The relationship between ‘doing’ and ‘being’ - the activist and contemplative - is a dynamic that may not be immediately obvious when thinking about Quiet Gardens...
Wendell Berry’s sequence of Sabbath poems inspires this deep reflection on the practice of Sabbath. Weaving her own words alongside Berry’s prose, Nicola invites us to move away from our regime, our driveness, our striving for success and embrace the Sabbath as a ‘sanitizing, temporary reprieve’. She encourages us to see that we all need a buffer – time out – to create an alternative space for our sanity and spirituality to recover. Finding this space in nature is reflected in Berry’s poem, ‘I go among the trees’:
I go among the trees and sit still
All my stirring becomes quiet around me like circles on water.
The invitation into the woods – takes us into a place of not-doing, not- pursuing where we lie fallow, helping us to see that it is a gift, not an empty space. We are not machines – Nicola writes – just as mammals hibernate during the cold months and fields are left fallow to restore their nutrients, so we too need dormancy and rest. A review does not do this beautifully composed piece any justice – read it and be inspired to pause and take care.
Sarah Godson /