Let Go and Rest

by Nancy Bragg

When I was growing up, Mom modeled work before play. I remember summers when she would stand in the 2nd floor utility room, ironing with sweat rolling down her back, before she could take her four kids for a swim. She got tasks done so she could engage in activities like reading the newspaper, playing bridge, or watching tv and knitting. She was always doing something. I remember her sleeping at night, but not resting during the day.

My lack of experience with resting was worse than my mom. I worked full time, raised 3 sons, and earned my doctorate - all at the same time. I was in motion from the time I woke up in the morning, until I dropped into bed at night. I didn’t even make much time for pleasurable activities. When I retired, someone told me to rest and relax. I remember thinking, “I don’t know how.” What a wake-up call! Apparently, resting means ceasing work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength. Where would I even begin?

In one area of my life, I am good at resting. When I am on vacation, I love to recline in the sun on a lounge chair and bask in the sun. It’s a place to start. Even when I am not on vacation, I could turn my face up to the sun and soak up the sunshine. I could even pause, savor, and rest a bit. It would be a blessing to let go and be free, still, rest, and feel connected to the light.

There is a time to let go…

by Rev. Gretchen Haley, who gave permission by email

There is a time to let go of

the resistance

the steadfast march

to complete the to-do list,

for parents and activists

and for all who love this life

these people, these mountains, this sky.

There is a time to rest,

and to trust,

the world will go on

filled with partners at the ready,

all of us splitting shifts on this project

of building and healing, tending and turning.

Breath and being

require their own practice

their own attention

and the heart needs time for becoming

stronger, after the shattering

the opening wider

the learning to love more