Gerry returns from the sea with sufficient salmon to feed us for the coming year, and the sizzling heat of the past week gives way to a gentle rain. The silence of the past few days becomes the sound of living our ordinary days.
I needed the solitude and silence and protected the boundaries I set up around it. It is as necessary to me as breathing. This morning I feel stronger, like my reserves are shored up enough to carry me farther. Is it a challenge to return to “real life” after a silent, solitary retreat? Absolutely. But challenge is where we grow.
I made solid progress on the book manuscript this week and am reluctant to let go of the concentrated time in which to focus on it. I envision writing this book like shovelling sand into a sandbox, making one big block out of it, letting it harden in the sun, chipping away at it until a sculpture emerges, then refining and polishing. I’m in the delicious refining and polishing stage.
There are other writing-related things I want to lean in to besides the book. Fall will be a new beginning, like it was all those years ago when the school calendar ordered my days. One thing I haven’t told you yet is that I’m humbled and delighted to have been accepted into the Redbud Writers Guild. Redbud envisions a “vibrant and diverse movement of Christian women who create in community and who influence culture and faith“. From time to time, I’ll share with you some incredible work being done by Redbud members.
Today, Gerry and I will tend to the catch and I’ll can and freeze salmon. The garden is neglected, but we’ll harvest for supper and take stock of what needs to be done this week. I have to get busy with canning. Though I’m doing less this year, August is still the busy (man, I don’t like that word) month for that work. There’s no way around it if I want to preserve the season’s harvest—and I do.
But first, above and before all, I take time for the better work of prayer and contemplation. It is the foundation from which all else grows.