Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sabbath time

Valle Mirada in San Miguel, CA
I am sitting outside on the patio, on a nearly perfect summer afternoon. The sounds scape is nearly devoid of people.  No kids outside, no lawn mowers, leaf blowers or whining electric kid vehicles circling the driveway across the street.  Just the rush of the wind in the trees, the piping of birds, the burr of a bee whizzing past.  The view is not quite as expansive as the view from The Artistes' weekend retreat in the photo, but the trees rise like buttresses, enclosing my anchorage, the light shimmers through the leaves, ghosts of saints and angels hover in the walls.

It is the Sabbath, but also the start of sabbath time again, six months set aside after six semesters of teaching to plunge into writing and research.  Two books are in progress, one on writing for chemists, one on hermits for me — and others who long for a way to find meaningful pauses in a noisy and chaotic world.

I am inspired by a friend who came blazing out of Lent's shadows and finished the first, rough draft of a book over Easter's 50 days; excited by the expanse of time in front of me; rooted in the stillness and silence that the summer draws across the neighborhood.

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