Sacred Rest

Man standing on a bench looking into a forest by Dirk Wuestenhagen

Sabbaths 1999
by Wendell Berry

Again I resume the long
lesson: how small a thing
can be pleasing, how little
in this hard world it takes
to satisfy the mind
and bring it to rest.

Within the ongoing havoc
the woods this morning is
almost unnaturally still.
Through stalled air, unshadowed
light, a few leaves fall
of their own weight.

The sky
is gray. It begins in mist
almost at the ground
and rises forever. The trees
rise in silence almost
natural, but not quite,
almost eternal, but
not quite.

What more did I
think I wanted? Here is
what has always been.
Here is what will always
be. Even in me,
the Maker of all this
returns in rest, even
to the slightest of His works,
a yellow leaf slowly
falling, and is pleased.


Another liturgical year is finished. Advent, and a look ahead while peeking back at the Word Made Flesh over 2,000 years ago will begin anew on December 2nd. The liturgy has been concerned with the last things and therefore the cause of much meditation and reflection. This is as it should be. It is good for man to gauge where is he and how he got there, while ever-mindful of where he wants to be. Often the lessons become evident when we take the time to rest. Often the lessons are right where they have always been.

Don’t lose sight of the lessons…or yourself…in the ongoing havoc.

Happy Advent my friends.


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