Rest? What is this rest? Somewhere along the journey of motherhood I forgot how to rest and relax properly. What little time I had to myself was spent doing as much as possible: housework, gardening, producing crops, harvesting, preserving, chicken keeping, DIY projects, knitting and more. All of these things are good and some of them certainly necessary, but they kind of ran away with me for a while. I could never quite finish doing everything I wanted to do and it was often frustrating and I was ending up irritated instead of joyful. This year has been about learning to balance things better. And yes, it’s taking a while because I’m a stubborn, hard-working control freak with many grand plans.
What has been the final boot up the butt is illness and a beautiful Bible study series called Breathe. It is about learning to find Sabbath margin in our lives. Not just Sabbath as in one day a week, but learning to create and plan rest every day, not when we’ve finished doing everything we want to do or looking at what we want to look at, but when we need to give whatever is consuming us a rest. It’s not easy, but it’s so, so good to be able to stop in the midst of the chaos, to say “nope” and to enjoy having a break; enjoy the world around me. The world will not fall apart if I take a break. I might fall apart if I do not take a break.
I am writing this while having a pleasant break. I had to pick something up while The Little Fulla was at kindy, then I had time to fill, out in the car. Instead of the obvious decisions to go to the supermarket and see what we might ‘need’ or traipse some shops for things we didn’t really need, I decided to drive to the Gardens. I went to the Gardens, by myself on a sunny weekday afternoon and relaxed. “By yourself?” The Husband asked. Yes.
I am spending a lot of time in just one little garden. I’m drinking in the luxury of walking and sitting in the beautiful Italian Renaissance Garden, surrounded by hellebores, olive trees, a large archway and architectural potagers. I feel the warm sun on my skin and watch it make patterns on the leaves as the cool wind parts tree branches for it. I’m listening to the tranquil gushing of water fountains. And I’m remembering how blessed I am to be able to enjoy nature and to have this life and this family. The potatoes are not in the ground yet, the seed sowing list is getting longer, the Great Vege Garden Expansion Plan has stalled, the corn field is a faraway dream, the feijoa tree has not been pruned, but I don’t care. There is no guilt for me here today, just joy and pretty pictures for me to share. I thought it wise not to enter the Kitchen Garden.