Blogger: Etta Wilson
Location: Kensington, Maryland
Weather: Freezing day and night
I’ve pursued the question of “What is rest” as I’ve traveled from Tennessee to Virginia to Maryland, and my observations are as wide-ranging as the miles I’ve covered. I think that rest is:
1) being in tune with your body enough to know when it needs sleep rather than more work or stimulation.
2) change in activity or locale, from sitting to walking, from being at home to traveling, from being alone to being with a group.
3) having a passion and desire for the work at hand.
4) being open to new ways to express your creativity.
What am I overlooking???
Today I spent time reading to my grandson the first chapter of J.M. Barrie’s classic Peter and Wendy. (That 1941 story of the mischievous elf must have been read to J.K. Rowling when she was a child.) Later we watched the movie of E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. (First line in book–“Where is Papa going with that ax?” said Fern to her mother . . .”) In addition to sharing time with a child I love, I had the sense of being transported to another time and place, of being taken outside any present worries. In other words, I was rested.
I’m surprised that I haven’t blogged about reading in relation to rest. Nothing is more restful or stimulating to me than a good book. (I’ve got three books going now.) Reading not only absorbs us with content or story, but it also has far-reaching effects as it fills our minds from other sources and brings up memories and fresh new thoughts. I was thrilled to read in Publishers Weekly (1/19/09, p. 5) about results from a recent NEA study saying that “reading is on the rise.” More people are reading! Not just reading the daily e-mails and blogs, but picking up books on paper or Kindle. We should have guessed it from the ever-expanding number of book clubs and non-traditional book distributors such as church bookstores.
Well, there you have it–in addition to all the above on my rest list, I believe rest includes the act of sustained reading. I’m energized, I’m rested, ready for the days ahead. Hope you are in the same frame.
Remember the words of James Billington, Librarian of Congress, in 2003: “Writing is exciting, and reading is essential.” Both can be the heart of rest for body, mind and spirit.
What can you do to rest this weekend?