Day Nine: Sabbath

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One thing we’re discovering about owning a Leopard Gecko as a pet is that not only do you keep a reptile, you also keep crickets and mealworms. It’s like a whole “circle of life” thing over here. At first, Scully ate small crickets, about the length of my fingernail. They were small, quiet and fast. I’d find escapees randomly hopping along the floor from time to time. Now that he’s older, Scully eats fully grown crickets, these are about the size of a paperclip and though I’ve gotten better at keeping them contained and fed and properly hydrated once in a while I’ll get a batch that chirps.

As I sit here today pondering the idea of Sabbath for the 40 days of blogging I do so with a backdrop of crickets chirping. While the kids are at school the house is quiet now except for the chirping and sometimes the steady slosh of the dishwasher running. It’s a little like camping which is to say, it’s a little like the best parts of camping. As a rule, I avoid camping at all costs. I don’t like to be cold, rained on, muddy or stiff from sleeping on the ground. I am a delicate flower like that.

Still, the idea of getting away, stopping the constant push and pull of life and finding a spot out in the wilderness to rest and be restored is appealing and the crickets chirping in my daughter’s room remind me of that. They call to me in their song, inviting me to enter in, challenging me to be present, to put aside the daily grind and find that place of rest and that is what I imagine to be the point of Sabbath anyway, an echo of the Hebrew origin of the word, shabath meaning, “he rested.”

He rested.

So now, I place myself there at the start of time to watch the unfolding of the creation of this world, the universe and everything; atoms vibrating, continents dividing, oceans rising, air shimmering with heat and dust, everything in motion. The mountains need tending as they jut into the low hanging clouds, forests reach into the deserts, lava pours down hillsides into waters below, now heaving, now cooling. Life rises, emerging from the mud, slowly at first then more rapidly; diversifying, evolving, expanding. The list of things to do grows. The oversight is immense. The soundtrack is layers of wind and thunder, rain, branches and crickets.

It is in these moments, then, that the crickets remind me that there is another rhythm waiting below the layers of my own “created” world. I find my brain pulling me back time after time, to the list of things I have to accomplish, finish, start, do. My own created world is atoms vibrating, continents dividing, oceans rising, air shimmering with heat and dust. Everything is in motion. And the crickets chirp in those strange silent moments. They call to me in their song, invite me to enter in, challenge me to be present, to put aside the list of things I’ve yet to do, create, become or fix. They call to me in their song, they call to me to rest.

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