How is it possible that it's been a month since I've written anything? I knew it had been awhile, but wow. The past few weeks have been absolutely crazy - lots of demands on my time at work (and outside of work!), with very little down time that has corresponded with coherency. But that season is almost over. Three more weeks, and summer officially begins. My days will still be full, but not quite so crazily paced, and I am grateful for the coming respite. In the meantime, another edition of random ramblings:
1) It's Kentucky Derby Day, and while I generally prefer sunshine to cloud cover, I'm actually almost glad it's not a beautiful sunshiny day. Staying indoors to watch/listen to pre-race coverage is harder when the weather's amazing. I like "Twice the Appeal." Hoping he wins. :)
2) I was unexpectedly given a gift yesterday: a canister of Azteca Fire tea from Teavana. It's chocolate and decaf and tea = bliss in a cup. Just opening the canister and smelling it makes me happy. Ah.....
3) My favorite farmer's market (here, anyway) opened last weekend. Yay!
4) I'm seriously looking forward to dinner tonight. I bought bok choy and spinach and zucchini and squash and baby broccoli at the grocery store last night, and am making a ginormous stir-fry. I realize that in true Sabbath keeping, I would have done the shopping Thursday night, and the cooking last night - but it didn't happen, and I like cooking (tho I don't like washing all the dishes that inevitably result from it), so it doesn't feel like work.
5) Sabbath keeping remains an ongoing, positive challenge in my spiritual walk. There a piece of it that might be slightly legalism-tainted - I want to figure out how to do it, and do it well, all the time - but it is so much less about rule-keeping than it is about communion and fellowship and rest and celebration. Preparation is key - remembering to order my days in a way that makes the Sabbath fully possible is one of the challenges I'm not meeting well - yet. The end of this busy season and the beginning of summer will help - and it is my hope to establish a new and better pattern that is sustainable long-term over the next few weeks. Falling into Sabbath so exhausted that it takes most of the day to start feeling like a real person again isn't the way this is supposed to go. But more on that in another post...
6) I have been reading, in the midst of this insane season, often when I ought to have been sleeping - somewhat voraciously. I've discovered new authors that I absolutely love - Julie Berry, E.D. Baker, and others - and picked up books I hadn't read yet from authors I already knew I loved. I haven't been able to bring myself to read Sunshine yet - I've never been comfy with vampire stories - but I read Robin McKinley's Deerskin this week, and it was hard to put down. It's sad - there's some really tough stuff in it, and years ago, I wouldn't have liked it at all - but it is also a story of hope and healing and love, and it ends justly and well. It may not make the re-read list as often as The Hero and the Crown or Spindle's End - but it's definitely one I will read again.
7) All the reading I've been doing is having a very positive effect. I am so much more me when I'm reading good stories. A good story is so much more than words on paper or a set of ideas in a logical order. It's art, and as such, demands that you interact with it, and becomes a part of your story - affecting you, influencing you, challenging you to define what you think and feel and why, and sometimes pushing you to understand things you didn't or didn't want to. (Deerskin did that for me - I think that's why I liked it so much: I learned some things about healing as I read.) Stories have always been central to how I learn and think and spend my time - and if I am reading, I find I am more centered. I don't know how to explain that, or why it is, but it is what it is - and I have felt, in spite of my tiredness, more myself over the past two weeks as I've been plowing through fantasy and faerie stories in time I didn't really have to spare. For all that I can logically say that getting a good night's sleep would have been a "wiser" use of time... I'm not 100% sure that it would have been. (Though both would have been awesome.) ;)