We’ve made it to Friday once again, and while we might be feeling a little weary and worn, I call that a gift in itself.
What are your plans this weekend?
I’m looking forward to some outdoorsy time well away from the computer, a spot of DIY and with the weather still good and cold, lighting my fire pit.
As we head on in, here’s a few a good things to help kick our weekend off on a relaxed note
A Good Word
Because we forget sometimes
– – – think of yourself with grace – – –
A Good Look
Also because we forget sometimes
A Good Idea
Find Your Rainbow Valley
A bit longer than usual but well worth it
I sat on my front stoop while the kids were watching a movie inside I was feeling utterly defeated. I looked at my phone and a friend had shared a video of a young white woman singing the National Anthem to be recorded for Portland State University’s graduation. As she began singing, a Black opera singer who was passing by started singing with her and their voices harmonized so beautifully and powerfully that I just sobbed right there in my yard.
I cried because of how far we are from having the harmony that flows from justice and I cried because their voices were a thing of beauty.
I thought about our desperate need for beauty and that made me think of Rilla Blythe in the final book of the Anne series by L.M. Montgomery, set during WWI on the homefront in Canada.
I found so much comfort in re-reading “Rilla of Ingleside” early during lockdown. I drew strength from the attitude of running the Blythe home and participating in the community life of their little town of Glen St. Mary as part of the Blythe family’s war effort. Staying home and making life beautiful for my children was the battle I was fighting–and it still is.
But now I sympathize with Rilla and the other Blythes as the war and the uncertainty dragged on and on. There were days when the grief was so heavy that Anne Blythe, formerly the spunky Anne Shirley of Anne of Green Gables, would stay in her bed all day. To be perfectly honest, I’ve had a day or two like that over the past months.
And there were days when determined and capable Rilla would get weary and dip into despair. And so she would go to Rainbow Valley.
Rainbow Valley was the nearby place of beauty and a bit of wilderness where the Blythes and their friends played as children. It was a place of joy and imagination. And Rilla goes there as a young adult during the Great War when things get dark to cry, to recover, to dream. Then she stands up and walks back to her responsibilities–caring for a war baby, supporting her family, doing her bit in the war effort, getting through each day by the grace of God.
We are facing a long war–against a virus, against injustice, we will need to cultivate our Rainbow Valleys. We will need to retreat to a place of beauty and goodness to draw strength to fight another day.
Perhaps we will…
Play beautiful music.
Meditate on art.
Read a poem slowly.
Watch a movie that brings joy.
Dive into books with powerful stories.
Pick flowers and put them in vases.
Take a walk.
Notice the beauty of the people in our home.
Draw strength from the story of God’s love for us in the Scriptures.
Savor a cinnamon roll.
Call a friend.
Bake a cake.
Sit around the table and laugh with our families.
Reach out for the Source of all beauty in prayer.
Remember, as Samwise Gamgee says, “There is some good in the world, and it’s worth fighting for.”
Find your Rainbow Valley and go there, rest there, cry there, laugh there. Because joy and goodness and justice and truth are worth fighting for. We cannot lose heart.
A Good Read
Kelly and her mother walked the Camino de Santiago Trail also called the The Way of St. James, an ancient spiritual pilgrimage across Spain. This is one of her stories from the road.
Here’s a snippet
As you walk on the trail, you pick up sing-song phrases that pilgrims say to each other. These are the liturgy of the camino. The folklore of the way.
I first heard one of the early phrases in the famous parochial albergue in Grañon. At this traditional pilgrim hostel, everyone sleeps on the floor of a crowded bell tower and eats together at a hodgepodge of tables covered with blue and white gingham vinyl tablecloths. We sang a rap blessing before we ate our tuna salad, squash soup, and gobs of bread.
As our hospiterlera (volunteer working at the hostel) came to see how everyone was doing, she looked at our empty wine glasses and exclaimed, “ ¡No vino, no camino!” and promptly filled them to the brim with cheap vino tinto—Spanish red wine likely pressed from the grapes of fields we had walked through and around and beside each and every day.
It became a common refrain along the way. ¡No vino, no camino! Should we have wine tonight? ¡No vino, no camino! Do you want wine with that? ¡No vino, no camino! – – – Keep reading
And a foodie one from Bob Appétit that I’m definitely making over the weekend