An Active Rest


<end of Silver Dapple Lane, watercolor with Sheaffer Calligraphy Pen & Bic Pen>

I love walking in Winter. The cold air in my lungs. The sense of no walls around me. The experience of whatever weather is going on–rain, snow, sun, cold. I like being out in it. I feel free, unbounded, unlimited.

A good part of that sense of freedom comes from the visual landscape of winter. It looks swept clean to me. Bare, perhaps. But definitely open, unfettered, unclogged. Roads, sidewalks, lawns, and trees are bereft of what comes with constant growth. It feels pared down, simple, uncluttered, and clean.

I long for my life to feel this way. I look at the end of Silver Dapple Lane where summer gardens flourished, and the once riotous earth looks peaceful with its brown-green grass and sticks of leftover stalks. It seems to say–your work is done here. No more toil. No more weeding. No more chasing down pests and drought. All is quiet in its fallowed state.

FALLOW 1.(of farmland) plowed and harrowed but left unsown for a period in order to restore its fertility as part of a crop rotation or to avoid surplus production.

What I do know, beyond what my eyes tell me, is that all is not at rest, life has not stopped. There is actually a very active resting going on here all around me in the winter garden and landscape. Plant life is storing up fuel for the coming spring. New growth is being prepared. Soil is regaining nutrients and strength. The real work, we might say, is going on full throttle.

I haven’t got a huge point in all of this other than to say that this is what I love to connect with on my walks. To be out in and among the teeming of life whether it be the riot of Spring, the growth of Summer, the glorious waning of Fall, or the peaceful fallow of Winter. I love to consider, in all the seasonal changes, that it isn’t the trees themselves making it all happen. But a force beyond them. In them. Working through them to bring it all to pass.

I have a tendency to live life as if it’s up to me to come up with the new growth. To generate the chlorophyl. To make it all happen in due season. Walking reminds me: that is not my job. My job is to simply BE the tree I was created to be by standing through the seasons. Bending to the weather. Allowing my Creator to work all the fathomless inner growth I need to flourish, thrive, and bear fruit. Walking allows me to lay down my deadly doing along the path. To breathe in what will sustain me. To activate blood, oxygen, muscles, and fibers so that I can keep on walking through the seasons of life. Unbounded. Unfettered. And free.

0 thoughts on “An Active Rest

  1. freebirdsings says:

    This post reminds me of one of my favorite songs Turn, Turn, Turn by the Byrds. Sometimes people feel like they need a rest but they feel guilty taking that rest. Just sitting and doing nothing is very difficult for most Americans. We are so primed (idle hands are the devil’s workshop) to keep busy we are uncomfortable resting and letting God refill the well. Looks like you are learning somewhat, how to do that. Yes, life is always bubbling and cooking away whether we see it or not and that happens in our own lives if we allow it. Nice reminder!

  2. raenassketchbook says:

    I don’t think I would survive winter in the north without my daily walks to catch as many of the sun’s rays as the clouds and freezer fog will allow me. I’m from the south where winter is mild. I walk by the frozen ponds with the markings from the kid’s ice skates…they’ve been playing hockey again. Then there are the dogs who seem to have boundless joy to be running through the snow. The squirrels scampering everywhere–are they moving around to keep from getting cold?…I used to do that when I ran track in high school. But mostly my face searches the sky for that bit of ray to warm it.

    • jenpedwards says:

      Hi Stew! Thanks for stopping by! We continue to have crazy weather! Below freezing temps, rain, sleet, etc. I do love the days with sunshine! Hope your day is full of sunshine!

  3. Deborah Lowe says:

    This is a beautiful post and makes me want to walk. For some reason I tend to hole up in winter and don’t like going outside. My DH is forever trying to get me out and moving. He ran this morning while I drank coffee. I pray that I will let your post and my DH inspire (persuade) me to get out and take in some air and sunshine. TODAY! It is sunny and beautiful up here in the mountains. I have no excuses.

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