This month I’ve had the most astonishing rest. My family left to visit our relatives in Italy and I stayed home to work- what I have come to recognize as my own pattern of stockpiling and postponement. I’ve often pushed myself in production, with the self-made promise for pleasure and rest later, when all is done. Have you ever noticed that it’s a very rare day in which we find that all is done? In any case, before they left, my shoulder had been bothering me, and by the time my family had departed it was too painful to move my right arm. My body was declaring that it was time for a retreat. And since I was in pain management for the first week, and body compassion for the next, a retreat is what I had.
I couldn’t mow the lawn, so it became a beautiful field of yellow flowers. There were days when all I could do was take a blanket out onto it and lie there. One morning I was blessed to find myself living inside this poem by RUMI:
Out beyond ideas
of wrongdoing and right-doing
there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each-other
don’t make any sense.
The I in the poem became the Infinite Presence, the you was me, and there we met.
Oh friends, I wrote poems; I rested; I began writing a new book. The days unfolded and so did I…
At the end of two weeks, when I was well enough to enjoy myself, but not to accomplish much with my arm (Still learning the art of being over doing…) I had house guests for a few days. What a joy it was to play with them- not to send them on their way while I worked… We went to the beach, we sauntered the trails, we swam, read, talked and laughed…
I wish you many summer splendors: friendship, beauty, harmony and rest.