Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Sabbath Kept

Rose of Sharon in Rain2

The days have been lazy. I have felt a light breeze coming over rippled water, and watched the last rays of the sun melt over a blue lake. In shallow waters, I retrieved an oval, seagreen-colored rock. It sits now on my counter.

With one daughter, I jostled to win air hockey, while she laughed loudly and held my gaze. With the other daughter, I forded a creek we found after hiking through hushed woods. I consider that this daughter now understands something of stone crossings. Both the girls peered with me at wood sorrel, a lemony forest gift we bit into, blinking and smiling.

I read Harvest of Hope and considered the sorrow of the Killing Fields, while also discovering how my small donations can bring new life to Cambodia and other places across the world. I started yet another journey into my childhood past, with a book called The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce. I made it halfway through Lynne Baab's book Sabbath Keeping. Indeed, I have kept Sabbath and feel the better for it.

In Baab's book, I found and savored this from Wayne Muller:

Sabbath is a time to stop....To stop working, stop making money, stop spending money. See what you have. Look around. Listen to your life. Do you really need more than this? Spend a day with your family. Instead of buying the new coffee maker, make coffee in the old one and sit with your spouse on the couch, hang out— do what they do in the picture [in the advertisement] without paying for it. Just stop. That is, after all, what they are selling in the picture: people who have stopped. You cannot buy stopped. (p.62)

It is true that you cannot buy what I found over my extended Sabbath. You cannot buy a deep breath, which is precisely what I took. And you cannot buy the free gift of rest, which is a new readiness. Yes, thanks to the gift of rest, I feel ready for the days to come.

Rose of Sharon in Rain photo, by L.L. Barkat.

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Blogger Sarah said...

Kept sabbaths are wonderful. Too few and far between sometimes, but wonderful. I'm glad yours went so well.

5:00 PM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

Good to hear, L.L., that you were able to find that kind of rest.

My favorite time of rest, and I've had a few, was on our twentieth anniversary, Deb and I went up north a ways and stayed at a quiet (especially that time of the year, in October) place, and I never felt so rested and with such a sense of peace and no anxiety. Deb felt that way as well, less surprising for her since that's more her nature.

Good to hear of the good time you had with family and just by yourself and with God in creation.

5:41 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

That's a great quote. It's all about choices. Choosing to do what you want rather than waiting for the whens to fall into place.

6:43 PM  
Blogger Every Square Inch said...

welcome back - thanks for sharing your thoughts on the blessings of Sabbath.

9:30 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Sarah... yes, this has made me think I need to lean into Sabbath more often.

Ted... thanks, Ted. And what a great picture of you and Deb. It sounds blessed.

Heather... imagine how long it could take for the whens. And then we get tangled in the whys. I like the thought of taking an active role, choosing peace before we totally collapse from spending ourselves or our money.

Every Square... it's good to be back, and it was good to be away.

10:41 PM  
Blogger spaghettipie said...

Glad you're back and I'm refreshed just by reading your words.

10:45 PM  
Blogger Christine A. Scheller said...

Three cheers for L.L.'s refreshed return!

11:49 PM  
Blogger Lynet said...

Lovely to see you back, and well rested.

3:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you had a good rest - it sounds as if it was filled with wonder.

9:12 AM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Spaghetti... glad to refresh you! Isn't it like that? We are more able to renew one another when we ourselves are renewed?

Christine... Ah, wonderful! I have always wanted a personal cheerleader.

Lynet... and good to hear from you.

Miriam... thank you! How are you doing?

12:32 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

We stop our physical work to rejuvenate and reconcentrate on our spirit and spiritual relationships.

I believe this is what Jesus was speaking of when He encouraged us to build our treasures in Heaven and not here on earth where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.....

Peace, Kim

3:26 PM  
Blogger Real Live Preacher said...

Sigh. The poetry of your prose is a small sabbath for me.

Why is it that I see the beauty of everything you describe. And long for it. But I continue to sell my birthright for bowls of rancid stew.

over and over again. I keep thinking the stew is what I want.

4:56 PM  
Blogger Craver Vii said...

I heard there was stew? Oh.

Air hockey. On our honeymoon, Mrs. Craver and I spied an air hockey table at the resort. She has, like, air-hockey superpowers or something!

5:45 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Kim... I like that duality of body and spirit. One feeds the other, yes? Or, if we deny one, it starves the other.

Real Live... Mutual. You have a way with words. Now, about that stew... maybe you dip in because it looks good, smells good. If only life's spiritual rancidity were as easy to discern as what's in the bowl for dinner (though methinks we've gone off track a bit with that too, no longer able to trust our noses. Have you ever stopped to smell non-organic strawberries for instance? If you close your eyes when you sniff, you realize they must spray them with strawberry fragrance. It's just not a real strawberry smell.)

Craver... Always enough for latecomers, to be sure! And I like that Mrs. more and more every time I hear about her. Sometime, she'll have to play my daughter.

8:57 PM  
Blogger Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

welcome back! you were missed!

I find the title of your new book quite intriguing - we will have to compare notes - or rather, perhaps, you should compare notes with my daughter who grew up in a single parent home.

One thing I heard someone say about divorce, which I have found to be far truer than I wish - divorce is unlike the death of a spouse. There you have a body to bury and grieve over - with divorce, you only have a dead body tied to your back to lug around.

9:29 AM  

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