These last remaining days of summer have been bitter-sweet. School has started, the visiting relatives from across the country have gone, our daughter fractured her arm on the playground, and I am busy harvesting Red Potatoes and Yukon Golds from the garden with the last of my green onions. The pears are ripe and sweet, and the apples are coming in right behind them. Maybe enough for some apple butter this year? My corn is in a sad state of skinny, useless cobs (save for the nice stalks they’ll make for decoration this fall), but we are enjoying watching the pumpkins slowly evolve from deep green to jack-o-lantern orange.
Life has been anything but simple around here lately. I’ve been pondering what to write about next for some time, and trying to carve out some time to do it. You know those seasons of life when there is so much to do, so many obligations, you just need to retreat and care for your soul? So, that’s what I did. Along with my long-time friend, Adele, I took a 3 day weekend and went on retreat to a favorite location. Each staying in our own solitary hermitage. We spent peaceful quiet time in prayer and Bible study, caught up with one another, and spent time in fellowship with the Lord, fully enjoying the serenity of our woodland surroundings and marveling at the simple joys placed before us – like a number of paper lanterns, lit by small flames, floating serenely overhead one night above the trees from a nearby wedding reception. And who can beat opening the desks in our sparse retreat homes to discover, with joy, that many “hermits” before us had left their mark by writing of their experiences in notebooks dating back to the early 1990’s?
Slow down. Be present. Be grateful. And enjoy life.
So, I’ve done my best to bring back a little portion of that peaceful simplicity and remember to slow down and breathe in the midst of my days. A simple life can still be full, and even busy. It’s how you go about it and how you appreciate the small things in your midst with each passing day. I’ve learned with time to let go of a lot of stuff… Choose my battles in many ways. Reminding myself that everything is not a priority. I keep a handy planner, with daily and weekly goals, that helps me to do a lot more than I would without it! But if it doesn’t get done – oh, well. There’s always the next day…or the next…