Think About Nothing

A rare, quiet night. No baseball games. No practices. No school/parish/community related events. I finished leading the ten-week series on Catholicism last night. Wonderful experience that I’ll have to write about one day.

After four days at work laden with meetings tomorrow my schedule is free of them (though I’ve still plenty to do).

I mowed. I played with Buster and the kiddos. I relaxed. Too much actually. I don’t think I’ll make it to 10:30. Before shutting down this computer I came across this quote written on a piece of paper and placed on my desk. I scribbled it down a few years ago but had forgotten about it.

The eternity of God is his length; his love is his breadth; his power is his height, and his wisdom is his depth.  – The Cloud of Unknowing

Somewhere in this house and my shelves of books I’m certain I have this one. Somewhere. Maybe. But the quote put me in the mode of thinking of lazy, summer reads and what I want to tackle this summer. While I haven’t figured that out yet I do know I’ll be reading at least one of Henry Van Dyke’s books. Last summer I scored a major coup when I found eight volumes of his essays and poetry at our downtown used bookstore for $7 each. Published between 1895 and 1910 if I recall correctly these books are the perfect, lazy summer read. Henry loved to fish, and while I don’t I can appreciate how that pasttime influenced his easy and approachable prose.

What will you be reading this summer?

What a charm there is in watching a swift stream! The eye never wearies of following its curls and eddies, the shadow of the waves dancing over the stones, the strange, crinkling lines of sunlight in the shallows. There is a sort of fascination in it, lulling and soothing the mind into a quietude which is even pleasanter than sleep, and making it almost possible to do that of which we so often speak, but which we never quite accomplish—“think about nothing.”

From the short story “The Ristigouche from a Horse-Yacht” in the collection Little Rivers, by Henry Van Dyke, 1895.

*****

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