Bethany Douglass educator, writer and photographer based in Bryan, TX, US


What does Sunday mean to you?

Sunday is a mixture of leisure and preparation, a bit of looking to the week ahead while still lingering in weekend mode. My husband, Mark, and I tend to ease into the day, letting the kids sleep in, while we enjoy a lazy cup of coffee in bed or on the front porch together. At some point after children begin straggling out of bed, the guys make fresh fruit pancakes, which we enjoy with our family's weekly meeting - a designated time to talk about the week ahead together. We talk about everything from who might be joining us for dinner to upcoming trips or school plans. It simply helps us all start the week in the same place. I'll often set aside some personal time a bit later in the day for looking at our school work or meals for the week. I'll make a favorite drink and turn on some music for the mood. It feels peaceful this way. The rest of the day depends on the season and our family energy. Some weeks, we take an energetic outing on bikes or a walk, other weeks we tuck away with books or work at home or run errands. I like leaving space in time Sunday to flex as we need it.

Since you have a big family, I assume life is never boring - you read books, prepare food, travel. What is it that you do mostly together?

Life is never boring, but our day-today is quite simple. We often eat together at home - indoors and out - read books together and talk about ideas, and spend time outside. We love to travel together, and we tend to take day trips to hike or play in other ways outdoors more often as the weather grows cooler. Our climate is fairly warm most of the year. Our dream would be to live in a place with mountains or rivers just outside our door. For now, it requires driving and planning ahead.

What was your most memorable Sunday?

It's funny, but there's not a single Sunday that stands out from the other. They all seem to be versions of the same narrative: slow and intentional togetherness. There's always something tasty to eat, and there are always talks about what the upcoming week holds for us. Sometimes we wake up in the outdoors when we camp or in someone else's home when we travel, but most often we greet Sunday from our own beds with the sun rising through our bedroom window. The moments that follow are ordinary and unique all at once.

Photography: Bethany Douglass @cloisteredaway