I've read 3 books this week. It was our Spring Break, and it was cold, grey and windy for most of the week, so we stayed put and I did a lot of reading. and napping. and reading. I could list a million quotes highlighted from this week, but this one is the one that has settled in. Time is a gift, and extended time to settle in with any thought or thoughts, has proven to be a comfort for me. But with that open space, that blank slate, the rest - comes the opportunity to see oneself with more clarity. A waking up of sorts. This week provided space for words and conversations that felt hard, vulnerable.
I feel a bit like Elizabeth Bennet, from Pride and Prejudice, "Till this moment, I never knew myself". Those words feel a bit dramatic, but taking a step back and looking at the landscape of your life can feel that way, especially when you've been looking at it with your face smashed against the glass for too long. So, when I read Maria's words, I thought yes. Rest is not our keeper but our teacher. I have most certainly been taught this week. Stored up words and thoughts that I pray will undergird the days ahead. The rest gave me courage to face the things I would like to see shift and change. And it's pulled me back to see that life with your face smashed against the glass may not be the way I want to live my days.
Maria goes on to say, "I stopped listening to the loudest voices in my life and started listening to the truest ones." I don't know if it's the curse of the 9 ( look up the enneagram:), but my inner peacemaker often defers to the loudest voice in any room. Listening to the truest voice takes more time, intention, and willingness to not compromise real peace for the immediate peace that deferring to whatever loud voice is beckoning my attention will give.
My life feels not unlike this photograph. Up close are these beautiful, whimsical people that swallow up my days with sweetness and chaos. But there is also the amazing mountain range rising up to the heavens behind them, and crystal clear water all around them. They are what is in focus, but there is beauty far in the distance that does not have to outrank or distract me from them, but rather it is the landscape that amplifies their beauty.