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.

 

Sunday Best – April 4, 2021

What’s better than a blank page, a cool drink, a warm greeting, a new dawn, a nest of robin’s eggs?

It’s a blank page after a scrawled and scratched-out draft.

A cool drink after a hot and dusty walk.

A warm greeting after a cold and lonely isolation.

A new dawn after a dark night of the soul.

A nest left intact after the storm.

Dear ones, however rough the journey, we have a new beginning today.

Let us rejoice.

 

 

Sunday Best – March 28, 2021

 

It’s the wee hours of the morning and I’ve been up listening to the thunder and lightning, rain and hail pounding against the windows. I’m living further south right now, in a lovely little rental house, where storms like this are frequent. In the basement, the floor is sloped towards a drain in the center and the foundation is deliberately a little bit porous, so when the ground is soaked the water can easily flow through.

This has given me flashbacks to a Habitat for Humanity trip years ago in Tajikistan, where we spent many days digging and placing huge rocks and mixing cement for a foundation that was two feet thick. In Tajikistan, the winters are long and brutal. If your foundation is porous there, your whole house will fail. Yet on another build in Papua New Guinea, the home was floating in the air, barely touching the earth, so that the floods could swoosh underneath.

Dear ones, so many challenges arise due to our foundations – and not just with the building inspectors. We’re bendy at times when a stronger backbone would keep things in order. We’re rigid at times when just a little flex would allow things to flow with ease.

When the next tempest stirs, let’s pause and ask, which foundation is needed now? Unlike our houses, we have more than one option, and can choose the best mix for each situation, from concrete to bamboo.

Friends, with the right foundations, we can withstand all kinds of storms.

 

*  The photo above shows how to find the bakery in Tajikistan!

 

 

*****

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 – March 21, 2021

It’s crept along in recent weeks – the birds getting louder, the sun getting stronger, the green shoots emerging from the ground as it thaws – and now, at last, we have arrived at the equinox. Even though there’s surely a last snowfall or two to keep us guessing, each day from here has a bit more light, and a bit more warmth.

It’s time for tending to all that’s been bashed by the ice and the snow, repairing the frost-heaves and pruning broken limbs.

It’s time for opening the windows, stretching in the sunlight, and sowing new seeds.

Dear ones, it’s been quite a winter.

It’s been quite a year. 

Here on the brink of the new season, we have a chance to inquire beyond habit.

What needs to be tended?

What has been waiting to emerge?

 

 

 

*****

Friends, If you find yourself wanting to reflect on this past year, or to contemplate sunnier 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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