In addition to this week's mission, I also have a couple things for you (please imagine them wrapped with a red ribbon) to tuck under your arm as you head off into the holidays.
1. First, this week's mission: answer these 8 Questions. Hopefully you find this fun and thought provoking, and it's totally anonymous. Stay tuned for the results after the holidays.
2. I'd love to hear what were your favorite missions of 2010... and what you'd like more of (and less of) in 2011. Please bare your soul in the comment section below.
3. The Flour Arrangements Cook Booklet is ready! Thank you so much to everyone who sent in these yummy recipes and personal anecdotes. You can grab it two ways: (printable version) (digital pdf version)
4. We have a rather special playlist for you, thanks to one of our readers Rosa SanMarchi. The music is superb, as you'll hear for yourself, but what's even better is the story behind it. It's a story about yearning, disappointment, and unexpected beauty. Here it is, in Rosa's words, from her blog Create Your Happy. (Thank you, Rosa.)
The Lovely Mix : ► 12 pieces of lovely for you
It was at 'The Beckoning of Lovely' where I experienced first hand that you should always trust magic. During one of the 10 lovely moments we created and shared together, Amy had tiny members from the crowd pass out letters from the World's Smallest Postal Service that read "Make The Most of Your Time Here." Of course, I wanted one of those letters, but so did everyone else and it just wasn't possible for everyone to get one. Ebert knew that I wanted one of those tiny letters, so he gently urged me to go get one. But, Ebert and I were standing all the way in the back and the letters were being passed out in the front, I just didn't feel like forcing my way up or to call out to the kids "Over Here, Over Here" just so I could get a letter. I thought, if I'm going to get a one of those letters then I want to just trust that it will come to me. It didn't. Then, Amy announced that she had 2 gifts for the crowd - a piece of orange candy and a penny for us to make a wish in the fountain with. Well, I thought, besides an amazing experience, the candy and the penny will be my souvenirs from the evening. And I was happy!
We made our way to the candy first. And as the growing mass of other beckoners waited for their piece of candy that John Green was handing out, a security guard on a segway came over and made everyone leave because the park was closing. Oh well, I really shouldn't be taking candy from strangers anyway. But, as we were walking away a young girl, in her teens I think, turns around, looks at me with a lovely smile and hands me a piece of paper taped up as a sleeve with a mixed CD inside. I was bewildered, to say the least, not expecting to receive a random gift from someone in the crowd that I was only able to manage a muffled "thank you" before the girl and her mom walked away. I did not fully realize the magic I had just received. I still had my eye on what I thought was the bigger prize...a penny from Amy K.R.
So, onward we went to the penny and the fountain to make our wish. I did not want to be denied my opportunity to make a wish, especially since I've recently been feeling like I could use every wish-making chance I get. But, as we crossed the Pritzker Pavilion field we saw the green-haired girl with the red wagon full of pennies racing back towards the Bean. "Wait!" I wanted to shout. "I didn't get my penny. You're going the wrong way. The wishes are over here, at the fountain." But, away she went. Unfortunately, the fountain was already closed. There would be no wish-making for me, unless I wanted to trespass or attempt to throw my penny in to the fountain through the closed gate. I'll be honest, I was mildly disappointed.
But then as we walked back to the car with the city skyline as our backdrop, it dawned on me what I was holding in my hand... a little bit of magic in the form of 12 lovely songs. Wow! Not more than 10 minutes earlier I said that I wanted to just trust that it would come to me, and it did. It wasn't the magic that I had envisioned, but was even more magical than I expected.
EPILOGUE: If the girl who created and handed Rosa this CD is out there and reads this, she wants to send you a big heartfelt thank you. me too.
5. Wishing you all a holiday thick with peace and contentment,
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