The past few months have been—how do I put this?—far from restful. Trauma from losing a loved one, an intense workload, and a nagging illness have all combined to force me to do something I’m not that good at: Rest.
So I’ve had to learn this art of resting. And part of that has been to find a place where I can really retreat–without a lot of fuss.
It’s easy to say, but how easy is it to do? For me, and maybe for you too, not that simple. When illness brought me down the past few weeks, I finally had to figure it out. So I put our puppy in daycare and retreated—to a spare room in our house. It’s true. One evening, my husband came home from work to find me reading on the bed of our small upstairs guest room.
Maybe it’s the novelty of the room or the rule that I won’t allow myself to work in there or the fact that it’s the only clean room in the house (lol), but as I recover, I still find myself being drawn into that space a little bit each day.
Yesterday, for example, I read the pages of a friend’s book in there—The Traveling Prayer Shawl by Jennifer Lynn Cary. Jenny actually made a shawl for me (see pic below). And today I will take my Bible and read it in the old rocking chair that once held my babies and me. (Yes, I’d stashed it in there long ago and forgotten all about it …)
We live along the California coast where the fog has been ultra-thick outside, bringing with it a mid-summer chill. Soon, when all that gray lifts, I’ll start purposefully taking books with me to the park or nearby beach, not just to read, but to rest while I’m doing so.
Even as life returns to normal, and I start writing my beloved beach reads again—a story is percolating in my head even now—I want to keep on cultivating the art of rest that has been a balm to my soul.
How about you? Where do you retreat to read? If you haven’t found a special spot, are you inspired to look for one?