Sunday Best (with book list!) – September 12, 2021

 

ALMOST EVERYTHING WILL WORK AGAIN
IF YOU UNPLUG IT FOR A FEW MINUTES —
INCLUDING YOU.
            – ANNE LAMOTT

 

Dear friends, this weekend I am unplugged for the first time in a very long while, and have just awoken to the sound of friends laughing together, surely the best alarm clock around. I wish you a pocket of peace and connection and joy this week, in this time of reflection and restoration.

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In case you missed it last week, here is our summer book list for 2021, shared with very best wishes for ongoing learning, exploration, and escape.

Honeybee Summer Reading List 2021

Sunday Best (with book list!) – September 5, 2021

 

“The problem of relying on lists is that lists never add up to processes.”     

                   – Chris Kempes and David Krakauer

 

This time of year, lists seem to be everywhere. I love how the pile of syllabi, conference schedules, plans for fall chores, and new team configurations gives a little sing of energy, just as the mornings turn a little more crisp.

But no matter how creative, a list is just a sketch, a guideline for organizing. At the end of a class, the syllabus reminds us of wandering the stacks, discovering the book that inspired a whole new arc of research. At the end of a home improvement session, the list of chores prompts an image of the crazy new butterfly that appeared as we tidied the garden.  At the end of a job, the resume entry recalls the hallway debate that led to the research project that led to the friendship that slowly took root and held fast.

Dear ones, whether work or school or home or life, a good list can help to inspire and focus and organize and summarize.

But the syllabus is not the learning, the chores are not the home, the resume is not the experience, the list is not the life. 

Let’s use our lists as intended.

Lightly.

 

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Speaking of lists, here is one of our favorite kinds!  Our summer book list is full of creations that have inspired ideas and wonder and imagination – may it spark some of the same for you. I hope you enjoy the wandering, through and beyond the list.

Honeybee Summer Reading List 2021

 

 

Sunday Best – August 29, 2021

Last week a big storm was expected in the Northeast, predicted days beforehand. The morning it was supposed to hit, I received a package in the mail from my parents. My mom had sent pumpkin bread and my dad had sent some flashlights – batteries included, of course.

What a total blessing, love like this.

Friends, may we all have someone at some point in our lives who cares for us, and shows it.

May we be that person in return.

 

 

 

A PERFECT GIFT

 

 

Our book is already celebrating its first birthday!

If you find yourself wanting to reflect on this past year, or to contemplate better times to come, we hope you might consider Month of Sundays, which can be found at all of your favorite booksellers. One friend recently mentioned that she’s bought a stack of books to gift as she begins to reconnect with loved ones who have been apart, as a way to say, “welcome back.”

Thank you to those who have supported this endeavor to date, where proceeds have allowed us to give more generously than usual to some of the most vital nonprofits around.  We designed the book to be evergreen, and hope it will bring comfort and connection through times of ease and times of challenge alike.

 

Sunday Best – August 22, 2021

This weekend marks National Honeybee Day! As the hurricane sweeps toward New England, I’m celebrating by reflecting on a few lessons from the bees.

  • The importance of awareness. It’s easy to notice the flowers that are at human eye-level, but it’s only by tracing the pollen in early springtime that I began to notice the flowering of the treetops. What other abundance is just out of sight?
  • The value of patience. It’s so satisfying to sit by a hive on a coolish day, watching as a few brave scouts emerge, followed by more and more as the sun warms to the mid 50’s. How might we recognize the right conditions for our own ventures?
  • The joy of alignment. On a clear sunny day, when the workers are zooming back and forth and the comb is full of pollen and nectar and baby bees, the pitch of a hive is different. The buzzing is steady and energetic, not irritated and high-pitched nor dull and muted. How do we communicate when our hard work meets good fortune?
  • The miracles before us. No matter how much I study the fantastic science of bees, I will never be un-amazed by the building of perfect comb or the way that flowers become honey. What other wonders are hidden in plain sight?

Dear friends, what a gift that we are here at all, to learn from all sorts of teachers.

Let’s see what lessons surround us today.

Sunday Best – August 15, 2021

This week I spent many hours immersed in the text of the gigantic new IPCC report on our climate, composed by hundreds of the world’s most expert scientists, who volunteer to assemble this analysis for our benefit.

It is hard to take in the scope and the seriousness and the sadness of the report. At the end I sat overwhelmed for a bit, trying to summarize my notes in a logical and focused way, but there was no logic or focus to be found.

Then I went for a walk in the meadow, where the milkweed and goldenrod are blooming and the monarchs are flying and the turkeys are begrudgingly moving off the path as I round the bend.

What is an antidote to overwhelm? Analysis.

What is an antidote to despair? Agency.

What is an antidote to cynicism? Love.

Dear friends, let’s try not to skip over the bad news this week, whether planetary or political or personal.

Let’s take it in, take a breath, go for a walk.

And then, let’s go forward,

with thought and action and love.

 

 

*******

I have learned so much about the benefits of community when it comes to considering our most interesting and challenging questions, and am especially grateful for the Santa Fe Institute community in this regard. This week I am honored to be featured on the SFI Complexity podcast:  https://www.santafe.edu/culture/podcasts#Complexity

 

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A PERFECT “WELCOME BACK” GIFT

 

 

Our book is already celebrating its first birthday!

If you find yourself wanting to reflect on this past year, or to contemplate better times to come, we hope you might consider turning to Month of Sundays, which can be found at all of your favorite booksellers. One friend recently mentioned that she’s bought a stack of books to gift as she begins to reconnect with loved ones who have been apart, as a way to say, “welcome back.”

Thank you to those who have supported this endeavor to date, where proceeds have allowed us to give more generously than usual to some of the most vital nonprofits around.  We designed the book to be evergreen, and hope it will bring comfort and connection through times of ease and times of challenge alike.

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