You have been forced to enter empty time.
The desire that drove you has relinquished.
There is nothing else to do now but rest
And patiently learn to receive the self
You have forsaken for the race of days.
At first your thinking will darken
And sadness take over like listless weather.
The flow of unwept tears will frighten you.
You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.
Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.
Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free.
— John O’Donohue, For One Who is Exhausted, A Blessing
I might go weeks without reading poetry. I may feel victorious in my efficiency and productive use of time. I can sometimes grind through my days in hopeful work, forgetting to walk outside to greet the day. These are days of emptying the bucket while filling the ledger with checked tasks. Empty buckets make a hollow sound. They demand to be filled.
It’s not lost on me that I’m posting about taking time to rest at the beginning of another work week. When we go, go go! for weeks at a time, sometimes things like weekends disappear in a flash. We forget to see the small miracles we rush through in our mad pursuit of getting things done.
Slow down. Step away. Find that which is calling you from outside yourself. The work will always be there, awaiting your return. Or maybe it was never your work at all. How can you know if you never take the time to listen?
The days and the seasons roll on by, like waves to the beach. We only have so many days. Only so many seasons. We must learn to slow down and celebrate the one we’re in.