I am one of the fortunates who has achieved the treasured time of contemplation, a time to appreciate in the profoundest way some inkling of what it has meant to be alive. I am not unique; I do not claim that. There are many around us who share, and have shared, this gift. Usually, it comes to those who have added years to their time on earth.
We have survived the birthing process in the wider sense. We have learned what it takes to live among our fellows. We have found a trade to gain the resources to provide for our creature comforts. We have succeeded in making connections with others to ensure our emotional needs are met. Hopefully, we have made a contribution to others. These things are in our past although we may carry them on for our own pleasure. They seem to be necessary elements in arriving at a time of peace within ourselves.
No matter what your religious persuasion is, or if you are agnostic or an atheist, there is room for this idea within your consciousness. We can survive “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,” as Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet, to arrive at this state and spend some of our time contemplating the mysteries of life. Behind us are so many things we would do differently if only we could. Behind us are the many times of terror, threatening unknowns regarding our plans and projects. Behind us are our brushes with an untimely death for which we were not ready.
If we have been incredibly lucky, we may be leaving behind some material evidence of our passage – a child, a service, some indelible scratch in the wall of time, whether remembered by others or not. Some of us may still have a file folder full of plans, a list of to-do items on our agenda. Godspeed to you! But, if you recognize that this is your Sabbath time, you are now more than willing to pass the baton to others. You are now more than willing to accept that there will always be more things to be done. And you are ready to contemplate that others will be found to carry out and complete those tasks. You are ready to sit back for awhile in the sun, enjoy the beauties of nature, the bounties of nature, the beauty of your children and your children’s children. Or the beauty of other people’s accomplishments, the beauty of other people’s children!
Much remains to be fixed in the world and some of it hurts dreadfully to contemplate. It is not surprising that we sometimes feel overwhelmed. But there are blessings we can count on our fingers. There are things you can point to that you have been responsible for, some positives that you can take credit for. You can take a deep breath and hug yourself. You did good! Real good! You deserve to celebrate the Sabbath, a rest day for your soul.
Max Roytenberg is a Vancouver-based poet, writer and blogger. His book Hero in My Own Eyes: Tripping a Life Fantastic is available from Amazon and other online booksellers.