Wednesday, September 8, 2010

part two: an invitation

Read part one here.

The slow drop into fall.

Harvesting the fruits of my inner garden.

Looking for inspiration into this year's new beginning.

Robert Fulghum's words.*

The spark of an idea.

Something I want to share with you - and invite you to join me.

As autumn gathers around you like foliage at the foot of a tree, I invite you to reflect on the time that was, the time that has been. What practices, what habits, what mistakes would you like to cast into the sea? And what word would you like to embrace in this coming new year?

What word can you plant in your garden to nourish quietly through the long winter?
What word can you feed and water to grow tender green shoots by spring?
What word will bring you closer to the self that you'd like to be at this time next year?

I'm not asking for huge sweeping gestures or detailed bullet points or complicated plans to reach twenty-seven different goals, although if that works for you than I fully support your efforts. But in the case of this challenge, choose just one word to bring you to a better place, a truer place, a place with some quiet peace.

If you'd like to participate, and want to share your word--- I'd love to hear about it. If you want to take part but want to keep your word quietly to yourself, I'd love to hear about that too. I'm going to be sharing my old word - and my new word - here in the next couple of days. But I'd love to hear your ideas for what you're going to embrace.

* ...and because it would be terrible to not share the original bits from Robert Fulghum that inspired me, here they are, from his book, Uh Oh:

Jewish, I'm not. But I often observe the spirit of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Not as Jews usually celebrate - not in a synagogue - and not for ten days. In my own way and time. The temper of Rosh Hashanah appeals to me. The idea of the new year coming in the fall fits my life better than January. During all the years I worked as a teacher and minister, the fall was the beginning of my annual cycle - the end of summer vacation and the start of work anew. That mind-set continues. By January, I am already in the middle of a cycle of living.

The ten days of the Jewish New Year, called the 'Days of Awe,' begin with the 'Day of Remembrance,' and end with Yom Kippur, the 'Day of Atonement.' A trumpet made from a ram's horn is blown, summoning the people for judgement and self-assessment,k for repentance and self0improvement. At the center of this event is a sense of hope. One gets personal accounts squared away so that one may go on with life, with high expectations for another year - a better year - to come. And someday, next year perhaps, Jerusalem - the City of God on Earth, with the Anointed One, the Messiah - will truly come. That is how the Jews see it and believe it.

This year on Rosh Hashanah, I stood out on the end of a high ridge in southeastern Utah and watched the sun go blazing down in a clear sky. September 19. No congregation, no horns, no hymns or prayers or candles. Just the passing of the daylight and the coming of night. Great silence. And a view of 60 million light-years when I looked straight up into the stars. 'Days of Awe' indeed.

On occasion, in years past, I planted daffodil bulbs on Rosh Hashanah, as a reminder to myself that hope for better times is not enough - that one must be an active participant in the quality of the future. If I want flowers in the future, the planting must be done now.

One year I went so far as to plan an apple tree and some strawberry starts, knowing full well that I would not see flowers or fruit for a long time to come. But I intended being there. Hope and faith must be active verbs.

-Robert Fulghum, Uh-Oh

1 comment:

Bethsix said...

I need to think about my word. I feel like there's a lot of pressure with it being a single word. Like, this better be an awesome word, and one I want to keep in mind for a year. Hmm. Maybe I'll do a post on it...