Whether it was a passing deer, the bunny family that lives under the day lilies, or the big brown thing from under the porch, the culprit that ate my dahlias was thorough: every stem was cut down to the ground. I cussed a little and sighed, filled in some herbs to cover up the empty patch, and put my plans for late-season blooms aside.
Then a few weeks ago, I spied it. Busting through the verbena was a single surviving dahlia stem – scrawny, unexpected, and glorious.
Friends, even if we’ve forgotten our springtime dreams,
even if the deer and the bunnies and the big brown thing have dashed all our hopes,
we might yet be surprised.
In case you missed it earlier, here is our summer book list for 2021, shared with very best wishes for ongoing learning, exploration, and escape.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.