Sabbath rest...

One of the true signs a vacation has arrived for me is the 13+ hours of sleep that usually washes over me about day 3 - and true to form last night I was blessed by its sweet gift. Our daughter and new husband arrived in the early evening from NYC (just recently back from a month long honeymoon in Italy) so we had lots of grilled polenta, fish, eggplant and red wine. And then, after hearing a few of their honeymoon stories, this old man crashed - and slept and slept and slept.

What a great gift that first extended sleep of vacation is for me: no worries, no thoughts, no concerns. Just deep Sabbath rest as the Creator intended after a full year of creativity. I resonate with old Huston Smith that we Christians have lost something just and vital in giving up a deep and sacred Sabbath.

So, after tea and biscuits, walking through the garden and sitting on the deck to soak up the sun, we schlepped off to Mass MOCA for a long afternoon of exploring contemporary art (more on that tomorrow). Then telling more family stories, devouring excellent Mexican food and talking about our hopes for the year to come. I am always blessed when my children gather with us for stories and feasts - always! Two poems come to my Sabbath mind:
"You are old, Father William,"
the young man said,
"And you hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head - do you think, at your age, it is right?"

"In my youth," Father William replied to his son, "I feared it might injure the brain;
But, now that I'm perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again." (Lewis Carroll)

And from "A Prayer for My Daughter" by William Butler Yeats:

I have walked and prayed for this young child an hour
And heard the sea-wind scream upon the tower...
May she be granted beauty and yet not
Beauty to make a stranger's eye disraught,
Of hers before a looking-glass, for such,
Being made beautiful overmuch,
Consider beaut a sufficient end,
Lose natural kindness and maybe
The heart-revealing intimacy
That chooses right and never find a friend.

I have been blessed: thanks be to God. What's more, in addition to blessed children, I have a woman who loves and cares for me beyond what is fair and just and is all grace! I can't help but think of Bobby McFerrin's rendering of the 23rd Psalm...


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