There are different types of rest. Today we are often encouraged to practice self-care. And sometimes that is luxurious. Sometimes that is physically relaxing. But rest is not just about the body but also the mind. We must learn to practice the art of leisure. To be whole in appreciating the now.
“Leisure draws its vitality from affirmation. It is not the same as non-activity, nor is it identical with tranquility; it is not even the same as inward tranquility. Rather, it is like the tranquil silence of lovers, which draws its strength from concord.”― Josef Pieper, Leisure: The Basis of Culture
Everyone is well aware of the unprecedented times (COVID19) and the amount of upheaval that came into our lives in parallel. Politics are more volatile than any our older relatives remember. There are mistrust and unease. Additional work comes in the form of extra computer work, loneliness, mental exhaustion from an overhaul of our lives, families learning to be together, teaching, and working.
But the point of this is that we needed leisure. My family was lucky enough to visit relatives in Mrytle Beach. I love love love the ocean. When we were little our parents would take us to a quainte family town in Old Orcard Beach, Maine. We would be awake with the sun, much to our parents delight😉 We hauled our beach gear to set up the best spot. Mom packed a cooler with lunch and snacks, and we never once came back inside. Hours spent surfing the waves, building snadcastles, finding starfish, going for walks and napping.
This trip felt like a recreation of that childhood memory for me. With new family twists! Many hours were spent boogie boarding with our 12 yr old. But I spent some quiet mornings to myself walking on the beach with a coffee, going for a run, or saying some prayers. The baby was overstimulated by the amount of sand she ate so her hours on the beach were shorter and followed by long naps inside. It was fun seeing her become more curious and brave by the end of the week. She wanted to crawl right into the waves. And she waves at every passing stranger as if she were the mayor of the beach.