Musings: On Returning from Sabbath...
A couple of weeks prior to this day Anne Pirie sent me a link to a lovely article entitled, A Blessing for Letting Summer Go. The article ends with this lovely poem, to which Anne added a few lines. Here additions are in italics:
A Blessing for Letting Summer Go
These days are tender,
the in-between space
where one season ends
and another begins.
So, we gather in
with the lit candle
and the fresh flowers,
with our questions
and our grief,...
And we make space on this threshold
as we prepare our bodies and spirits
for transitioning to a new season.
I spent much time pondering these words in over the final days of August as the evenings and mornings became noticeably cooler at the shore - and I found myself holding again and again the question, "What will I take with me as I transition to a new season from this time of summer and of sabbath?"
I will take the gift of morning walks and the reminder the rushing is usually unnecessary and unhelpful - and while a walk around the block may be less pleasing to the eye and ear, and the feel of asphalt will pale to that of sand between the toes, might I continue to notice the beauty that surrounds me.
I will take the gift of relationships as they are in the moment - and strive to leave aside expectations. I will make time for conversation and listen more as I hold space for the holy in every encounter.
I will seek to approach each sunset with gratitude of each sunrise with anticipation and be open to the questions and challenges of each day as the moments unfold.
Thank you to all who have contributed in making this time of vacation and sabbath possible! A special thanks to those who offered leadership during our weekly gathering in my absence. Thank you to members of the Executive who respected my time away and reminded me that I did not need to engage with the emails I was included in. Thank you as well to family and friends who gathered on the deck and shared meals and campfires and walks on the beach - all these things, this gift of time and space, contributes to be returning to the work we share refreshed and renewed!
Today (Tuesday) I am in the office all day. The morning will be spent dealing with correspondence and making phone calls. Jennie and I will spend the afternoon in a meeting as we begin to look at fall plans and events.
Wednesday morning I have to go to Halifax to pick up Anna Cho who will be staying with us as a participant in the Nova Scotia International Students Program. Anna is from South Korea and will be entering grade 11 at Amherst Regional High School. I'll be in the office in the afternoon and at the hospital in the evening.
On Thursday I will resume my practice of working from someplace other than the office as I craft the reflection for Sunday - if the weather is nice I may go to the shore.
Friday will be spent doing final preparation for two Memorial Services that I will officiate at on
Saturday (see below), and at 4PM I will be found at Ducky's as I mark (with your help) International Buy Your Priest A Beer Day!
Saturday will be devoted to two memorial services, one in Dorchester for Harold MacDonald (11AM) and one at Sackville United Church at 1PM for Florence Hicks. A tea party will be held in Florence's honour following the memorial service - do come and share in the celebration of her life!
On Sunday I look forward to gathering in community (in-person and via Facebook Live) at 11AM! I hope to see you there!
Below are just a few photos of some of the moments of rest, relaxation and renewal that have been this summer! Again, thank you for the gift of this space and time.