The world was all new, a summer morning in June, where every living thing was thriving and growing. We were all in the car, going into the countryside. As we were at breakfast that day a neighbor asked if I would join some friends for a cup of tea in the evening, and I had declined. We were all worn out I had said, we really needed some quiet time together before getting ready for the next week that would be really busy. The promise of being led to “pastures of green” felt very far from being fulfilled (Psalm 23). When we arrived at the picnic spot our usual place was taken. Even so we manged to secure a peaceful place on the riverbank. While eating we kept making plans for the next week. The kids were also not in the mood for playing, there were ants, there were bees, they wanted to go home. We did not stay long. The obligations of the next week loomed over us. Better just to go home and make a head start on it we thought. We did not talk much in the car, but my mind was racing, what would be the most logical sequence to do the tasks when we came home? Dinner first or laundry first, the email or the phone calls? We were not rested.
Later, when I put the lasagna in the oven, I realized that both the green pastures and the quiet waters had materialized quite literally. Just where we had been that day, only we had not brought our minds with us. After dinner I dropped my plans and went to join the others, at least to soak up the blessings of the quiet waters of a teacup.
This keeps happening. In the middle of the most hectic and chaotic times, there is suddenly an unplanned pocket of quiet. I am learning though that what happens is not a time we forgot to fill with tasks but the blessing and necessity of being led to green pastures and quiet waters. We just have to allow ourself to receive it, as a gift. To me this is one of the first lessons of thankfulness. Not to ask for something new and give thanks if it happens, but to realize what is already there.
In November I take part in the NaBloPoMo, in the BlogHer network. I post every day on “The Untangling Tens” what women do when life gets tangled. These are the ten tools that worked for those I have asked, what are yours?
All pictures in this blog are taken by me, Solveig Mjolsnes.