by Cathy Baker
How do you spend Sunday afternoons?
Some of my favorite childhood memories are grounded in those mid-day hours. My step-mom and I made lemon blueberry muffins (with tart icing always dyed blue!) We’d gather around the TV to watch the Cowboys (Roger Staubach days) and during half-time we’d walk through nearby woods in search of kindling for our wood stove.
In the chapter, hammock: why you’re never too old for naptime, Laura J. Boggess has this to add about those days:
“I remember long afternoons under the shade of the apple tree—cooling our tongues with the juice of green apples, drifting in and out as the sun played chiaroscuro over our eyelids. And I remember the scent of summer rain through open windows as my little brother and I lay whispering on my bed—waiting for our bodies and minds to drift into an afternoon nap. Rest. As I gently touch these memories with the finger of my heart, a gale of longing wells up inside of me, and I wonder. When did I forget the way slowing down leads me into the arms of the Father?
My Jewish friends would not be surprised at this tender ache that pulses inside of me. “You are missing keeping the Sabbath,” one tells me. “Your life is too busy. How can you hear the voice of God amidst all that noise?” He believes this longing for rest is built up into my spirit; he believes God put it there.
Might practicing Sabbath be a way to meet that hunger and set a table to feed it? And so I began to sit with the longing. I start small—Sabbath moments. With each setting sun, I gather a bit of the day together at its edges and be still. These moments take me back under the apple tree—looking up through the branches at the clouds moving slowly across the sky. And I feel the promise of new life; the hunger is sated for just those short moments.” -Laura J. Boggess, Playdates with God, Having a Childlike Faith in a Grown-Up World
Our Turn…where was (or is) your “under the apple tree” kind of place where you gather the bits of your day and be still?