Sunday Best – December 20, 2020

For many of us, these past few days have brought a little sip of fresh air. Inbound emails finally started to slow, vaccine trucks rolled out from their manufacturing sites, and those in the eastern US had a challenging but glorious dumping of snow.

As we tilt into the new week, the wee hours of Monday mark the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere, with sunset arriving well before 5pm. And then, the days begin to grow.

It’s terribly slow at first, a nearly imperceptible few seconds of stretching per day. But within a few weeks, we are adding whole minutes at a time, and by March we reach the equinox, where the day begins to outweigh the night.

Dear ones,

There is still a long winter to come,

but it’s lighter and lighter from here.

 

****

Thank you for the ongoing support of Month of Sundays! The good news is that so many books are being ordered, our publisher is behind in printing and some outlets are reporting delays. However, as of this past week Barnes & Noble and many local booksellers through Bookshop and Indiebound are still able to fulfill orders fairly quickly. (And of course the e-version has no such challenges.) We all know how great it is to receive a gift a little bit after the holiday buzz, when the quiet of winter is descending, so thank you for your patience as some of our partners catch up to the terrific demand.

And, we have a Holiday treat for you! If you have enjoyed the Month of Sundays book, and especially if you plan to buy gift copies for the holidays, we’ll be happy to send you a few beautiful letterpress bookmarks featuring images from the book. These lovely products have been handmade by the amazing Christa Alexandra Designs, the mastermind behind the stunning design and illustration of Month of Sundays.

Just go to the simple form on the Month of Sundays site and we’ll get them right to you! With thanks for all of your support, and for your sharing the book with others.

https://www.monthofsundays-book.com/bookmarks

****

Sunday Best – December 13, 2020

I was scrolling through photos with my niece this week and she stopped at a series from my last trip to Liberia. She asked me about every single person, about the kids who were getting checked for nutrition and the babies who were receiving their vaccinations and the community health workers delivering care, about the log bridges that crossed over the creeks, about every tree and flower and bug that was represented.

It reminded me of the great joy of travel, the way that new settings almost automatically bring out our curiosity and wonder. And yet our travels – and our wonders – take many forms. A friend points out the perfect phrase to describe an essential truth – wonderful. A cookie assembly transforms a marshmallow into a snowman head– wonderful. A casual web scrolling turns up creatures so extraordinary that I find myself saying out loud, “hello, who are you?!?”  All wonderful!

Wonder-full.

Dear ones, the limits of our world can sometimes highlight its wonders even more vividly.

Let’s follow those sparks, whether far afield or close to home.

Let’s revel in the wonders of our world.

 

****

Thank you for the ongoing support of Month of Sundays! The good news is that so many books are being ordered, our publisher is behind in printing and some outlets are reporting delays. However, as of this week Barnes & Noble and many local booksellers through Bookshop and Indiebound are still able to fulfill orders quickly. (And of course the e-version has no such challenges.) We all know how great it is to receive a gift a little bit after the holiday buzz, when the quiet of winter is descending, so thank you for your patience as some of our partners catch up to the terrific demand.

And, we have a Holiday treat for you! If you have enjoyed the Month of Sundays book, and especially if you plan to buy gift copies for the holidays, we’ll be happy to send you a few beautiful letterpress bookmarks featuring images from the book. These lovely products have been handmade by the amazing Christa Alexandra Designs, the mastermind behind the stunning design and illustration of Month of Sundays.

Just go to the simple form on the Month of Sundays site and we’ll get them right to you! With thanks for all of your support, and for your sharing the book with others.

https://www.monthofsundays-book.com/bookmarks

 

 

Sunday Best – December 6, 2020

Sometimes I come across a new poem in an old book of favorites and it beams forth, saying, this one, now.

I love how this form and language of this blessing from John O’Donohue mirror the essence of  the ideas he’s conveying – heavy at first, then sad, then quiet, and then, at last, lighter.

Dear ones, a long year is coming to a close, a year when even the best parts have often been exhausting. 

Let’s be gentle. Let’s watch the rain (and the snow). Let’s draw alongside stone.

Let’s return to ourselves, to the joy that dwells far within.

 

For One Who is Exhausted, by John O’Donohue

When the rhythm of the heart becomes hectic,
Time takes on the strain until it breaks;
Then all the unattended stress falls in
On the mind like an endless, increasing weight.

The light in the mind becomes dim.
Things you could take in your stride before
Now become laborsome events of will

Weariness invades your spirit.
Gravity begins falling inside you,
Dragging down every bone.

