Every day do something that won't compute :: Sarah Bessey

Wake up to a brighter bedroom, the snow has been falling outside all night. Take a lazy look around the room, look at the life it is reflecting back to you: a sturdy homemade bed; tangled and worn white sheets; a man with a beard is sleeping, his hand still resting on your spine; bright yellow baby rainboots tossed in a corner; piles of books. Stretch the length of your life.

The tinies will come clumping down the hall soon, their voices filled with wonder: “Mum! It snowed!” That man you kissed last night will roll out of the bed because Sundays are your day to sleep in, a deal’s a deal, you do Saturdays. But you both know you won’t go back to sleep – you never do. Watch him head upstairs to the ministry of coffee and Bubble Guppies on Netflix.

Get out of the bed and go to the window, look out into the forest. The snow is still falling, thick and lazy, almost predictably. Open the window for a few moments, just to smell it. Crawl back into your bed, pull up the covers, and grab a book. Once a week, you get to read first thing when you wake up and so here is a stack of Wendell Berry and Flannery O’Connor and Luci Shaw, practice the resistance of reading of good books.

When you go upstairs in an hour, make a pot of tea. No solitary mugs will do for a snowy Sunday, get out the big sturdy brown pot and your mother’s discarded delicate white teacups, the ones with blue and silver flowers on the rim. Hug your babies, good morning, good morning, yes, I see you. Listen to the dishwasher chug, everything is brighter and slower when it snows.

Church is cancelled, you’re pretty sure everyone is relieved for a day off anyway, an excuse to stay in their jammies, watch movies, work puzzles, roll in the snow, read novels. The more judicious might catch up on housework, pay the bills online, answer emails: the kindred spirits will make a bit of room for delicious indolence.

Decide to do something real today, then bake a loaf of bread. Yeast, flour, water, salt – simple is good for the soul and the belly. Guide small hands into kneading properly, let everything rise in its time.

Scratch a few lines into a journal. Write a bit but try not get frustrated because you are interrupted seven times in fifteen minutes. Read a psalm. Pray in the shower. Listen as you go through your day. Clean the kitchen. Bath a baby. Make the beds. Use the good dishes for a lunch of plain soup. Scatter children’s books around the house like bait. Put on lipstick. Flirt in the kitchen in quiet saucy voices. Comfort tired children, prescribe naps and quilts with seriousness. Promise a movie later on. Later when the snow settles, you’ll go for a walk in the dim, into the in-between for a conversation with yourself, you’ll be so relieved to be away from them all for a few moments but yearning to return to them all by the end of the block.

Watch the snow fall in the ordinary beauty of a Sabbath spent practicing what makes you feel most fully human.


In which I link you up (vol. 44)
In which I share what I'm into :: February 2014 edition
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  • Tara Porter-Livesay

    yes. lovely writing, lovely you. wish i could take that walk with you.

  • Rebecca Schulte Clark

    Yes, this is like our day today. Thanks for the encouragement to really savor it. Now off the Internet and on to my journal. 🙂

  • sigh. been writing a post in my head from the last lines of the poem: be like the fox, who makes more tracks then neccessary, some in the wrong direction. practice resrection.

  • Jeremy Steele

    Beautiful… Sabbath is so very important and so difficult for me in my hectic world! Sometimes, I need it imposed on me like this. I had an article about it earlier this week from a far less beautiful perspective: http://jeremywords.com/blog/2014/2/26/the-little-sin-that-became-mainstream

  • meganfriedokra

    Homemade bread, books, soup and snow. I feel like we’re spending the day together, almost.

  • Lovely to change from a human doing to a human being!

  • Briana Meade

    Beautiful writing, beautiful day.

  • Kelly W

    I love the intentionality of taking your Sabbath snow day… and how the sounds of life feel muted in your description. Where a roar of everyday life pauses for the glory of quiet. Thanks for sharing!

  • Alison Stow


  • This made me sigh and nod and say, “Yes. Yes.”

    This is why I love winter, by the way. It’s months of this. Even if it does get too cold and we are indoors too much and it lasts too long. I can’t quite move away from a place that guarantees this kind of day.

  • Jessica Stock

    beautiful words beautiful life

  • So lovely. You know, I refused to read this last week as I’ve been very upset with snow and winter and I didn’t want anyone to tell me otherwise. But I’m so glad I found this today. It’s helps me look back fondly on all the snowy days I’ve had (but only now that I’m sitting in the sunshine!)

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