Sunday Best – August 9, 2020

 

In theory, long summer days plus constraints on activity creates a pocket of calm and reflection and deeper rooting in the world.

In reality, it’s a trying time.

Small annoyances like a missed email or the farmstand being out of corn loom larger than normal, in part because there is less to look forward to, and in part because no matter how much rest we are getting, we are tired.

Friends, we might need to be productive and effective and resilient in all sorts of settings.

Right now, with others and ourselves, let’s also try to be gentle.

 

 

   * Progress on our Month of Sundays book continues, with final edits submitted and real live availability on the way!  As you know, this book is offered in the hope that it might bring connection, comfort, and courage. All profits from this publication will be dedicated to support of organizations that provide essential wisdom and service, addressing some of our greatest needs.

Primary beneficiaries of this giving will include:

Through this circulating financial model, we aim to illustrate the spirit of generosity and relationship that has made this publication possible. By reinvesting in these root-level capacities, your engagement and support will extend outward into the world, producing all sorts of ongoing benefit.

Thank you for being part of this generative spiral!

 

Sunday Best – August 2, 2020

I want you to know that in the last days and hours of my life you inspired me. You filled me with hope… Millions of people motivated simply by human compassion laid down the burdens of division. Around the country and the world you set aside race, class, age, language and nationality to demand respect for human dignity…

I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe. In my life I have done all I can to demonstrate that the way of peace, the way of love and nonviolence is the more excellent way… I say to you, walk with the wind, brothers and sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide.

      – John Lewis

 

Friends, we live in a time when even the most noble ideas are disparaged as partisan politics. But every once in a while, beacons of everlasting truth and love cut through the fog we’ve generated.

 

May we answer the highest calling of our hearts.

May we do all we can to demonstrate a more excellent way.

May our final letters be love letters.

 

 

 

 

   * We can read more about John Lewis and his extraordinary life in his memoir, and more about the US Civil Rights movement in the amazing graphic novel trilogy he authored, March.

   * And our own tiny offering of love letters is coming very soon… ordering should be available next week!

 

Sunday Best – July 26, 2020

Sometimes it helps to look up. This week I tiptoed out in the dark on three different nights, hoping to spy the comet. And finally, at long last, the clouds parted and I saw the streaky miraculous blur.

Amazing as it was, the comet was secondary. Each night outdoors brought a little pocket of quiet. Real quiet, not the quiet of separation or cancelled fun, but the quiet of a still clear night. The quiet of stars.

This weekend also marks the new year in the Mayan calendar, where the day before the new year, July 25, is a Day Out of Time, the “extra” day left over after 13 moon cycles. I celebrated by being mostly outside, tending and roaming and reading, and it was a balm to have screen time close to zero. By the end of the day, my eyes were both metaphorically and literally clear.

There’s a lot to dislike right now, but there are some glimmers, too. I like knowing that it’s a new moon without having to look it up on a website. I like the sureness that the blueberry that was almost ripe this morning will be deep blue before supper time. I like waking up to the cheep of the hummingbird and the cry of the hawk.

Friends, it’s an ongoing Time Out of Time in many ways, which can be disorienting and surprisingly noisy.

Let’s look up.

Let’s aim for the pockets of stars, the quiet within the quiet – comet or not.

 

Our new book is almost here, and it’s BEAUTIFUL!  A few final edits to the proof copy and it will be out in the world, for all to share.

All profits from this publication will be given in support of organizations that are serving our most essential needs – look for full details in the coming weeks.

Sunday Best – July 19, 2020

 

I’ve never been a real “TGIF” kind of person, but lately, I’ve been looking forward to Fridays, and it’s not because the weekend is full of fun social plans. Maybe it’s because the days have been so blurry and Friday brings a chance to mark some form of progress. Maybe it’s just because Friday brings a lull in endless video calls.

Truth be told, even the weekends have brought lots of screen time lately. It is easier to binge watch a new series than to wrangle with reality. So I’ve been trying to add a little more real-world ritual to mark the close of the week, one of which is Friday sweeping. (Yes, some people sweep the front porch every day. These people are not me.)

This week, as the broom swooshed, a flash of orange caught my eye. It turned out to be the most amazing little moth I’ve ever seen. Moths are usually not admired creatures – they are the fuzzy flapping cousins to the graceful floating butterflies. But look at this one! She has both classic colors and bold. She has both stripes and polka dots, one shaped like a heart. Her body is even patterned to match her wings. She is a little flying miracle.

Friends, even on the sunny days, this is a tender time, in big ways and small. It’s tempting to blur our vision, to just get by.

Let’s try to stay here.

Let’s sweep the porch.

Let’s follow the small flashes of color.

Let’s see what’s before us, the pain and the beauty both.

 

    * If you or someone you know is a graduate of any school of Harvard University, please vote in the current elections ! I am honored to be nominated for the Board of Overseers, and grateful for your consideration.

    * Our proof copies finally arrived this week! That means the real book is almost here… a perfect late-summer treat. 

Sunday Best – July 12, 2020

Like many in these homebound times, I’ve been trying to chip away at some long-delayed projects. It’s not purely practical or productive – it’s also a way to feel some sense of normal, some sense of progress, in a time when neither of those things is so easy to come by. It’s a way to feel caring and rooted in place, instead of confined.

So imagine my satisfaction when I took out an old-fashioned hoe and started clearing away an overgrown pathway in my garden. The first stone was just a little covered-up, easy to restore. But before I knew it I was coming across pavers that had completely disappeared, unearthing huge markers that were just under the surface, yet totally forgotten. As I chipped away at the turf, sweat pouring from my forehead, I found myself wondering, how could I have forgotten this was here?

Friends, we spend much of our time rushing forward, assuming the paths we are following will always be clear. And then we spend the rest of our time inventing solutions for problems we have ourselves created. What if, before rushing to build a new path, we tended to the old one, revealing its foundation so that our extensions were worthwhile?

There are so many pathways that have already been built.

There is so much wisdom that has already been revealed. 

Right under our feet, just below the surface.

Let’s uncover some today.

 

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