Sunday Best – August 7, 2022

I spent a delightful morning last week exploring a beach known for its agates, amazed by the beautiful rocks that were strewn along the shore at low tide. By the time I turned to leave, my pockets were sagging with the weight of tiny treasures I’d borrowed to examine more closely.

Imagine my dismay when I emptied those pockets just a few minutes later to find a pile of boring dusty gravel! My disappointment turned to cynicism as I concluded that the jewels that had been so captivating on the shore were just dull worthless stones after all.

Then it occurred to me that there had only been one small difference between wonder and let-down. I poured a little water on the rock pile, and instantly the gravel was transformed back to treasure.

Dear ones, when we are disappointed, we are so quick to reject all that surrounds us – ideas, decisions, friendships. What if our first inclination was not rejection, but restoration? What if we sought this kind of replenishment for ourselves as well? 

So many wonders in our world are just a little dusty, waiting for some water.

May we all find the polish that we need to shine.

May we offer the same to others in return.

Sunday Best – July 31, 2022

The cure for anything is salt water – sweat, tears, or the sea.    

– Isak Dinesen

 

This week I found myself near the coast, and hiked over two hours to see an area where there were supposed to be tidal pools teeming with life. When I arrived, I found barnacles and mussels and anemones, which should have been enough to delight any junior scientist. But I was missing the dramatic sea slugs and urchins and stars, peering beneath craggy overhangs while my boots got soaked in the outgoing tide. I was tired and sore and thoroughly unimpressed with the glorious bounty before me.

Finally I turned around to begin the long hike back, and saw a glint in the crevice behind me, followed by another and another and another. The whole time I was whining about the starfish, I’d been standing with my back to a colony of magnificent jewel colored crabs, unlike any I’ve ever seen.

Dear ones, when we find ourselves squinting and poking and sighing with dissatisfaction, let’s note what is absent, and mourn a moment if need be. And then let’s turn to witness the wonders that have been right there all along, just waiting to be seen.

 

Of course, the next day there were starfish galore. But that’s a story for another time…

Sunday Best – July 24, 2022

I’ve spent most of my life in the rolling hills of the eastern United States, so the wide open spaces of deserts and the soaring peaks of mountains always hit me hard, leaving me dizzy with difference. I feel like Alice in Wonderland in these places, simultaneously completely exposed and insignificantly small.

What a delight it is to recalibrate in this way! Struggling up a rocky path in hundred-degree sun, my deskbound work seems easy and luxurious. Gazing up at a glacier that scrapes the clouds, my worries appear puny and fleeting. As an added bonus, I’m surrounded by the mystical wisdom of trail advisories, with timeless advice like, “Don’t throw rocks from top.”

If we are lucky, our home spaces are happy cocoons, just the right fit and scale to support our lives. And if we are very fortunate indeed, once in a while we get to stretch across vast horizons, or shrink down to tiny specks, reorienting toward our deeper place in this glorious world.

Dear ones, whether deserts or mountains, oceans or meadows, ideas or poems, I wish for us all this chance – to re-root in wonder.

 

Friends, I am delighted to share the article I was invited to write for the Green Money Journal’s “Next 30 Years” issue, including a tribute to legendary Hazel Henderson. Here’s to the green shoots of hope, and the sparks of progress!

https://greenmoney.com/what-would-nature-do-what-would-nature-have-me-do-the-next-thirty-years/

Sunday Best – July 17, 2022

This tiny poem from Joy Harjo has been sticking with me all week.

She had some horses she loved.

She had some horses she hated.

These were the same horses.

 

First I laughed, thinking it was clever.

Then I woke up the next day thinking of all the people and ideas and experiences in my life that match this description.

Then I started to consider all of the other categories I’ve created for sorting things over time, and how rare it is for anything to sit within a single column.

Dear ones, we long to make sense of our world, to box it up in tidy sections. But how much richness there is in the overlap, in the realm of Sometimes and It Depends.

As we create our groups, as we analyze and navigate and process, let’s leave some room for the layers and shifts. We need not settle for single dimensions.

Let us give thanks for the In-Betweens, the Boths, the Ands – whether people, or poems, or horses. 

 

****

I’ve been diving into the poetry of Ada Limon lately – and lo and behold, she is our new Poet Laureate!  One of her volumes of work begins with this reference to Joy Harjo, whose term as Laureate is just ending.

 

Sunday Best – July 10, 2022

Summer sunrise comes early in New England, so early that if we’re seeing it, we might be groaning from lack of sleep. Maybe we had an extra-early flight to catch, or maybe we couldn’t sleep, or maybe the sunrise marks the end of a long hard night.

And yet, each sunrise is full of promise. As one of favorite stories exclaims, “Lo! The pinking of the dawn!” The longest hour might reveal a profound line of poetry, a brushstroke of genius, an elusive and fundamental truth. The hardest day might contain greetings from loved ones, the taste of a perfect peach, the buzz of bee in blossom.

Dear ones, however tough the night, let us greet the dawn of this new day.

Lo!

 

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