What do you think of when you hear the word rest?
Rest is so much more than getting at least 7 hours of sleep.* The older I get, the more I realize that rest is vital for my soul — the 7 hours a night sleep kind of rest and the renewing of my heart and mind kind of rest. This kind of rest is also known as breathing space, calmness, dreaminess, ease, and contentment to me. Rest can lead to feeling carefree and at peace. Rest does not always come easy. Sometimes you need to fight for it. Sometimes it comes with remembering:
“Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.” Psalm 116:7
Rest often is experienced through beauty. In his poem, The Peace of Wild Things, Wendell Berry writes:
“When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water…
I come into the peace of wild things…
I come into the presence of still water…
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.**
* The National Sleep Foundation advises that healthy adults need between 7 - 9 hours of sleep per night.
** You can find the complete poem at https://onbeing.org/poetry/the-peace-of-wild-things/