I’ve been watching Sarah play lately with wild abandon. At 18 months, she doesn’t consider the consequences of her actions very much. Occasionally, she looks over her shoulder to see if something is going to be OK with Brian or me, but mostly, she just runs and twirls and climbs and laughs and builds and knocks down and dances and hugs. She’s on the go from the minute she wakes up smiling to the minute she finally settles down for sleep. So, how can I possibly title this post, “Rest”?
Because she does. In micro-bursts. She can be running full speed through the living room, drop to her knees and play with some blocks for a minute and then put her head down on the floor in a quick child’s pose with her bum in the air. If she really needs to recharge, she slides her bum all the way to the floor and puts her arms beside her stretched fully down toward her knees. She doesn’t close her eyes. She just lets her body rest. Usually, it’s less than a minute, certainly never more than two, and then she’s up again, oftentimes heading for a chair she can climb just to scoot back into the cushions and smile as if to say, “Look at me and how big I am.” I see her in the chair, but I remember her body still on the floor for a micro-moment: Rest.
I need to learn to rest like this as well. Metaphorically, of course. When I’m tearing about my day, running from meeting to meeting, I could benefit from taking a lesson from Sarah just by pausing for a moment to allow my body, mind and soul to rest – even for a micro-moment.
I thought about this while I was on vacation last week. Theoretically, vacation is a time to recharge and rest. For us, there is still much “work” to be done and very little time to rest, relax, simply to be. In fact, a colleague-friend of mine just asked me if I ever really rest. “Not really,” I answered with a laugh. But if I think about Sarah’s way of resting, there is plenty of opportunity to rest, and I take those opportunities all the time.
Just by breathing deeply and being mindful of the air around me, I rest. By closing my eyes for a moment and imagining the sound of the ocean or the laughter of Sarah, I rest. Even dreaming of the day when Catherine gets into the appropriate school gives me hope and a micro-burst of rest. So, there are plenty of times to rest in short bursts before I get up and tear around my life with the reckless abandon of a toddler exploring all she can do for the first time.