Wednesday, September 02, 2009


radiates refreshment

Raspberries * Red * Religion * Rest * Rivers * Roses * Rain * Raindrops * Relatives * Respect * Radio * fried rice * Relationships * Random acts of kindness * Road trips * Recreation * Romance * Redemption * Relaxation * Roadside stands * Returning home * Reunions

There's a pass leading to (or returningn from) the highlands of Scotland known as Rest and be Thankful. I suspect its name derives from having put the worst of travel behind one heading from the mountains toward the less arduous country of rolling hillsides and plains, and taking a moment to appreciate the victory. Whatever its origins, however, I am taking a moment to be thankful for rest.

There are different types of rest, of course. It can come in the form of relaxation, recovery, renewal and restoration, or simply taking a pause from what typically occupies us to pay attention to a singular opportunity or shift to something different.

One of the things I love about road trips is the spontaneous adventures that can occur. Roadside stands are just such a break from the hum of tires on pavement and the confines of a vehicle. I can recall when Ken and I were making a trip to Connecticut and a construction detour in Pennsylvania took us from the gentle curves of the interstate to the twists and turns of a country road. We came upon a roadside stand and stopped, not because we needed produce, but because it was an opportunity to take in the work and labor of another's world, and to appreciate the common ground of tomatoes and corn and the diversity of indigenous crops.

The stop along the road also broke the monotony of a lengthy trip, provided us with fresh grist for conversation and renewed road-weary bodies from sitting in the same position for hours. It also provided us with fruit, a welcome change from the usual carb-heavy snacks that accompany us on our travels.

Renewal comes in many forms, and can be found as close at hand as mindful breathing. A break from anything offers us a shift away from the ordinary and a glimpse into another world. While taking a neighborhood walk we can consider the landscaping of a home or a toy left in the yard from a child's romp; while driving we can imagine the journey of the passenger in the next car; at the computer we can follow a link to almost anywhere. When we return to our own world and environment we come back to a difference place from the one we left because our own world has been expanded, informed, touched. The time away, be it seconds or days, offers a reprieve from the grind that is our routine, and renews us even as we may expend energy.

We rest. We breathe. We find renewal.


Jayne said...

Renewal... another great "R" thing. Living in the NOW and seeing what is in front of us. I smiled as I thought of you soaking in the fresh vegetables at the stand at an unexpected, but blessed detour. Love to you today my friend.

Mompriest said...

rest and renewal is something I'm going to seek in a month or so...nice reflection

Jules said...

Can't wait til you Road Trip it down here!


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