I was graced one morning recently with a solitary leaf waiting for me on my picnic table. No fanfare when it floated silently from its arboreal perch announcing, in the only way it could, the inevitability of autumn.
Ahhhh! Autumn! Probably my favorite of all seasons, and one of the many reasons I love living in the Midwest. Summer here is the growing season, tending the crops through the challenging heat and sweat and too little or too much rain. (Too much this year, BTW, just saying, in case you notice a price increase in all things wheat and corn…)
Now, however, we can anticipate beautiful trees, cooler temps, and the final big harvest before the dormant season kicks in. The nights get longer, its own way of saying it’s time to rest more after a hard season of work. And it’s time for the trees to shed their leaves, as they too must rest from the labor of growth in preparation for another season next spring.
Rest—there’s word replete with emotion. Many in our culture consider rest a type of failure, as if my busyness makes me more important; if I’m not stressed then I’m not working hard enough and you won’t respect me or think I’m important. “I’m a busy person” is equated with “I’m an important person”. To quote a famous busy man:
If God thought it important enough to institute such at the dawn of history, then a day of rest must be worth considering. Of course, we’re more advanced and sophisticated than our forebears, (being somehow linked with an increase in wisdom as well.) In the 1960’s, my mother stayed home to merely keep house, take care of two children, and cook (real) food for the family. And be “room mother” at school. And help me with Girl Scouts. And….and then, in the 1980’s we were told that mom had wasted her true gifts, as women besought to fulfill their potential in the market place. Here we are in the 21st century, and few women who value what my mom did can even afford to do it.
And not only are there too many things TO do, there are endless things we CAN do. This paragraph is being written in a big bookstore, and this title has caught my eye: Kick-Ass 3. Because, that needs to be read. We are distracted from what’s really important (you know, like blogging :) by our rush to relax. (And I just overheard this comment from the kid behind the counter: “Yeah, as if I don’t have anything else to do, right?”)
Seems kinda silly, when even the big oak trees have a season of dormancy. Alas, we humans must remain relevant to the brink of sacrificing our health and humanity on the altar of productivity.
So I add my drop into the ocean of advice for my generation and those that follow: find strategies to slow down, contemplate, and relate with people, r-e-a-l people. And yourself. And most of all—your Creator. That whole “be still and know that I am God” thing. Warning: it will really mess up your schedule.
This post is a bit of a scattering of thoughts. Sorry about that…maybe I need a break too! Not to worry. The big cardboard Millennial Falcon hanging from the bookstore’s ceiling reminds me that we have something to look forward to this winter. I’m sure that will be a nice, restful experience.