Rain, like mist, saturated the darkness. Something was odd. Too quiet. After passing a few houses on my block, I realized the power was out in much of the neighborhood. No compressor motors were running. No lights humming. It reminded me of the eerie quiet that settled over the city at the beginning of COVID when our frenetic on-the-go-ness came to a crashing halt. Though that was an unsettling season, there was a certain peacefulness about it. Though COVID continues to inhibit us, much of life’s demanding pace has resumed and people are again not finding enough hours in the day to engage in all that matters most to us. How do we establish a holy rhythm of work/rest; self care/other care?
In his collection of poems, This Day, Wendell Berry shares his own journey of seeking solitude and renewal. He shares more than 30 years of wrestling with this question through poems he wrote on the Sabbath, or seventh day of each week. He recalls that God rested on that seventh day of creation. Some Sabbath days Berry goes to the church where he worshipped sitting next to his grandfather and where he worships sitting next to his grandchildren. Some Sabbaths he takes a walk in the woods of rural Kentucky alone to marvel at the creation of God.
I love how he calls us not just to find a balance but to find the resonance of the soul with that force of life greater than ourselves. Here is how he writes of it in an excerpt from one of those Sabbath poems:
The mind that comes to rest is tended
in ways that it cannot intend:
Is borne, preserved, and comprehended
By what it cannot comprehend.
Your Sabbath, Lord, thus keeps us by
Your will, not ours. And it is fit
Our only choice should be to die
Into that rest, or out of it.
Grace and Peace,
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