This week my precious Nona was dying from Alzheimer’s. Children and Grandchildren huddled around her bed soaking up her presence for one last day. We adored her Irish red hair, her mama bear spunk and the love she wrapped us in whenever we came to visit her white suburban ranch.
When pulling up to Nona’s house with the tangle of perennials out front, we slid the metronome dial down a few notches and entered a new rhythm. Nona lived on slow. We padded around in slippers until noon, took long winding walks around Silver Lake catching glimpses of the swans and perused antique shops, looking, lingering, savoring.
But Slow never felt empty, just a sinking down into the soft down of Rest.
Slow allows ample room for wonder. A short walk around the garden in early May revealed bright orange poppies bowing awkwardly on long hairy stems and Lily of the Valley, their tiny bells in a uniform line giving off a disproportionately powerful sweetness. Slow leaves room for making messes, for bringing half moons of watermelon to our mouth and giggling with the trickle of juice down chins and elbows.
As we swapped stories around the hospital bed, chairs pushed together, one general theme kept rising. Everyone felt loved in Nona’s presence. You were always her favorite. She knelt down on the floor with children playing babies or cars or bringing out her miniature rosebud tea set for us to pour tea for the queen. She listened quietly to dreams and shared wisdom sparingly.
Rest leaves plenty of margin for love. And this is what we crave in the Sabbath, a rest that will lead to refreshment and renewed ability to love.
May we SLOW and sink down and shut off and pause to listen to Love so that we can easily repeat His refrain.