The tide you never valued has gone out.
And you are marooned on unsure ground.
Something within you has closed down;
And you cannot push yourself back to life.

You have been forced to enter empty time.
The desire that drive you has relinquished.
There is nothing else to do now but rest
And patiently learn to receive the self
You have forsaken in the race of days.

At first your thinking will darken
And sadness take over like listless weather.
The flow of unwept tears will frighten you.

You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.

Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.

Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free.

Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of color
That fostered the brightness of day.

Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.
Be excessively gentle with yourself.

Stay clear of those vexed in spirit.
Learn to linger around someone of ease
Who feels they have all the time in the world.

Gradually, you will return to yourself,
Having learned a new respect for your hearT 
And the joy that dwells far within slow time.

 

*** 
The way that O’Donohue titled his blessings (“For one who is…”) inspired the index in Month of Sundays, which can be found at all of your favorite booksellers. Thank you to those who have supported this endeavor, whose proceeds will be recirculated to some of the most vital nonprofits around.

Thank you for asking how to further support this project!

  • Spread the word – on social media, or to friends and colleagues. We are @mofsundaysbook on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
  • Write a review on Amazon (this is easy, and matters more than you’d think). Just scroll down the book listing to the “reviews” section and there are easy instructions for adding your own.
  • Gift a copy to a friend (or two or ten).

And, we have a Holiday treat for you! If you have enjoyed the Month of Sundays book, and especially if you plan to buy gift copies for the holidays, we’ll be happy to send you a few beautiful letterpress bookmarks featuring images from the book. These lovely products have been handmade by the amazing Christa Alexandra Designs, the mastermind behind the stunning design and illustration of Month of Sundays.

Just go to the simple form on the Month of Sundays site and we’ll get them right to you! With thanks for all of your support, and for your sharing the book with others.

https://www.monthofsundays-book.com/bookmarks

 

Sunday Best – November 29, 2020

In this season of bounty and harvest and gratitude, I’ve been considering enough-ness, and how deep our fear of scarcity can run.

Made a pie for Thanksgiving? Why not two or three?

Earned an A-minus on an assignment? Why not an A-plus?

Ran a marathon? Why not an ultra-marathon?

Sometimes this kind of ambition is helpful – we can learn more, or develop more, or contribute more.

But often our sense of enough is really a sense of never-enough.

Dear ones, what we have – and what we are – it’s not just enough.

It’s plenty.

 

*****

Friends, we have a Thanksgiving treat for you! If you have enjoyed the Month of Sundays book, and especially if you plan to buy gift copies for the holidays, we’ll be happy to send you a few beautiful letterpress bookmarks featuring images from the book. These lovely products have been handmade by the amazing Christa Alexandra Designs, the mastermind behind the stunning design and illustration of Month of Sundays.

Just go to the simple form on the Month of Sundays site and we’ll get them right to you! With thanks for all of your support, and for your sharing the book with others.

https://www.monthofsundays-book.com/bookmarks

Sunday Best – November 22, 2020

I was unpacking a box this week and found my calendar planner from early 2020. As you might guess, leafing through it was bittersweet. The college reunion that did not occur, the family vacation that turned into separate stay-cations, the weddings that were delayed, the conferences that were swapped to zooms… for a little while I let myself sit in the wistfulness, to mark the absence of some of these joyful events.

This got me thinking about homecomings, and home-goings, and all of the ways that home can be present. I am at home when I see the light come through the trees in a certain way. I am at home when I read a favorite passage in a favorite book. I am at home when I taste mashed potatoes made with just a few lumps. I am at home when I hear the song that was playing when I first learned to drive, or the one that is new to me but old to my heart. I am at home when I sit on “my” bench in the public garden. I am at home when I hear a new idea, and feel that little spark of my mind stretching out. I am at home when I visit with my bees, I am at home when I see a dear friend, whether virtual or real life or in my own dreams.

Dear ones, we may not be where we planned to be this year, but we can still be home.

For this, I am thankful.

*****

Friends, we have a Thanksgiving treat for you! If you have enjoyed the Month of Sundays book, and especially if you plan to buy gift copies for the holidays, we’ll be happy to send you a few beautiful letterpress bookmarks featuring images from the book. These lovely products have been handmade by the amazing Christa Alexandra Designs, the mastermind behind the stunning design and illustration of Month of Sundays.

Just go to the simple form on the Month of Sundays site and we’ll get them right to you! With thanks for all of your support, and for your sharing the book with others.

https://www.monthofsundays-book.com/bookmarks

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