I lay down on the edge of a property with trees where the leaves are hanging on in their brilliance and shaking about in the wild autumn wind . The whisper of a thousand tiny cymbals and the whistling of the wind through the surrounding buildings was a balm to my heart that was seeking beauty in the mundane. The rustling of the leaves was music to my ears. I lay there, watching and listening.
Seeing the blue sky beyond the canopy of trees and the sun breaking through every now and again when the wind whipped especially enthusiastically reminded me of a time not so long ago. I lay, there with no thought to those who may come by my place of solitude, off of a back alley in our small town. As I lay there, I noticed that the air was much more still where I rested than just a few feet above me. This suited me just fine, as the arthritis flare I had fought for a few days, was more suited to the warmer air. I lay my soul still as the peace of the surroundings started healing my soul.
As I looked at the fiery leaves above me, and the blue sky as steady as its ever been, I began thinking of the most profound place of rest I have experienced, maybe ever.
It was a 25C day in Jamaica. Hubby and I had been in the tropical paradise for only a few days. Every day, for at least a half hour at a time (I have attention issues) I would lay back and let the warm breeze off of the ocean penetrate my soul. I found myself, instead of reading books as a way to help myself relax, just looking out on the turquoise waters and feeling the sun on my face, soaking it in.
There was a profound moment of peace, when I realized I’d just experienced peace, by it’s definition, when I thought to myself that I didn’t have to worry about what was for supper, about how to calm my aspie child down (again), be the peacemaker after school when skirmishes happen, getting homework done, catching up on the never-ending laundry, how to organize my life…I was far away from it and didn’t have to worry about it for a week. I had NO responsibilities. NONE. All I had to do was make sure I didn’t overstay our welcome and show up for the return trip home.
I have never felt that type of release from every day life and I knew at that moment that I needed it. I needed that type of moment about 5 years ago.
God met me where I was and said “This is a rest of the soul that you need to take . Don’t neglect this again.” He refreshed me in ways that I had not anticipated.
I was given a gift. The memory of our tropical trip. A moment when I was on a hammock and looking at the ocean with two overhanging trees with rustling leaves overtop. That moment.
I wanted to carry that experience home with me. And I did.
While I was running this summer (for the 5km) there was a moment when I needed to lay down all of the sudden. I collapsed in someone’s yard. I looked up and saw two overhanging trees and the blue sky above and I was reminded that I don’t have to keep my life at a frantic pace. I needed to savor the moment. Jamaica’s influence in Northern Canada. Take it in as a gift from God.
I am certain I will not be laying down in someone’s pile of snow to enjoy the brown branches and the blue sky above…but then, you never know? I may just buy myself some warm winter wear (finally) and lay down on the snow with my kids, looking at the sky with descending snowflakes.
The gift of our time in Jamaica and enjoying God’s creation, was a gift that will keep on giving.