Tonight, like every Friday night, I disconnect from the electronic world. I notice the momentary resistance, then I bookmark, quit out, shut down, and unplug for the next twenty-four hours. Just as I reset my computer, so I reset the direction of my focus from outward to inward. With the simple act of unplugging, I slow down and align my rhythm with nature’s pace who, despite our miraculous inventions in technology, moves at exactly the same speed that she’s moved since her birth.
This weekly sabbath is a self-imposed fallow time, the second, liminal stage of transition when we rest in an in-between realm, when the old week has ended and the new week has yet to begin (“When the egg is no longer and the chick is not yet…”- Martin Buber). Time seems to move more slowly now. My thoughts follow the pace of my pen on paper instead of my fingers flying across the keys. And in this inward, slowed down state, I notice life with greater acuity. I’m present in a single-minded way: no multi-tasking, no focus on the external world of achievement. Just here. Now.
In this place, I notice, with my entire being, from the surface of my skin to the depths of my soul, the almost unbearably delicious weight of my baby’s body as he falls asleep on my body, belly to belly his breath synchronizes with my breath, chest to chest our heartbeats dance to a syncopated rhythm.
I notice the light bouncing off my older son’s hair, the way he stands up tall with confidence as he watches the mama robin flying in and out of the nest she’s built in one of our aspen trees, his hands tucked into his down jacket, his baseball cap pushed above his hairline. I nuzzle into my husband’s shoulder and say, “Look at our son. When did he grow up?” To which he responds, “I know. It breaks my heart.”
The next day my husband takes the boys out for a couple of hours and in the rare silence of the house, I drop down further into myself: a wave of grief that Mocha’s gone, a childhood memory. But mostly, in the stillness of non-doing, even though I have a cold and I’m exhausted from yet another sleepless night with my baby, the feeling that fills me like dipping into a warm bath is gratitude. The worries, the anxiety, the thoughts of “not-enough” fall away, and what’s left, always, is gratitude.