have changed – places, substance, and people – rituals both big and small can offer us comfort and connection. A single candle lit against the darkness reflects all of the sparks of light across all of our communities. A tray of homemade cookies brings flashbacks to our parents’ and grandparents’ kitchens. A walk by one icy creek reminds us of others, thousands of miles away.

Dear ones, our traditions are never as settled as they seem. Some years bring bounty, and some are lean; some gather loved ones from far and near, and some offer micro-celebrations; some invite rich looks back in time and others ask us to focus on the horizon.

Whatever the conditions, we can choose what we keep. We can keep the meaning that’s most vital to our lives. We can keep the relationships that nourish our souls. We can keep the spirit of our traditions, even as the circumstances shift.

Here’s to the rooting of the old,

and the rhyming of the new.


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