Robert Fulghum (All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten) is back. He is a master explorer of everyday spirituality who manages to find meaning and delight in ordinary things that most of the rest of us either overlook or take for granted. The stories, observations, and affirmations on these pages were patched together in places where he hangs out Seattle, the desert around Moab, Utah, and Crete. In one essay, Fulghum notes that he is a seminary-trained, ordained Unitarian Universalist clergyman with 45 years of experience in religious circles. He is also a man "with 68 years on the job." These credentials qualify him to be a playful storyteller, and he never seems to run out of interesting material to share with us. And he always comes up with important questions that we should ask ourselves. All of these qualities are evident in What On Earth Have I Done?
What has Fulghum done? He is out on Halloween having fun. He is pondering the earth from outer space. He is off to the department store to buy socks. He is rejoicing in the fact that neighbors clean up after their pets on the street. He is wondering about the phrase "just a moment." He is celebrating the many uses of a new broom. In all of these situations, Fulghum comes across as a jolly companion who tweaks our sense of wonder and brings out our reverence for life.
Check out the following piece on "Sock Epiphany":
"The missing sock experience.
" 'The washer ate one of my socks,' we say.
Or 'There must be a miniature black hole in the dryer.'
Or 'One of my socks escaped during the night.'
"There is another way to look at this.
A visiting friend transferred my laundry from out of my dryer onto the folding table, sorted my clothes, found one sock left over, and exclaimed,
'Look! Your dryer made an extra sock for you. When it makes another one, you'll have a new pair. You're not behind, you're ahead!'
Well, yes. A new view of the mysterious workings of the dryer.
Now I approach it eagerly anticipating spontaneous conception.
I need one more brown sock."