September, for me, is a time of new beginnings.
As a kid I loved September because the days started to cool, leaves on maple and oak trees began to change color, the air took on a moist earthy tang, and a new school year began.
This month I am reflecting on the subject of rest and rejuvenation. Knowing that my tendency is to overfill my cup in terms of commitments and responsibilities, it seems appropriate to consider the real need to remind myself that just as the ocean ebbs and flows, so should my life. As human beings, we need rest. We need down time to care for our weary bodies and minds. We need peace and quiet to contemplate our spirituality and our place in the world. We cannot always be crashing like waves onto the shore; we also need to pull back, regroup, and reassess, prior to rushing forward again.
Now that I teach college, September is typically the beginning of a new academic year with all of its attendant flurry and frenzy. I always have more to do that there are hours in the day; however, a part of me enjoys the frantic aspect of the preparations, the excitement of meeting new students, and the freshness of the young minds I encounter as another year begins. The trick is to remember to incorporate time for rest into this new and exciting time. Even if it is just planning a lunch with a friend allowing yourself time to sit and talk about the detritus of life, or making time to lay in bed with a good book, doing so allows your mind to wander to new places and find sustenance in the process. We must remember that in order to be able to work and play at our optimum energy and capability, rest and renewal are crucial. Our bodies need time to dream and time to rest.
This month, let’s take the time to breathe in the beauty of life. Slow down. Take a nap. Sit with a cup of green tea and read from a book of poems by Rilke or Langston Hughes or Theodore Roethke. Sleep on the couch snuggled up with the love of your life.
Admire the lovely fluff of your cat’s tail.
Slow down and savor your life.
© 2008 Shavawn M. Berry
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