Life has a way of surprising us, doesn’t it? Or rather, as we get into the work of guiding our days deliberately, it’s surprising in that the perfect timing, the perfect moment, the exact thing that you wanted but didn’t realize existed, suddenly just pops right in front of you. With books especially, this is my experience.
My husband Micah and I photographed a beautiful farm wedding for a couple near our home and I was struck that day by the beauty of all of it — of genuine love between the couple, of all the perfect details that seemed done out of love and care and not “just because,” of the home itself. Before the ceremony began, we were in the living room of the home and I realized there was this sign that said “Peace and Plenty.” I loved that. I’m so like a little rat with my nest in that I am continually, mentally, keeping things that I want to have in my life. (Don’t birds kind of do the same thing? Maybe that would be better than a rat.) This sign, and this saying, was something I wanted to keep with me.
So naturally, later that week, I went on Etsy and searched for the phrase “Peace and Plenty.” There were lots of hand-embroidered items that reminded me of the things that used to hang on my grandparents’ farmhouse walls. Which was sweet, but nothing I felt like I needed to have up in my home now. I was thinking maybe I’d just have to DIY something myself (which I may in the future) when one listing came up with a book title: “Three Magic Words: The Key to Power, Peace, and Plenty.” A lot of photos of inside passages were posted, including things like the conscious mind, intuition, realizing absolute love as the motivating power of life, and meditations. And it was from 1954. I felt like this book had everything I was interested in all right there, in a lovely, nondescript vintage cover, and ordered it. I’ve been reading it for a couple of weeks now, and it has surpassed my every expectation of what it could be. I read a lot of books, and I think this is definitely my favorite read of 2018 thus far.
Soon after this book was on its way, my husband asked me what I’d like to do for our 11-year wedding anniversary. We are planning a lot right now, including a vacation, a book, so many more Light-filled Mornings interviews, the kids have activities — to where I wanted to do something fun and special, but I’m looking beyond so much that I was having a hard time envisioning what to do for this weekend. So I did what I never do, and said, “Surprise me!” And he did! With a trip to St. Louis.
We hadn’t been to St. Louis for a non-work-related trip since before we were married, so we had fun exploring. There’s so much more there than the Arch. Which I knew, but really hadn’t experienced thus far.
We had an amazing time trying all sorts of interesting food (biscuit donuts with Fruity Pebbles topping… meatloaf muffins… blueberry coffee stout craft beer…) but the biggest surprise of all was the parallelogram furniture.
Micah booked us a tour of the Frank Lloyd Wright home of Russell and Ruth Kraus in Ebsworth Park (about a 25 minute drive from downtown St. Louis) with a floor plan composed of two intersecting parallelograms. It contains all the original Wright-designed furnishings and fabrics — including a parallelogram-shaped bed and hexagonal bed. (“It would look weird in here with a rectangular bed!” our guide insisted.) It’s like the original smart home, with a switch as you come in the door to turn on all the lights in the home — and a switch by the (parallelogram) bed to turn them all off.
Russell Kraus was an artist who wrote to Wright asking if he would please design a home for him and his wife, and one thing that struck me was he asked for a terrace for “sun-bathing and star-gazing.” (I’m keeping that sentiment, too.)
I’d asked Micah how many books I should plan to bring with me on the trip (I am generally reading four at a time, and pick them up depending on how I’m feeling in the moment) and he said no more than one. So the one was my new Peace and Plenty book, which very accurately described my feelings with a weekend away, experiencing new things.
Enjoy your light-filled mornings, friends.