Sunday Best – June 27, 2021

 

Instructions for living a life:

Pay attention.

Be astonished.

Tell about it.

     – Mary Oliver

 

It’s easy to breeze right by the most astonishing things. A hawk circling overhead. A couple that has found one another. A caterpillar slinky-ing up a leaf. A bridge that spans a river. A newborn of any species.

This week I was tending to my bees. I was expecting a visitor and the clouds were rolling in and it had been a hectic day of zooms and spreadsheets and emails, so truth be told I was not paying too much attention. I swapped some empty frames into the hive and rushed along with my day.

Hours later, I took a quick glance at the comb that I had removed.

Friends, just look.

This was all made by insects, with nothing but water and flowers and some fancy enzymes from their own bodies.

We might miss some opportunities here and there, 

but in the end,

if we pay attention,

we will never be un-amazed.

We will be astonished.

 

 

Sunday Best – June 20, 2021

Our ordinary mind always tries to persuade us that we are nothing but acorns and that our greatest happiness will be to become bigger, fatter, shinier acorns… Our faith gives us knowledge of something better: that we can become oak trees.

       – EF Schumacher

 

On this solstice day, let’s give thanks for the glories of our planet and for our sun that shines upon us – the ingredient that allows the acorn to become an oak.

On this Father’s Day, let’s give thanks for the humans who do the exact same thing.

Dear ones, let us sprout and grow and thrive and shelter and nourish the next acorns in turn.

 

Sunday Best – June 13, 2021

 

Someone asked me this week when I first wanted to travel, and I realized that the Brownie handbook started it all. In between the recipe for s’mores and lyrics for the “Make New Friends” song was a page that showed all the different Girl Scout uniforms around the world. I wanted to see all of those different hats and pins and sashes. I wanted to meet all of those other girls.

This reminiscing led me to reflect on the Girl Scout Promise, which starts, “On my honor, I will try…”  Even as a kid, I appreciated how the Brownies asked not for blind obedience or a guarantee, but for a promise, for an effort.

Friends, for most of us the time of reciting daily pledges and oaths has passed. But why? We do not need to stand in a circle wearing sashes to make a commitment (though those are pretty great conditions).

Here is a chance to consider, what is a worthy promise? 

On our honor,

Let’s try.

 

 

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 – June 6, 2021

No matter how well we know a place, or a person, or a book, they can still surprise us. This week, I glanced out the window to find a deer in the yard – not surprising at all, and in fact a little annoying, as I’d just noticed the tender leaves of a new tree I’d planted had been nibbled away.

But then, just behind the mama deer, a fawn! Despite many years of living in deer country and a lifelong love of Bambi, I’ve never seen a baby deer in real life. The fawn looked tentative on its impossibly thin legs, but then suddenly she took off, jumping and twisting and sprinting back and forth. It reminded me of my little niece, who sometimes looks up and me and says, Auntie Kath, let’s RUN!  And then whoosh, she is off like the wind.

Dear ones, may we welcome hungry visitors.

May we see old things in a new light.

May we take inspiration from this baby deer, who can’t help but leap.

Deer a-leaping video

Sunday Best – May 30, 2021

These lines from David Brooks caught my attention this week:

Productivity is a mask. I’m too busy to see you. 
Essentialism is a mask. I can make all sorts of assumptions about you. 
Self-doubt is a mask. I don’t show you myself because I’m afraid you won’t like me. 
Distrust is a mask. I wall myself in because I’m suspicious you’ll hurt me.
 

It’s rare that we have a chance to experience the whoosh of fresh air that unmasking brings in such a literal way. Now we all know how great it feels to breathe more easily, to feel less impeded and more connected. We can recognize the full splendor of air and light and other human faces in all of their precious glory.

Dear ones, our other masks are harder to remove, and they’ve been there longer. We might not even remember what it’s like when they are off. They might be fused onto our skin.

Still, imagine the possibility if we peeled these away too. Imagine the deep, clean, effortless breaths we could take.

Whoosh.

 

 

Artwork from Eilis O’Connell, thanks to the MassArt spring auction. MassArt is the only public art college in the US, well worthy of our support!

*****

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.

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