I’m about to go away for my summer Sabbath time, leaving July 9 and returning late August ish. Almost all of that time I will be in my happy place along the Smith River in Montana, where my brother and I have nestled into a little spot. I will be mostly off the grid – no cell phone, internet, but there is a cb party line radio which can reach the outside world, and Rex knows how to reach me on that. Occasionally I will come to town and fuss around on the computer, but note that I’m not likely to return email or texts for most of that time. Rex will be on call pastorally while I am away, and there is a good line-up of guest preachers and celebrates for Sunday worship (check the church calendar to see).
A couple of years ago I did a poll around my Episcopal rector colleagues in Minnesota and learned that if you were to replace me, the market rate salary you would have to offer for comparable experience would be much higher than the salary I have agreed to all these years. (fun fact I learned – women rectors in MN make 82 cents on the dollar for a man rector. huh). So St Mary’s and I agreed on a ‘grid’, with yearly salary increases until the position is at market rater. In exchange for not jumping there right away, I swapped the salary for weeks of sabbath time by the river.
Which I love so so much. The sabbath time. And the river. I go to bed early and sleep in late, make a strong cup of coffee and sit on the deck watching eagles fish in the river. I read and read and read. I paint and fix and tile and clean and fuss around the camp. I cook rarely. I do art as much as I can. And at least once a day I put my hind end in an innertube and float down the river. In the evening I play cards with my friends, or sit by the campfire. I think big thoughts, but only when I feel like it. I pray. I am quiet and still.
My soul needs the rest. My intellect needs the stimulation. My creativity needs the practice. My prayer life needs the space.
I suspect we all need that. Rest, space, stimulation, practice, space. May you find your happy place and seek what you need.