Wednesday, July 01, 2009


I unplugged from city life for a few days and escaped to British Columbia with my son. He biked Mt. Fernie with friends, I enjoyed the beach and the woods, alone and with the other parents.

Odd thing. I had to force myself to be still. To do nothing. To consciously NOT send text updates to Twitter. Not drive to town to find free WiFi to Facebook. Not even read.

I know, that sounds obsessive. But three days of silence allows the sounds in my head to sort themselves just a little bit. Those sounds that we drown out with music, activity, our own cacophony of words, even listening to others.

Tranquility is not something that sneaks up on me. I believe one needs to work at it. To intentionally pursue it. To discipline oneself to be fully present in every moment and accept the life presented. To find ways to enter the quiet, even though the spirit is not willing.

I fray at the edges, one thread at a time. Something happens when I stop. Still myself.

I stop fraying. Life doesn't stop. But I regroup.

Like acupuncture to pain.
Oxygen to the asthmatic.
Floatation device to the shipwrecked.
Crutch to the broken.

Okay, so it's not always that bad. :-) Pardon the drama queen surfacing there for a brief moment.

I suppose my tranquil stay would have been more idyllic - like Walden Pond - if the teenager had been a happy camper. But his dependence on Facebook and text messaging is much greater than mine. He had no cell phone reception at our campsite. Every other provider apparently covers that geographical location except Rogers. I had mercy and allowed him limited use of my phone's text capability. (Thanks, Bell!)

Perhaps this is one reason the Western Painted Turtle thrives in Kikomun Creek Provincial Park. It's a slow pace.

And so I sit on a log too, trying out this slower pace, learning what it means to sit and soak in the sun and in the light of the Son of God, hearing His voice from Psalm 46: "Be still and know that I am God."

Stillness is not emptiness. But sometimes, I must empty myself to know stillness.

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