two benches

This is a short tale of two benches.

The first bench was centered in a mecca of activity and artificial grass.

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On the first day of May, Portland reached 90 degrees.

This 70 degree loving gal headed to a tree-shaded bench

while Caleb and friends played soccer on the Adidas campus.

There was constant activity on this concourse and I found myself feeling

as if I had stumbled into a visual catalog

of Adidas apparel and footwear.

Despite the hustle and bustle of those clad in 3 striped uniforms,

I opened my book and settled in to read.

Every so often I would raise my head and see soccer balls sailing

into the ocean of sky then I would quickly return to my page.

The second bench was nestled in the midst of creation and chirping birds:

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This day was not a blue saturated sky day.

The morning was hazy and cloud heavy.

Squint in the center of the photo and you might see Mt. Hood camouflaged

under an umbrella cloud.

Courtney and I were high atop the world at Mt. Angel Abbey.

We circled the grounds, smiled and greeted the monks.

Upon hearing the bells toll, we felt centered as

we entered the church, fumbled to quickly move the

ribbon markers to their assigned places

in the prayer binders

and found a pew to unite our mouths and hearts with others.

For me, I mainly tried not to weep.

After wandering through the bookstore and

feasting our eyes upon homemade confections,

we found a bench overlooking the town below and

felt our cares and concerns from ground dwelling

take flight.

It was a challenge to command our knees to straighten.

But our burdens felt lightened as soon as we

lifted our bags of

mementos and fudge and

began our trek back to the parking lot.

Books and rest are of key importance to my days.

I sat upon two benches last week in two different settings.

One crammed full of activity and the other whispering serenity.

Would you believe I found rest in both places?

It is essential to learn how and when to rest.

Rest is an action as well as an attitude.

My hope for you this weekend is that you will

find rest in familiar and new ways.

I believe it is possible to find rest anywhere.

Look for those spaces of time where you

can carve out some precious moments of heart rest.

No matter how many people surround your day,

take a breath and make it your pursuit to find

a sanctuary in the midst of the clamor.

Who knows who might catch a glimpse

of your heart at rest despite the landscape?

Your example might give others permission

to rest right along with you.

It’s an open invitation…join me!

 

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