We can attempt to teach the things that one might imagine the earth would teach us: silence, humility, holiness, connectedness, courtesy, beauty, celebration, giving, restoration, obligation and wildness.
David Orr from "Earth in Mind"

Apr 10, 2007

A Day of Rest

I have been reading lately about Sabbaths and days of rest. In the book "To Life" by Harold Kushner he points out that on a Sabbath day one not only should leave work but also the problems and issues that fill your mind. Not only is it out of respect (for the earth, god, goddess, or whatever) but it is a way to be more useful and whole (my word) for the other six days of the week.

Whether or not observing the Sabbath is a religious activity isn't really the point for me. The idea of stopping and putting aside what fills your mind for the other six days to spend it with family or solo is what I find so natural.

While we strive to create a life that is focused on spending time as a family, not rushed, the realities of Kevin's school and having a baby do not work in a Sabbath's favor. Yet the days we do take the time to leave the rest of our worries and books behind are the ones that strengthen us as a family. It isn't a sacrifice for us to spend a day hiking together because afterwards we are all rejuvenated and ready to get on with the important things.

Sabbath II 1983 by Wendell Berry
The year relent, and free
Of work, I climb again
To where the old tree waits,
Time out of mind. I hear
Traffic down the road,
Engines high overhead.
And then a quiet comes,
A cleft in time, silence
Of metal moved by fire;
The air holds little voices,
Titmice and chickadees,
Feeding through the treetops
Among the new small leaves,
Calling again to mind
The grace of circumstance,
Sabbath economy
In which all thought is song,
All labor is a dance.
The world is made at rest,
In ease of gravity.
I hear the ancient theme
In low world-shaping song
Sung by the falling stream.
Here where a rotting log
Has slowed the flow: a shelf
Of dark soil, level laid
Above the tumbled stone.
Roots fasten it in place.
It will be here a while;
What holds it here decays.
A richness from above,
Brought down, is held, and holds
A little while in flow.
Stem and leaf grow from it.
At cost of death, it has
A life, Thus falling founds,
Unmaking makes the world.

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