Because I have a garden and a dog, I spend my first waking hour outside. Checking the fruit, watering the garden, kicking the ball to Wendell. The time extends and doubles on itself on the weekends, but it’s still very much a large part of my weekday mornings too, before heading to work.
In one morning, it’s really nothing remarkable. Morning after morning though, it seems to have become something more. Listen to the plants, watch the bees, look for the trails of the earthworms, pet the small animal licking my feet. But more importantly, stay quiet, pray, give thanks. It’s become my holy rhythm. (I’m not a parent, but I can imagine the vast opportunity for these observances with children. Maybe it’s a bit more harried though?)
This routine has become so established that I feel a deep sense of unbalance if this time is thwarted by a snooze button or early morning plans. And what does that mean?
Well, I’ve been thinking recently about how we find rest, and, well, how we don’t. I too-often am the person that’s “just really tired.” The person that’d rather be asleep. Listen, I get plenty of sleep. I know that (again, not a parent). No, what I need is restoration, reflection, time to be still and renew.
Slowly, so so slowly, I’m finding my rest in the unlikeliest of places. Walking the yard with Wendell in the early morning hours. Going for a run in the Virginia summer heat. Sitting in the dark quiet of our porch late at night with Chris. These things have always been here, but I’m finally starting to notice, giving them a name, marking them as good.
Chris and I went to a retreat here last week, and for the first time in years, I let go. I didn’t worry, I didn’t fear, I didn’t plan. Which is all fine and good for the weekend, but in order to be a woman my friends and family want to be around, I need to start incorporating these practices into my life outside the lodge walls.
So, I’m taking inventory. Keeping my ear to the ground for the places and spaces and times where I can tap into something deeply restful, where the energy I put in, is multiplied in fruit on the other end. And it looks like I’m starting where I began: in my backyard.