Sunday Best – May 9, 2021

 

Be joyful, though you have considered all the facts.

     – Wendell Berry 

 

Dear ones, we live amidst challenge and struggle, surrounded by cynicism and suspicion – some of it well-founded.

But we also live amidst endless joys.

 

There is joy in the eyes of loved ones after too long an absence.

There is joy in the neon of new leaf after too cold a winter.

There is joy in the crisp of deep breath after a bout with illness.

There is joy in the ping of perfect words after a wrestle with writer’s block.

There is joy in the clouds of milky tea after a tear-filled conversation.

There is joy in the fuzz of baby bee after a season in the dark.

 

Friends, we need not be endlessly sunny to recognize these joys as they come,

steady as the struggles,

and intertwined.

 

***

I chose the little baby bee emerging above in honor of Mother’s Day. May we be grateful to all who mother us, within our families and beyond, in all different ways and through all parts of life. And with special gratitude to my own amazing mom.

***

A PERFECT “WELCOME BACK” GIFT

 

 

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 newly vaccinated 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 – May 2, 2021

Happy May Day weekend, friends!

The past few years I’ve been noting the ancient Celtic calendar markers that fall in-between equinox and solstice. This weekend is Bealtaine, the peak of springtime, season of planting and renewal.

Without seeing a calendar, I know that the trillium must be blooming in the woods, because my grandma’s rhubarb has leafed out in the garden. I know that the bluebirds are nesting, because I just dragged the porch furniture out of the barn. I know that the beehives are packed full of pollen, because I’m a little dizzy myself. 

We cannot know a place – or a person – all at once, and never completely. But when we’re part of something, it layers in to our own being over time – partly conscious, and partly something more.

Knowing beyond knowledge.

Sunday Best – April 25, 2021

This past week I spent an inordinate amount of time organizing – lining up data in neat columns, sorting laundry, reviewing answers to an endless bureaucratic questionnaire – all of which brought some satisfaction. When we organize, we feel a little corner of the world is tidy and tended and controlled.

I was brought up short, then, when reading a passing reference to the Zen use of the word “mu” in a piece by poet Padraig O Tuama. One explanation of this concept is that “mu” is the answer when the question is insufficient, or misdirected, or based on a faulty premise.

Is the right box checked on every form?  Mu.

Is that garden bed planted in neat rows?  Mu.

Is our world beautiful or broken?  Mu.

Dear ones, as we make our lists this week and tend to things as best we can, let’s not mistake the freshness of the mulch for the depth of our roots. 

There’s almost always a better question to be asked.

 

*****

Happy Independent Bookstore Day! 

Please join me in shopping at a favorite local bookstore this weekend (and beyond).

 

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 newly vaccinated 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 – April 18, 2021


Yesterday I plunged headfirst into Roadside Picnic by the Strugatsky brothers, and spent the day immersed in this sci-fi story from deep in the Soviet Union.

The story is set in an alien visitation zone, full of hazards invisible to humans. Red, the main explorer, carries a pocketful of metal nuts and bolts, and throws them ahead to see if the air is clear.

Friends, for many of us this is a time of re-emergence. The world is not as hostile as an alien landing site, but like the town in this story, our familiar places are not quite the same as before. Small talk is awkward. Shoes are uncomfortable. Some of our favorite people and places are horribly absent.

Dear ones, let’s take a cue from Red’s technique, testing our steps as we go. Maybe we don’t need to rush back out to run endless errands, or attend every meeting, or hop on every plane. Maybe we don’t have to do all the things all the time. 

Maybe this is a once in a lifetime chance, to choose anew.

To choose with care.

 

 

*****

A PERFECT “WELCOME BACK” GIFT

 

 

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 newly vaccinated 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 – April 11, 2021

I’ve returned to Boston just in time for the glorious springtime. The trees are blooming, the birds are singing, and new babies and puppies seem to be emerging from every doorway.

While I was away, some of my houseplants were a little bit neglected, and I was worried to see them so dried-out and bedraggled. It’s just a week later, but in every case, after just a little care, new shoots are emerging, new leaves are unfurling, and new flower buds are forming. Though they were holding steady before, after this cycle of deprivation and restoration, life is busting forth an an astounding rate.

Dear ones, we are gradually returning from a long dried-out period, where most of our energy has had to go toward basic sustenance. Bit by bit, if we are lucky, we are starting to regain a chance to nourish one another, and to tend to ourselves.

This return will not be quick, and cannot be rushed. It will take time to gather, time to celebrate, time to mourn. Whether plant or human, recovery needs to be layered in gently, not in one big whoosh.

Friends, as we slowly return to one another and to ourselves, may we respond to this relief as other living beings do.

May we send new life busting forth.

 

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