“May there not come one glorious day in the weary year when we may cast aside every grief and desperate care and invite the soul to a day of rest?”Those lines, written by Adirondack writer George Washington Sears (who gave himself the most awesome of pen names – Nessmuk), seemed written just for me as I read them today. I was in my tent, engaged in my own day of rest, looking out on woods, water, and mountains, and doing nothing but reading, writing, and thinking (and eating). I read those words, and it struck me that this simple notion is not something on which it’s easy to follow through. I know, for me, most vacations (supposedly times of “rest") descend into a checklist of all I need to see and do – enjoyable, but rarely restful in the true sense of the word. A day of rest at home is not really a day of rest, either, because of the million and one distractions - dishes that need to be done, a pile of mail to go through, yard work, phone calls. Removing oneself from daily haunts is an essential piece to achieving the peace that I’m aiming to find.
I take this trip each year not only to reconnect with an old friend, but to return to a certain state of mind; it is a resetting of myself. For me, and I think for most people, it’s something best done alone. Someone once said that time spent alone is time well spent, and I can vouch for that. I return from these trips a better friend, father, husband, and teacher.
The idea of an annual time of rest is something I will pass on to Violet because as Sears went on to say:
“And in the future, when the days of trouble come, as they will come, I shall remember that grand day of rest…wherewith I was comforted.”